Got an electric vehicle? How’s charging it in the city working out for you? If you live in the metro area near a public charging station, topping up your charge may not be super inconvenient. But if you live in a smaller community and are forced to go out of your way to get a charge, you’re wasting valuable time.
Why not install an electric car charger at home instead? You’ll save time, and ultimately, you’ll save money too. While an at-home electric car hookup is certainly an investment to install, the long-term cost of charging your vehicle at home is far less than that of using a public charger on a routine basis.
If you’re considering an at-home charger, the electricians at Harrison Electric explain how to choose the right model for your needs below.
Speed: What Your Ideal Charging Time?
Most electric vehicles can take in about 32 amps per hour, which adds about 25 miles of range to the vehicle in an hour’s time. Generally, a 32-amp charger is sufficient for most drivers, but your need for charging speed will depend on:
● Your driving style
● The length of your commute
● The range of your vehicle
If your EV has a lower range, you have a long commute, or you tend to drive at top speed, you can probably benefit from a faster charger.
Electrical Supply: What Can Your Electrical Panel Handle?
The National Electric Code stipulates that the electrical circuit used for your EV charger be rated for at least 25% greater amperage than your charger’s output. You’ll need to know your home’s available electrical capacity, as well as the level of charger that works with your vehicle to choose the right device.
If you’re unsure, speak with a licensed electrician who can evaluate your panel and help you choose the appropriate level of charger.
Reliability and Safety: Look for Testing and Safety Certification
When you’re charging your EV at home, safety is paramount. That’s why it’s critical that you look for chargers that have extensive testing and safety certification from a nationally recognized testing organization.
As far as reliability goes, wall-mounted chargers are your best option. Portable chargers may sound attractive, but they’re not the safest nor the most convenient option. Wires and cables lying all over your driveway is never a great idea, especially if you have children running around.
As you consider your options, make sure you check to see if manufacturers offer warranties and product support. And of course, check out each manufacturer’s reputation and product reviews for more insight.
Savings: Programmable Chargers Can Help You Save on Electrical Costs
It’s always a good idea to check with your local utility department for cost-saving opportunities before you decide on a charger. If your local utility provider has a special EV charging rate plan, you may benefit from opting for a charger that features programmable controls.
Many providers offer special pricing for charging vehicles at home during off-peak times. If yours does, you can schedule a programmable charger to charge at night, saving yourself the hassle of staying up until the wee hours to plug your vehicle in.
Some utility companies also offer rebates and grants for home charging, but they typically require that the charger feature built-in WiFi to qualify.
Smart Features: Do You Want Remote Control?
Certain electric car chargers are equipped with smart features like WiFi or connected apps that allow you to manage charging remotely. Many also allow you set charging reminders and schedule specific times to charge your vehicle.
If you’re prone to forgetfulness, smart features can highly useful as they’ll reduce your likelihood of driving on minimal charge.
Product Cost: Be Wary of Cheap Options
The average at-home electric car charger will run you between $500-$900, about half of what you probably spend on gas in a year. If you move, you can take it with you to your new place, and depending on the unit, you may be able to adjust the amperage for your next electric car, if necessary.
Be wary of cheap chargers as they may not have undergone safety testing and may also lack convenient features. Regardless of the initial cost of electric car charger installation, you’re bound to save money over public charging or fueling a gas-powered vehicle.
Need Electric Car Charger Installation in the Twin Cities? Contact Harrison Electric
Whether you need help selecting the right charger for your needs or you’re ready to schedule electric car charger installation at your home, our team at Harrison Electric is here to serve you. To get started, request a quote, give us a call at 763-544-3300, or send us a message for more information.