Electric vehicles, also sometimes referred to as EVs, are becoming more popular on the market as eco-friendly transportation methods. Rather than relying on gas or diesel, these vehicles run off an electrical charge, requiring owners to plug them in once their battery runs low. You can plug these cars into a charging port while you’re out and about, or you can charge your electric vehicle at home so they’re ready for you when you wake up and start your day.
If you’re a new owner of an electric vehicle or just thinking about buying one, you may have some questions about electric vehicle charging at home. This guide will help you understand the complexities of charging your vehicle at home and ensure it always has ample battery levels to get you where you need to go.
Different Types of EV Chargers
EV home charging time depends on your charging station level:
- Level 1: These charging stations can handle up to 120 volts and can take more than 24 hours to charge an electric vehicle to 80 percent. They can also only handle one EV at a time. Level 1 charging stations are ideal in the home, where you can leave your car charging overnight. These charging stations are helpful during emergencies or roadside troubleshooting.
- Level 2: These charging stations can help you charge your vehicles more quickly at home or in a private parking lot. Level 2 chargers can handle up to 240 volts and charge an electric car to 80 percent in four to five hours, which is significantly faster than a level 1 charger. A level 2 charger can help individuals save money and increase the reliability of their electric vehicles’ charges.
- Level 3: Level 3 chargers, sometimes also referred to as fast-chargers, are the strongest and fastest available for electric vehicles. These charging stations can charge electric vehicles in 15 to 45 minutes. They’re also more expensive than the other two types of chargers due to their speed and components. Level 3 chargers are usually out of reach for most homeowners due to their price tag and availability. Most of these chargers are at public charging stations, particularly those that service heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Each of these charging stations has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to consider your charging needs before choosing a type to install in your home.
How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV at Home?
Your EV home charging time will vary based on which level charger you’re using, your vehicle’s model and the battery size. Level 3 or fast-charging stations can charge an electric car in as little as 30 minutes. Meanwhile, charging your vehicle on a level 1 charger may take over 24 hours, depending on how much of a charge you have left before you plug it in.
Some electric cars with a battery capacity under 14kWh can reach a full charge on a level 1 charger in about four hours. These batteries are considerably smaller than the batteries in other cars. For example, a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range has a battery capacity of 50kWh and can take almost an entire day to charge using a level 1 charging station. Switching to level 2 or 3 charging stations can significantly increase the speed your EV charges at home.
Installing a level 2 EV charger will give you the best and most affordable electric car home charging time, allowing you to charge your car quickly for a reasonable price.
What Do You Need for an EV Charger at Home?
If you want to charge your car at home for convenience, you’ll need to ensure you meet the requirements. What you need to charge an EV at home will depend on what level of charging station you plan on using.
Since it only requires 120 volts of power, a level 1 charger can usually function off your existing electrical grid. You’ll simply plug the charging cord into a regular wall outlet and let your vehicle battery charge. However, you may find that it takes too long, especially if you drive a significant amount each day and need a full charge when you wake up.
Level 2 chargers can charge your EV more quickly, but level 2 chargers won’t charge your vehicles using a regular wall outlet. If you don’t already have a 240-volt circuit, you’ll need an electrician to come into your home to install one. You may also need to upgrade multiple electrical services in or around the house to ensure you can use the charger. However, quickly charging your electric vehicle is more than worth it.
You can also use solar panels to charge your EV by installing them on your garage roof. While solar panels can be a costly investment, there is a federal solar investment tax credit to help reduce some expenses. Still, some individuals may find that upgrading their current electrical system is the easiest option.
How to Install an EV Charger at Home
It’s in your best interest to have a trained electrician come to your home and install your EV charger. Working with the electrical system in your home could pose a danger to you and your family if you don’t have the proper training. An improperly installed EV charger can create a long-term hazard, risking electrical shocks and fires. Other reasons to hire a trained electrician include:
- You’ll get peace of mind: Hiring a professional allows you to rest easy knowing that your EV charger was installed correctly and will last longer than if you had installed it yourself. Professional electricians have the training to identify and repair problems easily, ensuring that your charger is working correctly from the start.
- You could pay less: If you try installing an EV charger on your own, you may end up damaging the charger or your home’s electrical system. In that case, you’ll have to call an electrician anyway. If the damage is extensive enough, it could cost you more than you would’ve spent hiring a professional to install your EV charger.
- You benefit from their expertise: Electricians must undergo extensive training to gain their certification. They have the knowledge and tools to deliver high-quality work that would be challenging to do on your own. Hiring a professional electrician ensures that your EV charger is installed correctly without damaging your vehicle or home electricity.
- You may want to sell your home someday: If you decide to sell your home and you’ve installed your EV charger yourself, you’ll have to disclose that a licensed electrician didn’t do the work. Buyers will likely choose not to make an offer to avoid a potential safety risk. It’s essential to work with a licensed electrician so all electrical work, including the installation of your EV charger, has a permit.
- You’ll limit your liability: If a licensed electrician is injured or damages your property while working on an electrical device in your home, their insurance will likely cover the costs. If you try to do the installation yourself and get electrocuted or damage your home’s electrical system, you’ll have to pay for any related expenses out of pocket.
While it can be tempting to attempt to install your EV charger on your own, you could put yourself, your family and your home at risk. You may also end up paying more anyway to repair the damage. You’re better off hiring an electrician who will install your EV charger correctly the first time, saving you time, money and headaches.
Benefits of EV Charging at Home
Some people don’t like the idea of installing an EV charger in their home, especially after spending so much on the vehicle itself. However, there are many benefits to installing an EV charger in your home, including:
- Convenience and safety: Charging at home gives you control over your charging station and habits. You can plug your electric vehicle in as soon as you get home, giving you a full battery once you wake up. You also won’t have to wait to plug in your vehicle until someone else finishes charging. Since you won’t have to worry about parking your car in a deserted location, it’s safer to charge an EV at home. If it’s scorching hot or raining heavily, charging your vehicle at home allows you to stay comfortable inside instead of using a public charger.
- Affordability: Public charging stations often require fees or memberships to charge your vehicle. Charging at home allows you to save on these costs and save even further by choosing a specific electricity plan focused on electric vehicles.
- Predictability: Electricity tends to cost less during off-peak periods, such as during the night or over the weekend. However, other EV owners may also know to charge their vehicles during this time, forcing you to wait until the chargers in your area become available during peak hours. A charger in your home allows you to take advantage of off-peak hours whenever you want.
- Battery health: Public chargers may work quickly, but they can also damage your battery’s health by keeping your vehicle outside. Extreme temperatures can cause a battery to degrade sooner. By charging your battery at home, where you can control the temperature, you can protect it from rapid degrading. Charging your EV overnight at home can help your battery last longer than relying on public chargers.
- Longevity: A durable home EV charger can last a long time. Many of these chargers are compatible with different EV brands, meaning you can use the charger even if you replace your vehicle. You can even charge more than one type of vehicle if you own multiple electric cars, though you’d have to take turns on the charger.
- Home value: Having an EV charger at home increases your home’s value, especially as more people turn to these vehicles as eco-friendly options. Electric vehicle owners will likely be willing to pay more for a home with an EV charger already installed. You may even be able to sell or rent your home sooner than you would without one.
Installing a home EV charger can help you save money, keep your vehicle charged when needed and prevent damage to your battery. Protect your investment by choosing a home EV charger!
Cost of a Home EV Charging Station
Installation costs will vary based on the level of charger you plan on using in your home. For example, since a level 1 charger uses your existing electrical system, you can use an outlet in your garage. However, a level 2 charger will require some work, as you’ll need to upgrade your electrical system to a 240-volt circuit.
A basic single-port installation can range from $900 to $2,400 when accounting for material and labor costs. The price can increase if you’re trying to mount a station, install service paneling or add additional features. The costs also increase if you want to install 50-amp outlets or wiring. If you want more than the basic installation, your expenses will go up depending on what you’re planning on installing. A significant portion of these costs is related to electrical work since many electricians charge by the hour.
Some states will offer rebates or other incentives to install an EV charger in your home. Look at your state’s programs or bills to see if you can reduce the cost of your purchase and installation cost.
You’ll also want to remember that installing an EV charger and using it to charge your vehicle each night will increase your electrical bill. Depending on where you live, electricity may be more expensive, and you may see a significant increase. The more miles you drive each month, the more often you’ll need to charge your vehicle and the more your bill will increase.
Even with the increase in your electrical bill, using a home charger is generally cheaper than charging at public charging stations. These stations often require a membership or a fee for each use, which will quickly add up. You’ll also be paying extra for the convenience of a public charger. Using a home charger can help you save a significant amount on your vehicle, especially since you won’t have to rely on gas to power it.
Contact Penco to Install Your EV Charger
If you’re considering an EV charger for your home, choose Penco Electric & Generators as your trusted installer. We pride ourselves on our quality customer service and skill. Our knowledgeable staff can help you install an EV charger quickly and efficiently, allowing you to get on the road sooner. Our electricians will ensure your safety and comfort during the installation process, ensuring that you can enjoy your new charger from the moment installation is complete.
All of our electricians have also received rigorous training to ensure their service is of the best quality. Contact us today to schedule an in-home consultation if you’re ready to install an EV charger in your home!