Electric cars are becoming more and more popular. There are more than half a million electric vehicles on the road in the United States, and that number continues to grow. But if you’re thinking about buying one, there’s one question that needs answering: how do I charge it?
The answer isn’t simple–there are many factors involved in charging an electric car at home, including cost and convenience. In this guide, we’ll go over everything from what kind of charger to buy to how much electricity costs where you live so that when all is said and done (and your battery has been fully charged), you can feel confident knowing exactly what went into powering up your vehicle’s battery pack.
There are three main types of charging stations:
If you’re planning on installing a charging station at home, there are a few things to consider. First, how much power will your car require? The answer depends on the make and model of vehicle you own. Most electric vehicles can be charged using a standard 120-volt outlet (the same kind used for lamps and other household appliances). However, some cars require 240 volts instead–and if your home doesn’t have this capability already installed in its electrical system, it may need to be upgraded before installation can begin.
In addition to determining how much current is required by your electric vehicle’s battery pack(s), consider whether or not there’s enough space in your garage or driveway for an additional piece of equipment like an outdoor outlet box or indoor wall box with built-in breaker panel protection circuitry that will safeguard against overloading power lines during storms or other emergencies where high demand could cause damage if not properly protected from excess voltage levels by way of circuit breakers, which act as safety switch.
The main differences between a Level 1 EV charging station and a Level 2 EV charging station are the voltage and charging speed. According to , Level 1 charging uses 120-volt power and takes all day (and night) for an EV, while Level 2 charging uses 240 volts and recharges an EV in a couple of hours. Additionally,  explains that while a Level 1 charger will typically get 4 miles of driving range per hour of charge, a Level 2 charger will get an average of 32 miles of driving range per hour of charge. This means that a Level 2 charging station can charge up to 8 times faster than a Level 1 charging station.
Therefore, the main differences between a Level 1 EV charging station and a Level 2 EV charging station are the voltage and charging speed. A Level 2 charging station is faster and provides more driving range per hour of charge than a Level 1 charging station.
There are various product options available for people to charge their electric cars at home. According to Car and Driver, some of the best home EV chargers for 2023 include the JuiceBox 40 Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Station with WiFi and the Lectron 32 NEMA 14-50 Level 2 EV Charger. Forbes Wheels also recommends the ChargePoint Home Flex as the best overall option, the Grizzl-E Classic as the best outdoor-use charger, the Enel X JuiceBox 40 as the best for smart-charging features, and the Emporia EV Charger as the best for battery backup systems.
For those who do not want to invest in a Level 2 charger, Consumer Reports notes that all electric vehicles come with a 110-volt-compatible, or Level 1, home connector kit. It’s essentially a fancy extension cord that allows your car to be plugged into a standard outlet on one end and into your car on the other end. However, it’s important to note that Level 1 charging can be slow, so Level 2 chargers are generally recommended if you want faster charging times.
The cost of home-charging setup can vary widely, as noted by Business Insider. Homeowners who already have a 240-volt outlet in a convenient spot may be able to simply buy a charger and plug it in, while Level 2 chargers can cost several hundred dollars.
Choosing a charger will depend on certain factors like whether you already have 240-volt current running in your home. It might be a good idea to have it installed to charge your EV faster and have full use of your EV vehicle faster.