November 9, 2023

Making the Right EV Charging Connection for Your Plug-In Hybrid Car’s Best Performance


5 Min. Read

You know that charging your plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is essential to keep it running optimally. But finding a connection for its model and type that fits your home can be challenging.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of assessing your home charging routine when looking for the best option for your PHEV. You will learn the advantages of Level 2 charging, why most EV owners prefer it, the associated installation costs of a home unit, and the long-term savings you can gain.

Assessing Your Charging Routine

Understanding your charging needs is crucial to ensuring your plug-in hybrid car is always ready to hit the road. It will help determine the optimal charging setup for your lifestyle.

Home Charging Frequency

When evaluating how often to charge your plug-in hybrid car at home, consider your average mileage and the vehicle’s range. Consider how often you use your electric vehicle (EV) and how much time you have for charging. Do you typically drive short distances and need to charge only a few times a week? Or is your commute longer, requiring daily charging?

Whether you charge for an hour or two several times a day or top up your load every night, remember that charging too often can decrease the battery’s lifespan. Find a balance that works for your driving habits.

Charging Time

Reflect on the duration of charging your plug-in hybrid car using different charging levels:

A Level 1 EV charger is generally included when you purchase your EV. This charger is very adaptable as it is compatible with any standard 120-volt socket. For more models, you will need five to six hours to charge a PHEV from zero to 80%.

A Level 2 EV charger needs a certified EV charger installer or an electrician with experience installing EV charging stations, as it requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit with either a high-quality outlet or a hardwired connection, although a hardwired connection is generally recommended as it is more reliable, efficient, and avoids potential loosening over time that can be caused by regularly pluging and unpluging the EV charger.

Often, an electric panel or circuit upgrade must be performed, but a majority of EV drivers prefer Level 2 EV charging and find the installation costs well worth the 10x faster charging speed and convenience that Level 2 EV charging can provide compared to using a Level 1 EV charger.

DC Fast Chargers (DCFC), also sometimes referred to as Level 3 EV chargers, are the fastest but also the most expensive. They are mostly used in commercial establishments due to the high voltage requirements and cost of installing these chargers.

Some plug-in hybrids can use direct current fast charging (DCFC), which can fully charge your battery in as little as 30 minutes, but not all models will be compatible with this level of charging. Understanding your vehicle’s charging capabilities can help optimize your home charging routine.

Take note of the peak electricity usage times in your area as well, to avoid charging when demand and costs are higher. By routinely charging during off-peak hours you can take advantage of the low costs and further optimize the savings you realize by driving electric.

Advantages of Level 2 Charging

Level 2 charging is more efficient and provides a more consistent flow of electricity to your EV, which helps extend your battery’s lifespan. It can also accommodate features such as preconditioning, which warms or cools down your car before you step inside.

Faster Charging Speed

Level 2 chargers are the preferred at-home charging option of most EV owners, as they charge much faster than Level 1 but are more affordable than Level 3. Investing in a Level 2 charger is a wise decision even for a PHEV owner, as it future-proofs your home charging when you transition to a fully electric EV.

Convenience and Flexibility

A dedicated Level 2 charging station at home provides plug-in hybrid car owners with the luxury of charging overnight. It also lets you charge whenever you need to, without waiting in line or worrying about time limits and availability.

Home charging costs 30% less than its public counterpart, and you can also calculate your electrical expenses before plugging in.

Cost and Considerations

When considering installing a Level 2 charger at home for your plug-in hybrid, there are a few factors to remember.

First, ensure you have sufficient space for the unit. Add any additional infrastructure that may be required, such as a dedicated parking spot and the necessary electrical upgrades. Next, research the different charging connection options available and select one that’s compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. Lastly, consider potential future upgrades or changes to your charging needs that may affect your decision.

Installation Costs

Potential upfront expenses can vary depending on the distance from your electrical panel to the charging location and the associated electrical upgrades. Based on these variables, you may or may not need a dedicated circuit or a charging station.

The benefits of electrification are that these upfront costs can be offset by government incentives and rebates at both the federal and state levels.

Long-Term Savings

Weigh your initial investment against the efficient and rapid charging benefits of installing a Level 2 charger at home. These will save you time, and the incremental amounts you reduce during each charging session will accumulate substantially in the long run.

Home charging also allows you to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates, resulting in lower energy bills.

By planning ahead for future EV needs, you’re not only ensuring optimal performance for your current plug-in hybrid car but also setting yourself up for additional hybrids or fully electric vehicles.

Bring Out the Best of Your PHEV With Level 2 Home Charging

Every plug-in hybrid car comes with a Level 1 charger that is compatible with standard 120-volt outlets, but installing a Level 2 charging infrastructure at home will prove cost-efficient in the long term. At ten times the charging speed, it will save you time, lower your charging expenses, and offer the convenience of charging at will.

Ensuring your PHEV’s best performance also hinges on the expertise of your EV charger installers. The investment you make in the equipment and the people who will set up your home charging infrastructure will guarantee its success. When you’re ready, Qmerit is here to help.

With over 269,000 EV charging station installations and the most trusted network of certified electrical contractors across North America, Qmerit is the leading installer for EV charger installations and other energy transition technology solutions across North America.

Find out why Qmerit makes electrification seamless and make the most of your PHEV or EV with at-home Level 2 EV charging—contact Qmerit today!

Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network