Electric Vehicle Charging

EV Charging Stations

EV charging stations are basically plug-ins to recharge electric vehicles (vehicles that run on battery bower rather than gasoline or diesel). Electric vehicles have a special plug port to which drivers can attach a plug connected to a dedicated power source. While there are increasingly more of such charging stations around the country, some EV drivers may find it difficult or inconvenient find a public station and spend time waiting for their vehicle to charge. This is where home EV charging stations become convenient.

What Are EV Charging Stations?

Public charging stations can look as small as a flag pole and as large as your typical gas pump. Home charging stations can be installed into or next to a wall in your garage or parking area. There are three main types of charging stations:

  • Level 1: This type of charger can connect to a 120 Volt (V) outlet, which is the standard home outlet. Level 1 chargers charge vehicles at a rate of two to five miles per hour. This is perfect for cars that charge all night and are used to travel 40 miles or less per day.
  • Level 2: This type of charger pulls power from 220V or 240V outlets and can hold a current of up to 30 amps. A Level 2 charger may provide up to 25 miles worth of power per hour.
  • Fast Charging: Sometimes called Level 3 charging, a fast charger typically takes a half hour to charge up to 80 percent of the vehicle’s power.

If you own or plan to purchase an electric vehicle, you should probably consider the convenience that a home EV charging station will afford you. You can let your vehicle charge overnight and not have to worry about trying to find a charging station when you’re out and about and low on power.

Benefits to Home Charging Stations

Public charging stations are convenient, but there is still a limited number of locations nationwide. Even if you happen to live in a part of the country with plenty of charging stations, you need to take into account the cost of public charging. Rates for public charging stations are typically much higher than your home’s cost of electricity. There are three different pay models you’re likely to run into with chargers away from home:

  • Pay as you go: Pay as you go EV chargers bill you based on how much electricity you use to charge your vehicle or how long you charge your vehicle. The rate is determined by the owner of the charging station, but is generally more above the utility market price. Pricing often runs up to $5 per hour depending on the charge level.
  • Monthly subscription: Some charging networks offer subscriptions that allow drivers to charge their vehicles at their stations as much as they want for a fixed monthly fee. They then offer a reduced rate on electricity on top of the monthly fee. For example, NRG EVgo offers plans for $15 per month plus $1 per hour for Level 2 charging.
  • Free: You may be able to find some charging stations that provide energy for free. New EV owners may also be able to purchase free charging packages through the manufacturer of their vehicle. This usually covers charges for the first few years that they own the vehicle.

Home charging stations do not require a subscription. After installation costs, their only out-of-pocket expense is the electricity they use up while charging. Home electricity rates are often cheaper than rates at a network EV station. You can also charge your vehicle conveniently at your home overnight instead of waiting at a station elsewhere.

How Much Does a Home Charging Station Cost?

Home charging stations come with an initial installation cost, but after they are in place, you only have to worry about the cost of electricity, which still usually ends up being signficantly cheaper than paying for gas. According to EPA estimates, charging a vehicle at home to drive 25 miles costs around $0.96. This is significant savings when you consider that gas averages over $2.00 per gallon in most parts of the country.

Depending on the type of system you choose, the system itself can cost up to about $600 with installation costs starting at $300. However, depending on where you live, the government may cover a portion of the installation costs. Up to 30 percent of the costs of your new charging station might also be eligible for special rebates or tax credits, depending on where you live.

Who Offers EV Charging Systems?

If you wish to take advantage of installing an EV charging system in your home, you can find options from many car dealerships. Some manufacturers to consider include BMW, Chevy, Nissan, Tesla and VW. For those who require access to charging stations away from home and are looking to save money by using a network, some viable nationwide options include Supercharger, EVgo, ChargePoint, Blink and AeroVironment. For a variety of convenient home energy options, contact professionals at PowerScout today.

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