Electric Vehicle Chargers and Home InstallationAre you interested in purchasing an electric vehicle? Find out what you need to know about installing a charger for it at home.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for many years. In fact, the first electric vehicles can trace their roots to the 1800s. Since the creation of those early EV models, inventors have continued to streamline electric vehicle production. The popularity of electric vehicles has also grown, especially in recent years. As of July, 2022, in the United States alone, approximately five percent of all vehicles are electric. That percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent by 2025.
If you need a new vehicle, you could purchase a standard gasoline-powered model. However, you may wonder if now a good time is to convert to driving an EV, instead. You may also have questions about long-term EV usage. For instance, you may wonder how easy it is to charge an EV. The charging station installation process may also interest you. The following information can help you learn about the nuances of EV ownership, including charging practices.
What is an Electric Vehicle (EV)?
An electric vehicle is one powered partially or entirely using batteries and electric charges. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common batteries used for EVs. The most common types of EVs are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The former run entirely on electric charges, while the latter require gasoline and electricity in combination. A third, smaller category of electric vehicle is fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Those require hydrogen to produce the electrical charges that power their batteries.
Why Are Electric Vehicles Increasing in Popularity?
There are several reasons electric vehicles have increased in popularity in recent years. One is operating vehicles on gasoline is far less appealing. Gasoline price increases and the negative environmental impact of gasoline-powered vehicle emissions are causing more vehicle purchasers to make the switch to electric power. Despite the usually higher up-front expense of electric vehicle purchases, the monetary and environmental costs to run them are much lower. Other advantages of electric vehicles are as follows:
Less Moving Parts to Maintain
Quieter Vehicles Create Less Noise Pollution
Convenient At-Home Charging Options (For Some Vehicles)
Better General Performance
What is an Electric Vehicle Charging Station?
An electric vehicle charging station is similar in function to a cellphone charging station you might have inside your home. It is a place you can go to plug your vehicle in and recharge its battery. You can find EV charging stations at gas stations and some other locations, such as certain shopping mall parking lots, across the United States. If you have an FCEV, your only option is public charging. Home hydrogen charging stations are not available. However, if you have a BEV or PHEV, it is possible to purchase a home charging station.
A home charging station for an EV is different from other chargers primarily due to the size and scale of the item you must charge. The typical location for an EV charging port is the garage. Although, it is possible to install a special home charging station on a pole or external wall, if you do not have a garage. The power needs of an EV are larger than the needs of smaller home items. Therefore, a special outlet installed by a trained professional is required for safety.
Why is it Beneficial to Have a Home EV Charger?
The biggest benefit of a home EV charger is convenience. It can take several hours to fully charge an EV. Spending those hours at home is much more productive than having to sit in a public location and kill time. A home charging station is also convenient in the sense you know where it is located. You may not always know where the nearest public charging stations are when you need a charge.
The other major benefit of home EV charging is saving money. By charging at home, you save the cost to travel to a public charging station. You also do not have to pay a third-party markup for the electricity you use. You pay the same rate you are used to for your other home electricity usage, instead. The monthly bill increase for at-home charging is typically much less than the fees for public charging.
Where Can You Find EV Charger Installers?
If you want to install an EV charger for your home, you must find a qualified installer. States are encouraging the switch to EVs pushed through the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program by providing access to resources for new EV owners. You can request a list of qualified EV charging station installers from your state transportation agency. The dealership that sells you your EV may also recommend a home charging station installer. If so, make sure that installer is approved by the state before doing business with them.
How Much Does It Cost to Purchase and Install a Home EV Charger?
The average cost to purchase and install a home EV charging station is approximately $1,000 to $2,500. Exact fees vary by location, company hired, and station purchased. For example, portable and hardwired charging station fees vary. You may pay as little as $300 for the charger itself, depending on the type and brand you choose. The installation cost is based on the complexity of the procedure. A simple garage install is often cheaper than the installation of a charging port in an outdoor location.
What is the Average Cost to Use a Home EV Charger?
There is no steady national average cost to use an at-home EV charger because electricity rates constantly fluctuate based on multiple factors. They also vary widely in different parts of the country. However, you can somewhat predict how much you must pay ahead of time using a simple formula. On average, an EV can travel 3 to 4 miles per kWh. Check your bill to see how much you are charged for electricity per kWh. Use that information to determine how much your home vehicle charging station may affect your monthly electric bill. That amount is almost certainly much less than the equivalent cost of gasoline in your area. It is also most likely less than the cost of public EV charging.