What Do You Need for Electric Vehicle Charging at Home?

If you’ve been looking into getting an electric vehicle, congratulations! Besides picking out the right model and choosing the features you want, you’ll need to know how to keep your car charged and ready to go.

Electric Vehicle Charger Types

There are two kinds of EV chargers for residential use:

  • Level 1 EV chargers. A standard Level 1 charging cable often (but not always) comes with every electric vehicle. This charger allows you to plug your car into a wall outlet and is suitable for those with relatively short daily commutes.
  • Level 2 EV chargers. Level 2 chargers are an upgrade to EV charging and are more suited to those who drive long distances every day or sometimes take long trips. They’re also ideal for owners who want to fully enjoy the convenience of EV ownership and take advantage of “off-peak” hours rebates from their electric utility.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Power Requirements

Whichever level you choose, your charger needs to be on a dedicated circuit, much like your home’s large appliances. Are you unsure whether any of the outlets in your garage are on a dedicated circuit? An electrician can perform a circuit inspection to tell you which outlets could handle your electric vehicle.

Level 2 chargers pull much more power than Level 1 chargers. You’ll need an inspection from an electrician to tell you if your home’s power supply can support a Level 2 charger. You’ll need a dedicated 220-volt, 40-Amp circuit (the same kind used by your stove or clothes dryer), often wired directly into your electric panel to handle the power load.

Finding the Initial Cost for a new EV Charger and Installation

Even if your home doesn’t need an electric panel upgrade (it probably won’t), an EV charger comes with an upfront cost. Unfortunately, it’s hard to budget for, since electric vehicle charging station costs can vary wildly. Prices for the charger and installation may vary, but may cost a few hundred dollars, not including any electrical upgrades your home may need.

Potential rebates from your local electric utility could cover or reduce the cost of the charger. You may qualify for new federal rebates and tax credits to bring down the cost of purchase, installation, and a panel upgrade, if necessary. AES Indiana offers a Level 2 charger rebate for their residential customers.

The Day-to-day Cost of Charging an Electric Vehicle

You can find the cost of charging your electric vehicle based on its efficiency. Your EV may use 35 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to travel 100 miles. A car with a 300-mile range at full charge will use 105 kWh to recharge the battery from empty. At 14¢/kilowatt-hour – the Indianapolis average energy cost – it will cost about $14.70 to recharge your battery completely. Compare that to the cost of filling up your combustion engine car or truck with enough gas to go 300 miles.

Electric Vehicle Charging Time

You’ll get increased charging speed if you invest in a Level 2 charger. A Level 1 charger restores 3-5 miles of driving range per hour of charge. In one hour, a Level 2 charger gives you 25 miles of range in that time.

How to Charge an EV at Home

Charging an EV is simple and super convenient – no more trips to the gas station. Plug the charger on the wall of your garage into the EV’s charge port and let it charge until complete. Controls on the dashboard or in your car’s app on your phone will let you program the charge to 80% or 100%, depending on your preference and your manufacturer’s recommendations for extended battery life.

Hire Professionals to Prep Your Home for an EV Charging Station

Before you bring home your electric vehicle from the lot, make sure your home has what you need to keep it running.

The expert electricians at Mister Sparky of Indianapolis can inspect your home’s electrical system, perform any necessary upgrades, and help you choose the right electric vehicle charger for your driving habits. Get started when you call (317) 342-0959 or book an appointment online.