Electric Vehicle Home Charging
Do you have an electric vehicle? Use this quick reference article to install your own in-home charging station for your electric car.
Drivers are beginning to shift from using gasoline-powered vehicles to electric-powered vehicles. Recently, many people have opted for driving electric-powered vehicles to offset the price and environmental damage of frequent gasoline consumption. The majority of drivers on the road still drive gasoline-powered vehicles. Consequently, there are more gas stations conveniently available to meet the demands of most drivers. The location and abundance of charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) are unpredictable. Despite the benefits of driving an EV, the lack of reliable charging options can inconvenience your lifestyle.
Benefits of an at Home EV Charging Station
Experienced drivers of EVs recommend that any owner of an EV should have a charging station installed at their home. Having an at-home EV charging station makes owning an EV more convenient and sustainable for your lifestyle. Here are five reasons why you should install an EV charging station at your home for your EV:
Access - The availability of public EV charging stations depends on several variables. For instance, regions that have a population that values the operation and use EVs are more prone to have more available EV charging stations than communities that do not share that value. Regardless of your city of residence, your ability to find an available and effective charging station may be erratic. Take control of your availability to charge your vehicle by having an EV charging station at home.
Consistency - Not all EV charging stations are created equal. The quality of charge for your EV could vary significantly with each use. With an at-home EV charging station, you can depend on the quality and the time it takes to charge your vehicle. Users of at-home chargers like to charge their EVs when they are parked and not in use.
Cost - The price for charging an EV varies from charging station to charging station. Some businesses, venues, and cities offer their clientele free charging stations. However, most charging stations require a fee for service. The charging fee could be per minute of charge, per vehicle charge, or by a subscription fee. Having an at-home EV charging station allows you to control the variables of the price for each charge. The costs for use are allocated to your monthly electric utility bill.
Time-Saving - Finding an EV charging station and waiting for your vehicle to reach a full charge can take a significant amount of time. Charging your vehicle at home gives you the freedom to use your time to complete chores, work, or sleep rather than to find and wait for a charging station.
Choosing the EV Charging Station
There are different ways to charge an EV. The best type of EV charging station depends on your type of EV and your lifestyle. For most brands of EV in North America, there are three standard levels to charge your vehicle. Tesla vehicles can only charge with Tesla specific charging stations without any additional equipment. Nonetheless, Tesla drivers can use these different levels to charge their vehicle provided they have a charging cable adaptor.
Level - 1 AC Charging
Everyone with an EV and an electrical outlet can charge their vehicle. To charge your EV this way, you plug your EV into a standard 120-volt outlet. Level-1 charging is the most cost-effective way to charge your EV at home. While this is a straightforward method to charge your EV, it has limitations and professionals advise this method for emergency and roadside situations. With Level-1 charging you cannot charge more than one vehicle on an outlet at one time without risking shorting a fuse. Similarly, an EV cannot be plugged into an outlet used by other appliances. It takes approximately 24 hours to charge an EV with a 120-volt outlet.
Level - 2 Charging
Using a Level-2 EV charging station is the most optimal way to charge your vehicle at home. Compared to your other options for charging your EV, Level-2 charging is the fastest and most reliable way to charge your EV at home. These at-home EV charging stations can provide an 80% charge for the average EV in 5 hours. Level-2 charging stations need 240-volt electrical requirements. Every non-Tesla EV sold in North America uses the same SAE J1772 charging Level-2 charging ports. As mentioned previously, you can charge a Tesla vehicle with various models of Level-2 charging stations if you own a SAE J1772 cable adaptor. $1,200 is the average cost for installing the standard Level-2 charging station. Costs will vary depending on the installation company and if you need additional electrical wiring in your home. If a Level-2 charging station begins to depreciate, it is possible to replace parts without having to replace the whole unit.
Level - 3 Charging (DCFC Fast Charging)
Also referred to as DCFC or DC Fast Charging, Level-3 charging stations are the most sophisticated EV charging stations available on the market. While they can charge any EV in a short timeframe, these Level-3 charging stations are expensive and best suited for commercial use. Level-1 and Level-2 charging stations can charge your EV with 120 or 240-voltage. Level-3 charging stations demand significantly higher voltage capacity to charge vehicles within a shorter time. Most homes do not have the electrical capacity to maintain the use of a Level-3 charging station. If you wish to install one at your home, consult an electrician and the technicians at the installation company. Understand that the average installation for this type of charging station will cost roughly $50,000.
Choosing the Right Charging Station
Before purchasing your at-home EV charging station, you should consider the following:
- Parking Location
Not all EV Charging stations are weatherproof. If you plan to park your EV outside, make sure the charging station you choose is weatherproof and can withstand harsh elements.
- Electrical Capacity
Before installing electrically demanding equipment, be sure to talk to a professional about understanding the electrical capacity of the area you wish to install a charging station.
EV charging stations can be portable or mounted to the wall. Depending on your needs and living arrangement, one might be more effective than the other to satisfy your charging needs.
- Price Range
There are several kinds of charging stations available on the market. Consider your charging requirements and your personal budget to cover the expenses.
Preparing Your Home for Installation
A licensed electrician can determine if your house is up to date with local and national electrical codes. Per the National Electrical Code, a level-2 EV charger needs to use its own designated branch circuit. The contractor you hire may need to require specific permits to make changes necessary to wire and install an EV charging station.
Finding an Installation Company
There are many EV charging station installation companies. According to Robotics and Automation News, these are the top 20 companies to hire for installation. Begin vetting prospective installation companies by searching what companies service EV charging station installations in your area. After you have an understanding about potential companies in your area, review the qualifications of the technicians hired by the companies. Reputable installation companies hire licensed electricians to service the installation of your EV charging station. Ask each prospective installation company to come onsite and give a quote for their installation services. Each location might require specific adjustments during the installation and will be able to provide you with details about any additional costs or services your home will need for an installation.