Buying a charger for your electric vehicle (EV) is a fantastic idea and is the best way to alleviate range anxiety and probably eliminate the possibility of ever having to charge at a public charging station. Owning an EV charger means you’ll be able to charge up to 15 times faster than with the charger that came with your EV purchase and do it all in the safety and comfort of your own home. Of course one of the first questions that comes to mind is how much does it cost to install an EV charger at home? We’ll answer that question and other questions you are likely to have regarding home EV charging in this brief article.
Before you start thinking about installing an electric car charger at home and the station cost you need to know what types of EV chargers are available. EV charging stations come in three different types: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, known as DC fast charging.
Level 1 EV chargers are the type that came standard with your lease or purchase of an EV. It plugs into your standard home 110-/120v outlet.
When you charge your EV with a Level 1 charger it’s known as a “trickle charge” due to how slow it is. If you already have your EV in your possession and aren’t waiting for it to arrive, then you probably have experienced just how slow Level 1 charging is. Level 1 EV chargers can only add 3 to 5 miles to your battery range per hour, which means it can take more than 24 hours to get a full charge.
While it is possible to only rely solely on a Level 1 charging station to keep your car charged, it is slow, inefficient, and can put a lot of strain on your home electrical network. At the same time, you’ll more than likely have to visit a public charging station at some point, which is more expensive, unsafe, and inconvenient than charging at home.
Level 2 EV chargers are purchased and then installed separately from the purchase of an EV. They come in a variety of styles and with different benefits. A Level 2 home charger requires a dedicated 208-/240-volt outlet. You are probably familiar with this type of electrical outlet since it’s the same type that is used for an electric dryer. Level 2 EV chargers require a dedicated electrical circuit.
Level 2 EV charging points can charge an EV up to 15 times faster than Level 1 charging points. Level 2 EV chargers as efficient and easy to use. They are the perfect addition to your EV purchase.
DC Level 3 EV chargers can charge 80% of an EV’s battery in 10 to 30 minutes. This is of course the fastest charging option available on the market today. A DC fast charger requires 480-volts or more. DC fast chargers are not compatible with all EVs.
A DC fast Level 3 EV charger requires significant expensive electrical infrastructure upgrades and cannot be installed at a home. A normal house would not be able to receive the utility connections or have the electrical capacity to support the transformers needed for a DC fast charging station.
DC fast chargers are built for commercial applications. A homeowner does not need that fast of a charge since most home charging is done overnight.
No, unless you happen to be a licensed electrician (lucky you), you should not install an EV charger yourself. This is not something that should be taken lightly. An incorrectly installed EV charger is hazardous and could lead to catastrophic events, like a house fire.
For your safety and for the lifetime and efficiency of your EV home charging station hire a licensed and certified electrician. You’ll want to hire an electrician that has specific knowledge and experience with EV charging equipment. Many electricians are starting to undergo EV charging training since EV charging station installation is specialized work and does require additional knowledge that a typical electrician may not know.
WattLogic has a database of certified and trusted electricians, such as Tiger Electric, that have been trained in EV charging installations and know exactly how to complete your installation safely and efficiently.
When it comes to EV charger installation cost you will have to consider several factors, including the type of Level 2 EV charger that will be installed, where you live, whether it is plug-in or hardwired, when your home was built, how complex the install is, the current electrical capacity of your panel, and how far your charger will be from the electrical panel.
A Level 2 charging station costs between $450 to $2,000, with the labor costing $400 and above depending on complexity. Level 2 chargers range in price depending on what type of features you want it to have, if it’s installed indoors or outdoors, and if you opt for a plug-in or hardwired unit. The eventual labor costs depend on how much time and the amount of electrical work it takes to complete your Level 2 electric charging station installation.
Residential EV chargers come in different styles, including units that are installed on the interior or exterior wall of a house or stand-alone units that come with a bollard/stand. EV chargers can be installed in the garage, or outside at one end of the driveway or carport.
If your electric vehicle charger is installed outdoors it may require extra protection from the elements and security features to prevent theft. Most EV charger manufacturers carry EV chargers that are made to be installed inside or outside, depending on your preference.
There are two types of Level 2 EV chargers – plug-in and hardwired. A plug-in EV charging unit is portable and is easy to move and repair, while a hardwired unit is wired directly to your home. A hardwired EV charger is connected to your electrical wiring so it is not easy to remove or repair it. A plug-in unit still does need a dedicated 208-/240-volt outlet as mentioned earlier. A hardwired unit is usually cheaper than a plug-in EV charger and can be installed outdoors.
You’ll also have to decide if you want a smart EV charger or not. A smart charger sends information via WiFi or Bluetooth to a cloud management platform every time it’s charging. A smart charger can provide its user with the capability to monitor and maintain the EV charger remotely. Smart chargers are much more efficient than traditional EV chargers. With a smart charger, you can monitor the energy consumption of charges, receive real-time information on how energy is being used by the charger, stop a charge session, or initiate a charge, among other perks. You can also set a schedule for charging so your EV doesn’t charge during peak-demand hours. Smart chargers are more expensive than traditional EV chargers.
If you have more than one EV at home a good option is a dual charger, which provides load balancing features so you don’t overload your electrical panel. Load balancing limits the amount of power each car receives when they’re both plugged in. This allows for both EVs to be charged without wreaking havoc on your home electrical network.
The best way to save on costs and receive a smooth installation the way you want it is to hire an EV charging company that can provide a bundle of the charger, installation, permits, inspections, and rebate processing all in one package. This makes your home Level 2 EV charger installation smooth and worry-free.
How much it costs to charge your car at home with a Level 2 charger depends on where you live, how much your utility provider charges for electricity, and the time of day you charge. The cheapest way to charge an EV is almost always overnight when you can take advantage of off-peak demand rates. Many utility providers charge different rates depending on off-peak demand or on-peak demand times. Some utility providers even have special rates for homeowners with EVs, like Southern California Edison.
For general estimates of how much it costs to charge your EV at home, we can use data from the Comparing Energy Costs per Mile for Electric and Gasoline-Fueled Vehicles report from the Idaho National Laboratory. According to the report, the average U.S. residential electricity rate is about 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). As you are familiar with, electricity rates fluctuate all the time and some states, like California, have notoriously higher rates which could easily be twice the national average.
The price you’ll end up paying depends on the efficiency of the EV or how much electricity is used to travel 100 miles. If we take a look at the graph included in the Idaho National Laboratory report you’ll see that using the average national residential rate, it costs between $0.03 to $0.07 per mile to charge an electric car at home.
How does that compare to the cost to drive a car with an internal combustion engine? The cost per mile ranges between $0.13 to $0.22 per gallon and that’s with gas prices at $3 to $4 (which is on the low end).
When it comes to public charging prices it is difficult to identify an exact figure as well. It will depend on which level you charge with, where you are charging, and which EV charging network you plan to use. Some EV charging networks offer subscription-based discounts.
For example, Blink charges $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh or $0.04 to $0.06 per minute for Level 2 charging. Charging at a DC fast charge station costs from $6.99 to $9.99 per session.
Electrify America charges customers $0.43 per kWh of electricity or drivers can become a Pass+ member for $4 per month for a discounted rate of $0.31 per kWh.
The best EV charging company is one that cares about your needs and provides the most services. WattLogic is the best choice. WattLogic is an EV charger installer that has revolutionized the way an EV driver can receive a quote for a Level 2 home EV charging station – all it takes is a seven-minute survey done on your smartphone, computer, or tablet! We’ll get you a quote in no time!
We are committed to offering our customers turnkey packages. This means we will help you with product selection, install the EV charger for you, and apply for rebates and incentives for you! All you have to do is relax and let us take care of it all – you’ll be charging at home before you know it!