How quickly can I charge up my car at home?
You have two choices when it comes to charging speed:
Level 1 Charging
All EVs come with the appropriate cord allowing you to simply plug your vehicle into a standard household 15 amp/120 volt outlet. This option, known as "trickle charging," is very slow. It works best for plug-in hybrids with small batteries, or people who do not drive much each day. Charging a battery-only EV (BEV) using a 15 amp/120 volt outlet can take a day or two, depending on the size of the battery and how depleted it is.
Be aware that there are potential fire hazards associated with plugging an EV into an older, worn-out 120v electrical outlet. The outlet may no longer be able to safely deliver power for its maximum rated load over many hours. Have an electrician check the condition of an older outlet before using it for EV charging.
Level 2 Charging
Most people will choose Level 2 charging. While EV owners incur an up-front expense to install a Level 2 charging system, CMLP offers a rebate of up to $250 to help offset the cost.
A Level 2 charging system consists of a 240 volt wiring circuit from your house electrical panel to a NEMA 14-50 outlet (much like the outlet into which you’d plug an electric stove or clothes dryer), or to a wall-mounted EV charging station. Level 2 charging will charge your car in a quarter of the time that Level 1 charging allows. This means that you can fully charge your car overnight from empty, so that your EV’s full range is available each day.
Have an electrician wire a 240 volt circuit, including a 50-amp circuit breaker, from your house panel to a 240 volt NEMA 14-50 outlet and/or wall-mounted charging station in a location that is convenient for charging your car. A Level 2 installer finder service can help you find an electrician with experience installing these systems.
You may charge your car directly from the NEMA 14-50 outlet at Level 2 speeds. Another option for charging your car is to purchase a wall-mounted Level 2 home charging station and plug it into the NEMA 14-50 outlet. The station will come with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV. Home charging stations offer components ranging from standard safety features and status lights to features such as enhanced displays, smartphone connections, and keypads. Note that some charging stations must be hard-wired instead of plugged into an outlet. If the brand of home charging station that you prefer needs to be hard-wired, have your electrician wire it in when they are wiring the 240 volt circuit from your house panel.
The cost to install a 240 volt circuit and NEMA14-50 outlet can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the location of the house panel and the location of the charging outlet. Wall-mounted charging stations cost $500 - $700, exclusive of installation costs.
CMLP offers a rebate of up to $250 to help offset the cost of installing a Level 2 charging system. The installation of a 240 volt circuit and NEMA 14-50 outlet, or the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charging station are eligible expenses.