One of the biggest perks of owning an electric car is that it can be charged at the convenience of your home, rather than having to stop at a gas station every week or so. This means if you stay on top of the charge, and don’t take super long trips, you’ll never have to worry about when and where you charge your cars.
But there are a number of ways to charge at home and not all of them are suitable for everyone. In fact some options are much better than others – and getting the right charging equipment for your needs is definitely something worth doing.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing charging equipment for your home:
The first is the choice between a Level 1 charger and a Level 2 charger.
You’ll also want to consider charging cable length and any smart capabilities that allow you to monitor charging remotely.
Here’s everything you need to know about charging your electric car at home
Use the Level 1 charger that came with your car
You don’t have to spend any time or money buying equipment to charge your car if you don’t want to, because all electric cars come with what’s called a Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet in your home.
Level 1 chargers are good for powering up your electric car all the time, but they take a long time to fully charge the battery – usually eight to 10 hours or more, depending on how depleted it is. This makes stopping fast charging pretty much impossible.
But most people don’t need to quickly charge their cars when they’re at home.
Instead most will ship overnight and be ready to go to their destinations in the morning.
It’s easy to install Level 1 chargers, simply plug into a standard 120V power outlet.
Many can be wall-mounted for quick access too – but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
Level 2 charger
If you want to charge faster at home, it might be worth investing in a Level 2 charger.
Level 2 chargers are more powerful than Level 1 chargers, so they can recharge a battery faster—usually in three to six hours depending on capacity.
Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt outlet to function properly.
You’ll need an electrician to install a socket—and it may also require major wiring upgrades if your home isn’t prefabricated.
Also, Level 2 chargers can be more expensive than Level 1 chargers.
You won’t get a Level 2 charger with your car, so you’ll have to purchase a separate charger, which usually costs at least $500.
Most people don’t need a Level 2 charger for their home.