With the ever-increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the importance of EV home charging has become even more significant. While public charging stations can often offer conveniently fast charges, charging an EV at home offers several advantages, including the convenience of an overnight charge, cost-effectiveness, and peace of mind that a charger will be available when you need it most.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of home charging, the advantages of Level 2 chargers, whether you will need an electrician to install your charger, how long it takes to install one, how much it costs, and the incentives that are available for homeowners who choose to install EVSE in their homes.
Whether you will be operating your vehicle for work, a regular commute, or pleasure, the most convenient and affordable solution is to install an EV charger at home. With roughly 80% of EV charging happening at home, installing a charger just makes sense.
Here’s what you need to know about charging at home.
Charging your EV at home offers convenience, allowing you to connect your vehicle to electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) directly at your residence. Your equipment may be mounted inside your garage, to a pedestal, on an exterior wall near your driveway, or in a carport, among other places.
If your EV happens to be part of a light fleet, your company may offer depot charging. Still, this method necessitates leaving the vehicle at the central facility and taking separate transportation to your home.
You might also wonder if public charging stations are suitable for your EV. The number of public EV charging stations is growing, but convenience can suffer if an unoccupied charger is unavailable upon your arrival. Publicly accessible Level 3 fast charging is helpful when a quick, urgent charge is needed; however, frequent fast charging will decrease your EV battery life.
Overall, the convenience and lower cost of charging at home are unmatched. Recent survey data indicates about 80% of EV owners charge their vehicles at home. Charging at home gives you peace of mind knowing that your charging station is available when you want it, regardless of when others want to charge. You will also spend less per kilowatt-hour than at public charging stations, where operators tend to charge various fees.
For a home installation, choosing a Level 2 charger, which operates at 240V (as do certain common residential appliances, such as clothes dryers), is wise because it is a great option for overnight charging. With a maximum power rating of 19.2 kilowatts, a Level 2 unit can typically restore an empty battery in 4-10 hours. Level 2 chargers generally cost between $500 and $2,000, not including installation costs, with the brand and power rating accounting for the difference. There are various models of Level 2 chargers on the market.
Level 1 chargers, sometimes called “trickle chargers,” operate more slowly, taking 40-50 hours to charge an EV battery fully. Level 1 charging cords can conveniently be plugged into a standard 110V/120V outlet. While a convenient option for those who rarely drive, this level of charger may not be convenient for anyone with regular trips, travel, or daily errands.
Level 3 chargers (DC fast chargers, or DCFC) are found in public venues but are unsuitable for home charging due to costs and energy demand. They operate at particularly high power levels, which can significantly shorten the EV battery life of your electric vehicle. After 40 charging cycles using DCFC, the battery can degrade to 60% of its designed capacity. DCFC units are also much more expensive than Level 2 chargers.
It would be best if you had a certified electrician perform the installation for several reasons.
One, you will need a permit for a home EV charger, which must be installed in compliance with local code. Nobody understands electrical codes better than a licensed electrician.
Second, to ensure your charger’s safe and efficient installation, you may need to upgrade your breaker panel and wiring to increase the system’s amperage. A licensed electrician is skilled at evaluating your home’s electricity load based on your appliances and devices to determine your needed panel capacity.
The electrician can also determine if adding load-shedding equipment will eliminate or lower the cost of any needed panel upgrades. When working around electricity, it is best to have someone who knows what they are doing.
Your installer will begin by conducting a thorough evaluation of your home’s existing electrical system and analyze the following:
Through this evaluation and with their knowledge and expertise, a certified and electrification-skilled electrician will be able to work with you to determine the safest, most cost-effective, and most efficient charging solution for your needs. Buying an electric vehicle and installing at-home EV charging is an investment you’ll want to enjoy for many years, and a licensed electrician can help ensure that you will.
On average, it takes two to four hours for an experienced electrician to install a home EV charger, but the complexity may vary.
Remember that every home installation differs depending on the installation location, building materials, distance, weather, and seasonal differences. Still, a certified electrician familiar with electrification technologies and standards will know how to account for these differences to provide a reliable estimate once your home electrical system is evaluated.
The cost of hiring an electrician to install an EV charger at home can differ widely, depending on where you live, the technology you choose, and the extent to which you will require system upgrades.
Installation costs range from as low as $300 to more than $4,500, averaging $1,200 nationally for a standard installation with no system or panel upgrades, complex wiring, or additional services.
Accounting for the range in cost are considerations such as the length of the wiring run and the size of the wire and circuit breaker required for the new charging load. Quality of materials is also a significant consideration, as these circuits will have several hours of consistent power flowing through them regularly, and cheaper materials may not be designed for this kind of steady use.
It is more expensive to hire an experienced, licensed, and certified electrician rather than someone who may have limited knowledge of wiring or electrification technology wiring requirements, but it is well worth the investment.
Outlet and wire safety, as well as load calculations, are vital information to ensure the safety and security of your installation and your home for many years to come. Improper wiring when installing a high-powered device with continuous energy loads, such as your EV charger, can lead to a fire, the invalidation of any vehicle or EV charger warranties, and other damaging and devastating consequences.
The current federal tax credit, which is in effect through December 2032, offers eligible homeowners a tax credit of 30% for purchasing and installing EVSE in their homes, with a maximum of $1,000 available for qualifying individuals.
Be sure to explore local offers since many states and utilities now offer credits and rebates for purchasing EVSE.
Check with your EV’s manufacturer: some may cover all or part of your EV home charging station installation costs.
Now is the perfect time to consider an EVSE charging solution for your home, and Qmerit simplifies the process. In fact, there’s a reason why we have been recognized by the White House and why we’ve partnered with top auto manufacturers and EVSE manufacturers to provide top-quality installation services to their customers.
As the most trusted electrification solutions provider in North America for EV charging stations and other electrification technologies, Qmerit has the largest network of certified installers in North America with the skills and certifications to make installing an at-home Level 2 EV charging station a seamless, quick, safe, and efficient process.
If you are looking for savings and want your Level 2 charger installed professionally and properly the first time, Qmerit is the company to contact. We take pride in making electrification easy, efficient, and safe.
Become a part of the clean energy transition — contact Qmerit today!