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Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great way to save money and cut down on pollution at the same time. An EV runs off a battery that you can charge at home or at a commercial charging station. Most EVs come with a Level 1 charger that you can plug into any standard 120-volt outlet, but many people want a faster, dedicated charging station at home. Since a Level 1 charger can take hours to charge your car, updating can ensure you are ready to go, even if you only stop at home for a short time before heading out again.
Costs vary depending on where you live, which station you purchase, and whether it is hardwired to your home or portable. The national average cost range is between $1,000 and $2,500, with most people paying around $1,200 for a 240-volt outlet, charger, and wall-mounted system. The low cost for this project is $300 for a replacement Level 1 charger for use with an existing 120-volt outlet. The project’s high cost is $4,500 for a Level 2 charger designed for 2 cars with a 240-volt outlet, pedestal mount, and circuit panel upgrade.
|Home EV Charging Station Costs|
|National average cost||$1,200|
Electric vehicles run off a rechargeable battery, rather than gasoline or oil. Your battery needs to be recharged, ideally when your car is not in use. To do this, you need an electric vehicle charging station 1. Essentially, it is a way to plug your car’s battery into an outlet that charges it. Because charging stations are not necessarily common in public spaces, most owners of electric vehicles install a charging station at home. In fact, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over 80 % of EV charging happens at home. Depending on your car, your home, and how long you need to charge between trips, you have numerous choices available for the charging station.
There are technically three types of car charging stations, designated by levels. When you purchase an electric vehicle, you are likely to receive a Level 1 charger with your car. This is designed to plug into any 120-volt outlet, so you do not need any changes to your home, but it also takes longer to charge. Level 2 chargers are more common for in-home use. They charge faster than a Level 1 and can be designed for one or two cars. Level 3 chargers are not normally used in residential settings, and you are more likely to see these outside of businesses. Each charger type has its own costs, attributes, and other things to consider:
|Charging Station Type||Average Costs (Material Only)||Charging Time|
|Level 1||Free - $300||+/- 24 hours|
|Level 2||$300 - $1,200||2 - 5 hours|
|Level 3||$12,000 - $35,000||< 1 hour|
Level 1 chargers come free with your car purchase, or you can purchase a replacement for $300. They are not installed but plug directly into any 120-volt outlet, making them portable. They may take up to 24 hours to fully charge a battery, so they are generally only good for people who drive short distances or less frequently. Essentially, a Level 1 charger adds roughly 2 to 5 miles of driving range to your car for every hour you charge it. Many people keep a Level 1 charger on hand for when they are away from home. But if you do a fair amount of daily driving, you may find that this charger will not meet all your needs, unless you can plug it in everywhere you go when the car is not in use.
Level 2 charging stations cost between $300 to $1,200 on average. Most EV owners invest in Level 2 stations. They charge batteries much quicker, with most reaching a full charge in just a few hours. Even basic models completely charge a battery 4 to 6 times faster than a Level 1 charger, with 10 to 40 miles being added per hour. Level 2 stations require a 240-volt outlet, and they can be portable or mounted and hardwired to your home. Some are specific to the car type, while others charge any car with an adaptor. They come with features like Wi-Fi and other add-ons, allowing you to customize your experience.
Level 3 charging stations range from $12,000 to $35,000 for the charger and hardware. These are designed for commercial use, not residential charging stations. They charge batteries incredibly quickly, fully charging a battery in under an hour, with a minimum charge of 100 to 400 miles during that time. These stations can charge many vehicles at the same time and are not sold for residential purposes. Essentially, this is a large multi-car station. While it can be attractive to consider charging your car this quickly, most homes do not have the space or panel to accommodate them, as they require 480-volts. A second panel would likely need to be installed just for the station, and for most people’s needs, a Level 2 charger gives a full charge in enough time for even a busy family to get where they need to go.
In addition to the charger level you choose, you also have a choice of how it is connected to your home. There are two types of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) connectors - plugged-in and hardwired. With a plugged-in connector, you need a 240-volt wall outlet installed. This is a large outlet, like the type a clothes dryer plugs into. The plugged-in station is plugged into this outlet, making it portable and easy to move, remove, or repair when needed. If you need a replacement, you do not need to pay for the installation because your outlet is already installed and waiting. If you own two properties, you can take the charger with you to each one and use it in both locations.
A hardwired EVSE is wired directly into your home. It has an internal connection to your electrical wiring, like a light fixture. You cannot easily remove it, so it is not portable. However, it can be used outdoors and is often less expensive. Keep in mind that if it needs replacement or repair, this can be a more complicated and expensive job. Both work equally well, so choosing between them is often a case of what works better for your home and lifestyle.
|EVSE Type||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Hardwired||$850 - $1,800|
|Plugged-In||$1,000 - $2,200|
There are several brands of charging stations to choose from. Each has its own characteristics and pros and cons to consider. Most have several options to choose from, including features like Wi-Fi and different installation styles. In some cases, you may find that the charging station you choose will be at least partially dictated by the car type. In other situations, you have plenty of flexibility. Below are some of the popular charging station brands and the cost of their products installed:
|Charging Station Brand||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Webasto||$1,000 - $1,300|
|ClipperCreek||$1,000 - $1,500|
|Bosch||$1,100 - $1,600|
|Tesla||$1,100 - $1,600|
|Siemens||$1,200 - $1,400|
|JuiceBox||$1,200 - $1,400|
|ChargePoint||$1,300 - $1,500|
Webasto charging systems cost between $1,000 and $1,300 on average when fully installed. Webasto makes a full range of both hardwired and plug-in stations. Their chargers are fairly basic when compared to other companies. They do not have screens, Wi-Fi, or other accessories. This can be attractive to people who simply want a reliable charger they can plug their car into and go. Their chargers are fully waterproof and have several safety features that make them usable in any circumstance.
ClipperCreek car charging systems range from $1,000 to $1,500, fully installed. ClipperCreek makes a range of portable plug-in car chargers that are extremely durable. They have a line of chargers that are Energy Star certified as well, for those wanting to save on energy costs. Their designs are fairly straightforward and basic. They do not have screens, software, or other accessories. However, they make dual chargers for families with more than one electric vehicle.
The cost of a Bosch charger averages $1,100 to $1,600. Bosch makes several different types of chargers. Their designs are basic without screens or software. They have some of the best options for installation style. Their chargers can be plug-in or hardwired. They also have a bollard style, which can be a good choice for those who do not want to plug their car directly into the house or garage.
The cost of a Tesla charger is between $1,100 and $1,600, fully installed. Teslas require special chargers or an adaptor to charge their vehicles with another charging station. They come equipped with a Level 1 adapter that you can use in your standard 110-volt outlet. However, if you want to use a Level 2 charger, they recommend purchasing one of their specific charging stations, starting at around $500. Tesla chargers are designed to charge their vehicles faster than other models. This ensures your car is ready in a timely way, whereas with another charger and adaptor, it may take longer before your battery is fully ready.
The cost of a Siemens charger averages $1,200 to $1,400 when fully installed. While the Siemens charger does not use a screen, it is app-enabled. This feature makes them very easy to use, so you can tell from anywhere how close your vehicle is to being fully charged. Their chargers are portable as well and intuitive to set up. These chargers are better used indoors.
The cost of a JuiceBox charger ranges from $1,200 to $1,400, fully installed. JuiceBox is one of the few chargers that is compatible with Tesla vehicles. They also work with other brands and types of electric cars. They are Wi-Fi enabled and can be used with the screen or an app. These are durable chargers that also have a locking option for using outdoors. They are hardwired and require professional mounting, making them slightly more expensive to install than other models.
ChargePoint electric vehicle chargers cost between $1,300 and $1,500 when fully installed. ChargePoint chargers are smart and work with your home hub or smart speaker. They can be controlled via an app, which allows you to check your car’s energy levels in numerous ways. These chargers are Energy Star certified, but they are very large and take up a lot of room. They are also a little louder than some other brands, so if you are charging near a bedroom, they can be heard.
Car charging stations are installed by electricians, who charge between $40 and $100 an hour on average. Installing the heavy-duty outlet required for the station with a new circuit averages $120 to $200. If you choose a portable unit, this is the total installation cost, but most people opt for a wall mount, which adds another $300 to $600 to the installation cost, making the installation total $420 to $800 on average. Most people pay around $600 out of the $1,200 total for the car charging station installation.
If you choose a bollard-style charger or a charger that will be installed in a carport or detached garage, you may have higher installation costs. This is because the wires need to be run from your home to the charger underground. This can make the installation portion closer to $2,000 in total, plus the cost of the charger.
|Charging Station Type||Average Labor Costs|
|Level 2||$420 - $800|
|Level 3||$2,750 - $5,500|
The cost to install a Level 2 charger at home is around $420 to $800 in labor costs, or between $850 and $2,200 on average with materials. Level 2 chargers are the most common type for residential applications. This charger can fully charge a battery in 2 to 5 hours, which is usually sufficient for most people. You can find both dual and single chargers, and they come with numerous features and styles. Level 2 chargers can be installed indoors or outside. They can be hardwired, plugged-in, or come in a bollard style for charging away from the house. It should also be taken into account that the closer the charger is to the electrical panel, the cheaper installation costs will be. In fact, installation costs can significantly increase when placing a charger in a location where it is difficult to route the wiring back to the home's power panel.
Labor costs for installing a Level 3 charger average $2,750 to $5,500. With the cost of the charger and other parts, this makes the total installation cost between $14,750 and $40,500 on average. Level 3 chargers are not designed for residential use. While they can charge a battery in under an hour, these large chargers are designed to hold several cars at once. They are noisy and require a dedicated panel in most cases. They are not designed to be installed inside or next to a building but farther away in a parking lot. At most, they could be used in a condominium or apartment setup, where multiple users will charge their cars at one time, rather than in a single-family home setup.
Electric car charging stations can be installed both indoors and outdoors. You can install your charger inside the garage where you park. For those without garages, you can charge your car outside. The difference is in the setup. Outdoor car chargers need to be waterproof and protected from the elements. Often, you may also want to lock them for security. Many manufacturers make models that can be installed inside or outside, and there is often little difference in overall costs.This stand-style charger is for those who do not want to install the charger on the exterior of their house. The bollard allows you to install your charger in a carport, at the end of a driveway, or anywhere you like. This installation type is more involved and more costly.
|Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Interior||$800 - $1,500|
|Exterior||$800 - $2,500|
Most electric car manufacturers recommend plugging in your car whenever you can to keep the battery as close to 90% full as possible, or 100% when planning a long drive. For this reason, most people plug their cars in when they arrive home and leave them charging. Most Level 2 chargers are capable of charging a car in just a few hours.
The cost to charge your car varies depending on the price of electricity in your area and the time of day when you charge. Most electric companies have peak and off-peak hours, with peak hours costing more than off-peak hours. However, if you are thinking of what is best for the environment, the best option would be to charge the car overnight. The average price to charge a battery from completely depleted to full is around $2.50 for most vehicles, but in areas with higher electricity prices, this could cost more. The average monthly charge, assuming 30 miles of charging per night, translates to $25 to $35 a month in electricity charges. If you drive more than this per day or do not have an opportunity to charge your car when you are away from home, your monthly bills could be higher.
When you purchase an electric car, it will likely come with a Level 1 charger. This is a slow charger that allows you to plug your car into a regular 120-volt outlet. This is not the best choice for all cars. It works best for hybrids and if you plan on driving your electric car only occasionally or on short trips. It can take up to 24 hours to fully charge your car’s battery when using this charger, which is why it is often impractical for most drivers. To get faster charging speeds, most people upgrade to a Level 2 charger.
When away from home, you may have the choice to charge your electric car at a public station. Each station has the right to set their rate to charge you for this privilege. Some towns and cities have free charging stations, while some businesses offer free charging for guests and employees.
Others have a per-hour fee, which usually equals the amount of electricity used - around $2.50 to $3.50 an hour. However, this varies depending on the cost of electricity in the area and the overhead costs of the charging station.
When you purchase a quality charging system that is designed for your vehicle and have it professionally installed, home car charging systems are completely safe. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that any charging station needs to be certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory before being installed anywhere in the US. Look for the NRTL mark on the charger you purchase, like the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) mark or the ETL (Intertek) mark to ensure it went through testing and is certified for safety. Attempting a DIY install or purchasing a unit that has not been safety-tested could pose similar hazards to other electrical appliances, including the risk of an electrical fire.
If you have an electric car, having a charging station at home provides freedom and opportunity. Charging when you are home allows you to save money by choosing the time of day and, therefore, the rate of electricity. Electric vehicles can save a lot of money over the cost of gas and do not require oil changes or regular maintenance, making them a more affordable long-term choice for some owners. Having a charger at your home provides greater freedom and convenience, rather than needing to find public chargers, business chargers, or pay-as-you-go charger options.
There are many different brands of electric car chargers on the market. Two of the more popular models include ChargePoint and Tesla. The first thing to understand about these chargers is that ChargePoint is considered a universal charger. It charges most electric car types, and in some cases may even be able to charge them faster than other Level 2 car chargers. The one exception to the fast charging rule is the Tesla; while the ChargePoint can charge a Tesla, it does so at the standard rate. Tesla’s chargers are designed to charge only Teslas. To use another type of charger for a Tesla, you need an adaptor or to find another type of charger that is compatible. At this time, ChargePoint chargers require an adaptor to charge a Tesla, however once that adaptor is installed, it operates the same as the Tesla charger in terms of miles per hour and overall use. If you do not have a Tesla, the ChargePoint may be the better solution for your car, as it comes with features that the Tesla charger does not. This includes the ability to set your charging times for when electricity is at its lowest, and the flexibility of either hardwiring it or plugging it into a standard 240 volt outlet. With the ChargePoint, guests or friends that have electric vehicles of any kind can use your charger. Because Tesla chargers only charge Teslas, this does make the charger a little less flexible; if you change cars or have guests with EVs, the charger isn’t as useful.
Of the two, Tesla’s charger is less expensive. However, it also comes with a shorter cable, which can limit your car’s position. The ChargePoint costs more, and may require an adapter as well, which can cause extra depending on the retailer you purchase it from. Below are the average costs for each of the two chargers.
|Charger||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Tesla||$500 - $550|
|ChargePoint||$650 - $800|
When you purchase an electric car, it will likely come with a Level 1 charger. This charger is designed to plug into any standard 120-volt outlet. This means that you can plug your car in anywhere there is an outlet. This charger charges very slowly, however, and can take up to 24 hours to fully charge a depleted battery.
A Level 2 charger is different. This is either hardwired to your home’s electrical supply or uses a 240-volt outlet. It can charge your car in 2 to 5 hours, so it makes more sense for people who drive frequently. This charger requires professional installation, which raises costs. Level 1 chargers do not require installation beyond ensuring there is an accessible outlet.
If you own an apartment building or are part of a condominium or townhouse association, you may want to consider adding a charging station in the parking area. Having a charging station can be a great way to attract new renters or buyers and can improve your property value for the entire community.
Ideally, you want to install a Level 3 charger, which is designed for multiple vehicles. Placing the charger in a centrally located area makes the most sense for single buildings. If you have multiple buildings, you may want to invest in more chargers to spread them evenly throughout the complex. The cost of installing a Level 3 charger is between $14,750 and $40,500, depending on the number of stations available in the charger and the distance from the building where you install it.
Most people opt for either portable or wall-mounted chargers, but it is possible to purchase a pedestal kit for your charger, particularly when using it to charge two cars. Pedestals add anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to the total cost, depending on the brand and installation location.
Some chargers come with WI-FI and smartphone apps that allow you to monitor your car’s charging from your phone. This is beneficial because it lets you see the level of charge and how long it will take to reach the desired amount. Having an app allows you to make adjustments as needed more easily. These systems are available on select models only, with no extra charge for those units.
Your charger will likely be mounted on a wall, connected by a cable up to 25 feet in length. Most of the time, this can be easily done in your existing garage or driveway, but sometimes, you need to modify your garage to make it easier to use and reach. Expect to pay around $150 a square foot for any modifications to the garage floor plan.
You may need to upgrade your circuit panel if it cannot handle the additional load of the car charger. This costs between $1,300 and $3,000, depending on the distance and load you need to carry.
If you have more than one electric car at your home, you may need to use a dual charger, which is capable of handling the loads of two cars at once. Chargers equipped with a powersharing feature help balance the electrical load between the two vehicles so that they charge evenly. The cost of a dual charger with powersharing is around $1,000 to $1,500 for a basic model installed. Models with features like smart apps cost more.
Solar panels can be installed to supply power to the charging station. On the other hand, many homeowners who already own solar panels tie their home's inverter to their charger to provide it with power. The national average cost of installing solar panels on a house is between $15,000 and $21,000.
A charging station allows you to charge your electric car’s battery from the electricity in a home or building.
A charging station uses a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet to convert electricity into a charge for the battery. The charging station uses a cable to plug into the car.
This depends on the car and charger type and can be anywhere from a few hours to an entire day.
Most EV manufacturers recommend plugging your car in whenever you are home.
The cost is about the same price as running an electric water heater.
Yes, you can leave your EV plugged in whenever you are home.
No, fast charging is safe and reliable.
No, fast charging does not damage the battery as long as you use a charger compatible with your battery.