Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle at Home?
Now that you’ve chosen to go green and purchase an electric vehicle, you have to figure out the best way to charge your car. There are increasing numbers of electric vehicle charging stations located throughout the country. You’ll find most of these at gas stations. You may also locate a charger at a public park, college and university campuses, and even residential neighborhoods. However, when choosing the best way to charge your vehicle, you may want to consider a home charging station. There are different types of chargers for you to use at home as well as a host of benefits to having the ability to charge right at your house.
Types of EV Chargers
Now that you’ve begun to think about installing a home charging station for your electric vehicle, you need to understand the different types of chargers available to you. When considering which charger you want, think about your driving range and habits, the amount of time you spend at home, and the specific make and model of your vehicle. Choosing the proper charger for home use could make all the difference, depending on these factors.
Level 1 Charger
A level 1 electric vehicle charger uses a standard 120-volt connection. You can plug this charger directly into a home outlet to charge your car. This type of charger is the easiest to use for home charging as there is no additional equipment to buy. Professional installation is not required. A level 1 charger is often included with the purchase of an electric vehicle. Given the basic design of this type of charger, it is the slowest type. The upside is that the charger is compatible with every model of electric vehicle. You will get about three to five miles of range per hour of charging with a level 1 charger. These chargers are great for hybrid models with smaller batteries.
Level 2 Charger
A level 2 charger recharges your battery at a much greater speed than a level 1 charger. With level 2 charging, you can get 12 to 80 miles of range per hour of charging. The exact amount depends on the specific output of the charger and your vehicle’s charge rate. This type of charger is the most commonly used for daily charging. You’ll find more level 2 chargers in public charging stations than at any other level. Using a level 2 charger at home requires professional installation since it uses a 240-volt connection. You’ll need a licensed electrician to wire the outlet and ensure that your circuit can handle the load of the charger.
Level 3 Charger
A level 3 charger is the fastest electric vehicle charger you can use. These chargers offer three to 20 miles of range per minute. Level 3 chargers use direct current for charging rather than alternating current as level 1 and 2 chargers use. Most homes do not have a high enough voltage to support a level 3 charger. Level 3 chargers are also costly, costing tens of thousands of dollars. For these reasons, you will rarely find a level 3 charger installed in a home.
Benefits of Charging at Home
With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles also comes a rise in charging station availability. Most large cities have several charging spots. It’s likely that no matter where you live or travel to, you’ll have little problem finding a place to charge your car. However, many people have started to opt for charging at home. There are several benefits to installing an electric vehicle charging station at your house. Read on to learn more about these benefits.
Having an EV charging station installed at home can be a major convenience. With your own charging spot, you no longer need to find a public place to charge your electric vehicle. Many EV owners enjoy being able to charge up their car’s battery at night while they are sleeping. With a charging station at home, you can plug your car in any time you wish. While your vehicle is charging, you can sleep, do chores, have a meal with your family, or do just about anything else you enjoy doing at home. You won’t have to sit in your car and wait as you do with public chargers.
The ability to charge your electric vehicle at home means skipping the public charging spots. Although many electric vehicle charging stations are located in popular areas such as gas stations, some could lead you to a dangerous location. Due to the time it takes to charge your EV, you may be sitting at the charging station for up to an hour or longer. Some EV owners may even be tempted to leave their car while it is charging and visit a nearby store or park. Leaving your car unattended exposes your vehicle to the risk of being damaged or stolen. That risk is much lower when your vehicle is parked at home, in your driveway, or garage.
Another side of safety is that of the vehicle in mechanical terms. Having a charging station at home may give you peace of mind in knowing that your charger is safe to use and will not damage your vehicle. Public charging stations may not be as well-maintained as the one you have installed at home. With a charger that is not properly functioning, you run the risk of damaging your vehicle.
Charging your electric vehicle at a public charging station costs you money. If you charge your EV at home, you’ll still be paying for the electricity, but it is usually much cheaper. You may also find that you can charge the vehicle during off-peak times for even less. Another way to save money with an electric vehicle charging station at home is through local and state incentives. Many localities and states offer rebates or tax credits for people who have installed a charging station at home.
If you have an EV charging station installed at your house, you may be able to offer electrical charges to other EV owners to make a little extra cash. There are a few different apps available where EV charging station owners can offer their chargers to peers at a fee. Simply log onto the app and load your available times to let others see your charger. This is a great way to share with your friends and neighbors without carrying the cost for them to charge their vehicles.
As an electric vehicle owner, you have a few options for the type of charger you install at home. Making this choice should come down to the electrical service you have, your particular vehicle, and the time you have to charge. Now that you know the benefits of home charging, you’re probably ready to get the ball rolling on installation.
For an electric vehicle charging station at home in Seattle, call Brennan Electric for the most trusted and reliable installation.