The Importance of Having an EV Charger Installed at Home
Whether you have a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, there are benefits to being able to charge these cars at home. Unlike traditional gas cars and trucks, a benefit to electric vehicles is that you can skip the trip to the pump and the service station.
Although electric vehicles come with a Level 1 120-volt charger (called Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that can be plugged in to a standard outlet, this allows a limited amount of charge. This charge might suffice for a hybrid, also called a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) such as a Toyota Prius or Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, but when it comes to fully charging a full electric vehicle, you’ll need Level 2.
With a PHEV, you could likely use Level 1 charging to re-fuel the vehicle overnight to reach capacity. Once you get to charging a Tesla, Hyundai Kona Electric, or similar car, you can’t wait days to reach a full charge from just a 120-volt charger.
Level 2 EV Charging
Installing a Level 2 EV charger at home will require some professional help and Mister Sparky electricians can do this job. This is a 240-volt charger, so it’s twice the power as the Level 1. Using a 240-volt charger means that you are cutting the amount of charging time down, sometimes by half. Do you want to spend 5-6 hours charging a vehicle or just 1-2 hours?
The next question is, can your current electrical panel handle a 240-volt charger that is being used daily? If not, you will need an electrical panel upgrade or the addition of a subpanel so that your car charging doesn’t trip your circuit breakers.
If you’re going to be investing in the electric vehicle, you want to be sure that a local electric storm or power surge on the grid doesn’t interfere with your ability to get up and go places. Mister Sparky can install a whole house surge protector to prevent an interruption in electricity flowing to this and any other devices in your home.
Usually when we talk about a portable or whole house generator, thoughts are about keeping the lights and making sure that food doesn’t spoil in the freezer and refrigerator. Installation of a whole house generator could also help with charging a hybrid or fully electric car in the event of an emergency that has resulted in a power outage.
EV Charging in the Elements
If you live someplace with all four seasons, winter is a time when you will definitely appreciate the comfort and ease of being able to charge your car in the shelter and warmth of a garage or even a carport.
Unlike gassing up a traditional car, charging an electric vehicle takes time—far more than the five minutes or so to pump gas—depending on the type of car and its capacity. This means that you need to budget time for this task during your day if you are going to rely on charging stations around town, or ensure you have the best voltage to be able to charge the car fully while you sleep.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has estimates on charging times for PHEVs and BEVs (typically just called EVs):
*Public direct current fast-charging stations found in high-traffic corridors don’t usually work with PHEVs, or hybrids. For EVs, a car can possibly be charge in about 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the vehicle’s capacity.
*A Level 1 charger takes 40-50 hours to charge an EV to about 80%, and 5-6 hours for a hybrid.
*A Level 2 charger takes about 4-10 hours to charge an EV to 80%, and 1-2 hours for a hybrid.
Car charging stations are being added across the country, but have you noticed that so far these tend to lack any structures to cover you and your vehicle during rain, snow, or strong winds? Even places with year-round warm weather such as in Florida, Arizona, or Nevada, some shade would make even 20 minutes sitting in the car more comfortable during the charging time.
Price of EV Charging at Home
Whenever you are using electricity in the home, there is a cost. There are also costs when it comes to installation of a Level 2 charging station in the home, and any other upgrades the home might need such as an electrical panel upgrade, whole house generator, or surge protector. Those with solar panels will have completely different equations to consider.
Keep in mind that those public charging stations are just like gas stations in that you have to pay for the time spent charging. However, you can’t install a gas pump at home! So when you’re thinking about the costs of charging at home, there might be a savings in the long run.
Kelley Blue Book provides some detailed calculations for various EV charging scenarios. Similar to differences in regional gas prices, there are variabilities in electrical charges across the country. Their expert determined that the cheapest option to charge an EV is overnight at home when electricity rates are usually their lowest. The range of costs are from 10 cents to 30 cents per kWh, depending on where you are driving in the country.
Contact Mister Sparky today to find out about the costs of installing your own 240-volt home charger for your hybrid or electric vehicle today.