How And Where You Can Charge Your Electric Car Battery

Already 44 models of plug-in electric cars are being sold in the USA this year from virtually every car maker of the USA, Europe, Japan and Korea. Many more are coming in the next year or two.

There are also many used electric vehicles (EVs) coming off a three year lease in Oregon and California, which are half the price of the new price and usually with low mileage.

Why buy a plug-in electric cars (EVs), you ask? To start with, the energy cost per mile is very low. An efficient gasoline car will cost about $0.10-$0.20 per mile, as compared to an EV at $0.02-$0.04 per mile. And, EVs do not require periodic oil and filter changes, making them virtually maintenance free.

Since Oregon has a (relative to most other states) high gasoline price and a low electrical energy cost, EVs are a serious contender for your transportation needs, especially if your daily driving needs are local up to 50 miles per day. The daily driving of 85% of those in the USA is less than 35 miles.

The methods of recharging the battery of an EV are varied, as to type and speed of charging (electrical power). The most common type of chargers in the USA are generally called “Type 2,” whose charging power is like an electric clothes dryer up to an electric oven, 220 volt and 3-7 kilowatt.

This type of charger is suitable to install in most homes and is one type of public chargers.

Another very common method of charging is the portable charging cord. This comes with every EV and will plug into any typical household receptacle, 120 Volt. But, its charging power is about 1 kW, which usually means that charging time is long. But, if your daily driving is under 40 miles, this easy and low cost method of charging may work for you.

Other methods of charging include: the DC Fast Charger with power between 30 kW and 350 kW (although the delivered power will be limited by the specific type of EV’s capability to accept the large amount of power), the CHAdeMO chargers, which only work on a few EV models like the Nissan Leaf, and the common electrical outlet at campgrounds called NEMA 14-50.

When you buy a new or used EV, there are financial incentives available from both the federal and state of Oregon governments. The federal tax credit can be up to $7,500 and the Oregon rebate can be up to $2,500.

Pacific Power has recently provided grants to three organizations in Douglas County. The City of Roseburg has started the charger installation on Oct. 28, initially at the Roseburg Library, then the Umpqua Valley Arts Association and the Downtown Parking Deck. The City of Myrtle Creek has installed a charger at Creekside Park. The White Oak Medical Clinic has installed three chargers for use by their employees and customers.

But certainly, charging your electric plug-in car at home is the most convenient. Fill up your battery with electrical energy while you sleep. You might use the portable charging cord for low power charging. Typically, installing a Level 2 charger on the wall in your garage will be the most practical.

The combinations of EVs and applicable charging types gets a bit too complicated for this short article, but experts are available from the Douglas County Smart Energy organization. Take a look on Facebook or You can also email David Reeck at

Join the Douglas County Smart Energy monthly meetings, which are the last Monday of each month at the Douglas Electric Co-Op building on North Stephens from 5:30-7 p.m.