Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers
Charge your electric vehicle faster without having to leave your home.
Standard electrical outlets aren’t built to meet the demands of your electric vehicle. By installing a 240V EV charger, compatible with any model on the road, you can charge your car up to 6 times faster right from your own garage.
What Does a Home Charging Station Do?
Technically speaking, your electric car home charging station is not what actually charges your car—it is simply responsible for providing power. Your home’s charging station sends AC energy into your electric vehicle (EV), which is equipped with an on-board charger. This charger then converts this AC energy into a DC current, which the car will then store in its batteries. However, to keep things simple, we will refer to a residential EV charging station as a charger or an EV charger from here on out.
How Many Amps Do You Need to Charge an Electric Car?
The level of amps you will need to safely and quickly charge your electric car can vary based on a few factors. Most electric vehicles can consume about 32 amps, which will result in your electric car charging at home at the rate of 25 miles of range per hour. However, there is no harm in overpowering your charger—this will get you a faster charge now, and be more versatile if you decide to upgrade your vehicle to a different electrical model down the road. Buying a charger that provides higher amperage is a great way to future-proof your investment in a home EV charger.
Level 1 and Level 2 EV Chargers
Level 1 EV Chargers
When purchasing an electric vehicle, it will come with a standard Level 1 portable charger at 120 volts. These chargers are versatile, as they can be plugged into a standard wall outlet, and simple, as they require no additional installation. Level 1 chargers will provide three to five miles of range per hour to a standard EV.
Level 2 EV Chargers
When you buy your electric vehicle, you will generally be offered an upgrade to a Level 2 EV charger. Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt outlet, which requires special installation in most homes. However, these Level 2 chargers can provide between twelve and sixty miles of range per hour, depending on how much electricity your particular EV model can accept. Many people choose to “overpower” their chargers—meaning that they upgrade to a Level 2 charger that charges at a higher rate than what their car can accept. This does not hurt the car at all, as the car is in charge of how much electricity it is taking in, and it can be helpful if you buy a new EV in the future that can charge at a higher rate.
Circuit Size for Your EV Charger
The capacity of the electrical circuitry in your home is another important thing to consider when choosing a charging station. If you overload your home’s wiring, you will flip your circuit breaker. In general, it is recommended that usage not exceed eighty percent of a circuit’s capacity. It is wise to make sure your chosen charger is compatible with your home’s circuitry, and if it isn’t, install a higher-voltage subpanel for where the vehicle will be charging each night.
How Much Does a Home EV Charging Station Cost to Install?
The electric car charging station cost can range anywhere between $400 and $1,200—but when you add up your annual expenses on gas, many people will find that this quickly pays for itself, especially for commuters in Orange County. The cost of EV charger installation in addition to the unit itself can vary depending on if you have to upgrade your circuit size to install the unit safely. However, you will be able to take your home car charger with you when you move, so it truly is a long-term investment.
How Much Will a Home EV Charger Cost Every Year?
Determining how much you will spend on electricity for your home EV charger each year is difficult, as it varies based on how much you drive, your driving habits, the model of your vehicle, and the charger you choose to install. However, estimates from the Department of Energy state that fully charging an electric vehicle from empty to a 100-mile range would be the same price as operating an air conditioning unit for six hours. Compared to the cost of gas, this is not very expensive at all.
How Fast Do You Want to Charge?
The speed you need when charging your electric vehicle depends on your car usage, your commute, and how much time you have in between most driving trips. Most hybrids can charge fully in under five hours with a Level 1 charger, but all-electric vehicles can take quite a bit longer on a Level 1 system. If you drive frequently, such as for a daily commute, or often drive distances, installing a faster, Level 2 charging system that is at or above your car’s power acceptance capacity is recommended.
Where Should You Put Your Charger?
The wonderful thing about EV chargers is that you can put them almost anywhere you have a power plug. Most people will choose to install them inside their garage, but if you do not have garage access, there are plenty of Level 2 models that are safely rated for the outdoors. If you cannot park right next to an outlet, you will need to consider the length of the charging cable on your chosen model to make sure it will reach your car’s port without strain.