Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging

Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging

Preparing your home for EV charging? Discover the essentials of installing a home charger for your new electric vehicle From choosing the right level of charging to cost considerations and assessing your home's readiness

New electric vehicle (EV) owners often have numerous inquiries regarding the charging process. Upon purchasing an EV, you may already be curious about the feasibility of charging it at home, the associated expenses, the installation procedures, among other related matters. Although various factors influence the answer to these questions, it is indeed possible to charge your EV at home. However, it is important to take into account factors such as the charging speeds, the potential need to install a faster EV charger, and the capacity of your house to support such requirements. Here is what you need to be aware of.

Wait, Do I Really Need a Home EV Charger?

Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging


When it comes to charging an electric vehicle at home, it's important to consider your preferences and requirements. While it is not essential, purchasing a dedicated EV charger for your house is advisable if you want faster charging capabilities.

Most electric vehicles are equipped with a basic Level 1 charging cable. This charger can be plugged directly into any standard 120V AC wall outlet in your home or garage. This option is convenient and cost-effective, but the charging speed is significantly slower. On average, you can expect to gain approximately 3–5 miles of range per hour. Even after charging for a full 8 hours overnight, you may only gain around 40 miles of range, which may not suffice for some individuals.

Decide Between Level 1 or Level 2 Home Charging

If your daily commute is short or if you have the opportunity to charge at work, you won't have any issues. Just use the Level 1 charger and enjoy its benefits. However, for those with a commute of more than 20-30 miles or those who frequently drive, the Level 1 charger may not be sufficient. Although there are numerous public chargers available, they might not always be an ideal solution. Therefore, it is advisable to consider upgrading to a faster charging system for your home.

Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging

Tyler Hayes

Level 1 charging lacks speed, effectiveness, and efficiency, prompting many EV owners to opt for a Level 2 (L2) home charger. Upgrades become necessary for individuals who frequently drive, have long commutes, or wish to eliminate range anxiety. Currently, there are three types, referred to as "levels," of EV charging: type 1, type 2, and type 3.

Level 1 charging is the slowest option, whereas L3 charging can fully charge an EV battery in less than an hour. When discussing charging at home, most owners utilize faster L2 charging systems. L1 charging only provides a range of 3-5 miles (or 1.5-3kW) per hour, whereas L2 systems, which use a larger 240V outlet, can deliver a range of 20-60 miles per hour. In the United States, most electric cars can reach a full charge in 6-8 hours using a level 2 charger, although charging times can vary depending on the car model and charger type.

To determine if your home can support an L2 charger and to determine the associated cost, you can check if you have a 240V wall outlet typically used for a dryer. However, having one 240V outlet does not guarantee that your electrical system can support multiple outlets or that one is available in your garage for installation. It is recommended to consult with a professional electrician or EV charger installer to assess your options.

Experiencing challenges with your electric panel, its location, or the desired installation spot for your home EV charger is possible. For instance, individuals with an attached garage have a higher likelihood of success compared to those with a detached garage.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Home Charger?

Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging


As previously mentioned, utilizing a standard Level 1 charger should not incur any additional expenses for the majority of owners. Merely employ the provided cable in conjunction with a customary wall outlet. The costs begin to rise when one seeks out expedited L2 charging speeds.

The cost of installing a Level 2 electric vehicle charger at home can range from $300 to over $3,000, depending on various factors. These include the specific requirements of your home, the complexity of the installation, and the type of charger you purchase. On average, most homeowners can expect to spend around $1,200 for upgrading to faster EV charging.

If your home already has the necessary infrastructure, such as wiring, an electric panel, and a 240V AC wall plug, installing a faster L2 charger in your garage can be a relatively simple and quick process for professionals. However, if additional wiring is needed, the overall costs will increase. This may include purchasing more expensive chargers with longer cables to reach your vehicle, labor costs, making changes to the garage, and other related expenses.

Keep in mind that certain states or cities may provide incentives to help offset these costs, although this will depend on various factors that you will need to investigate or discuss with a sales and installation representative. Additionally, it is technically possible to install a Level 3 DC fast charging system, but the pricing for such a setup can skyrocket, ranging from $15,000 to over $30,000.

Some Homes Aren't EV Ready

Preparing Your Home for Electric Vehicle Charging

Justin Duino

Regrettably, certain prospective owners may face obstacles when attempting to install their own EV charger at home. For instance, if one's residence only offers street parking, if a detached garage lacks access to power, or if the house is older and outdated. Although not insurmountable, these situations often result in significantly higher expenses. The need to overhaul entire electrical systems or install high-voltage lines in another part of the property can be quite costly. Additionally, complications may arise if the electrical panel is situated in a suboptimal and hard-to-reach location.

If your garage and its electrical panel are easily accessible, you may not be able to add another 240V line of power or install additional breakers for a charger due to limitations in certain homes. In this case, you will likely need to replace the entire panel, which can be costly.

In the United States, many Level 2 EV home chargers come with a generous 20ft charging cable, or even longer. As long as you can park your vehicle within this distance and have access to a 240V outlet or a modern home, you should be able to purchase a charger, get it professionally installed, and enjoy the benefits of faster charging speeds. It will definitely be worth the investment.

Editor's P/S

As an EV owner, I am very excited about the prospect of charging my car at home. I think it is a great way to save money on gas and reduce my carbon footprint. I am also looking forward to the convenience of being able to charge my car at home, rather than having to find a public charging station. I think it is important for EV owners to be aware of the different levels of charging and the costs associated with each. Level 1 charging is the slowest, but it is also the most affordable. Level 2 charging is faster, but it can be more expensive. Level 3 charging is the fastest, but it is also the most expensive. I think it is important to choose the right level of charging for your needs. If you have a short commute, you may be able to get by with Level 1 charging. However, if you have a long commute, you may want to consider Level 2 or Level 3 charging. I am also excited about the potential for solar panels to power EV charging. I think it is a great way to generate clean, renewable energy that can be used to charge your car. I am looking forward to learning more about solar panels and how they can be used to power EV charging.