How to Choose the best home charging station for your electric car (EV)
Perhaps you recently purchased a new EV. Or maybe you are thinking of taking the plunge into the world of electric vehicles. Either way, once you have found the EV of your dreams, you need to be able to lay the infrastructure to make driving an EV an easy, exciting experience.
Choosing a reliable, quick, and versatile EV charger is essential to making your new purchase of an EV one of the best purchases you have ever made. Factoring in the placement of the charger, the power needs of your EV, and the future of your electrical fleet is essential in picking the charger that is right for you. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right home charging station for your electric car.
Are There Differences in EV Home Chargers?
The simple answer is: yes. Just like there are different grades of gasoline for combustion engines, there are different levels of chargers on the market for charging your EV. There are three different types or levels of chargers for EVs. To understand which one is right for your needs, let’s take a look at each category.
Level 1 Charger
These chargers use a household 120-volt socket to charge your EV. These will charge your vehicle at a rate of 1.3 kW to 2.4 kW per hour, which is equivalent to 3-5 miles of EV travel per hour. A full overnight charge will be good for around 40 miles, depending on your driving style. A full charge from empty can take up to an entire day. These chargers are good for city commuting or for a secondary car that isn’t used every day for long distances.
These chargers are the easiest to install (simply plug into a standard outlet) and cost very little in terms of equipment. Most EVs come from the factory with everything necessary for a Level 1 charging station.
Level 1 chargers also operate at a low cost. The average residential electricity rate in the U.S. is 15.46 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which means an 8-hour charge on a level 1 charger costs around $1.25.
Level 2 Charger
A Level 2 charger plugs into a 240-volt AC outlet. These chargers are capable of charting at a rate anywhere from 3 kW to 19 kW per hour, greatly reducing the charge time necessary for a full charge.
Your vehicle will be getting 18-28 miles of range per hour from these chargers, and most EVs will be fully charged in under 8 hours. These chargers are a better fit for EVs that need to be fully recharged every night for long-distance commuters.
Level 2 chargers are commonly used in public spaces such as malls, workplaces, hotels, and parking garages. They often cost between $1-$5 per hour for public use but only cost slightly more than Level 1 chargers for at-home use.
Permanently installing a Level 2 charger in your home is more expensive than a portable Level 2 charger or a Level 1 charger but offers numerous benefits. With a Level 2 charger, you can dramatically reduce charge times, increase the usability of your Electric Car and EV, and top off your vehicle’s charge even on a short lunch break.
Level 3 Charger
Level 3 or Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) are the fastest chargers on the market and can fully charge an EV to 80% in under an hour. Current Level 3 chargers put out an outstanding 150kW/hour. For cars capable of receiving that amount of power, this equates to a 100-mile range after only 15 minutes of charging.
Unfortunately, many EVs on the market have a max charging rate of 50kW/hour. However, newer vehicle models are starting to be released with higher charging capacities, such as the new Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup or the newest Nissan Leaf. Additionally, because Level 3 chargers require the use of a DC outlet, they are most often installed in commercial settings.
Choosing Your Charger
Now that you know the difference between EV charging stations, it’s time to choose your level. The following can help guide you through the process.
Where are you going to charge?
Are you going to be charging while on the street or in your garage? If you are choosing an outdoor charger, you will need to make sure you purchase a waterproof station that can handle the elements.
You will also want to take precautions to hide away any cables and connectors in the station to reduce tripping hazards and potential vandalism. If you are charging in your garage, you will want to choose a charger that can be hardwired into your home.
How many EVs are you charging at home?
Do you have a single Electric Car or EV for your own use, or do you have a small fleet for the family or business? Choosing a Home charger that has the ability to charge multiple EVs at the same time is important if you need to make sure the whole family is charged up before the morning commute. An electrician can help you install a multi-use station, ensuring that you have the right power grid and breakers in place to safely charge multiple vehicles at once.
Will you be nomadic or stationary?
Hardwiring in a power station is the most efficient and best way to power your Electric Car at Home. This works well if you park your EV at the same place each night.
If you are a full-time traveler, you can purchase a portable level 2 charger that plugs into the same outlets as your standard dryer — a 240-volt AC outlet — and provides you with a quick charge on the go. If you are content using a Level 1 charger, then the world is your oyster, and you can plug in almost anywhere.
What features do you want?
When choosing the best electric car charger for your home, you might want to consider a smart charger. Smart chargers offer you real-time monitoring of your EV, along with the ability to control charging times to optimize your bills by scheduling charges for off-peak electrical usage.
Stay Tuned and Join the Charge!
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By evee Life Contributor
Published November 3, 2022 2:46PM
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