If you own an electric vehicle (EV), you may be considering installing an at-home charging station. Especially if you are looking to move beyond your default Level 1 charging cable you got with your vehicle and more to a level 2 charging station.
In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of at home charging so that you can make an informed decision.
- Off-Peak Charging
- Charging Multiple EVs
- Increase Your Property Value
- 2023 Tax Credit
- Initial Cost
- Installation Complexity
Pro: Never Have to Worry About Finding a Charge
One of the major benefits of installing an at-home EV charging station is that you no longer have to worry about finding a charge. This can be especially beneficial for those who drive longer distances and often find themselves away from home with no easy way to recharge their vehicle.
With an at-home charging station, you’ll have easy access to a reliable source of power whenever you need it, giving you peace of mind on the road. Additionally, having an at-home charger eliminates the need to pay for public charging or look for available public chargers at inconvenient hours.
All in all, having a charging station in your own driveway or garage is a convenient solution that allows you to never worry about running out of charge while on the go.
Pro: Taking Advantage of Off-Peak Electricity Rates
Installing a charging station at home allows you to take advantage of lower off-peak electricity rates. By charging during the night and early morning hours, you can save up to 30-50% on your energy costs. This can add up to a significant amount over time, allowing you to put that money towards other things like home improvements, a new car, or even a vacation. So not only are you helping to reduce your environmental footprint, but you’re also saving money in the process!
The US Department of Energy found that charging your EV at home would cost around $0.04 for every mile of charge. At $4.19 a gallon for gas in 2023, and conservatively looking at a normal gas engine vehicle with a MPG rating of 25 miles per gallon, you are getting $0.17 for every mile. That is a 4x savings already on your total expenditures, even during on-peak times.
Pro: You Can Charge Multiple EVs on One Charger
One of the pros of installing a charging station at home is that you can charge multiple electric vehicles (EVs) from one charger. This means that if you have multiple cars in your family that are EVs, you can charge them all from the same charger.
This can be a cost-saving measure as it eliminates the need for multiple chargers and makes it easier to keep track of who is charging their car when.
Additionally, some chargers even allow you to monitor each individual car’s charging level and set a timer so that each car will be charged by a certain time.
Pro: Higher Property Value
Installing an at-home EV charging station can increase your property value in various ways. It shows potential buyers that your home is up-to-date and energy efficient. This makes it an attractive feature as more homeowners and potential homebuyers are switching to electric vehicles. It can also make it
Pro: 2023 EV Tax Credit
One of the major pros of installing a charging station at home is that you could be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for a EV model manufactured in 2023 or later.
This credit applies to any single-port Level 2 EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) with an installed capacity of at least 7.7 kilowatt hours (kWh). When making the choice on what EV charger to get, look for these minimum specifications to be eligible.
For models manufactured in 2022 or before you qualify for $2,917 for a vehicle with a battery capacity of at least 5kWh, plus an additional $417 for each kWh of capacity over 5 kWh.
To take advantage of this tax credit, you’ll need to have your charger installed and paid for before the end of 2023.
Con: Initial Charging Station Cost
One of the main cons of installing a charging station at home is the initial high-investment of buying the best EV charging station for your needs.
The low-end price of an EV charging station can range anywhere from $300-400 for a basic station with no frills.
For those with a need for some advanced options in their charging station upgrade, you can spend up to $3000 for a charging station with features, like timed charging, dual charging capabilities, or an app that can tell you about your vehicle’s current charging status.
Con: Complex & Expensive Installation
The installation process can be quite complex and often requires a professional electrician to do the work, thus adding more to the cost. ALWAYS check with local authorities before proceeding with the installation to make sure that everything is compliant and up to code.
Con: Multi-Family Living Limitations
If you don’t have access to a dedicated parking space, such as in a multi-unit building or on-street parking, at-home charging, beyond a Level 1 cable, may not be an option.
Can I install an EV charger myself?
It is possible to install an EV charger yourself, but it is important to note that working with electricity can be dangerous and improper installation could result in fire, electrocution, or other hazards. It is recommended that you hire a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and safety. The installation cost can vary depending on the location, charging needs, and complexity of the installation.
What size breaker do I need for an EV charger?
The size of the breaker needed for an EV charger depends on the specific charger’s requirements, but most require a 40 or 50 amp breaker. This is because EV chargers require a significant amount of power, typically ranging from 7.2 kilowatts to 11 kilowatts. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific charger you have, as using the wrong size breaker could result in damage to your home’s electrical system or the charger itself.
Do you need 200 amp service for an EV charger?
No, you do not need 200 amp service for an EV charger. Most homes have a 100 or 150 amp service, which is sufficient for an EV charger. However, it is important to ensure that your home’s electrical system can support the additional load from the EV charger. In some cases, an upgrade to your home’s electrical service may be necessary.
Do I need a dedicated circuit for an EV charger?
Yes, it is recommended to have a dedicated circuit for an EV charger to ensure it operates safely and efficiently. This means that the EV charger is connected directly to its own circuit breaker, separate from other electrical devices in your home. Using a dedicated circuit reduces the risk of tripping the breaker or overloading your home’s electrical system.
Is it better to hardwire or plug in an EV charger?
Whether to hardwire or use a plug-in for an EV charger depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of the charger and installation. Hardwiring provides a more permanent and potentially neater installation, while a plug-in allows for easier removal and flexibility in charging location. However, some plug-in chargers may require a dedicated circuit and hardwiring may be necessary for larger charging needs. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation and consult with a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and safety.
Can I save money installing an EV charging at home?
In terms of cost, the installation of an EV charger might be eligible for federal tax credits, which could help to defray the cost. The credits fluctuate depending on the year and kind of EV charger, with up to $1,000 available for home charging equipment acquired and installed after December 31, 2022, and before January 1, 2027. Moreover, electricity prices differ by state, and it is important to conduct research and compare prices to locate the most cost-effective rate for charging your EV.
Installing an at-home EV charging station has numerous benefits that make it a convenient and cost-saving option for electric vehicle owners. These benefits include never having to worry about finding a charge, taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates, charging multiple EVs on one charger, and increasing your property value. However, the initial cost and complex installation process may deter some people from installing an at-home charger. Additionally, for those living in multi-unit buildings or without access to dedicated parking, at-home charging beyond a Level 1 cable may not be an option. Overall, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons before making a decision.
Read our guide for buying the best EV charging station for your home!