- A licensed electrician can safely add a 240-volt outlet to your home for EV charging.
- Residential Level 2 charging stations need 240-volt outlets.
- The cost to install a Level 2 charger can be reduced with tax credits and utility company rebates.
Being able to charge your electric vehicle at home is a convenience that can save time and money. Charging your EV can be as easy as plugging into a typical household outlet. But, if you don’t want to charge for days, you might need to hire an electrician for some additions or upgrades.
Reasonable Charging Time
Most EVs come with a Level 1 charging cord, which lets you plug your EV into a standard household outlet. Yes, this is convenient and won’t require any electrical work on your part, Level 1 charging is S.L.O.W. For example, a Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid takes 12 hours and a fully-electric Kia EV6 takes 34 hours to charge with a household outlet.
If you want to efficiently charge at home, you’ll want to add a Level 2 charging station. For comparison, the Wrangler 4xe will charge about 2.5 hours, while the EV6 charges in about seven hours.
How to Get a Level 2 Charger
In the United States, you’ll need a 240-volt outlet to get the full amperage. An oven and clothes dryer use the same type of plug. If your washer and dryer are in your garage, you won’t need any electrical work done. But, if you don’t, then you’ll want to hire an electrician to evaluate your electric panel and add an outlet to your garage.
On average, a Level 2 charger costs about $500. The Tesla Wall Charger is $475, but remember these only work with Tesla vehicles. If you have a non-Tesla EV, you’ll want a J-1772 charger. There are several brands available, but some of the more reputable ones are ChargePoint HomeFlex and Enel X Way JuiceBox 40.
Before you purchase a Level 2 Charger, check your local utility company to see if you get a discount on a certain make and model. In Michigan, Consumers Energy gives you up to $500 if you install an EV charger at your home, but you must choose from their list of approved models. The federal government is also offering a tax credit of up to $1000 or 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing your home EV charging station.
Licensed Electrical Work
The cost of adding a 240-volt outlet to your garage depends on several factors:
- Age of your panel
- Breakers in your panel
- Distance from your panel to the new outlet
- Labor and materials
Installation costs can range from $250 to over $1500; this does not include the cost of the EV charger. If your panel needs updating, expect the costs to increase.
When I had a 240v outlet installed in August 2021, I spent about $300 on electrical work to use my JuiceBox 40. But, I live in a newer home and my panel is on the basement wall that backs up to the garage.
Unfortunately, I have a single-stall garage and two EVs. The Wrangler 4xe gets the garage so it can charge nightly. The JuiceBox cord extends outside my garage, so I can charge the EV6 outside if needed. Fortunately, there’s a grocery store with a bank of Electrify America DC fast chargers less than a mile away.
While you can watch a YouTube video about installing a 240-volt outlet, it’s important to know that the shock from 240 volts is deadly. You could also cause an electrical fire and void your homeowner’s insurance if you have DIY electrical work.
What About Level 3 Chargers?
The Level 3 chargers or DC fast chargers are not suitable for home installation. These $40,000 stations require powerful, specialized electrical equipment. Houses in the United States are not equipped with electric currents that support Level 3 charging stations.
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