Choosing the Right Home EV Charger for Your Needs

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When selecting the appropriate electric vehicle (EV) charger for your home or private garage space, it is important to think carefully about which type would best suit your individual needs. It is important to note that studies have shown that over 80% of EV charging happens at home rather than in public by drivers, so it is critical to have a charging plan in place before bringing home your first electric vehicle. 

Picking the right kind of charger for your needs isn’t easy. But we are here to give you our final expert thoughts to help in your decision-making process. We do recommend that those driving an all-electric vehicle seek out a Level 2 charger, being that you’ll need the fast overnight sessions to always have reliable power. However, if you drive a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), that decision rests with you through considering the factors listed above.

Home Charging Options: Level 1 or Level 2

Level 1 chargers can be plugged into any standard 120V outlet, with the other end being plugged directly into the car. Typically, these chargers can add anywhere from 100-150 miles of range in 16-20 hours (so almost one full day of charging). Typically, a level 1 charger is included with the standard purchase of a new electric vehicle or is a cheap upgrade to come included upon purchase from a dealership.

Level 2 chargers are usually plugged into a 240V outlet, which charges up to seven times faster than a Level 1 option. Choosing this solution usually requires the help of an electrician, as oftentimes outlets or electrical work needs to be adjusted depending on your charging needs and availability of an outlet within 15-20 ft of your car when parked. Learn about different types of EV Charging types.

How do I know which charger type is right for me?

There are several factors that would contribute to this decision-making process, including but not limited to the following:

  • What type of electric vehicle do you drive (a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle)

  • How much range does your EV have

  • How far do you commute in an average week

  • How often do you travel by car more than your range

  • How often you can charge at home, or whether you are able to at all

  • Considering how many EV models you own

  • Considering how much flexibility you have with charging session durations (can you manage to go 16-20 hours without driving?)

Key Differences between Level 1 and Level 2 Home Charging

Level 1 chargers are usually included with the purchase of a new or used EV, so they’re typically more readily available upon obtaining an electric vehicle. They do not require electrician installation and are the most user-friendly upon first use unless of course, you do not have any 120V outlets where you park (almost all home and commercial garages do). They only require knowing how to plug the charger into a standard outlet, which is as easy as charging your smartphone, a small household appliance, or a tablet. However, they are slow and would be insufficient for everyday use for those relying solely on all-electric power for commuting.

Level 2 chargers are fast, reliable, and are easy to use once installed. They often require the assistance of an electrician, being that they usually need at least a 240V outlet (the same kind you use to power a refrigerator or washing machine at home). They are almost never included with the purchase of an EV, so it is up to the driver to select the charging solution that is right for them. For example, the TurnOnGreen EV700 Level 2 Home Charger is available now and would be purchased separately from the vehicle. However, they do cost more than Level 1 charging, and some people cannot install a 240V port in their space.

In Conclusion, Here Are Our Recommendations.

Many people find that a Level 1 charger is sufficient power for those who have gasoline as an alternative, or little range to begin with on electric in their plug-in hybrid car. Although it is somewhat rare, some all-electric vehicle owners simply don’t drive often (less than once or twice per week) and find a Level 1 charger works best for their budget and needs as well. However, although a Level 2 charger is more expensive, we would recommend it to anyone (PHEV or all-electric) who drives more than 50 miles daily and wants to use exclusively electric power or wants to cut out the gas station in their plug-in hybrid altogether.

Level 1 Charger: Good enough for most plug-in hybrid drivers to charge with at home, but not so great for all-electric commuters (unless they do not drive very often and frequently leave their car parked at home).

Level 2 Charger: Best choice for all-electric vehicle drivers charging at home, or PHEV drivers who commute more than 50 miles per day.

Do you know what type of home charger to get? Check out this EV Charger Set-up article to understand the key differences between hardwired and plug-in charging options for your home.

 

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