The uptake of electric vehicles has been soaring through the roof. According to the latest data, about 6.7 million plug-in vehicles are sold annually, marking the record highest numbers in history.
As the numbers soar, the demand for EV charging stations has also been hitting a record high. According to statistics, the need for more charging stations will drive the growth of the EV charging stations market at a CAGR of 35%.
But why should you be driving to or queuing at a public electric vehicle charging station while you can conveniently charge your electric vehicle or fleet at home or work?
Installing an EV charging system is one of the most convenient decisions you can make as an EV owner. But what options do you have, and how much will it cost you? Let’s break it down.
What Is an Electric Vehicle Charging Station?
An electric vehicle charging station is a system that plugs your electric car’s battery pack into an outlet and charges it. Electric vehicles run on electricity stored in batteries instead of oil or gasoline. After use, the vehicle needs to be charged, which is why you plug it into a charging station.
Many EV manufacturers, such as Tesla, have made considerable efforts to install a strong network of EV charging stations across major cities and highways in various EV markets. However, with the sale of electric cars often outnumbering the number of charging stations being set up, finding freely available charging stations in public spaces is less common.
Therefore, several EV owners have opted to install an electric vehicle charging station in their homes or office. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that over 80% of electric vehicle charging occurs at home.
So, what options do you have if you choose to install an electric vehicle charging system at home or in the office?
The Different Types of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Depending on various factors, such as the EV you drive, where you live, and how often you charge your car, you can get three different EV charging station options. These are Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (DC Fast Charging).
Level 1 EV Chargers
This is the most common type of EV charging that comes with your lease or purchase of an electric vehicle. A level 1 charging station can plug directly into your home’s standard 230v outlet.
Level 1 EV chargers are the slowest and are often called “trickle chargers.” They only add three to five miles of range per hour of charging, meaning EVs with a smaller battery pack can take up to 24 hours to get to full charge.
It is possible to rely solely on level 1 EV chargers to charge your electric vehicle. However, they’re slow, inefficient, and severely strain your home’s electrical circuit. Moreover, you’re more likely to visit a public charging station often, which is more expensive and inconvenient, compared to charging at home.
Level 2 EV Charger
Level 2 EV chargers are purchased and installed separately from the purchase of an EV. They are installed in various styles with different benefits.
Level 2 EV chargers also require a dedicated electric circuit. You can get a Tesla Wall Connector if you own a Tesla, which requires a 240-volt outlet. You can still charge your Tesla using other types of chargers from different brands if you prefer their features.
Level 2 EV chargers can charge your EV up to 15 times faster than a level 1 charger. They’re also more efficient and easier to use.
Level 3 EV Chargers (DC Fast Charging)
These are the fastest and most powerful types of EV chargers available. They can charge an EV to 80% battery capacity in 10 to 30 minutes. A DC fast charger typically uses a 415-volt outlet or more. However, they’re not compatible with all EVs.
DC level 3 EV Chargers also require more expensive electrical infrastructure and upgrades to run. Since they have higher power demands, they cannot be installed or run at home. Normal households simply don’t have enough utility connections and electrical capacity from the transformers to support a Level 3 charging station.
Therefore, DC level 3 EV charging stations are used for commercial purposes only.
The Cost of Installing an EV Charging Station
The cost of installing an EV charging station varies based on various factors, such as the type and number of chargers. Typically, you’ll be installing a level 2 or level 3 charger since most EV car manufacturers offer level 1 chargers with the car.
A level 2 charger costs between $1,200 and $6,000 to install. However, you should generally operate with a budget of $2,000 to $10,000 per station. This includes the electrical and construction work, plus the charger.
A level 3 charger costs upwards of $30,000 to $80,000. You also have to factor in permits, installation, and ongoing maintenance costs.
The ultimate decision to install an EV charging station in your home or business will depend on the cost-benefit analysis. The upfront costs should be less than the benefits you’ll get from running a sustainable home or business.
Despite accepting level 3 chargers, most commercial facilities still use level 2 EV charging stations. They are faster than level 1 chargers and are supported by most EVs, unlike level 3 EV chargers that have a limited use case.
Multi-unit apartments also often go for level 2 chargers.
However, commercial facilities with medium or heavy-duty EV fleets will typically go for level 3 chargers to adequately provide for the electric vehicle charging needs.
Level 1 chargers are not advised for commercial facilities since they were designed for residential use and are not fit for purpose.
Often, the final cost figure tends to be lower due to sizeable rebates and incentives most governments give to EV charging stations. So, you’re most likely going to save good amounts of money.
Go to The Experts for the Best Services
Installing an EV charging station requires the hands of professionals. If done incorrectly, it can overload your home’s or commercial facility’s electrical infrastructure or cost more in hefty maintenance costs for a poorly designed and implemented system.
However, if done right, it can be one of the best investments you’ve made in your electrified home or business. Contact an EV charging station expert today to ensure the right hands handle your project.
Over to You…
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