Charging your electric car at home is crucial to ensure you're ready to go whenever you need. There are three types of electric car charging stations. Each variety has its specific installation process.
Level 1 EV chargers come with your electric vehicle and don't require any particular installation – plug your Level 1 charger into a standard 120-volt wall outlet, and you're ready to go. This is the biggest appeal of a Level 1 charging system: you don't have to deal with any extra costs associated with an installation, and you can set up the entire charging system without a professional.
A level 2 EV charger uses 240 volts of electricity. This has the benefit of offering faster charging time, but it requires a special installation procedure, as a standard wall outlet only provides 120 volts. Appliances like electric dryers or ovens use 240 volts as well, and the installation process is very similar.
Considering the technical nature and risk of a Level 2 EV charger DIY installation, it's always wise to hire a professional electrician to install your charging station. Local building codes often require permits and inspections by a professional, and making an error with an electrical installation can cause material damage to your home and electrical systems. Electric work is also a health hazard. It's always safer to let an experienced professional handle electric work.
Professional installation can cost anywhere between $200 and $1,200 depending on the company or electrician you work with, and this cost can rise higher for more complicated installs.
Level 3 charging stations, or DC Fast Chargers, are primarily used in commercial and industrial settings, as they are usually prohibitively expensive and require specialized and powerful equipment to operate. This means that DC Fast Chargers are not available for home installation.
Most Level 3 chargers will provide compatible vehicles with about 80 percent charge in 30 minutes, which makes them better suited for roadside charging stations. Tesla Model S owners have a "supercharging" option that can put about 170 miles of range into the Model S in 30 minutes. An important note about level 3 chargers is that not all of them are compatible with all vehicles. Ensure you understand which public charging stations can be used with your electric vehicle before relying on level 3 chargers for recharging on the road.
The cost of charging at a public EV charging station is also diverse. Depending on your provider, your charging rates may be highly variable. EV charging station fees can be structured as flat monthly, per-minute, or a combination of both. Research your local public charging plans to find one that fits your car and needs best.
EnergySage partners with Qmerit, a home EV charging installation leader with a trusted network of certified installers. They can help you quickly and easily install your home EV charger.