Everything You Need To Know About Home EV Charging
Electric vehicles can save you money on fuel and completely cut your carbon emissions, but they’re not the most practical vehicle type for people living where it’s impossible to charge at home. EV owners who are also lucky enough to own a home have the option to install home chargers, which makes the ownership experience much easier than having to rely on public chargers alone. To do that, they must first install a home charging station, and for many of us, the process is more affordable than expected. That said, installing an EV charger can be expensive for some homeowners, especially in older buildings where the existing electrical infrastructure isn’t great.
Home Charging Installation Cost
Home charging stations run on 240-volt power, which for many people means expanding their electrical systems, including installing a new electrical panel. A straightforward installation should cost between $1,200 and $3,000, but needing to upgrade or replace portions of the electrical system in the home can increase that cost. Homeowners may find themselves at the more expensive end of that price range if the home needs an upgrade of the electrical service wiring from the grid. In those situations, the local utility company may be required, which could cause delays and extend your installation much longer than originally estimated. With that in mind, many local utilities are offering rebates and subsidies to help offset the cost. Check with yours to see what programs are available.
Things to Keep in Mind
Beyond making sure your home is up to the task of having an EV charger installed, there are several considerations you’ll need to make during the process.
Make sure the charger you select has a cord that can reach your vehicle in its normal parking spot. Most recommend at least 20 feet of cord, but you might need an extra-long cable if your parking situation is complicated.
While you may need to upgrade your home electrical system to accommodate an EV charger, your vehicle must be able to accept the charge. Make sure your vehicle can take advantage of the charging speeds, and keep in mind that the fastest chargers aren’t always the best. Unlike public chargers, where you’re looking to get in and out as quickly as possible, your car will be able to sit and charge for an extended period at home. That makes other features just as important for selecting a home charger, such as app functionality and cord length.
Sure, the charger you select needs to do its primary job well, but companies pack their chargers with other features that can make or break the ownership experience. Connected apps are a great way to keep track of your home charger, and many allow owners to view the charging status, check for issues, and perform simple diagnostics.
Hardwire or Plug Installation
You have a couple of choices when installing a charger at home. You can have it hardwired, which bypasses some of the safety considerations that can make charging on a 240-volt plug annoying. Household GFCI outlets can cut power and are not designed for extended use, which EVs require to get a full charge. An electrician can install a commercial-grade 240-volt outlet, but the cost is easily ten times the price of a normal household installation.
If you’re curious about owning an EV and how the home charging experience works, Volkswagen of Duluth should be your first stop. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff will help you understand home charging and whether an EV is the right vehicle for you.