It is as simple as plugging your electric car into a standard socket in the wall to charge it at home. This charging method, known as Level 1, is simple and does not require any extra equipment. However, it will only add a few miles per hour to your electric car’s range.
A Level 2 charger is required if you need to be able to charge your vehicle for hundreds of miles per session. The Level 2 charger does the same job as the Level 1 charger, moving electrons from your vehicle to the grid. However, it works at a faster rate than a garden hose.
A Level 2 charger can cost several thousand dollars and an electrician may be needed to run the line. However, the upfront cost of the charger could be well worth it if the charge is urgent.
Level 2 charging is much quicker than
Level 2 chargers can charge at 25 miles per hour, which is five times faster than the standard Level 1 charger. You can expect to get 200 miles per day if your car spends at least eight hours at home and is plugged in daily.
Level 1 charging adds only five miles per hour to your range. This is similar to having slow internet after experiencing gigabit speeds. You can expect to get 40 miles of range if you leave your car plugged into for eight hours using Level 1 charging.
What is the cost of installing a Level 2 charger in your area?
Many homes don’t have a 240-volt outlet. This is the power that was traditionally needed to charge e-bikes and other appliances. There will likely be some components that you need to purchase.
The charger is the first thing you will need. Depending on which charger you choose, you’ll need one. You can choose from a variety of models and makes of Level 2 chargers, and you can shop around to find the best price and features. You can also shop at major electronics and hardware stores, in addition to purchasing directly from the charging companies. You have fewer options if you own a Tesla that uses a proprietary connector.
A professional electrician will be needed to install the required electric line. The cost of this can vary depending on the situation. A connection from an electrical panel in a basement into a garage is likely to be more costly than one that runs through the garage.
The easiest way to charge your charger is to plug it in once the outlet has been installed. Vlad Savine, a master electrician at United Chargers recommends weatherproofing and hardwiring the charger if you don’t own a garage.
Your electrician can assist you if your electrical system is not up to the task.
Is it worth adding Level 2 charging for a home?
Your vehicle and driving habits will determine which charger is best for you. For some, the most powerful option may not be right for them.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, an average driver drives 37 miles per day. For those times when a faster charging option is required, a Level 1 charger can be sufficient. It can go up to 40 miles in eight hours.
If you drive over 40 miles per day and don’t have a reliable charger nearby or you value fast charging, you might consider adding a Level-2 charger to your home.
Savine also mentions that the vehicle’s size is an important factor. This varies from one vehicle to another. You may not need Level 2 charging speed for smaller batteries. The Nissan LEAF’s 40-kilowatt-hour batteries have less capacity than the Ford Mustang Mach-E premium’s 91-kWh extended-range lithium-ion battery. Therefore, it takes less time to fully charge.
The batteries in plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs) can run for a few miles, enough to last a day. The PHEVs also come with a gasoline engine that kicks in during longer drives. The Toyota Prius Prime has an 8.8-kWh lithium battery, which charges in just 5 hours and 30 seconds from a standard outlet.
Is there a way to lower installation costs?
Yes. If you purchase or lease an EV, some car manufacturers offer free installation of a Level 2 charger and a 240-volt outlet. Check out the offers available if you are looking for a car.
To find out if there are any local, state, or federal incentives that apply to your area of residence, you can also Search on the U.S. Department of Energy website.
How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle at home?
You’ll be charged for electricity, regardless of whether you use Level 1 charging or Level 2 at home. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, the national average per kWh was around 15 cents in November 2022. A car equipped with a 50-kWh lithium battery would cost $7.50 (50x $0.15) to fully charge.
Your rate may be higher or lower depending upon where you live, when you charge and what time of the day. Review your electric rates to find out if charging at one time of the day is cheaper.
What charger is the best?
These are the steps you need to take in order to find the right Level 2 charger for you home.
Check your owner’s manual. Level 2 charging standards are generally accepted worldwide, but some manufacturers like Tesla use different equipment. You might need to have different requirements for older models and EVs with smaller batteries.
Check the charging area. You will need something that can withstand the elements if your charger is outdoors. What distance will your car be from the charger? All cords may not be the same length.
Research app compatibility. Apps that charge your car can be used to manage it’s charging, just like a smart thermostat helps optimize a home’s HVAC system. You can charge when you have the lowest electric rates or manage your charging schedule via your smartphone. Savine says that your car’s software might not work with the charger software. You can check online message boards to find out if others have posted about their experiences with the charger-EV combination you are considering.