Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more common, thanks to their cost and energy savings. If you want to save on fuel bills and minimize pollution, an EV that runs off a battery may be a smart investment. You can charge the battery at home or a public/commercial charging station. The vast majority of EVs include a Level 1 charger that can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet. However, you can upgrade to a faster charging station, too. This way, you can charge your vehicle quickly and efficiently while supporting the environment. While there are no cost projections for EV charging stations, inflation is impacting the cost of many materials and supplies, meaning that electrical supplies will probably increase over the course of 2023.
The cost to install an EV charging station varies based on your region and the type of station you buy, including whether it is portable or hardwired into your home. The national average cost range for EV charging station installation is between $1,000 and $2,500. Most people pay around $1,200 for a 240-volt outlet, Level 2 charger, and wall-mounted system. The low cost for this project is $300 for a replacement Level 1 charger used in an existing 120-volt outlet. The project’s high cost is $4,500 for a Level 2 charger designed for two cars with a 240-volt outlet, pedestal mount, and a circuit panel upgrade.
|Cost to Install an EV Charging Station|
|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||Cost (Materials Only)||Charging Time|
|Level 1||$300 - $600||Up to 24 hours|
|Level 2||$600 - $1,200||2 - 5 hours|
|Level 3||$12,000 - $35,000||Less than 1 hour|
Level 1 chargers are free with your car purchase, or you can buy a replacement charging station for $300 to $600. These portable chargers are cheaper because they do not require installation and can be plugged into any 120-volt outlet. They may take up to 24 hours to fully charge a battery, so they are generally only good if you do not drive often or only drive short distances. 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. Also, if you are not using a standard wall outlet, the setup for a level 1 charging station will be more complicated.
Level 2 charging stations are most common for electric vehicle owners and cost between $600 to $1,200. Level 2 charging stations 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 2 and hardwired to your home. Some are specific to the car type, while others charge any car with an adaptor. You can customize your charging experience with special features like Wi-Fi and other add-ons.
Level 3 charging stations range from $12,000 to $35,000 for the charger and hardware. Designed for commercial use, these chargers are increasing in popularity for 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. 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. In most cases, a second panel will probably need to be installed to support a level 3 charging station in a private home.
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|
Electric vehicle owners have several charging station brands to consider, each with pros and cons. Most brands offer a range of installation options and special features like Wi-Fi and apps. Sometimes, the charging station you need depends on your car type, although many electric vehicles work with universal chargers. Price is another factor to think about when selecting an EV charging station. For example, the cost to install a Tesla charger at home is middle of the range compared to the ChargePoint EV charger cost at the high end. While these are two better-known brands, some less expensive options with fewer features are available, such as Webasto with its basic yet reliable models or ClipperCreek with portable chargers. Below are some of the popular charging station brands and the cost of their products installed:
|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|
Electricians install car charging stations and charge between $40 and $120 an hour. Installing the heavy-duty outlet required for the station with a new circuit averages $120 to $200. If you choose a portable level 1 unit, this is the total installation cost. However, most people opt for a wall mount, which adds another $300 to $600 to the installation cost, making the installation total $420 to $800. 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, so the level 2 electric car charger installation cost reflects the additional labor. This can make the installation portion closer to $2,000 in total, plus the cost of the charger. The same goes for the cost of installing a level 3 charger, which will require a dedicated panel in most cases.
|Type||Average Labor Costs|
|Level 2||$420 - $800|
|Level 3||$2,750 - $5,500|
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. The cost is about the same price as running an electric water heater. 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.
EV charging stations have many benefits, including relatively low maintenance. EV charger maintenance involves secure storage of charging cables, periodic checking of parts, and cleaning the equipment occasionally. Use a rag and indoor cleaner to keep your charger clear of dust, but make sure you check for specific instructions with the manufacturer. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s warranty, which should cover any necessary repairs. Keep in mind that routine maintenance is minimal, but fixing broken chargers may be expensive if the warranty has expired.
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.
Two of the more popular electric car chargers include ChargePoint and Tesla. As a universal charger, ChargePoint charges most electric car types. Sometimes, it may even charge them faster than other Level 2 car chargers. The one exception to the fast charging rule is the Tesla. The ChargePoint can charge a Tesla but 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 another type of compatible charger. If you do not have a Tesla, the ChargePoint may be the better solution for your car because 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 with any electric vehicle can use your charger. Of the two, Tesla’s charger is less expensive. However, it also comes with a shorter cable, which limits your car’s position. The ChargePoint costs more and may require an adapter, which can cost extra depending on where you purchase it. Below are the average costs for each of the two chargers.
|Charger||Cost (Materials Only)|
|Tesla||$500 - $550|
|ChargePoint||$650 - $800|
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.
You may need to upgrade your circuit panel if it cannot handle the additional load of the car charger. This costs between $1,500 and $4,000, depending on the distance and load you need to carry. A new breaker box may be worthwhile If you use a vehicle charger for multiple cars or run numerous appliances throughout your house.
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 and safely using up to 60 amps. 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.
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 and pulls the electrical current from the outlet to power up the vehicle.
This depends on the car and charger type and can be anywhere from a few hours to an entire day. A standard electric vehicle with a 60kWh battery takes around eight hours to charge fully.
Most EV manufacturers recommend plugging your car in whenever you are home. Make sure to check the battery life regularly to ensure optimal vehicle performance.
Yes, you can leave your EV plugged in whenever you are home. Check the vehicle’s manual for instructions on optimal charging and consider how long it takes for a full charge.
No, fast charging is safe and reliable. Fast charging does not damage the battery as long as you use a charger compatible with your battery.
Charging an electric vehicle is about 3.5 times less expensive per mile than using a gas-powered car. The environmental and economic benefits of a vehicle charging station put these vehicles in high demand.