The market for EV home chargers has grown rapidly over the last several years, prompted by the growth of the EV market itself. The electric vehicle market has grown from 1.8% of the market in 2019 to now over 6% of the market, and the tax credits made available for both new and used EVs mean this market will continue to grow at a rapid rate. Despite the logical push for DC fast chargers, especially in the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) bill, the majority of EV charging is done at home. The US Department of Energy found that 80% of EV charging is done at home, meaning that an investment in a Level 2 charger is something most EV owners should seriously consider.
Choosing the right home EV charging station depends on a variety of factors: driving distance, length of charge, and battery capabilities, among others. However, the amount a consumer is willing to spend on a charger will also be a factor, as the cost of Level 2 chargers can range from $350 to $1,400. While many consumers may be alarmed at this added expense, the rate of charging makes this the logical choice for many EV owners. While a Level 1 charger only provides around 4 miles of charge an hour (and has safety concerns), Level 2 chargers can give you 25 to 35 miles of driving range per hour of charge.
While most EVs are sold with a Level 1 charger, many consumers want to upgrade this immediately to a Level 2 charger. Different sites and reviews will recommend different chargers, but strong overall choices are the United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic and the ChargePoint Home Flex EV Charger. Both of these chargers offer a three-year warranty, and both fall below $1,000.
The New York Times updated its pick for best overall EV home charger in 2023, settling on the United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic after 85 hours of testing and 28 hours of research. This charger won’t break your bank, coming in at $395. Rated for 40 amps and reaching that during the testing done by the New York Times, this charger will offer a vast improvement in charging speed over a Level 1 charger. This charger also comes with a three-year warranty and received the best weatherproof exterior of any of the chargers tested in this study. It is rated to safely operate in extreme temperatures, ranging from -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (as is the case with most chargers on the market). The Grizzl-E Classic is compact and comes with a 24-foot cord, making it a good choice for residential properties.
The ChargePoint Home Flex EV Charger carries a larger price tag, coming in at $749 on Amazon. However, this charger is rated for 50 amps, meaning a faster charge than the Grizzl-E Classic. This charger also provides a three-year warranty, meaning that the more expensive upfront cost will be protected. The ChargePoint station can alter its charging amperage from 16-50 volts, working with a wide range of circuit capabilities. This charger also allows for the user-replacement of the charging cord, meaning that the whole unit need not be replaced if the cord wears out. However, the New York Times study on home EV chargers found that the ChargePoint option does carry several drawbacks. It is rated as a NEMA 3R, which, as The New York Times found, did not make this option particularly waterproof. This study also found that, while the charger was rated for 50 amps, it only registered 44 amps with the Volkswagen test car and 40 amps with a Tesla. Similarly, in order to reach a charging rate over 16 amps, users must connect to the mobile app.
The cost to install a Level 2 charger can vary but will likely fall between $770 and $1,800. There are several factors that contribute to this broad range, including permitting, distance from the home service panel to the charging point, the rated power of the service panel, and possible panel upgrading requirements. It is important therefore to budget not just the cost of the Level 2 charger, but the installation cost, as that may serve as the bulk of the expenses. The nature of the Level 2 charger will likely require the hiring of a certified electrician, and a home electrical assessment should similarly be completed prior to installation. This is partly due to the requirements for a Level 2 EV charger. Some houses with the prerequisite electrical situation may only require 240V electric wiring from the service panel to the place of installation. However, other houses may require significantly more electrical work and wiring.
It is worth noting that for some EV owners, the investment in a Level 2 charger may not be worth it. For those who have access to a public Level 2 charger or a DC fast charger, a home charger may be redundant. The number of DC fast chargers in the US will continue to grow rapidly, as Tritium’s factory, capable of producing up to 30,000 DC fast chargers when running at full capacity, has opened in Tennessee. The Build Back Better Bill that was passed in 2021 allocated $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure. It is therefore advisable to check your area for local Level 2 chargers or DC fast chargers, as they may save you several thousand dollars in charging equipment and installation.
For most EV owners, the purchase of a Level 2 charger is a no-brainer. Charging at a pace of up to eight times the rate of a Level 1 charger means a longer driving distance and increased reliability. However, there are several costs associated with Level 2 EV chargers that should be accounted for. The first of these is the hardware, which can range from $350 to $1,400. The two that are mentioned in this article fall into that range, with the Grizzl-E classic costing $395 and the ChargePoint Home Flex costing $749. The service required to install the charger is a secondary cost that should be considered. A certified electrician, a home electrical assessment, and the variables that are associated with installation will all affect this cost. When combining the costs, the total cost for a home Level 2 EV charger can range between $1,000 and $3,000.
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Autonomous Drones for Better Farming
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...