(BPT) - By Carter Oosterhouse, TV Host and Home Improvement Expert
Between fluctuating gas prices, the rise in green-minded individuals, and new electric vehicle (EV) introductions from major auto manufacturers, EV adoption is skyrocketing. In 2021 over 630,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. alone. In tandem, the recently passed $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act will drive future electric vehicle sales high as it makes clean technology such as EVs more affordable for Americans.
Purchasing an EV can be both exciting and perplexing, as the process of switching from a gas to electric is new to many consumers. Unlike storing a traditional vehicle, preparing the garage for an EV takes a bit more thought — especially when charging the vehicle at home. To prepare your garage for a new EV purchase, here’s a few tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Update the Electric Panel
Homes require a tremendous amount of power whether running the air conditioning or heater, catching up on a television show, leaving the lights on, or using the washing machine. Adding an at-home EV charger to the mix can certainly strain an outdated electric panel.
Homeowners should consider updating to a smart electric panel to address this additional load. The Square D™ Energy Center from Schneider Electric simplifies the process of adding an EV Charger to an electrical system and brings unprecedented resiliency and control over a home’s energy use. Acting as more than just a smart electric panel, this solution gives homeowners the ability to change power sources — from utility, to solar, battery, generator, etc. — conveniently through their smartphone to enhance energy resilience and help optimize energy costs.
Tip #2: Create a Climate-controlled Garage
The lithium-ion batteries that power EVs can be very sensitive to temperature fluctuation. Extreme temperatures can also cause damage to the battery and affect the vehicle’s overall performance.
Homeowners should consider updating insulation in the garage to help maintain the condition of the car’s battery and promote longevity of the vehicle. When creating a climate-controlled garage, a few insulation focal points should include the garage door, the ceiling, and around garage windows as those are some of the biggest air leakage spots.
Tip #3: Clean Out the Garage
Sometimes the garage becomes the junkyard of our homes with old items that may no longer be needed. In preparation for an electric vehicle, make space by clearing out old items collecting dust.
To reduce garage clutter, consider clearing floor space by installing pegboards for vertical organization systems, creating individual areas for different garage items, such as gardening supplies or home improvement tools, and removing items that shouldn’t be stored in the garage, like pet food or paper goods which can attract unwanted animals and bugs. Beyond that, a shiny new car always looks better in a clean, organized environment!
Tip #4: Upgrade Garage Security
Garage break-ins are quite common. In fact, a home burglary happens about every 25 seconds in the United States, according to the FBI Crime Data Report. To protect their EV investment, homeowners should consider upgrading their garage security to prevent burglary. Consider putting locks on windows and improving exterior lighting — a poorly lit driveway might entice a burglar to enter. Also, look into upgrading an outdated garage door opener to a modern model.
As EV adoption continues to climb, 27 million of these vehicles are anticipated to be on the road by 2023. Homeowners who plan to invest in an EV should look to create an EV-friendly garage environment to support the longevity of the vehicle. By putting more thought into preparing the garage for an EV, your investment stays protected while you increase your home’s value, and you can make a long-lasting positive contribution to the environment.