Part of Frey’s odyssey in getting his Focus was installing the charging station in his carport. Metro Ford has signed a deal with Best Buy’s Geek Squad to handle the installation. Best Buy in turn subcontracted with Mr. Electric of the Palm Beaches. Curt Perry, Mr. Electric’s director of business development, said the biggest delay is in pulling permits.
Some cities allow electricians to apply and obtain the permit on the same day. Other governments, he said, can take three to four weeks.
“The more times you work with a particular municipality, the easier it gets,” he said.
While he had installed chargers for Fiskers (which has since halted production), Frey’s was his first Focus, he said. So far, he’s installed about 15 electric car chargers between Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County, he said. Typically his electricians can finish a job in three hours, with the cost averaging about $2,000. The chargers, he said, are universal so will work on any car, no matter the make.
Another hitch may be the car’s expense. Electric cars are typically higher. The Focus lists at $39,500 and comes with a $7,500 federal tax refund. Charging stations are also eligible for a 30 percent tax credit up to $1,000. And in some states, including California, Oregon, Utah and Colorado, there are additional state tax breaks.
“I assume I’m overpaying for the car, but I’m OK with that,” Frey said. “Somebody’s got to be the first one to buy it. You can’t get economies of scale without the first people adopting the technology.”
For Frey, owning the car is as much an adventure as a necessity.
“Do I call electrical engineer now instead of my mechanic?” he joked.
Joking aside, Frey said he was willing to shoulder the inconveniences if it means driving a greener car.
“I value the future of our planet and I don’t like causing pollution any more than I have to. I think every ecosystem is fragile and delicate and if I want my kids and grandkids to grow up in the beautiful nature we have in South Florida, we have to minimize pollution.”