When you begin to think about an electric car or a plug-in hybrid, it sounds straightforward to plug the vehicle in overnight for charging. But there is much more that you need to know about going green with your personal transportation. While these vehicles can be plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet in your garage or carport, it could take a long time for the batteries to get a full charge. And that outlet needs to be on a dedicated circuit for added safety for your new car. This is just the beginning of what drivers need to know when purchasing an EV or hybrid.
Level 1 Chargers
Many EVs come with a cord that lets you charge from a standard 100-volt outlet. But what they do not always tell you when you are making your purchase is that this charging, Level 1, is very slow. A Level 1 charger will add about 2 to 5 miles to the batteries per hour of charging for the average electric car. So unless you are driving very short distances, and not daily, this means of charging your vehicle will not be very useful. For example, this device will add about 60 miles to your vehicle from a 12-hour charge at its peak.
Level 2 Chargers
Level 2 chargers need 240-volt power, much like the outlet you have for a clothes dryer. However, very few homes have these available in the garage or on the exterior of the house. So you will need an electrician to install a 240-volt outlet to plug in your upgraded charger. But the reward is well worth the investment to get a Level 2 charger at your home. The charge rate for these units ranges from 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charging. So this is a viable resource to charge your EV each night and drive a few hundred miles.
The Cost Of EV Chargers
Like everything, there is a wide range of prices when you shop around for an EV charger. The first thing you should consider is the make and model of your EV. If there is a recommended brand or type of charger, that is probably what you should purchase to eliminate issues and the potential of voiding the warranty on your vehicle or batteries.
Generally, Level 1 chargers come in between $300 and $600 if there is not one included in your vehicle purchase. The Level 2 charges range from around $500 to $700, on average. And if you are looking for a smart charger that will integrate with your home automation or be accessible via the Internet, you can spend anywhere from a grand to over $3k for a state-of-the-art smart EV charging station.
The Cost To Electrically Power Your Car
With the cost of electricity continuing to climb, some consumers wonder if going electric will save any money over the cost of gasoline. To figure out what you will spend on the electricity to charge your car at home, you need to locate the average cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour in your state. You can also refer to your electric bill for a more precise number. Then multiply that by the time needed to charge your car. Finally, multiply the daily charge cost by the number of times per week or month you estimate you will charge your car at home.
To learn more about installing an EV charger at your home, call (877) 577- 2759. The licensed electricians at Reliable Electrical Services deliver the expertise and affordability you need for your EV charger installation.