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The Complete Guide to EV Charging at Home

Installing a home charger unlocks convenience, flexibility, and energy savings that make EV ownership an even more pleasing experience.

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by Content Partner
The Complete Guide to EV Charging at Home
Photo by Evnex Ltd / Unsplash

1. Do You Need a Home EV Charger?

Installing a dedicated EV charger at home is recommended but not always necessary. An EV can be charged by simply plugging it into a regular 120V household outlet using the portable cord set provided with the vehicle. However, there are some key benefits to installing a 240V home EV charger:

  • Faster charging - Home EV chargers can deliver higher charging speeds, typically 7-10x faster than a regular outlet.
  • Higher power - Home chargers draw higher electrical loads safely due to their dedicated circuitry.
  • Outdoor rating - Home EV chargers are weatherproof and can be installed indoors or outdoors.
  • Smart capabilities - Many connected home EV chargers allow monitoring, scheduling, and optimization of charging sessions.

While not obligatory, installing a home charger unlocks convenience, flexibility, and energy savings that make EV ownership an even more pleasing experience.

2. Home EV Charger Cost

The cost of a home EV charger varies based on factors like charging speed, connectivity, cable length and type, and whether installation is included. Expect to pay:

  • Hardware only: $400-$1,200
  • Hardware + basic installation: $800-$2,000
  • Smart-connected charger with premium installation: $1,500-$4,000

Going for a more powerful, smart connected charger usually costs more upfront but can pay off over time from energy savings and convenience. Installation expenses also vary greatly based on site conditions.

Key Cost Factors

Charging speed - Faster chargers that deliver more power cost more. But higher speeds aren't always needed depending on your driving patterns.

Connectivity - Connected chargers allow remote monitoring and smart charging capabilities but cost extra over non-connected models.

Cable type - Models with longer cables or permanently attached cables usually cost more than socket-based chargers without cables.

Installation complexity - Difficult, long installations typically cost much more in electrician fees.

3. Home EV Charging Speeds

Charging times at home can vary from less than 2 hours to over 10 hours depending on:

  • Charging power (typical home EVSE ratings: 1.4kW, 3.7kW, 7.2kW, 9.6kW, 11kW, 19.2kW)
  • Battery size (15kWh - 130kWh)
  • State of charge (empty battery charges faster)
  • Onboard charging capacity
  • Outside temperature

With a typical 7kW home EV charger, an EV with a 50kWh battery takes around 7 hours to charge from 20% to 80%. Faster chargers shorten this, while larger-capacity batteries increase it. Cold weather can also considerably lengthen charging time.

Key Charging Time Factors

Charger power rating - More powerful chargers (measured in kW) deliver electricity faster, reducing charging times.

Battery size - The larger the battery (measured in kWh), the longer it takes to fill up.

Existing charge level - Batteries charge faster when empty vs nearly full.

4. Electricity Usage & Costs

Energy Use Factors

Battery size - EVs with larger battery packs require more electricity per full charge.

Driving distance - The more miles driven, the more electricity is consumed to cover them.

Efficiency - More efficient EVs use less electricity driving a set distance.

Charging Cost Estimate

Based on average US electricity prices ($0.15/kWh) and average daily US driving (36 miles):

  • Energy used per full charge: ~25kWh (for a 250-mile range EV)
  • Daily energy use: ~11kWh (for 36 mi)
  • Full charge cost: ~$3.75
  • Daily commute charge cost: ~$1.65

Costs ultimately depend on local utility rates and personal driving habits. Smart chargers can help monitor usage and shift charging to lower-cost periods.

5. Upgrading Electrical Service for EV Charging

Depending on your home's electrical system, EV charging may require upgrades like:

  • New dedicated circuit - Typically 240V with adequate amperage for the EV charger rating.
  • Electrical panel upgrade - If adding EVSE circuit exceeds the current panel capacity.
  • New meter/service drop - Sometimes needed if existing service is already near capacity.

An electrician can assess your current infrastructure and recommend appropriate upgrades. Installing a slower EVSE may help avoid costly upgrades. Smart charging features can also reduce infrastructure demands through load balancing.

6. Are Home EV Chargers Safe?

Yes, home EV chargers are designed with electrical and mechanical safety as top priorities. Safety features include:

  • Robust internal circuit protection
  • Ground Monitoring
  • Internal charge current control
  • Impact & weather resistant casing
  • Integrated ground fault protection
  • Independent safety certification (UL, ETL, CSA)

Reputable EV charger manufacturers adhere to strict international safety standards. While electrical work always carries hazards, professional installation further reduces risks. Follow all provided operating instructions as well.

7. Home EV Charger Installation


Proper and safe installation of a home EV charger requires:

  • 240V electrical circuit installation
  • Wiring and integration with electrical panel
  • Mounting of the wall or pedestal charger
  • App/software connectivity set-up
  • Testing and inspection

Full end-to-end installation is complex and should always be performed by a licensed electrician unless you have specific training and expertise in this field.

Duration & Costs

A straightforward garage or carport installation can often be completed in 4-6 hours for $500-$1,000 if your electrical service can handle the additional load. More complex jobs involving upgrades usually take 1-3 days at $2,000-$4,000+ cost.

Key factors impacting duration and price:

  • Distance to the electrical panel
  • Conduit needs
  • Electrical capacity/upgrades
  • Single vs dual chargers
  • Wall mount vs pedestal
  • WiFi/cellular signal needs
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by Content Partner

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