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Charging Electric Vehicles: Where to Charge Your EV, In Public or At Home?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Charging Basics
  2. Charging Electric Vehicles at Home
  3. Set up an electrical assessment of your home
  4. Install equipment to charge your EV at home
  5. Follow the rules and regulations
  6. Budget for electricity costs
  7. Public Charging Stations
  8. Choosing amps
  9. Workplace charging
  10. What a Recent Study Found about EV Charging
  11. Transport Your EV Safely
Charging Electric Vehicles: Where to Charge Your EV, In Public or At Home?

Whether you're mulling over which electric vehicle to choose or already owning one, charging your car is always on your mind.

But have you really thought about where it's best to charge your car? This article breaks down how charging works and what research finds on charging your car at home.

Hopefully, you'll be well informed to make the right choices for your home and EV.

Charging Basics

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, and the need to understand charging basics comes with that.

Electric for All makes it easy to understand what charging entails and where to do it. We'll summarize the important points of what you need to know.

First of all, you must know that charging an electric car can be done using these outlets:

  • 120V (Level 1)
  • 208-240V (Level 2)
  • 480V+ (DC Fast Charging) outlets

Now, the choice is yours whether to charge at home or use a public charging station. Let's explore both options.


Charging Electric Vehicles at Home

Charging electric vehicles at home is a convenient and cost-effective way to keep your vehicle powered up. Most drivers charge their EVs overnight using AC Level 1 or AC Level 2 charging equipment, which can be installed indoors or outdoors, depending on the type of equipment used.

Outdoor installations require outdoor-rated equipment, while indoor facilities require additional considerations, such as ventilation and fire safety.

EV owners can also use the charging cord that comes with their vehicle to plug into a standard outlet, although this method is not recommended for long-term use.

1) Set up an electrical assessment of your home

For those looking to install a Level 2 charger, having an electrical assessment of your home is essential.

It’s important to consult with a qualified electrician, such as one from PG&E, who can assess the capacity of your electrical panel and discuss upgrades, permits, desired location of charger, cost of installation, length of charging cord, type of charger, and permitting/inspections (if required).

Moreover, ensure that you have discussed the timeline for job completion.

Depending on your vehicle's needs, you may be able to choose between the EV2-A rate or the EV-B rate.

With the EV2-A rate, electricity costs less when you charge at certain times of day or overnight.

The EV-B rate may be more suitable for people who want one electric rate for their whole house and a separate EV rate for their electric car charging.

2) Install equipment to charge your EV at home

The US Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center explains the basics of how to install charging equipment in your home.

Level 2 (240 V) charging equipment can provide a faster charge than the Level 1 cord set that comes with the vehicle. Furthermore, state and utility incentives may be available to help offset the cost of purchasing and installing it.

Purchasing safety-certified equipment, such as products certified under the ENERGY STAR label, is recommended.

3) Follow the rules and regulations

Comply with all local, state, and national codes and regulations when installing charging equipment.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) Article 625 contains the information and requirements for charging equipment installations.

In addition, many areas require a site installation plan to be submitted for approval before any installation can occur. This plan should include detailed diagrams of the proposed installation and any other relevant information the permitting authority may require.

It is also important to keep up-to-date with any changes in regulations or codes that may affect the installation process. Staying informed about these changes will help ensure that all installations comply with current standards and regulations.

Additionally, it is important to follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer when installing charging equipment to avoid potential safety hazards or other issues.


4) Budget for electricity costs

When owning an EV, the cost of electricity for charging is paramount.

Determine your EV's cost per mile by knowing the cost of electricity (in dollars per kWh) and the efficiency of the vehicle (how much electricity is used to travel 100 miles).

A full charge for an EV with a 200-mile range will cost about $6.

Public Charging Stations

As many people switch to electric vehicles, public charging stations for EVs are becoming more common.

Such charging stations are now available almost everywhere, from malls and grocery stores to community centers, arenas, hotels, and airports. And the great thing is many of these stations are free or affordably priced.

Because utility companies hash out what consumers pay for electricity at EV-charging stations, EV drivers who rely on public charging stations have limited flexibility in choosing when and where to charge. As a result, public charging may cost more per kilowatt-hour.

Choosing amps

When it comes to choosing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, there are several factors to take into account.

You need to determine the power output of the charging station by multiplying the Volts by the Amps.

Then, divide that product by 1,000. To calculate how long it will take to charge your EV battery, refer to the manufacturer documents to determine the car's battery capacity and divide that by the charger energy delivery.

For overnight charging with more than 50 miles of range, a Level 2 residential charger with a minimum of 16 amps is recommended.

Workplace charging

You should check with your employer to see if workplace charging is available.

Workplace charging is an increasingly popular option for electric vehicle (EV) owners who need to “top off” their battery during the day or don’t have access to charging at home.

Employers can provide a convenient and cost-effective way for employees to charge their EVs, with the added benefit of reducing emissions from transportation.

What a Recent Study Found about EV Charging

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular, with California reaching one million cumulative EV sales and a goal of five million by 2030.

However, a recent Stanford study has found that charging cars at home at night could be costly in the long term and put an ever-increasing strain on the grid.

Rapid EV growth and the spread of EVs alone will increase peak electricity demand by up to 25%, assuming a continued dominant trend of residential, nighttime charging.

This nighttime charging would require more than 5.4 gigawatts of energy storage to support EVs in the Western US. But shifting to daytime charging at work instead of home could reduce this need to 4.2 gigawatts.

But more studies in other parts of the United States will help discover whether we can apply this problem and its solution throughout the country.


Transport Your EV Safely

We hope our blog guides you in making smart charging decisions.

If you need your EV shipped, A-1 Auto Transport can take care of it. We transport many types of vehicles and have specialized services for electric cars.

We offer enclosed transportation to protect your car's best interests, international shipping into the US, and door-to-door pickup and delivery. So reach out to us for a free quote estimate.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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