The popularity of fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids has skyrocketed in recent years, and the total number of electric vehicles on the road continues to grow with each passing day. If you are one of the many who have made the switch to an EV or a hybrid, you may be wondering whether having a charging station installed at your Dickinson home is really worth the cost. The answer to this is almost always a resounding yes, as charging your EV at home will save you quite a bit of money compared to using public charging stations. Today, we’ll compare the costs of home EV charging and using public charging stations to help you understand why installing a charging station at your home is such a great investment.

Understanding the Types of EV Chargers

Before we look at the costs of charging an EV at home compared to using a public charging station, it is first important that you understand the three different types or levels of EV chargers. When choosing to charge at home, you can use either Level 1 or Level 2 charging, whereas most public charging stations are Level 3 DC fast-charge stations

Level 1 charging means simply plugging your EV into any standard 120-volt outlet. While Level 1 charging is convenient since you can plug your car into any outlet, it is also extremely slow. Depending on your EV’s battery capacity, it will usually take anywhere from 30 to 75 hours to receive a full charge.

Level 2 requires a special charging station that is wired into a dedicated 240-volt circuit. While a Level 2 station will require more of an initial investment, most EV owners find it well worth the cost due to the convenience of being able to fully charge their battery overnight. With a Level 2 charger, you should be able to receive a full charge in around four to 10 hours.

Average Cost to Charge at a Level 3 DC Fast-Charge Station

Level 3 fast-charge stations are by far the fastest way to charge an EV, but they also tend to be quite a bit more expensive. You can sometimes find Level 3 stations that cost around $0.25 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but most stations in Texas will typically cost anywhere from $0.40 to $0.70 per kWh.

Most EVs can drive around three to four miles per kWh of charge. If your vehicle has a 250-mile range, this means that it could cost you anywhere from $25 to almost $60 for a full charge. If your vehicle has close to a 400-mile range, you could end up paying anywhere from $40 to more than $90 for a full charge. These high prices mean that always using a Level 3 public charging station isn’t all that practical and could end up costing you more than what you would pay in gas for a normal combustion vehicle.

Average Cost to Charge an EV at Home

The average electricity rate in Texas is around $0.13 per kWh, while most people in the Houston area pay around $0.14 per kWh. This means that charging your EV at home with either a Level 1 or Level 2 charger will typically cost less than half of what you would pay to use a Level 3 DC fast-charge station.

Many of Texas’ electricity providers also offer plans where you can choose to pay a higher rate during peak and a slightly lower rate during off-peak hours. In many cases, you’ll only pay around $0.08 per kWh during off-peak times. This means that your costs can be even lower if you always plug your vehicle in before going to bed and charge it overnight when you’ll only have to pay the off-peak rate.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Level 2 Home EV Charging Station?

As long as you have an available 120-volt outlet in your garage or near wherever you park, you can always use Level 1 charging without any additional equipment. Still, the long charging times mean that Level 1 charging is really only a viable option if you only ever drive a short distance per day. Otherwise, you will likely still need to use public Level 3 stations fairly often since your battery will only ever receive a partial charge overnight. This is why more and more EV owners are choosing to have Level 2 stations installed at their homes.

You should usually expect to pay somewhere between $1,000 and $2,500 for a Level 2 station, and this cost includes both the charging station itself and the installation fees. The cost of the charging station will depend on what brand you choose and what features the unit has.

The installation will typically cost anywhere between $350 and $1,000. If you already have an available 240-volt outlet in your garage or wherever you plan on having the charger, the installation cost will be lower. If you don’t have an available outlet, you will need to pay more to have the electrician run a new 240-volt circuit.

Benefits of Installing a Home EV Charging Station

Obviously, one of the biggest benefits of installing a Level 2 charging station is the amount of money you will save by charging at home compared to always using public charging stations. If you currently use a public station every three to four days, the amount you’ll save from charging at home means that a Level 2 station will typically pay for itself within a year or so.

The convenience of being able to always fully charge your vehicle at home is another great benefit. Having to wait around for 30 minutes or an hour at a public station whenever you need to charge your vehicle can be a major waste of time. Many public stations also often have long lines that will cost you even more of your precious time.

Studies have also shown that having a Level 2 charging station will increase the value of your home and make it much more appealing to many prospective buyers. One study in the United Kingdom showed that homes with EV charging stations were worth around 13% more on average compared to similar homes without an EV charger. While the difference is most likely not quite as big in the U.S., the fact is that an EV charging station will typically increase your home’s value by at least what you paid for it, if not quite a bit more.

If you’re considering a Level 2 EV charging station for your home, Mackey Services is here to help. Our licensed electricians specialize in EV charging installation, and we also install and service whole-home generators to protect your house against power outages. In addition, we are a full-service HVAC contractor specializing in residential and commercial heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair. If you have any questions about home EV charging stations or need to schedule any electrical or HVAC service in the Greater Houston area, give us a call today.

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