A Quicker Way to Charge EVs

Charge@Home is MGE's innovative new program for electric vehicle owners to quickly charge their car's battery at home.

More drivers are choosing electric vehicles (EVs). Nationwide, sales were up by more than 40% in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same time in the previous year. That's because EVs are inexpensive to operate, require less maintenance and are environmentally friendly. In addition, sales incentives offered through dealerships, like mge.com/DriveElectric, and the federal tax credits totaling up to $7,500 have made EVs more attractive to motorists exploring EVs.

EV manufacturers offering higher mileage range vehicles and more robust charging networks throughout major U.S. cities have helped alleviate some of the range anxiety of potential buyers. Other concerns of potential buyers have been related to the time it takes to charge the battery.

Introducing Charge@Home

MGE is offering a new pilot program for home charging. Through Charge@Home, MGE is working with customers to make it easier for those who own plug-in EVs to quickly charge their car's battery at home. Participants will be enrolled in a study to help us learn more about charging sessions and how technology can best work for our customers. This collaboration supports our Energy 2030 objective of offering customers new technology options to create a more sustainable energy future.

Man charging his EV

MGE is installing ChargePoint Home Level 2 (L2) chargers at participants' homes as part of this pilot. Participants pay a monthly fee of $20 per month plus the cost of their electricity usage. There is no upfront charge for standard installation.

MGE customer Chris Meuzelaar (right) was the first customer to participate in the Charge@Home pilot program. "When I heard about MGE's Charge@Home program, it was an easy decision to sign up," said Meuzelaar. "The upfront cost of hiring an electrician and purchasing the equipment on my own was out of my budget. Through this program, I was able to spread the installation and equipment costs out over an extended period of time. The sign-up and installation process was a breeze."

The ChargePoint Home charges EV batteries up to six times faster than a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, cutting the charge time for a fully depleted Nissan LEAF® battery, for example, to four hours. The L2 charger can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi from a smartphone and integrates with other ChargePoint chargers. Participants can monitor and manage charging sessions and view all of their residential, public and workplace charging history.

"The ChargePoint Home charger allows me to schedule my charging sessions," said Meuzelaar. "Since I have signed up for MGE's Time-of-Use rates, I have scheduled my EV to charge during the night hours when electric demand is lowest. Since installation, I have seen a significant savings on my monthly electric bills and always wake up to a fully-charged battery."

This pilot program, which is limited to 100 participants, is part of our research to expand new technology options for our customers. If you are interested in joining this program, visit mge.com/chargeathome.

This program furthers our commitment to new technologies as outlined in our Energy 2030 framework.
Laura Williams

"We're excited to work with customers to make this quick charging option available," said Laura Williams (left), MGE Manager of Market Development.

"These home chargers help our customers save money because they're able to charge their vehicles more quickly and when electricity is cheaper using MGE's Time-of-Use rate. It also helps MGE learn how to best manage the impact of EV charging on our community grid and furthers our commitment to new technologies as outlined in our Energy 2030 framework."

Learn more about EVs and other new products and services under Innovation.

published: 02-01-2017 | updated: 08-29-2017