Updated January 19, 2024
Electric vehicles may have been unique a few years ago, but they’re becoming much more popular. As the range and performance of electric vehicles have improved and as manufacturers are coming up with more attractive EV options, more drivers are making the switch to electric vehicles. This can make sense from several perspectives.
EVs are certainly going to stick around, especially given government regulations that favor the production of electrified vehicles. EVs also give you a way to reduce your gas consumption. Importantly, EVs can be easy to charge. After all, you just have to plug them into an outlet with the charging cable that the manufacturer has supplied. More EV charging stations are popping up in various areas, making charging much more convenient. Of course, the most convenient way to charge an electric vehicle is to plug it in at home. There is a cost to having a home charging station installed, but it’s certainly worth it. When you drive an EV, it’s important to have easy, unlimited access to a charging station. This way, you’ll be ready to go on your next adventure at any time.
Level 1 Versus Level 2 Charging
Before we go over the advantages of investing in a home charging station, it’s important to review Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Level 1 charging is when you use a regular 120-volt AC outlet. While these outlets are readily available, they take a long time to charge a vehicle’s battery. It could take a few days to fully charge an EV. It would take less time to charge a plug-in hybrid, though, since these kinds of vehicles have smaller batteries. You may be able to achieve a full charge on a plug-in hybrid overnight using a Level 1 charger.
Level 2 charging is much faster and uses 240-volt outlets. You’ll need a professional to install one of these systems in your home. It can be installed on an exterior wall or in a garage, for example. With a Level 2 charger, it may only take a few hours to fully charge a plug-in hybrid and an overnight session to fully charge an electric vehicle. Since many people drive on a daily basis or at least a few times a week, the Level 2 charger may make more sense.
The primary reason why many EV drivers have invested in Level 2 home charging stations is because of the convenience factor. Yes, you can most likely find open charging stations in your vicinity during different times of the day or night. However, you still have to drive to those locations. Unless they’re within walking distance of your home or office, you’ll have to find somewhere to spend your time, waiting for your battery to charge. Even if a charging station is within walking distance, you still have to take time out of your day to park your vehicle at a charging point. To be courteous to other drivers, you’ll want to move out of the parking spot when you’re finished. Many EVs are compatible with mobile apps that can let you know when charging is complete. Still, this takes a bit of effort on your part.
In contrast, if you charge at home, you don’t have to worry about anything. You can simply park the vehicle, plug it in and go about your business. You won’t have to keep track of time, look up your battery range on an app or figure out ways to spend your time in certain places. Instead, you can do anything that you would usually do at home.
Most people develop habits in which they plug in their vehicles overnight. This gives them the maximum range the next day. Remember that many all-electric models can travel well over 200 miles on a full charge. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need to plug in your vehicle every night, though you certainly could if you wanted to. If you drive a plug-in hybrid, you’ll have a more limited range. In this case, plugging in every night could be a smart move.
It’s hard to say exactly how much it costs to charge an EV battery. It depends on how much electricity will be needed to charge your particular battery as well as the rate you’re charged for kilowatts per hour.
What we can say pretty confidently is that using a public charging station will likely cost you more than if you charged at home. For just one occasion, the price difference might not be significant. Each week, though, the amount you save can start to add up. This could help offset the cost of having a charging station installed.
Another point is that having an electric charging station at your place could increase your property value. If you plan on selling your place at any point, this could be important. Someone buying a home in today’s market may be interested in getting an electric vehicle within the next few years, and having the charging system already in place can make your home more attractive to him/her. The charging station will likely be highlighted in a description of your home, and it can help your place make a good first impression.
If a buyer likes your property but doesn’t necessarily want an EV, that’s not a problem. From a property value perspective, there’s only a positive aspect to getting a home charging station installed.
Just as we can’t exactly say what it costs to charge a specific vehicle, it’s difficult to say exactly how much it would cost to install a charging station at your home. Your existing electrical configuration and the location of the outlet may affect the cost as would the exact product you’d like to use. We can say that, in general, home charging stations cost a few thousand dollars to purchase and install.
Let’s say it costs $2,000. If you use your EV for three years, this breaks down into only about $55 per month. The per-month cost will be slashed to less than $30 if you drive your EV for six years. This amount is what many of us spend on gas in a week. When you look at it from this perspective, the financial impact doesn’t seem to amount to that much. Many people have found that the convenience factor outweighs any initial costs by a significant margin.
Need Help? Turn to Us
Golden Rule has been helping neighbors in the Des Moines area for more than two decades. At our family-owned business, we work hard on behalf of our customers, and we treat everyone with respect. We regularly install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems, along with air quality systems, and we can help you with your plumbing as well. That could include service related to water heaters, drains, leaks, whole-home repiping, and sump pumps. In terms of electrical work, we can assist you with your electrical panel, installation of appliances and fixtures, generators, whole-home rewiring and more. Call Golden Rule if you need us to handle the installation of your EV charging station in Des Moines, IA.
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