Electric vehicles (EVs) are a popular means of transportation for many who value sustainability and energy efficiency. To enjoy the full benefits of EV ownership, you should have a reliable and efficient charging station. That’s where an EV home charger comes in.
EV home charging stations provide a convenient and affordable way to charge your vehicle at home, saving you the hassle of driving to public charging stations and ensuring your EV is always ready for a drive. As more electric vehicles gain widespread adoption, the need for reliable and effective charging solutions becomes more critical.
LENZ is on a mission to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles by providing affordable and high-quality EV charging solutions.
What is an EV home charger?
An EV home charger is a device that supplies power from an outlet to your electric vehicle, charging the battery with the help of an onboard charger inside your car. It is an EV charging station installed in your home or garage to provide a safe and efficient means to charge your vehicle’s battery.
EV home chargers like the LENZ W401 LEVEL 2 HOME CHARGER pull AC (alternating current) from a 240V outlet or your home’s electrical system before converting it to DC (direct current) suitable for charging your EV’s battery.
The three types of EV home chargers you should know about
EV home chargers are classified into three categories according to voltage use: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Most American homes have access to 120V and 240V, the voltage used by Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, respectively. Level 2 chargers are much faster than Level 1 chargers that most electric vehicle manufacturers offer. Level 3 chargers, on the other hand, use 400V to 800V and are quite expensive to install, so they are not ideal for EV home charging.
Not all EV home chargers are the same. Most home chargers can power up any EV with the universal J1772 connector, unless you own a Tesla. Teslas have a special type of connector so it’s difficult to use a Tesla charger on a different EV model and chargers from other EV models cannot be used on a Tesla without an adapter. A perfect example is how a USB-C cord cannot charge a device with a mini-USB port.
You’ll need a Tesla Charging adapter to charge your EV with the J1772 connector. The CCS (Combined Charging System) adapter used by most manufacturers and the "CHAdeMO" (CHArge de MOve) adapter used by Nissan and Mitsubishi are the best options for fast charging.
Discover the benefits of home EV charging stations
- Convenience: Most EV owners prefer charging their vehicles overnight. Like your phone, you won’t need your vehicle when sleeping, so you can take advantage of the off-peak hours. An EV home charger also saves you the time and hassle of driving to a public charging spot and waiting for hours.
- Cost efficient: With EV charging at home, you can take advantage of the off-peak electricity rates by charging your vehicle at night. You’ll also limit your usage and charge your car when needed.
- Good for battery health: Most EV manufacturers recommend limited use of Level 3 chargers. Frequent use of Level 3 chargers can degrade an EV battery quickly compared to Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. Not every EV battery can handle Level 3 charging for long, so understand your battery type better and what’s good for its extended use.
- More driving range: A home charging station lets you keep your EV fully charged, guaranteeing a maximum driving range and eliminating the worries of driving to certain destinations.
4 things to know before buying an EV home charger
1. Choose the right charging speed for your EV home charger
Level 2 chargers charge faster than Level 1 chargers. They are wired for 240V, but the charging speed will depend on the charger’s amperage. A higher amperage means faster charging. Level 2 models that deliver between 15 and 80 amps. Opt for a charging speed that will meet your driving style and daily driving needs. For instance, a Level 2 charger may be the best option if you drive long distances regularly due to its relatively faster charging speed.
2. Do you have enough space and a location for your home EV charging station?
Where do you intend to install your home EV charging station? If you plan to install your charging station outside, go for an all-weather model designed to work in snow, rain, or colder temperatures. EV charging stations for home also come with different cord sizes. Choose a cord length that is easier to store and use. To determine the right cord length, consider the charging station placement, vehicle parking position, potential obstacles in the charging area, and future flexibility.
3. Smart features: Connectivity at your fingertips
Smart home EV chargers have cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to monitor your changing sessions. You can regulate the amount of electric intake based on important factors such as timing and load. Some smart EV chargers provide you with data on your usage. Evaluate your preferences and prioritize this important feature to align with your EV charging needs.
4. How much does an EV home charger cost?
The cost of an EV home charger may vary depending on factors such as the charger type and installation requirements. You should consider the total costs and compare different brands or vendors to find one that is more affordable.
Supercharge your EV Experience: Consider this before installing an EV home charger
Your home’s electrical capacity
Can your home handle the extra load of a home EV charging station? The right person to determine this is a professional electrician who will assess your home and determine if any modifications should be made to your home’s electrical system.
What permits are needed for the installation
Permits ensure the installation is done safely according to local regulations with minimal risks to you and the community. Confirm with your local authorities if any permits are required to install a home EV charging station.
Installation and maintenance costs
The total costs of installing and maintaining your home EV charger can help you make informed decisions before installation. This can be determined by upgrades to your existing electrical infrastructure, the type of charging station and features, permit and inspection fees, equipment costs, and utility costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to install a home EV charging station?
The cost of installing a home EV charging station will depend on various factors, including your home’s electrical requirements, charger type, location, and the complexity of the task. On average, installation costs can range from $300 to $3000.
Which is the best home EV charger?
Level 2 chargers, which use 240V, are the best for your home EV charging needs. They will charge your vehicle much faster than Level 1 chargers. For example, Level 2 chargers can easily charge an empty Model Y 70kWh battery pack to full overnight. With so many EV home charger brands in the market, you should carefully consider the reputation of a specific brand and the warranty offered.
How long do Level 2 chargers take to charge an EV battery fully?
Level 2 chargers take approximately 6 to 14 hours to charge an EV battery fully or 4 to 8 hours for plug-in hybrid EVs.