Curbside Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging
Example of Level 2 EV charger installed on a utility pole
Seattle City Light is installing and operating public Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers at curbside locations throughout the city of Seattle. City Light is offering this service to provide near-home EV charging for residents who cannot access off-street parking to charge their vehicles.
What will this service provide?
This service will provide public Level 2 EV charging next to the curb in residential neighborhoods in Seattle. Seattle City Light will install, own, operate, and maintain the EV chargers. Because these chargers are public, anyone who drives an EV will be able to park on the street next to the charger and charge their vehicle. The chargers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved.
The Level 2 EV chargers installed under this program will provide up to 9.6 kilowatts (kW). The infrastructure can provide a typical EV with over 30 miles of range per hour of charge time. Level 2 EV chargers are frequently used for multiple hours at a time, such as when a car is parked overnight at home or while the driver is at work.
How much will this service cost?
Drivers will need to pay a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) fee to use the chargers. The current cost to charge at a City Light Level 2 charger is 0.21 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). One kWh provides a typical EV with enough energy to travel over three miles. The fees are designed to pay for the electricity, operations, maintenance and repair costs while offsetting the initial purchase and installation costs.
Why is this service being offered?
Many Seattle residents must use street parking near their homes. Older single-family homes, apartments, condominiums, and houseboats frequently do not have off-street parking like a driveway, garage, or parking lot. It is usually very difficult or not possible for residents to provide their own EV charging when parking on the street.
This project will directly support the Transportation Electrification Strategic Investment Plan by helping to expand at-home and near-home charging for multifamily residents. Currently, there is a lack of access to EV charging for multifamily units. Expanding at-home and near-home charging solutions for multifamily residents in environmental justice communities will increase equitable access to transportation electrification as 52 percent of City Light’s customers are renters and a majority live in multifamily properties.
The City of Seattle set a goal to reduce transportation emissions 83% from 2008 levels by 2030. Residents can accomplish much of this with low-emission travel by public transit, biking, walking, and other options; however, many will still rely on personal vehicles for some of their trips. Seattle City Light is installing these chargers as part of a more extensive portfolio of transportation electrification investments and services to help the utility’s service area transition to zero-emission electric transportation options.
How did City Light select the charger locations?
City Light selected the charger locations through an opt-in process. than 1,800 requests were received in Summer 2022. A panel of subject matter experts from City Light and Seattle Department of Transportation reviewed each request based on a number of criteria such as location, number of requests in a given area, availability of infrastructure, and property type.
In Q4 2022, City Light mailed project information fliers to the property owners or homeowner associations for each property adjacent to and across the street from each proposed EV charging station location. Recipients were encouraged to respond to an online survey to voice support or opposition to the charger and were able to ask questions or provide feedback. City Light staff responded to all questions and feedback for those who provided email addresses for responses.
How soon will the charging locations be available for use?
Construction is slated to begin as early as April 2023. City Light anticipates 50% completion of the charging sites by the end of May, with the remaining sites completed by the end of summer. Each charging site was designed based on its own individual location with 12 planned to be installed on wood poles, 6 on new steel poles, and 13 sites installed on stand-alone pedestals. The plan is for each site to be made available as construction is completed.
Locations are noted by blue icons.
Complete list of locations – all addresses listed are within the City of Seattle.
- 300 block W Mercer St
- 4000 block E McGilvra St
- 1700 block N 46th St
- 1600 block NE 143rd St
- 300 block N 45th St
- 400 block NE Maple Leaf Pl
- 1700 block NW 57TH St
- 3900 block Whitman Ave N
- 500 block 20th Ave E
- 4200 block Stone Way N
- 300 block Pontius Ave N
- 1100 block 13th Ave
- 7000 block 17th Ave SW
- 1300 block 12th Ave S
- 6000 block 16th Ave SW
- 4700 block 35th Ave S
- 1700 block 15th Ave
- 600 block 7th Ave S
- 4800 block Fauntleroy Way SW
- 1900 block Fairview Ave E
- 1400 block S Hill St
- 1700 block S Forest St
- 4800 block California Ave SW
- 2100 block California Ave SW
- 700 block 143rd St
- 100 block Bellevue Ave E
- 3600 block Dayton Ave N
- 200 block MLK Jr Way S
- 2900 block Fuhrman Ave E
- 500 block Valley St
- 500 block W Olympic Pl
Electric Vehicle Chargers
If all EV chargers sold in the U.S. met ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs would grow to more than 17 million and 280 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided.
The number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road in the United States is increasing. Fully electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions. While charging the battery may increase pollution at the power plant, total greenhouse gas emissions associated with driving them are still typically less than those for gasoline cars – particularly if the electricity is generated from renewable energy sources. For every mile driven, the average cost to drive an electric car is typically less than half what it costs to drive a standard gasoline vehicle. Using an energy efficient, ENERGY STAR certified electric car charger adds to the environmental benefits and cost savings.
ENERGY STAR certified chargers save energy.
Locate EV Stations
Find EV Charging Stations Across the Country.
Find Electric Vehicles
Research Available Electric Vehicle Models.
Research incentives on electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles.
All-electric vehicle driving ranges are increasing, with some models able to drive more than 300 miles on a single charge. Depending on how far you drive each day, you may be able to meet all of your driving needs by plugging in only at home. The Fuel Economy and Environment Label, which you see on cars at the dealership, shows driving range and charge time. The label also shows the average annual fuel cost associated with the EV and the anticipated cost savings over five years compared to the average gasoline vehicle. In addition to fuel savings, fully electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and typically require less maintenance. Additionally, no emissions testing is needed.
Compare the greenhouse gas emissions associated with charging and driving an EV in your area using EPA’s Beyond Tailpipe Emissions calculator.
What type of charger do you need?
The answer to this question is based on the following factors: 1) How many miles do you drive every day? 2) Do you have a fully electric car, or is it a plug in hybrid (gas and electric).
For short range driving and plug in hybrid cars: If you only drive less than 40 miles per day, or if you have a plug in hybrid car, you can use a charger that plugs into a standard wall outlet (120 volt). These chargers will provide you with 2-5 miles of driving range for every hour of charging. These chargers are convenient and economical, but are limited in their output and the charging rate is slow. Using industry terms, these are called “Level 1 EV Chargers.”
For longer range driving and for fully electric cars: If you drive more than 40 miles per day, and you have a fully electric car, then you need a 240 volt charger. These chargers are larger and require professional installation, but provide 10-20 miles of charging range per hour of charging. Using industry terms, these are called “Level 2 Chargers.
EV Charger Type
Average Charging Rate
(per hour of charging)
Plugs into standard outlet (120 volt)
2 to 5 miles of range (depending on environmental conditions and battery charge %)
Requires heavy duty electrical circuit and plug (like an electric dryer) (240 volt)
10 to 20 miles of range (chargers wired to 50A provide even faster charging)
Choosing a charger that has earned the ENERGY STAR label means energy savings, safety, convenience, and Smart technology. Find ENERGY STAR certified electric vehicle chargers
Energy Savings: EV chargers are typically in standby mode (i.e., not actively charging a vehicle) for about 85% of the time. ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers provide the same functionality as non-certified products but use 40% less energy in standby mode, reducing their impact on the environment. If you have the option, charging your EV with green power (PDF, 172 KB). sourced from emissions-free electricity sources, offers additional environmental benefits.
Greater efficiency = more savings! When choosing an EV charger, it is helpful to note that Level 2 chargers provide higher charging efficiency and faster charging times when compared with Level 1 chargers. As shown in the table above, Level 2 charging is on average 10% more efficient than Level 1, while adding approximately four times more miles per hour of charging.
Safety: Not all EV chargers that are for sale are safety certified, including some from large online and storefront retailers. To ensure your charger meets safety standards, choose one that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. All ENERGY STAR certified chargers are tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Smart Technology: Some ENERGY STAR certified EV charger models are connected, also referred to as networked, allowing for remote power monitoring and control of the charging state of the connected vehicle. These Smart grid ready products may qualify households and property managers to participate in special energy bill savings programs that may be offered by some local electric utilities.
EV owners ideally have access to overnight charging, in their driveway/garage or wherever they park their car. Without overnight charging, EV owners can charge at some workplaces, or use public charging.
Ask the dealer. Homeowners who are purchasing a new EV are typically offered a 120V charger (also called a cord set) as part of their vehicle purchase or lease, rather than having to purchase it independently. However, there are advantages to upgrading to a 240V charger, including faster charging times, which may be necessary to charge longer-range EVs overnight. When shopping for an electric vehicle, ask the dealer if they sell or work with electrical contractors that have ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers.
Ask the retailer. 120V and 240V EV chargers are sold by big-box and independent retailers, mainly online. Purchase an ENERGY STAR certified EV charger to ensure it meets key industry safety standards. Non-ENERGY STAR certified chargers may not be safety certified. In fact, many products sold by some major retailers may have false safety certifications displayed.
Hire a contractor. Contact a licensed electrician to evaluate whether your home’s wiring, electrical outlets, and other hardware can support the charging requirements of your EV. Your car dealer or the EV manufacturer may also recommend a third-party or contractor network that may be able to conduct a home assessment.
Use green power to charge your car. Using “green power” from your electricity supplier will provide a maximum environmental benefit. Not only will you be eliminating carbon emissions from your tailpipe and electricity generation, you will also be supporting green power suppliers. For more information on how to do this, see EPA’s Guide to Charging EVs with Green Power (PDF, 172 KB).
- Building Electric Vehicle-Ready Homes (PDF, 142 KB)
- Consumer demand for homes ready for or equipped with EV charging is growing. This resource outlines the paths that can make a home EV-ready.
EV Charging Station Cost
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The cost of an EV charging station can vary significantly based on the requirements and current electrical infrastructure, but averages ~1,000 all-in for a Level 2 home charger. This guide details the cost of EV chargers for home and also discusses the cost of Level 2 chargers for business and Level 3 (DC-fast charging) stations.
Many consumers tell us that it can be difficult to find electricians with specific EV charger experience. It may be worth checking out Amazon Home Services EV Charger Installation (the reviews have been excellent so far).
Electric Car Charging Stations Cost Level 2 Charging Station Cost EV Charging Station For Business Cost Level 3 Charging Station Cost Detailed EV Charger Cost Breakdown
Electric Car Charging Stations Cost
The cost of an EV charging station can vary depending on the owner’s preferences and there are two main options for individual EV owners:
- Use a Level 1 Charger (Free) – All EV models come with a basic chord that will plug into a 120V outlet, which is the standard outlet for homes in the U.S. Assuming you already have a 120V outlet in your garage, this option is essentially free. This set-up will only allow for charging rates of 3-5 miles per hour, so if you have a moderate commute, a faster charge is required.
- Purchase a Level 2 Charger (~1,000) – Most EV owners elect to purchase a Level 2 EVSE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment, for use in their home. The Level 2 chargers require a 240V outlet ( NEMA 6 which many clothes dryers use). The cost of a Level 2 charging station is typically around 1,000 all-in, which includes the equipment and installation cost. There are a range of Level 2 models ( read our detailed EV charger model review) and costs, which we discuss below.
If you are interested in electric car charging stations for your business or retail location, please refer to the section on Level 2 charging stations for business or read our detailed review of these products. There is also the option for businesses to purchase DC fast charging stations (also called Level 3), but the cost of a Level 3 EV charger is significantly more and is typically purchased through one of the EV charging network providers.
Level 2 Charging Station Cost
The chart below includes the of the most popular EV chargers available as of December 2017.
|JuiceBox Pro 40-Amp
|Smallest in class and great for California drivers
|Wi-Fi enabled with app and connection to rewards program
|10 x 6 x 3 inches
|Check Current Price on Amazon
|Siemens VC30GRYU Versicharge 30-Amp (Editor’s Pick)
|Best value and high quality ratings
|Siemens quality (UL labs), Wi-Fi options
|20.5 x 18 x 15 inches
|Check Current Price on Amazon
|Sleek and lightweight
|App connects to Chargepoint network, Wi-Fi enabled
|18.5 x 15 x 7 inches
|Check Current Price on Amazon
|Sturdy U.S.-made model
|Best-in class 3 year warranty
|Check Current Price on Amazon
The installation cost data is from a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading cleantech institute, which broke the installation cost down into electrician labor, materials, permitting and mobilization (traveling to the installation location). The study was completed in 2014, so please note that we have adjusted the EV charger equipment cost in our estimate as have come down.
EV Charging Station For Business Cost
According to RMI, the installation for Level 2 chargers for businesses is the largest component of the cost and can be between 4,000 and 7,000. If the charger is located in a public parking garage the installation cost will be less than a curbside installation as the charger can be wall mounted and wiring is easier. A curbside charger is typically free-standing and trenching or directional boring for wiring increases the installation cost.
Level 3 Charging Station Cost
A Level 3 or DC fast charging station are typically installed through one of the EV charging station networks and can cost more than 50,000 to install. The main contributors to the increased cost are both the equipment and installation. The installation can require a 480V transformer and the electrician labor hours can be greater than 40 hours.
Detailed EV Charger Cost Breakdown
The chart below details the costs for Level 2 home chargers, Level 2 chargers for business and Level 3 chargers.
As noted by RMI, installation rates for home EV chargers can fluctuate based on the electrician labor time at 50-80 an hour depending on the location. A new breaker can also increase the price by 500-1,000.
Commercial installations have a wider variance based on the current electrical infrastructure and the extent of trenching/boring required.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge an Electric Car?
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are a trending topic. Governments worldwide, including those in the U.S., Norway and China, have created policies to speed the transition from vehicles that burn fossil fuels to EVs.
There are obvious environmental benefits associated with driving an electric vehicle. However, for most consumers, the transition is about more than clean energy. The general idea is that charging an electric car is less expensive than filling a gas tank.
The Cost of Charging an Electric Car
No one-size-fits-all answer will explain how much it costs to charge an electric car. Several variables determine the cost. While vary by region, type of charger and time of day, it is possible to calculate a general cost using averages of these variables. Here’s how:
The Cost of Electricity
One significant variable associated with charging an electric car is the cost of the electricity itself, which can be far more expensive in some regions than in others. As such, EV owners should know the cost of electricity in their area.
To calculate the cost, EV owners should grab their most recent electricity bill and look for the cost per kilowatt hour, or kWh. This cost can range from 0.09 to 0.35, but the national average is shy of 0.14.
Electric Car Charging Cost Formula
The formula for the cost of charging an electric car is:
Cost to Charge = (CR / RPK) x CPK
The formula starts by dividing the electric vehicle’s range in miles by its range per kWh. Once EV owners have this number, they can multiply it by their specific cost per kWh to determine how much it costs to charge their electric vehicle.
Calculating How Much It Costs To Charge Your Electric Car
Electric vehicles have different ranges, meaning some go further than others on a single charge. The cost per kWh can also vary wildly from one region to the next. However, those are not the only variables to consider when determining the cost of charging an electric vehicle.
Another crucial factor is where the EV owner charges their vehicle and with what equipment. Those who charge their cars at home will pay different rates than those who use a commercial charger. The type of charger also plays a role in cost, which means some people who charge their cars using commercial options will pay different than others.
Charging Your Electric Car at Home
Calculating how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle at home is relatively simple. Here are the steps:
- Review your electric bills to determine the cost per kWh.
- Figure out how many miles your EV averages per kWh. EVs typically get about three miles per kWh, but that number can be slightly higher or far lower depending on the vehicle itself.
- Determine the range of your electric vehicle in miles.
- Plug all of these numbers into the formula below.
For example, if the EV driver pays 0.14 per kWh, their car gets an average of three miles per kWh, and it has a total range of 360 miles, the formula would look like this:
Cost to Charge = (360 / 3) x 0.14
The math in the formula shows that this particular electric vehicle costs 16.80 to charge at home.
Charging Your Electric Car With a Commercial Charger
It is difficult to determine how much it would cost to charge your car using commercial options because costs vary from one network to the next. The will vary even more depending on if the driver is a member of the network they use.
However, the formula above still stands, as long as the drivers know their cost per kWh at the specific network they use. Using the same example above, say the network charges 0.21 per kWh. The formula would look like this:
Cost to Charge = (360 / 3) x 0.21
In this case, it would cost 25.20 to completely charge the EV.
Is It Cheaper To Fill a Gas Tank or Charge an Electric Car?
At the time of writing, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was 3.39, and the average fuel tank capacity on a small vehicle was 12 gallons. Multiplying these two numbers together says the average small vehicle costs about 40.73 to fill up. But that does not tell you the whole story.
The example of home charging above also used averages mentioned throughout this article. However, the range of the vehicle in the example was 360 miles, while the average small gas-powered car range is 403 miles. So the cost comparison is somewhat skewed. Since 360 is about 89.33% of 403, it is important to multiply the cost of filling up a gas tank by this percentage to create an apples-to-apples comparison. Using this math, the average car with a 360-mile range would cost about 36.38 to fill up, which is still a bit higher than the average electric vehicle charge cost.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to charge than the cost to fill a gas tank. To save money, consider trading in your gas guzzler for an EV.