How to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

Alternative energy is going to be what moves vehicles into the future. Pretty much every automaker has announced plans for an electric future, from progressive moves towards electric power to full-blown deadlines for being fully-electric.

Whether you are looking at getting a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or fully electric vehicle, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to keep it topped up and charged. This will help you get the most out of your vehicle, and make sure it’s always ready to go the distance for you. So what do you have to do to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle?

Hybrid Reserved Parking and Charging Space

A plug-in hybrid needs to be able to park in a spot where it can charge overnight. Otherwise, the plug-in aspect is pretty pointless, isn’t it?

If you don’t have off-street parking, this can certainly be an issue. It doesn’t mean that a PHEV is pointless for you, it just requires a little more planning. You can run an extension cord from an exterior outlet to the street for charging your PHEV overnight, or charge it at work during the day. The hybrid portion of your vehicle will ensure that, even if you can’t charge it, you can still get where you need to go. If you have off-street parking or, if you’re really lucky, a garage, you’ll need to get space ready for your plug-in hybrid vehicle.

How to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle at Bobby Rahal Toyota in Mechanicsburg, PA | Woman Plugging in Her 2021 Toyota Prius Prime Outside of Condos
How to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle at Bobby Rahal Toyota in Mechanicsburg, PA | Close up view of 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime charging

How to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle at Bobby Rahal Toyota in Mechanicsburg, PA | Woman charging Prius Prime in her home garage

Level 1 Charging or Level 2?

The good news is, Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles don’t need much in terms of infrastructure. So while a fully-electric vehicle may do better with a Level 2 charger, in the end, a Level 1 will be fine for your PHEV! Understanding the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 charging is an important part of understanding the needs for your PHEV.

A Level 1 cord set charger is included with every PHEV. This type of charging works off the standard household current of 110 or 120 volts. Level 1 charging is portable, and features a three-pronged household plug at one end that is connected to a control box. This control box connects to the vehicle by a longer cord. For most PHEV vehicles, this is just fine – it can charge from three to five miles of driving per hour, plenty when the battery can only hold 30-35 miles of charge.

The good news is that the Level 1 charger can be plugged into pretty much any standard outlet. There is a caveat though – you need to make sure that other appliances aren’t running off the same circuit. For instance, plugging it into the same circuit as a running washing machine or refrigerator is likely to trip the circuit breaker. So you may need to consider running additional outlets and circuits into your garage or wherever you are planning to charge, especially if you have a split laundry room/garage or have a freezer or fridge in your garage for additional storage.

More Than Just Cords and Outlets

There are other needs for PHEVs above and beyond those of a normal car. For one, electric car batteries don’t necessarily do well in fluctuating weather. Particularly in cold and hot extremes, your PHEV or electric car’s batteries may degrade faster over time. A protected, climate-controlled garage that can mitigate extreme summer heat and extreme winter cold will help extend the full capacities of your batteries. Plus, they’ll keep your vehicle comfortable to get in and out of in those months with extremes, lessening the electric/fuel demands for cooling or heating your vehicle to the desired temperature when you get in it. If your car can stay relatively warm in your garage, you won’t need to run it to warm it up, or put the heater on full blast and draw more power. Consider an insulated garage door to go one step further!

How to prepare your home for your new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle at Bobby Rahal Toyota in Mechanicsburg, PA | The 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum Parked in a Spacious Driveway

With the move towards PHEVs and all-electric vehicles, some new construction is even taking these needs into consideration when it is being designed. It’s not odd to find new houses with dedicated charging outlets and, sometimes, even Level 2 charging units that can handle a PHEV or a full electric vehicle! By understanding the needs of your PHEV, you can prepare your home ahead of time and be ready to get charging right away when you bring it home.

If you want to learn more about plug-in electric hybrid vehicles at Bobby Rahal Toyota, don’t hesitate to contact one of our talented staff or visit us at our dealership located in Mechanicsburg, PA.