How Much Does It Cost To Install An Electric Car (EV) Charger?
As the demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure increases, more and more drivers opt to install their own EV charging stations at home.
So how much does it cost to install an EV charging station?
In this post, we will explore the different types of chargers, how much charging power you need, and the cost of installation.
We will also look at EV charger maintenance and how much it costs to charge EVs at home.
Types of Chargers
Before we dive into the costs, let's look at the different types of chargers out there:
Level 1 - A Level 1 charger is the slowest charging option, but it can be used with a standard 120-volt wall outlet. It provides about 4-5 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 1 chargers are typically used for emergency charging or for overnight charging at home.
Level 2 - A Level 2 charger is a faster charging option that requires a 240-volt outlet. It provides about 25-30 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers are the most common for residential and commercial use.
DC Fast Charger - A DC fast charger is the fastest charging option available. It requires a 480-volt electrical system and can provide up to 80% charge in about 30 minutes. These chargers are typically used for public charging and are not typically found in residential areas because of the high amount of power needed for operation.
Do You Need A Home Charger?
If you own an EV, you may be wondering if you need to install a home charger.
While it's possible to charge your vehicle using a standard 120-volt wall outlet, it's not the most efficient or convenient option.
Installing a Level 2 electric charging station at home is a better option for most EV owners as it can easily charge EVs overnight.
It can also increase the resale value of your home as it's considered an added amenity.
How Much Charging Power Do You Need?
The amount of charging power you need depends on your driving habits and the battery size of your EV.
If you have a smaller battery and drive short distances on a daily basis, a Level 1 EV charger may be enough.
On average, EV owners drive around 40 miles a day, which means basic trickle charging is usually enough for occasional top-ups.
However, if you have a larger battery or drive longer distances, a Level 2 charger is recommended.
It's also important to consider how much time you have to charge your vehicle.
If you're on the road and have a limited amount of time, a DC fast charger may be the best option.
The Cost of Installing A Charging Station
The installation costs for EV chargers vary depending on several factors, including the type of charger, the installation location, and the electrical infrastructure of your home.
Here's a breakdown of the costs you can expect for different types of charging stations:
Level 1 Charging Station: The cost to install a Level 1 charging station at home can be as low as $300, but it may increase if you need to run a dedicated electrical circuit, upgrade electrical wiring, or if you need to install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet.
Level 2 Charging Station: The cost to install a Level 2 charging station at home can range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the type of station, the installation location, and the electrical infrastructure of your home. If you need to upgrade your electrical panel to support the charging station, this cost can further increase.
It's important to note that the cost of the charging station itself is not included in the installation cost. The cost of the charging station varies depending on the brand, features, and power output. On average, a Level 2 charging station costs between $500 and $2,500.
In addition to the installation cost, you may also need to pay for permits and inspections, which can add to the total cost. Some utility companies also offer rebates or incentives for installing EV charging stations, which can help offset the installation cost.
Types of Charging Stations
There are two types of EV charging stations: hardwired and plug-in.
Hardwired - A hardwired charging station requires a licensed electrician to wire the station directly into your electrical panel. This option is more expensive but provides a more permanent and cleaner installation.
Plug-In - A plug-in charging station is less expensive and can be installed by most DIYers. It plugs into a 240-volt outlet and can be easily removed or moved if needed.
There are home charging stations in the market that allow either plug-in use or hardwired installation, just like the Lectron V-BOX.
The V-BOX comes in 40A and 48A variants for both Tesla and J1772 EVs.
It can be plugged directly into a NEMA 14-50 outlet or be hardwired into your home's electrical circuit for even more powerful charging.
Level 1 or Level 2?
When deciding between a Level 1 or Level 2 EV charger, it's important to consider your driving habits and charging needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between a Level 1 and Level 2 EV charger:
Charging speed: Level 2 chargers are faster than Level 1 chargers, providing about 25-30 miles of range per hour of charging, compared to 4-5 miles of range per hour for Level 1 chargers. If you plan to use your EV for daily commuting a Level 1 charger may be enough. For longer trips, a Level 2 charger may be more convenient and efficient.
Range: If you have a longer-range EV with a larger battery capacity, a Level 2 charger may be more practical. With a larger battery, it can take up to 24 hours or more to fully charge using a Level 1 charger, which may not be practical for everyday use.
Electrical infrastructure: To install a Level 2 charger, you'll need a 240-volt electrical circuit, which may require an electrical panel upgrade or additional wiring. If your home's electrical system cannot support a Level 2 charger, a Level 1 charger may be your only option.
Cost: The cost to install a Level 2 charger is typically higher than a Level 1 charger due to the professional installation required. However, Level 2 chargers are more efficient and will reduce charging times, which can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Hardwired or Plug-In?
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so the choice ultimately depends on your needs and preferences.
A hardwired EV charging station installation is permanent and is connected directly to your electrical panel.
This requires professional installation and is typically more expensive than a plug-in charger.
However, a hardwired EV charger is more convenient to use since you don't need to plug and unplug it every time you charge your vehicle.
Hardwired chargers also tend to be more durable and have higher charging capacities than plug-in models.
On the other hand, a plug-in EV charger is portable and can be easily moved from one location to another.
This type of charger plugs into a standard wall outlet and doesn't require professional installation, making it a more affordable option.
Portable chargers are also a good choice if you're renting or don't have the option to install a hardwired charger.
Lectron offers portable Level 1/Level 2 chargers with NEMA 5-15 and 14-50 plugs capable of providing anywhere between 6 and 31 miles of range per hour.
EV Charger Maintenance
Proper maintenance of your home EV charging station is important to ensure its longevity and safe operation. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:
Regularly inspect the charger: Check for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look for loose or frayed wires, cracks in the housing, or any other signs of damage.
Keep the charger clean: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the charger regularly to keep it free of dust and debris. Avoid using water or any cleaning products that could damage the charger.
Check electrical connections: Make sure these connections are tight and secure. Loose connections can cause the charger to malfunction or stop working altogether.
Check the charging cable: Inspect the charging cable for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, replace the cable immediately.
Keep the charger dry: Make sure the charger is kept in a dry location and protected from the elements. Exposure to moisture can damage the charger and create a safety hazard.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the maintenance and operation of your EV charger. This will ensure that you are using the charger correctly and that it stays in good working condition.
By following these maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your EV charger continues to operate safely and reliably for years to come.
What About the Installation Costs?
The cost of installing an EV charger can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of charger, the location of the installation, and the complexity of the installation.
The cost of the charger itself can range from a few hundred dollars for a basic Level 1 charger to over $1,000 for a Level 2 charger with advanced features.
Some chargers may also require additional accessories, such as mounting brackets or adapters, which can add to the cost.
Labor costs should also be factored in when planning to install residential charging stations,
The cost of installation can vary depending on its complexity and the location of the charger.
A simple installation that involves mounting the charger on a wall near an existing electrical panel may cost a few hundred dollars.
A more complex installation that requires running new electrical wiring or upgrading the electrical panel can cost several thousand dollars.
Another factor that affects installation costs is permit and inspection fees.
Some jurisdictions may require permits and inspections for EV charger installations, which means additional costs.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars to install an EV charger.
To get a more accurate estimate, it's best to consult with a licensed electrician who can evaluate your specific installation needs and provide a detailed cost estimate.
EV charging solutions providers like Lectron offer a simplified installation service in partnership with Qmerit, connecting you with professional electricians in your area by just filling out an online form.
Additionally, some utility companies may offer rebates or other incentives to help you save money.
The federal government has also passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which gives tax incentives to EV owners amounting to up to 30% off home electric charging stations, plus a $1,000 rebate on installation costs.
Some local governments have a Residential EV Charging Incentive Program that only qualifies hardwired Level 2 EV charging stations for rebates.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge An EV At home?
To calculate the average cost of charging EVs at home, you'll need to determine your monthly electricity consumption and the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
To do this, divide the total amount you paid for electricity in a given month by the number of kilowatt-hours you consumed during that time. This will give you the price you paid per kWh.
On average, American households pay around 15 cents per kWh for electricity.
To estimate the cost of charging a typical EV, you can use the fact that the most basic EV gets around 3 to 4 miles of range per kWh. Divide your average monthly mileage by 3 to get the kWh you'd use per month, then multiply that by the cost you pay per kWh to get an estimate of the cost of charging your EV.
In general, the cost of charging an EV at home is likely to be lower than the cost of gasoline for a typical car.
For example, if you're driving around 1,183 miles per month, you would use about 394 kWh of electricity to charge your EV. Multiply that by 15 cents per kWh, and you can expect to pay an average of $59 per month to charge your EV.
It is possible to install a plug-in Level 2 charging station yourself if you have the necessary electrical knowledge and skills. However, a hardwired charging station must be installed by a licensed electrician.
The cost to install a 240-volt outlet for an electric car depends on the location and electrical infrastructure of your home or business. On average, it costs between $500 and $1,500 to install a 240-volt outlet for a Level 2 charging station.
You can charge your EV using a standard 120-volt outlet but note that charging will be slow and might not meet your daily charging needs.