How good an investment is an electric vehicle (EV) charger for your home? Pretty good if you consider the return on your investment, regardless of whether you plan on staying put or selling.
Let’s look at both scenarios.
Home EV Chargers for Long-Term Savings
Electric vehicle sales keep climbing and with car companies old and new making massive commitments to growing their EV offerings, chances are good you’ll have one in the near future.
So how does driving an electric vehicle save you money in the long term?
Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electricity supplier, estimates that compared to driving a gasoline powered car, the savings in fuel and maintenance costs by driving an EV could total over $16,000 in a 10-year span. That includes amortizing the equipment and installation costs. And with gasoline prices rising faster than electricity, that could be a conservative guess.
An EV Charger Adds to Your Home’s Value
A home EV charger makes your residence more attractive to buyers with electric vehicles, and those buyers are growing at an ever-increasing rate. At the minimum, it saves them the cost and hassle of installing a charger when they move in, and that may just be the incentive you need to get a top price in today’s crazy real estate market.
Why Charge at Home?
When you buy an EV or plug-in hybrid, you’ll have another “new normal” to deal with on a more or less daily basis. That’s because like your cell phone and laptop, electric cars need their batteries recharged to keep working. And would you rather stop at a commercial charging station, pay a markup for the service, and stand around longer than it takes to fill up a tank of gas (maybe a lot longer), or plug in your car to charge up overnight like your phone?
By charging at home, you not only save the hassle of finding a charging station, you also pay lower off-peak prices for the electricity you use.
What Does a Home EV Charging Station Cost?
There are cheap Level 1 plug-in chargers and other products that may be tempting for an ambitious DIYer, but the smart and safe bet is to invest in a professionally installed Level 2 240-volt, high amperage charger for long-term reliability, convenience, and safety. These should only be installed by a licensed electrician who can assess your electrical service and its ability to provide the power you need to get the job done right.
Good quality Level 2 charging equipment runs in the $400-700 range, depending on features. Running power to the station can vary widely.
As of 2016, Denver and many other locations require that all new residential construction include provisions for Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. At minimum, residential garages and carports must have sufficient electrical conduit installed to enable 240-volt, 40-amp wiring to be easily pulled to an outlet for future EV charging stations.
But unless an EV charging option is already installed, there’s more work to do.
Installing EV charging stations to existing structures requires running conduit and wiring on a separate GFCI-protected circuit to an outlet, typically in a garage. It can involve panel upgrades and added electrical service as well, especially in older homes. If your garage or carport isn’t attached, it could also require burying a new line from your service entrance. Even if your builder has run the conduit, adding a 240-volt line and an EV outlet requires a permit and professional installation.
A Home EV Charging is a Good Investment
Adding an EV charging station to a residence makes economic sense for many homeowners. It lets them charge their vehicle(s) conveniently at home, avoiding the hassle and expense of using commercial charging stations. Plus, since they’ll probably be charging the EV overnight, they’ll be buying electricity at off-peak rates instead of higher daytime prices (and without markups for overhead and profits).
And it adds value to a home when it comes time to sell.
Allstar Electrical Services has installed dozens of EV charging stations in homes, parking garages, and at businesses with multiple EV fleets. We’ve helped Coloradans increase efficiency while adding comfort and convenience to their homes and businesses for over 20 years.
For an estimate on installing a home EV charger or to learn more about the many ways upgraded electric services and emerging technologies can improve your home or business, schedule an appointment our website or give us a call at 303.399.7420.