By Brentney Daggett, Rentec Direct

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gaining popularity around the world – in the US, with Sales of electric cars have almost doubled from 2020 to 2021, and HEV sales will grow even more. If you’re considering adding an electric vehicle to your fleet, there are a few things to consider when it comes to charging at home.

How does EV charging work?
Plugging in a charging device seems like a simple process, but things get a little more complicated when it comes to the electrical requirements for an electric vehicle. Just as there are different types of gasoline, there are different levels of EV charging, each with its own set of requirements and providing a different level of charge for your vehicle.

  • Level 1 this is the simplest level of charging, which involves simply plugging it into a regular wall outlet (just like any other electronic device). Every electric vehicle sold in the US comes with a 120-volt Level 1 charger that uses an extension cord to connect to any outlet.
  • Level 2 charging requires 240-volt electricity (similar to electric dryers, water heaters, and some HVAC equipment) and a separate charger, but you’ll usually get more miles per charge. Level 2 chargers can vary in capacity depending on the device and can be portable or fixed. This is usually the most common type of home charger and is also often found in public charging stations.
  • Level 3 this is the most powerful level of charging, fast charging more than one electric car usually requires more than 800 volts of electricity. These chargers are usually more difficult to install and definitely more expensive than other options, but they will give your EV the most miles in the shortest amount of time.

Should I install an electric car charger at home?
Consider adding an electric vehicle charging station to your home. While Level 1 charging doesn’t require installation or additional hardware, it will affect your electric bill — costs will vary based on how many miles you drive each week (one industry expert estimates an average of $60 per month). It’s also worth noting that a Level 1 charge can take several days to reach a full charge — you’re looking at a range of three to five miles per hour of charge.

If your EV is your primary vehicle and/or you regularly drive long distances, Level 1 charging may not be enough. Before you decide to install a charging station in your home, consider where others may be available to you. Does your employer offer electric vehicle charging? Do you have reliable public charging stations nearby? Try to get an idea of ​​how busy your local public chargers are so you know if they will be available when you need them.

You will also need to consider the details of your home and property to determine if you can afford to install a charging station. For example, if you don’t have a driveway or garage, where would you install a personal charger?

Another way to offset costs and reduce the load on the electric grid is to install solar panels or another sustainable option to provide energy to charge your electric vehicle. Solar panels are a cost-effective, zero-carbon way to “fuel” your electric vehicle. Some areas also offer rebates and incentives for this installation, which can further offset the cost while increasing the value of your home.

Costs for installing electric charging at home
Typically, the biggest cost associated with home EV charging will be the electricity bill, but installation and setup fees can add up depending on the type of device you choose. Some Level 2 chargers can simply be plugged into an existing outlet designed for a high-voltage appliance, often conveniently located in a home’s garage. However, you may need to hire an electrician depending on the wiring and voltage in your home and the requirements of the particular charger you choose. If you have neighbors who may be interested in charging their electric vehicles, consider installing a station in a communal or easily accessible area to share or offset some of the costs.

As with most of your homeowner decisions, there are pros and cons to weigh before deciding to add home EV charging to your property. It certainly seems that EVs and HEVs are only going to grow in popularity, and installing an EV charging station on your property is likely to increase its value and make it more attractive to potential buyers. It’s not a bad idea to start looking to the future.

Brentney Daggett is a writer and infographic maker for the rental and property management industry. She loves sharing tips and tricks to help landlords and tenants. To learn more about Daggett and get more helpful tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.

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