How much does it cost to install an electric vehicle charging station at home?
A decade ago, electric vehicles were seen as a novelty—a curiosity reserved for car enthusiasts. Now, they’re everywhere. These vehicles, commonly referred to as “EVs,” are no longer just sedans, either. They’re mini-vans, trucks, SUVs, and more. Thanks to the high price of gas and a wider range of options, EVs have gone mainstream.
One of the biggest selling points of electric vehicles is that they can be charged at home, which—for obvious reasons—was never an option for gas cars. While this is true, EVs require a lot more power than your toaster or TV. If your home isn’t set up for EV charging, you’ll find that charging your vehicle is a very slow process.
In this article, we’ll review why installing a home EV charger makes sense, how to go about choosing the right EV charger, and what you can expect your new home EV charger installation to cost you.
Why install a home EV charger?
While electric vehicles have become more popular, there’s still a deficit of public charging stations here in New Mexico. They’re just not as common as gas stations. As any EV owner can tell you, the “fillup” process just doesn’t work the same, either. While you can fill a gas vehicle in about 5 minutes, even the fastest commercial charging ports take about 30+ minutes to give you a significant charge. If you’re in a hurry, that’s a long time to sit around in your car.
A home EV charger makes sense because it allows you to charge your vehicle during a convenient period of downtime: while you’re sleeping. That 7-8 hours of uninterrupted charging is the best time to recharge your vehicle. You just can’t get that by relying on charging at public stations.
We can all agree that electric vehicles are here to stay. If anything, more and more people are going to purchase an EV as their next car. This means more homeowners are going to need convenient EV charging. By installing a Level 2 charger in your garage, you’re not only making your own life more convenient, but you’re adding to the long-term value and appeal of your home.
Do I need a Level 1 or Level 2 charger?
There’s a good chance that the electrical outlet in your garage is a 110v standard outlet—the same as those in your kitchen, living room and elsewhere in your home. All electric vehicles can be charged through a 110v outlet, which is known as Level 1 charging. While this means you can start charging your new EV as soon as you get it home, you’ll soon discover that there are significant downsides to this form of charging.
First, there’s just not enough proverbial juice provided to the vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Level 1 chargers provide about 4-5 miles of range per-hour charged. That means you get about 36-40 miles out of your vehicle by charging overnight. That’s probably not enough to fully recharge the battery in your EV, which means you’ll need even more time to power up your vehicle for longer trips. If you have a longer commute, it just won’t be enough.
While you can always plot a course to the nearest public EV charging station, the better, long-term solution is to upgrade to a Level 2 charger, which uses a 240v connection. This can fill your battery up to about 180 miles of range over the course of 8 hours, which is near-full for most EVs. A level 2 charger is convenient: you don’t have to worry about running out of battery on your commute, or not having your vehicle ready to go for that weekend road trip.
Watch: Everything you need to know about home EV charging
This video breaks down the fundamental differences between Level and Level 2 chargers, along with the average cost to install an electric vehicle charging station.
How much does a home EV charger cost?
Most electric vehicles come with a Level 1 (110v) charger that you can plug into your wall socket. However, as we’ve discussed above, that just isn’t going to be enough power for today’s vehicles—nevermind the next generation of EVs, which are bound to have more powerful batteries. As both a homeowner and an EV owner, it just makes sense to upgrade to a Level 2 charger.
To do this, you’ll need two things. First, you’ll need a 240v outlet installed in your garage. This is the same power that runs to your washing machine and dryer, and it’ll be perfect for your Level 2 charger. According to data from askinglot.com, adding a 240v circuit to your existing electrical panel will cost, on average, somewhere between $300-$800.
Once you have your new 240v outlet, you’ll need to purchase a compatible charger for your electric vehicle. There are multiple models to choose from, but most of these retail for about $500-$800. You’ll want a direct-wire (also known as “hardwired”) setup. This is a wall-mounted unit with a reel-driven cord that you can pull out to plug into your EV.
What else do I need to know about home EV charger installation?
As with all home electrical projects, you’ll need the help of a licensed electrician to install your new 240v circuit and set up your new Level 2 charger. There are multiple reasons why this is not a DIY-friendly project.
First and foremost: electricity is incredibly dangerous to work with, even for the relatively handy homeowner.
Second, adding a 240v circuit can often require the right permits and inspection prior to the project being completed. You’ll want a professional electrician to help you navigate this process.
Need a home charger for your electric vehicle? Call Wagner!
If you’re ready to upgrade your home charging for an electric vehicle, our licensed electricians at Wagner are here to help you. We’re EV charger installation experts, specializing in upgrading circuits to transform your garage into the perfect home port for your electric vehicle.
Whether you already own an EV or you’re looking to purchase one in the near future, have our electricians get your garage ready for your new vehicle. Contact us today to get a free in-home estimate.