Electric Vehicle Charging Overview
Imagine never having to stop at a gas station again – and instead, having an unlimited supply of fuel available at home or wherever you normally park. For many electric vehicle (EV) drivers, this is a reality. Battery electric vehicles never need gas, and for short trips, plug–in hybrids might use no gas.
EV charging is simple, cost–effective, clean and convenient, particularly when you are plugged in at home – filling up your car, even while you’re asleep.
There are three categories of electric vehicle (EV) charging: Level 1, Level 2 and DC fast charging. Levels 1 and 2 charging use a universal connector that can be plugged into any EV. DC fast charging uses three different connector systems called CHAdeMO, CCS Combo and Tesla Supercharger.
Although EV drivers primarily charge at home, workplace and public chargers are increasingly available in communities nationwide. Use our EV Charging Station Map to find nearby charging stations.
Level 1 Charging
Level 1 is the slowest method of charging but is sufficient for drivers who charge overnight and travel 30–40 miles per day. Charging cables usually come with a vehicle and plug into a standard 120–volt AC outlet with no equipment installation required. Level 1 charging works well for charging at home, work or anywhere a standard outlet is available – and when you have sufficient time to charge.
Level 1 charging uses a standard J1772 or Tesla connector that can plug into any EV, either directly, or through an adapter.
Level 1 charging adds about 3.5 – 6.5 miles of driving range per hour of charging time.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 charging is considerably faster, but requires installing a charging station, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). EVSE requires a dedicated 240–volt or 208–volt electrical circuit, similar to what is required for a clothes dryer or electric range. Level 2 is found at many public and workplace charging stations, but also in many homes. It uses the same standard connector as Level 1 charging, meaning any EV can plug in at any Level 2 charger.
Level 2 charging uses a standard J1772 or Tesla connector that can plug into any EV, either directly, or through an adapter.
Depending on battery type, charger configuration and circuit capacity, Level 2 charging adds about 14 – 35 miles of range per hour of charging time.
DC Fast Charging
DC fast charging, also called quick charging or supercharging, provides the fastest available fill–up. It requires a 480–volt connection, making DC fast charging unsuitable for home use, and not every EV model is equipped for it. Stations offering DC fast charging are found in shopping centers and often along major travel corridors, allowing EV drivers to charge up quickly and take longer trips.
DC fast charging uses CHAdeMO, CCS or Tesla connector systems. Check with your vehicle manufacturer to determine if your car has fast charging capability and what connector systems are compatible with your EV.
Depending on battery type, charger configuration and circuit capacity, DC fast charging can add up to 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charging time.
Electric Vehicle Charging Costs
Home Charging CostsThe cost to charge your electric vehicle depends on your vehicle’s battery size and the price of electricity where you live. Most utilities offer time–of–use (TOU) rates that greatly reduce costs associated with charging a vehicle at home by charging during off–peak hours. Contact your utility to find out more. 1
While electricity costs vary greatly, the average cost of electricity in California is about 16.58¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh). 2 At this price point, charging a 40–kWh battery with a 150–mile range would cost about 4.42¢ per mile (or about 6.63 to fully charge). Meanwhile, fueling a 25–mpg gas vehicle at California’s average gas price of 3.11 per gallon 3 would cost about 12.44¢ per mile (or about 18.66 for enough gas to drive approximately 150 miles).
Home charging costs can be offset by hosting your charger on a home charging sharing network. EV drivers can earn money by sharing their home chargers or connect with other hosts to find convenient charging on the go. For more information about how you can earn money by sharing your home charger, please see these popular sharing networks:
Public Charging CostsWhile charging at home is generally preferred, many people also charge their EV at public charging stations. These stations can be free, pay–as–you–go or subscription-based, and are set by networks or property owners. Some vehicle manufacturers, such as Hyundai, Nissan and Tesla also provide complimentary public charging.
One popular public charging network charges members 1.50 per hour to charge on Level 2, and 26¢ per minute for DC fast charging in California. 4 At these rates, charging a 40–kWh battery with a 150–mile range would cost about 8¢ per mile on Level 2, and 9¢ per mile for DC fast charging.
For more information about public charging networks, here are some popular options available in California:
1 A list of utility providers is at https://www.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/utilities.html2 https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state3 https://www.energy.gov/articles/egallon-how-much-cheaper-it-drive-electricity4 https://www.evgo.com/charging-plans/
Charging Station Rebates
Rebates for Residential Level 2 Charging StationsMany California utility providers and air districts offer rebates to make home Level 2 charging stations more affordable. Some of the rebates also help to offset the cost of installing the charging station at your home if additional electrical work is required. Find available rebates where you live.
Rebates for Commercial EV Charging StationsProperty owners can take advantage of rebates for installing commercial charging stations for public use. EV charging is a desired amenity for many California drivers and can attract more traffic to your business, improve tenant or employee satisfaction and generate a new revenue stream (fees for charging). Following are incentives that decrease the cost of charger purchases and installation. Visit the websites for more information on program eligibility requirements and funding availability.
Air District Incentives
Charging an Electric Car at Home
A complete guide to charging an electric car at home, including how to charge at home, how much it costs and how long it takes.
Last updated: Nov 02, 2022 9 min read
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You can charge an electric car at home using a dedicated home charger (a standard 3 pin plug with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) cable should only be used as a last resort).
- Electric car drivers choose a home charging point to benefit from faster charging speeds and built-in safety features.
- Charging an electric car is like charging a mobile phone. plug in overnight and top up during the day.
- Certain electricity tariffs offer much cheaper electricity at specific periods (usually late at night) and scheduling to charge your car, either via the Pod Point App or the car itself, can save you money.
Tip: If you are looking for information on how to use your Solo 3 (Home), go to our user guides.
How to charge an electric car at home
To charge an electric car at home, you should have a home charging point installed where you park your electric car. You can use an EVSE supply cable for a 3 pin plug socket as an occasional back up.
- Drivers usually choose a dedicated home charging point because it’s faster and has built-in safety features.
- A home charger is a compact weatherproof unit that mounts to a wall with a connected charging cable or a socket for plugging in a portable charging cable.
- Dedicated EV chargers for your home are installed by qualified specialist installers like Pod Point.
Tip: An electric car will have either a Type 1 or a Type 2 connector and you’ll need to choose a home charger that’s compatible with it. To make it easy, we automatically make sure you get the right chargepoint for your vehicle when you order.
Cost of installing a dedicated home charger
A fully installed home charging point costs from £799.
- Once installed, you only pay for the electricity you use to charge.
- The typical electricity rate in the UK is just over 28p per kWh, while on Economy 7 tariffs the typical overnight electricity rate in the UK is 11p per kWh.
- By switching to an electricity tariff designed specifically for EV drivers, you could reduce this to just 4.5p per kWh and charge up for under £5 while you sleep.
Visit “Cost of charging an electric car” to learn more about the cost of charging at home.
Average in the UK in 2022 according to ofgem. Please note, energy vary and can go up and down. To find your current cost per kWh, please check your electricity bill or contact your provider.
Average Economy 7 night time price according to nimblefins.
EV charging based on using a 7kW home charger and EDF’s GoElectric Exclusive 35 tariff at 4.5p/kWh off-peak.
How fast you can charge an electric car at home
Charging speed for electric cars is measured in kilowatts (kW).
Home charging points charge your car at 3.6kW or 7kW giving about 15-30 miles of range per hour of charge (compared to 2.3kW from a 3 pin plug which provides up to 8 miles of range per hour).
Maximum charging speed may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger. If your car allows up to 3.6kW charging rate, using a 7kW charger will not damage the car.
For more details on the time it takes to charge at home, please visit “How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?”.
Tip: Most domestic properties have single phase power which means the maximum charging rate is 7kW. While faster chargepoints are available (such as a 22kW unit), these are usually found in commercial properties where there is a three phase power supply. Find out about the difference of single and three phase power in our EV Dictionary.
How to get an electric car charging point installed at home
Electric car charging points need to be professionally installed. A certified charging provider will include installation cost in the price of the unit.
- The installation process involves wall mounting the chargepoint on an exterior wall or garage, near to where you park and connecting it safely to the mains electricity supply.
- An installation should take around three hours to complete, depending on the individual requirements of the driver and the complexity of the installation.
- Installations can be booked directly online, over the phone or through car dealerships, with most providers happy to provide free advice and talk through the options available.
Tip: It’s always wise to be at home during your install: The best charging providers will install a chargepoint in the most convenient and neat location for you, but also demonstrate how to charge your car and answer any questions you have.
How often should you charge an electric car at home
You can charge your electric car at home as often as you need to. It can be treated the same as charging a mobile phone, fully charging overnight and topping up in the day if necessary.
While it is not necessary for most to charge every day, many drivers plug in each time they leave their car out of habit, giving them maximum flexibility should they have to make an unexpected journey.
- By charging overnight, electric car drivers can take advantage of cheap nighttime electricity rates and drive for as little as 2p per mile.
- Overnight charging also ensures that the car’s battery is full each morning for the day ahead. You don’t need to unplug once the battery is full, charging will stop automatically with a dedicated home charger.
- Most drivers also make use of charging facilities at their workplace or public destinations to top up charge.
Tip: Most cars will allow you to set a top charging limit. Always follow your manufacturer’s advice on how “full” to charge your car. Some will recommend setting a limit of a 90% charge to allow the battery management system to rotate the charging of cells evenly.
Optimising charging at home
As more people charge their electric cars at home, Smart home chargers are a way to tackle new energy related challenges that will arise for drivers and networks.
While an EV driver is saving money overall by powering their car with electricity rather than fossil fuels, their home energy bill will still be bigger than it was before. The good news is, unlike fossil fuels, there are lots of things that can be done to understand and reduce the cost of electricity to get further savings.
By adjusting your charging schedule to take place at certain times, it is possible to take advantage of time of use tariffs which have specific periods when electricity is cheaper. It is possible to schedule when your car charges either via most electric cars/associated apps, or via a Smart home charger’s app.
Many Smart home chargers monitor home and EV energy usage so you can get a clear understanding of cost per kWh, which enables you to determine how much you are spending and switch to cheaper tariffs.
Tip: Dual-rate electricity tariffs allow you to get much cheaper electricity overnight. For example, for a 5 hour period overnight, EDF’s GoElectric Exclusive 35 costs just 4.5p/kWh. This would make it cost as little as 1p per mile to drive the Nissan LEAF.
Today an electric car is already greener than a combustion engine vehicle, but charging with ever more renewable energy makes electric car driving even more environmentally friendly.
The UK’s grid is continually getting greener with more and more renewable energy generation, such as wind power. While this means charging electric cars is getting more environmentally friendly overall, you can switch to one of the many renewable energy providers to make charging at home even greener.
Managing load on home energy supply
Charging an electric car at home places additional load on your electrical supply. Depending on the max charging rate of your chargepoint and vehicle, this load can damage your main fuse.
Another benefit of this feature is the ability to have more than one chargepoint installed so that you can charge cars simultaneously without having to manually switch between them.
Pod Point’s Solo 3 Charger features Auto Power Balancing that adjusts your charge so your electric supply doesn’t get overloaded.
Managing load on the grid
As electric cars become more widely adopted, the demand for power on the national grid will increase. There is a tendency for a lot of charging to be started when drivers arrive home after work and peak around 20:00. Unmanaged this could cause demand spikes that can put too much load on the local networks
Smart home chargers will be able to react to and/or anticipate this and manage the rate of charge across thousands of vehicles to smooth out these peaks. Thankfully this will be virtually unnoticeable for an individual driver (according to Pod Point data EV drivers only use their chargers approximately 25% of the time they are plugged in overnight). The net effect will be that everyone gets a full charge over a fractionally longer time, but the grid will be protected.
1 EV charging based on using a 7kW home charger and EDF’s GoElectric Exclusive 35 tariff at 4.5p/kWh off-peak.
Electric Vehicle Charger Installation
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular every year. Unfortunately, charging them is sometimes difficult, as available charging stations can be few and far between. With the demand for electric cars increasing, home charging stations are rapidly becoming a must-have.
Constellation Home offers electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) installation that will make charging your vehicle safer, more convenient and more efficient. Our certified technicians make sure that your electric vehicle charger is the perfect match for your home. Now you can rest assured that your car’s battery will be fully charged every morning.
The Difference Between Level 1 and Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger
Level 1 chargers are the most basic chargers. The only equipment you need is a standard 120-volt (V) AC plug. Level 1 equipment generates an approximate charge of 124 miles in 20 hours. If you don’t drive long distances and have 20 hours to charge your car, you may be able to last a day or two on a single charge. But if you have a long commute or drive more frequently, this simply won’t cut it.
Level 2 chargers require your home to be outfitted with a 240-volt outlet. But once installed, they provide an estimated three to seven times faster charge with about 10 to 60 miles of range added to your vehicle’s charge per hour charged. With level 2 charging equipment, you can confidently take on an entire day’s worth of driving without having to use a public charge station.
Home EVSE Installation From Constellation Home
You can trust Constellation Home technicians to install your EVSE quickly and professionally. And you’ll know that you are getting the proper installation equipment for your home.
- Constellation Home will make sure that the charger installed is compatible with your home
- Constellation Home covers the installation of your EVSE for a year
- We do the paperwork for you. Constellation Home will pull all the permits and inspections needed for the installation.
Home EVSE Installation Process
Installing your EVSE is quick and easy.
- Schedule an appointment with Constellation Home and a certified electrician will inspect your home’s electrical system.
- Based on your home’s electrical availability, our technician will recommend the right level 2 charger. While your parts are being ordered, Constellation Home will pull all necessary permits and schedule an EVSE inspection for after the installation.
- After your new electrical vehicle supply parts are ordered, a Constellation Home technician will return to your home and install your new supply equipment. Once the charger is installed, your inspection will take place.
Request an Estimate to install a new Electric Vehicle Charger.
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Is there a tax credit for electric vehicle chargers?
If you’ve considered switching to an electric vehicle, you probably know about the federal tax credit for EVs. But did you know there are also incentives and rebates for electric vehicle chargers? There are a few things every electric car owner should know like the types of electric cars, electric car battery lifespan, and the various tax credits. Read on to get all your EV charging incentive questions answered.
Buying an electric vehicle and an EV charging station is surprisingly easy and affordable, thanks to numerous incentives throughout the country. Rebates are available for the various aspects of EV ownership, including the vehicle itself, the charging station, charging station installation, and perks like EV utility rates, preferred parking, and free or lower-cost access to HOV lanes and toll roads.
The source for incentives can vary depending on where you live, the specific vehicle model you purchase, and the way the vehicle will be used, such as for personal or corporate use. The important thing is not to overlook incentives for buying the EV charging station, which is a critical component of a convenient and enjoyable EV ownership experience.
Federal EV charger incentives
The federal government offers a tax credit for EV charger hardware and EV charger installation costs. It covers 30% of the costs with a maximum 1,000 credit for residents and 30,000 federal tax credit for commercial installs. And it’s retroactive, so you can still apply for installs made as early as 2017.
However, the government is not the only source that can help pay for an EV charger. Rebates are also available from utilities so when you take advantage of all the incentives, the cost of a charging station becomes extremely affordable. Incentives are generally divided into two categories: (1) Private residential customer and (2) Commercial customer, including both retail businesses and multi-family dwellings. In some cases, the total cost is covered; in others it’s based on a percentage of the hardware and residential or commercial EV charger installation cost.
Residential utility rebates
Over 30 different U.S. and Canadian utilities offer rebates for the purchase of residential EV charging equipment. The amounts range from about 150 to 750 per charger.
These programs have cut-off dates. Most tax incentive programs today have deadlines at the end of the year, with the potential to be renewed. Many incentives are available on a first-come, first-serve basis only up to a specific total budget, in some cases just a few thousand dollars. But they can run up into the millions. The Smart move is to install the charging station (and claim the incentives) as soon as possible while funds are available.
Not all charging stations are created equal, and not all charging stations are eligible for the same amount of incentives. For example, California’s Anaheim Public Utilities offers up to 1,000 for a networked charger, which very well could cover all the costs. But the rebate drops to 400 for non-networked EV charging equipment. When shopping for an EV charging station, be sure to find out if it’s eligible for the tax incentive programs in your region. Enel X Way’s JuiceBox home EV charging stations are fully networked, Level 2 Smart EV charging stations that qualify for nearly every residential incentive program.
The key is to look for what’s available in your area via the EV Rebate Checker. Then read the fine print and contact your utility or other incentive program coordinator if you still have questions. Pay attention to special requirements, such as Level 2 chargers that are Wi-Fi enabled.
Commercial utility rebates
Utilities understand the importance of transitioning to electric vehicles to help lower carbon emissions. Dozens of utilities throughout the US and Canada offer rebates. In many cases, these utility incentive programs require EV charging stations to be Smart, networked EV charging stations such as Enel X Way’s JuiceBox Pro, which can help lower demand on the grid, reduce the need for grid infrastructure upgrades, and integrate renewables.
The dollar values for commercial rebates are usually between a few thousand dollars per Level 2 charging, and up to around 30,000 for DC fast charging stations. The exact amount available from any source can be based on whether it’s serving employees and customers in a business, or if it’s designed for a multi-family condo or apartment complex, or if it’s open to the public. Projects designed for low-income or multifamily communities often qualify for additional funds. A make-ready project that installs the foundation and infrastructure for charging stations (but not the equipment) can also get funding. Additional rebates to support purchasing the station itself can come later.
In some cases, an incentive program will cover anywhere from 50% to 100% of the full project costs, including the purchase of an EV charging station, as well as electrical infrastructure and installation costs. For instance, in Massachusetts, National Grid’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program will pay for the full project cost. Similarly, Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Program offers rebates up to 100% of project costs. The rebate percentage varies depending on if it’s located in a disadvantaged community or multi-unit dwelling, both of which increase the percentage rate.