Los Angeles-based KB Home has announced that it will offer the feature on custom-built homes so consumers won’t have to add a high-voltage box later.
“It’s a great feature for home buyers who currently drive electric cars, or for those who want to build their new home to accommodate these cars in the future,” said Jeffrey Mezger, the company’s president and chief executive. KB Homes, which operates in 10 states, has built about 500,000 homes since its founding in 1957.
In response to consumer demand, more home builders are offering energy-efficient features, such as extra insulation or Energy Star appliances — some at no extra cost.
Several plug-in cars, including the Nissan’s fully electric Leaf and General Motors’ rechargeable Chevrolet Volt, are expected to be on the market by year’s end.
They’ll charge more quickly with a 220-240 volt box, but adding one in an older home could cost thousands of dollars. In designing my own green home, which won’t have a garage, we’ve requested a high-voltage outlet outside by the parking pad for a future electric car.
Nissan spokesman Mark Perry said the cost of adding home charging is one-third hardware (the box itself) and two-thirds installation and labor costs, according to a story this week in the New York Times. He said homes built in the 1990s or later usually have adequate 200-plus amp service but not older ones.
Until the end of December,, a federal tax credit will cover 50% of a home charger installation, up to $2,000) is covered by a federal tax credit. “We’re working hard to extend it,” Perry is quoted as saying. “Everybody recognizes the need for it.”