By Brentnie Daggett, Rentec Direct
Have you noticed more electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads and in your neighborhood? The transition towards cleaner and more sustainable transportation is undeniable. In Oregon, for instance, electric vehicle sales have nearly doubled in the past two years. To expedite the shift towards electric mobility, at least nine states are following California’s lead, planning to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
As more people embrace EVs, the importance of having a home charging solution is critical. The cost of installing an EV charger at your residence can vary based on several factors, with experts estimating it between $300 to $1300, plus installation. Beyond the cost, here are a few essential considerations to keep in mind when getting an EV charger installed at your home:
Select The Right Charger Based On Your Needs And Preferences
Before delving into the installation process, take a moment to evaluate your EV charging needs. Assess how frequently you’ll be using your EV and the distances you’ll typically travel, and determine if level 1, 2 or 3 is best for your needs and preferences. Level 1 chargers are basic and come with most EVs. However, they are not the most practical as they provide only 3 to 4 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers are the most popular. They can add 30 to 60 miles of range per hour but require 240V of electricity (similar to a dryer outlet). Often you’ll need an electrician to install a new electrical circuit to support a level 2 charger. Level 3 chargers or fast chargers can charge your EV to 80% in less than 30 minutes, but you can only access these in public areas, such as grocery stores, malls, along highways and other community spaces.
Identify An Optimal Location
Next, you’ll have to think about a location for your charger. Driveways and garages are the most popular locations for charging stations. Consider factors, like convenience, proximity to a power source, cord length, weather protection and warranties. If your charger will be placed outside, ensure it's weatherproof. You may also want to get a charger that can connect to your other smart home devices, such as Alexa or Google Home. Here is a roundup of some popular level 2 chargers that have various cord lengths, durability features and warranties.
Work With An Electrician
Reach out to an electrician for a consultation and a quote. They can access your infrastructure, determine necessary modifications and outline associated costs. Discuss your preferred charger and location and an electrician can go over the pros and cons of your plan, provide alternatives and work with you to find a solution that meets your electrical needs and charging preferences. A major consideration is whether or not your home’s electrical panel can handle the addition of an EV charge without overloading the system and an electrician can help you determine that.
Explore Tax Incentives
There are significant incentives to explore when it comes to the financial aspects of EV ownership. Many EV purchases in the US qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7500. Additionally, tax credits are available for installing chargers too. You can claim a Federal tax credit of up to 30% of the charger’s cost (capped at a maximum of $1,000). Your state and power company might offer additional credits too. Be sure to explore incentives specific to your state.
Have A Plan For Maintenance
Lastly, like your other household appliances, EV chargers require regular maintenance. When you prepare your home for winter and summer, ensure your charging station is on the checklist. Ice and snow can damage your charger, while hot conditions can lead to overheating of wires. Make sure to clean and inspect the unit regularly and wipe down any dirt or residue, inspect the cables, cord and connectors. Plan to have an electrician assess the charger at least every couple of years to ensure everything is working correctly and to replace any worn-out parts. If your charger is slowing down, you should reach out to an expert for repairs right away.
Installing an EV charger at your home not only enhances your property value and adds convenience, but it also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. By embracing EV charging, you’re supporting the climate change movement and actively participating in a cleaner, greener tomorrow. As someone who purchased my first EV two years ago and had a charger installed, I can attest that the process is straightforward and worthwhile. Our recent addition of another EV vehicle has made us an all-electric vehicle family, and we’re enjoying the immediate and long-term benefits for both ourselves and the environment.
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.