Plugging Into At-Home Charging Stations
So you’ve been looking at an electric vehicle (EV) as your next vehicle investment. But the question remains: How will you charge it?
The idea of “fueling” your car right in your garage or driveway can seem so distant to many, but innovations in EV technology have made at-home charging more accessible than ever. It starts with understanding your charging foundation, and building out a strategy from there.
At-home charging is most successful when you have a designated space on your property to store your vehicle, and an independent electrical source to charge your vehicle. Luckily, EV chargers are weatherproof, meaning an uncovered driveway works just as well as a garage or covered space.
EV charging looks like most other electrical items. It comes equipped with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging plug that goes into your vehicle. From there, you need to take a look at your property and your EV and ask the following questions:
- Do I have a grounded outlet that is at least 120-volt (V)?
- Does my EVSE cord reach the outlet?
- What level of charging does my vehicle require?
While a traditional, 120-V outlet will charge most EVs as a Level 1 charge-point, it takes a long time and can be costly. It’s also important to note that EVs will not charge on hardware-store extension cords, so you might need to purchase a longer cord through your vehicle supplier.
If you’re in EVs for the long haul, a Level 2 charger is a great way to charge faster and more efficiently. It’s a case-by-case basis, but many electrical services work with homeowners to install 240-V, Level 2 chargers directly into a home’s electrical system, usually alongside where the home’s electrical box is situated. In that case, make sure that your electrical box aligns with your charging location.
Of course, at-home charging isn’t for everyone. You might want to consider hybrid or alternative fueling options in certain situations, including:
- Renters or flat owners without designated parking and charge points
- Residents in urban areas without reserved parking spaces
- Street parking spaces which could require extended connection that is interrupted by pedestrians
- Homes that can not accommodate higher voltage charging outlets