It might interest you to know that an Electric-car charger is actually equipment found within the car which converts the power from an AC source into DC so the battery onboard the vehicle can be charged. Knowing this has never stopped most EV owners from calling the wall-mounted box an electric-car charger. This wall-mounted box which is only a unit to supply electricity is rightfully called an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). But, to avoid confusion in this post, we will refer to it as a “charger”.
When you have a Tesla Model 3, a Chevrolet Bolt EV or any of the now available and affordable electric vehicles, you would need an EVSE or ‘charger’ stationed at home. The purpose of this is to make your life as an EV driver easier.
The highest performing electric vehicles will require a high-speed home car charger. And for a homeowner, this can incur some serious cost.
The trick is to install a charger that best suits your needs. Sometimes you discover that a basic 120V charger is all you need to replenish depleted battery power overnight.
We will take this one step at a time to help you make the best decisions. Here are the three options for EV charging.
Level one charge refers to your regular 120V connection. It is cost-effective because most homes have these outlets just sitting on the walls. You can avoid the installation costs, but can you bear the slow trickle charge this connection offers? Don’t decide just yet.
Level two charge is a 240V connection that has to be installed in most cases. It is the connection that power-demanding appliances in the home use. The cost of installing this in your garage ranges from $300 to $1200. Steep, but the major advantage of a level two charger is speed.
Level three charge could be the best thing ever but the only problem is it has several drawbacks. The cost of installing this fast, high-voltage charger runs to tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, using this charger often can do some damage to your battery.
So, it looks like you are down to level one and two.
Some factors to consider include:
- Your driving habits
- Driving range
- Are there charging stations along your route?
Here’s how it works:
Commute up to 80 miles to and fro each day, with no charger at work or along the way to boost your battery. A level one home charger would take about 10 hours to replenish what was lost while a level two would take about 3 hours. Your best bet should be a level 2 charger.
Commute up to 20 miles to and fro each day, use a charger at work or along the way to boost your battery so you are only down 20 miles by day’s end. A level one home charger would take about 5 hours to replenish what was lost while a level two would take about 1 hour. In this case, a level 1 charger is convenient.
Now you see how this works, you can choose which electric-car home charger is right for you.