Selecting, buying, and installing an electric vehicle charger can feel a bit overwhelming, but we’ll help you obtain all the information you need to make the right decision. You can choose a home charging station depending on its features and models. We’ve prepared this guide to assist you in making your choice.
Consider your parking space first. Is your electric car usually parked outside or in your garage? Due to the fact that not all charging stations are weather-proof, this is important. Among the weather-proof units, their levels of resistance will also vary depending on how extreme the climate is.
When it comes to extreme weather, it’s best to choose a home charging station with a flexible cable. This way, you’ll be able to manipulate the cable in colder climates, making it easier to keep your devices charged.
Keep the length of the charging cable in mind when choosing a home charging station for your electric car. Each level 2 charging station has a cable of different length, so make sure to check the exact location where you plan to install the charger and that the cable will reach your car’s port.
If you have multiple EVs that need charging, you have two main options. The first is to get a dual charging station, which can charge two vehicles at the same time. These stations need to be installed near where the cables can plug into both electric cars. The other option is to purchase two smart charging stations and install them on a single circuit, linking them together. Although this gives you more flexibility with the installation, it’s usually more expensive.
Level 1: Trickle charging
Level 1 cables come standard with any new electric vehicle and use a standard wall outlet to plug in your car, similar to how you would charge your mobile phone. The output of a standard wall plug is limited, however, so charging speeds are slow (around 4 miles of range per hour of charge, or 30 miles of range per night).
Level 2: Home Charging
A level 2 charger requires professional installation and uses a dedicated, 240V circuit (like a clothes dryer) for faster charging than with a standard wall outlet. Level 2 chargers can provide up to 25 miles of range for every hour of charge, or 200+ miles of range per night. The actual amount of range per hour depends on the power rating of the charger unit and the power rating of your vehicle.
Level 3: Upgrading to DC Fast Charging Technology
These aren’t chargers you install at home, but rather ones you find at dedicated charging stations, at grocery stores, and other public places (it would be too expensive to install at home). If you take lots of longer road trips or don’t live in a place where you can install a charger at home, strongly consider getting an EV equipped with DC Fast Charging technology.
Most new electric cars have the capability to use DC Fast Chargers but it’s not a standard feature on some. While it may be an additional cost, it’s worth considering if you frequently find yourself on the road and in need of a charge.
When you’re looking for a home charging station for your electric car, the most important thing to consider is how fast it can charge your battery. In short, no matter which model you choose, it can charge a full EV battery overnight. So you can rest easy knowing that your car will be ready to go when you are.
EV charging times can be long, depending on a number of variables such as:
The charging time of an electric car is determined by the power source and the vehicle’s on board charger capacity. You can plug in your EV to a regular household plug. These give 120-volt and can take over 24 hours to deliver a full battery charge. Now, with a level 2 charging station, we increase the power source to 240-volt, which can deliver a full battery charge in four to nine hours.
The EV on board charger capacity is an important feature to consider when purchasing an electric car. The charger in the car converts the AC electricity from the wall into DC to charge the battery, and the size of the charger will determine how quickly the battery can be charged. A larger charger will mean that the battery can be charged more quickly, and this is an important consideration if you plan to use your car for long distance travel.
Some level 2 charging stations are ‘smart’ and can be controlled remotely with an app on your phone over WiFi or Bluetooth. These smart home charging stations don’t charge any faster, but they do offer perks, such as access control or data monitoring. If those interest you, check which smart features are offered by a specific home charging station before buying it.
If you’re driving an electric car, one thing you should keep in mind is that many of them come with apps that can do some or all of the things on this list. So, before you shell out any money for smart features, it’s worth checking to see if your car already offers what you’re looking for. That way, you won’t end up paying twice for something you might already have.
As you narrow down your choices for a home charging station, here are a few final factors to consider: