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February 18, 2019

If you’ve ever had a conversation with electric vehicle enthusiasts regarding the notable drawbacks of these machines, a lot of them will tell you the lack of public charging stations as one of the biggest negative things with electric vehicle adoption. As it isn’t possible to simply plug in your vehicle wherever and whenever you want, many people refrain themselves from buying an electric vehicle.

However, there’s also a lot of electric car owner who manages this aspect quite efficiently and makes most out of their electric motoring by using the following means:

  • Multiple accounts for multiple public EV charging stations
  • Installing a level 2 home charging station

The second option e.g. the home charging station can be a real asset for any electric vehicle owner looking to benefit from the complete potential of their electric vehicle. We’ll discuss the key points to check for installing a level 2 home charging station in detail later. But let’s throw some light on the title topic first.

Car warranty – An overall view

It’s crucial to understand what a car warranty is and what it isn’t to have a clear understanding of your role in a warranty relationship. A new car warranty refers to an agreement between a consumer and a car manufacturer. It outlines the things that you’ve to do in order to keep the warranty in force as well as the things that can void the warranty in part or full.

When it comes to whether using a 220 volt level 2 EV charger can void a new car warranty, there’s no proof that it does. So, it can be safe to assume that you use a 220 volt level 2 EV charger to get your electric car up and running without being worried about your new car warranty getting void.

However, there’re some common factors that can void a new electric car warranty. Let’s have a look at them.

Modifications

There’s an ongoing trend around making huge suspension modifications using lower kits or extreme lifts, or installing aftermarket tires and wheels. You should understand that these modifications make a car platform greatly compromised. These may include vehicle undercarriage components, conventional alignment angles, drive train components like axle bearings, among others. Such compromises invariably lead to drive train, suspension and steering problems. If you raise a warranty claim related to any of these systems, the car manufacturer will scrutinize these modifications, and if the failure occurs due to the installations, your claim will be typically denied and the care warranty will be void.

Performance modifications

Sometimes car owners plan to perform some modifications in order to enhance drivability and engine management parameters. If these modifications result in engine failure, the car maker will identify why the failure happened and your car warranty will be void.

If you tow another vehicle with your car that isn’t equipped to tow

Typically a vehicle should have additional features like increased cooling system capacity, beefed up suspension to manage the additional weight, special wiring to power lighting of the vehicle being towed, heavy duty brakes to stop the additional load, among others in order to be able to tow another vehicle. If you use your car that isn’t properly designed for this purpose, it will typically experience issues like internal damage, overheated engine, suspension damage, frame damage, compromised wiring, excessive brake wear etc. If any of these issues happen as a result of towing, your warranty will be void.

However, this is a complicated topic and there’s a lot of other factors that may result in voiding all or part of your new car warranty. Ideally, you should always check with your new car dealer before using any services or products other than the ones specified by the auto manufacturer or before doing any modifications. And if those don’t interfere with your new car warranty, see if the company can provide you with them.

Electric car battery warranty – Things you should know about

Despite the steady adoption worldwide, many electric car buyers worry that owning an electric vehicle might bring additional cost of replacing an expensive battery pack after a couple of years of use. In reality, electric car battery packs are manufactured to last the entire lifetime of the car and there’re very few reported incidents of complete battery failure. However, there’s a chance of a reduction in your car’s range over time. The standard norm in the automotive industry is to protect a car battery for 8 years / 100,000 miles. But when it comes to an electric car battery, reduced capacity is also covered by the car warranty, apart from the total failure.

 Some of the electric vehicle manufacturers offer protection that covers owners for certain levels of reduced battery capacity. Though the threshold for the amount of decreased range (or capacity) can be hard to measure, the warranty usually begins at 70 percent of the range compared to when the vehicle was new. For example, when a fully charged electric vehicle which is rated to give a range of 100 miles is only providing a range of 70 miles, it would be eligible for replacement by the auto manufacturer. However, in reality, in a huge majority of cases, electric vehicles lose less than 10 percent of their battery capacity even after running for 150,000 miles or more. The main reason is that these vehicles come with sophisticated battery management systems which mitigate the damage coming from the biggest threats like overcharging, high temperatures etc. Some electric vehicles with longer range are less likely to require frequent full charge and discharge. As a result, they’re less likely to go through the event of reduced capacity over time.

Key tips to choose a level 2 charging station for charging your EV at home

We’ve already learned that the easiest option to plug in an electric car is to recharge at home. Your EV comes with an OBC (On-Board Charger) that facilitates the transfer of charge from your charging station to this on-board battery. The OBC needs a minimum amount of amperage from the external charging station to be able to maximize the charge rate. Here’s a brief checklist that you should keep in mind when planning to install a level 2 home charging station.

Connector type

If you’re buying a car charge connector for any brand other than Tesla, you’re looking for one that comes with a J1772 connector. Tesla has its own proprietary charge plug, which isn’t compatible with non-Tesla cars.

Charging speed

Level 2 home charging stations require a voltage between 208V and 240V to operate. The charging speed depends on two factors that are your car’s acceptance rate and the amperage of the charger.

Wall connection options

There’re two ways through which you can connect your level 2 charging station to the electrical panel: through a direct connection (hardwired) or through plugging into an outlet. Some people prefer to install an outlet and go with the plugin station. This lets you remove the station by unplugging the system simply. This also becomes important in the event of the charging station needing repair or replacement.

Cable length

One of the most critical components of a charging station is the cable which charges your electric vehicle. It’s essential for you to figure out where and how your car will be parked to measure the required cable length. Though cable length can vary and you can find many charging stations with 18, 20 or 25 ft cables, with a 25 ft cable, you’ll be able to charge the vehicle whether it’s parked forward or backward.

Placement

Majority of the charging stations are designed for both indoor and outdoor use and are capable of withstanding a wide of range of temperatures with severe weather conditions like snow, ice, rain etc. Ideally, you should install the charging station in your garage to safeguard it from outside elements. It’ll experience less abuse when installed inside.

Electrical work

Level 2 charging stations require an electrical feed (208V to 240V). If you live in a modern house then it may not be a problem. In this scenario, you probably have a bigger service panel compared to older houses and your electrician might be able to convert an existing 120 volt outlet for the EV charging station. However, if you live in an older house, your electrician will probably have to make a dedicated new line to the garage. If the service panel is already in your garage, it may be inexpensive. But if the panel is located at the other end of your house, this can be quite expensive.

Warranty

One of the most critical considerations is the tenure of warranty offered by your charging station’s manufacturer. Make sure that you get a warranty of a minimum 3 years including the connector and cable. If you come across anything less than that, it’s strongly advisable to stay away from that brand. There’re also some models that come with a warranty of 3 years on the connector and cable, and 5 years on the case.

If you're interested in learning Why should you get a faster electric vehicle charger? ,read our article about that.

 


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