As electric cars surge in popularity, more and more people are looking for ways to charge their vehicles at home. At-home chargers are convenient and not crazily expensive.
There’s a few things you need to know about how they work, what they cost, and what it takes to install one in your home. Let’s plug in!
•A Level 2 EV charger can charge your car in around 4 to 10 hours
•To install a Level 2 charger, you’ll need a 240-volt outlet, and will most likely need to hire an electrician to install it.
•A Level 2 charger will likely cost between $200 and $1,000, plus between $200 and $1,000 to install.
What does a ‘Level 2’ EV charger mean, exactly?
Charging speed is the main difference to keep in mind. At-home chargers are faster than the standard Level 1 chargers that come with many electric cars. While a Level 1 charger can take over forty hours to fully charge a car, a Level 2 charger can do the same job in as little as 4 to 10 hours.
That difference in charging time and convenience makes it easier to quickly plan your at-home charging session overnight, so your EV has a full charge for your morning commute.
This means you don’t have to worry about finding an EV charging station while you’re out and about, and you can always be sure that your car will be charged and ready to go when you need it.
How is a Level 2 electric vehicle charger different than a Level 1 EV charger?
The main difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 charger is the amount of power they can crank out for your EV’s battery.
- Level 1 chargers use a standard 120-volt outlet and can provide up to 1.4 kilowatts of power
- Level 2 chargers use a 240-volt outlet and can provide up to 19.2 kilowatts of power
If you’re not an electrical engineer, the simple answer is: a Level 2 charger can charge an electric car much faster than a Level 1 charger.
Another key distinction between the two types of chargers is the type of plug they use. Level 1 chargers typically use the same type of plug that is used for most household appliances, while Level 2 chargers use a special plug that is specifically designed for electric vehicles.
How much do home charging stations cost?
At-home chargers won’t break the bank. In general, expect to shell out anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for a basic Level 2 charger, and up to several thousand dollars for a high-end model with advanced features.
In addition to the cost of the charger itself, don’t forget the cost of installation. This can vary depending on the complexity of the installation and the location of the charger, but it is typically in the range of $200 to $1,000.
Can EV drivers install the charger themselves?
Technically: Yes. Realistically: You’ll probably want to bring in a trained electrician. Here’s why.
- Installing a Level 2 charger requires a 240-volt outlet, which is different from the standard 120-volt wall outlets found in most homes. This type of outlet can be dangerous to work with if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t risk electrocution to save a few bucks.
- You’ll also need a dedicated circuit for the charger. Your electrician can help you determine the size of the circuit that is required, and can install it as well.
- There are local building codes and regulations that must be followed when installing a Level 2 charger. A professional will be familiar with all of this red tape, so you don’t have to resort to Google.
How much energy does an at home charging station use?
The amount of energy that an at-home charger, also known as a Level 2 charger, uses can vary depending on the size of the charger and its power output.
In general, though, a Level 2 charger will use between 1.4 and 19.2 kilowatts of power per hour, depending on the specific model and the charging needs of your electric car. To put this in perspective, a standard light bulb uses about 0.1 kilowatts of power per hour.
How much will that cost you? This will vary depending on your location and electricity rates. Regardless, the cost of charging your electric vehicle at home with a Level 2 charger is a good deal less than the cost of filling up your car with gasoline.
Does an at-home EV charger take up a lot of space?
Most Level 2 chargers are relatively compact. A typical Level 2 charger includes a small control unit that is mounted on the wall, and a charging cord that plugs into the electric car.
The control unit is typically about the size of toaster or microwave, and it has a display screen and a few buttons for controlling the charging process.
The charging cord is typically long enough to reach any part of a standard-sized garage or driveway, and it has a special plug on the end that is designed to fit into the charging port on the electric car. It’s likely stored neatly on a retractable reel when not in use.
Does the EV charger need to be housed in a garage?
It is not strictly necessary to have a garage to use an at-home charger, but it can make the process easier, and it’ll also protect your Level 2 unit (and your car) from the elements.
Don’t have a garage? You can still use a Level 2 charger by installing it in a covered area, such as a carport or a shed. The charger will still be protected from harsh weather, and you will be able to easily plug in your car when you get home.
You might be able to install a Level 2 charger on the exterior of your home, such as on a wall or on a pedestal. This can be a convenient option if you do not have a covered area for your car, but it is important to make sure that the charger is installed in a safe and accessible location.
Do at-home EV chargers break?
At-home chargers, like any piece of electronic equipment, can occasionally experience issues that may require repairs or maintenance.
The vast majority of Level 2 chargers are designed and built to be durable and reliable, and they are typically able to withstand the elements and the rigors of everyday use.
Never say never, though. Your charging station may encounter occasional hiccups. These problems can range from minor issues, such as a faulty display screen or a charging cord that is not working properly, to more serious issues that may require the charger to be replaced.
If you experience any problems with your Level 2 charger, it is important to contact the manufacturer or a certified electrician for assistance.
Before we go…
Did you know that Lemonade Car offers protection for EV owners if your at-home charging equipment faces specific types of damages? And our policies also reward EV and hybrid drivers with discounts—it’s our small way of saying “thank you” for caring about the planet while you’re behind the wheel.
Click below to get rolling and see if Lemonade Car is available where you drive.