EV Chargers Turn Your Home Into
a Fueling Station
Imagine never again having to stop at a gas station to fill up your vehicle. With today’s spiraling fuel prices, not having to buy gasoline is one of the biggest draws of electric cars, SUVs and pickups. Yet there are still a lot of questions in buyers’ minds about substituting filling up with charging up. That’s why Baxter Auto has put together some answers to the most common questions about charging electric vehicle (EV) batteries at home.
Does an electric vehicle come with a home charger?
Yes, an electric vehicle comes with a 120-volt Level 1 portable charger that can be used with a standard three-prong household outlet without special installation*. Just plug in or program your car for a select charging time – overnight, for example – and the battery will be ready to go for a range of 30 to 40 miles. Be aware that if you need to charge your electric auto from empty to full, Level 1 is not the fastest option. An EV battery with a 250-mile range can take up to 50 hours to fully charge.
While you’ll want to fully charge your vehicle for extended drives, it’s best for the long-term health of the battery to not always charge it to 100%. You’ll get the maximum life out of your battery by keeping it in the 20% to 80% charge range.
*A few EV styles are equipped with dual Level 1/Level 2 chargers – look for more in the future.
Are there other chargers that are more powerful?
It’s common for drivers who want a faster, more powerful charging experience to install Level 2 charging stations in their homes. Using a 240V AC plug, Level 2 can add about 10 to 60 miles of range to a vehicle per hour of charging time. This means a 250-mile range EV with an empty battery can be fully charged in little more than 12 hours. Advancements in technology, such as the lithium ion battery available in the Audi e-tron SUV, allow for even faster at-home charging.
Level 3 charging, aka DC Fast charging, exists for commercial and industrial settings but is not suitable for home installation. These systems require a 440-volt power supply and are prohibitively expensive.
Cost of Electric Car Operation
Statistics show that electric car expenses are less than 50% of what it costs to operate gas-powered cars. A week of in-home battery charging costs half as much as a week’s worth of gasoline. Plus electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and don’t require fluid changes, tune-ups or frequent maintenance like vehicles with more complex internal combustion engines.
*Sources: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, AAA, Consumer Reports, Ally.com
What does it cost to buy and install a Level 2 charging station?
Level 2 home charging stations typically cost between $500 and $700. Since Level 2 chargers must comply with local, state and national codes and regulations, installation by a licensed electrical contractor is recommended. This service will likely cost $1,200 to $2,000 but could be higher if electrical upgrades are required for the dedicated 240-volt circuitry needed for a Level 2 station.
How much will it cost to charge an EV at home?
Costs for charging your electric car, SUV or pickup will vary based on the price of kilowatt hours (kWh) where you live, the time of year and even the time of day. However, here’s an example provided by Kelley Blue Book: To drive the U.S. average of 1,183 miles per month, an electric auto will require approximately 394 kWh. Using the U.S. household average price from January 2022 of nearly 14 cents per kWh, it would add about $55 per month to your home utility bill to charge an electric automobile. Use this EV savings calculator to contrast and compare the costs of charging up vs. filling up.
Are incentives and rebates available to help with EV charging costs?
Tax credits and rebates can help defray the cost of home charging stations, depending on where you live and what charger you purchase. Some utility companies also offer EV discounts. Check with your local energy provider to see if discounts apply in your area.
Are there other benefits to using home charging stations?
In addition to cost-efficiency, it’s obviously more convenient to charge your EV at home than wait at a public charging station. It’s also safer, considering that when you charge up in public, you’re assuming the same risks as when you park your car on the street or in an open lot. It could be exposed to anything from vandalism to hailstorms. By charging at home, you’re adding an extra layer of safety.
Baxter Auto is your EV expert
We hope this article answers your questions about EV home charging stations. If you’d like to know more, the experts at Baxter Auto are a great resource for information about electric cars, SUVs and pickups. See what electric vehicle options are available at your Baxter Auto dealership.
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