Guide on charging your electric vehicle at home
An electric vehicle can be charged almost anywhere!
However, the majority of electric vehicle charging is done at home.
How to charge your electric vehicle at home?
- You need either a :
- Level 1 charging station (120V)
- Level 2 charging station (240V)
What are the benefits of charging at home?
Charging your electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in your own home is extremely simple and offers many benefits!
Start your day with a 100% charged EV
With the possibility to charge your EV at home, an electric vehicle driver is able to start his or her day with a vehicle that is 100% charged, and at low cost.
It’s as if someone came and automatically filled up your tank each night while you sleep with the service only costing you 1 or 2 dollars, fuel included!
Charging at low cost
Charging at home is the least expensive way of charging your electric vehicle. On average, the cost to charge your electric vehicle at a public fast charging station (DCFC) is $10 an hour (billed by the minute, therefore 20 minutes = $3.33). It will cost you much less to charge your EV at your residential level 2 charging station.
For example, in Quebec in 2016, 20 minutes of charging at a DCFC is about 16.5 kWh. Meaning that charging at home would cost: 16.5kWwh X $0.0868 = $1.43. In California, where electricity rates are higher, off-peak rates of approximately $0.10/kWh make the 16.5kWh charge a $1.65 one.
No membership required
To charge at home, an electric vehicle driver does not have to be concerned of the different existing charging networks in North America, nor of the different connectors. Indeed, in Canada and in the United States, every electric vehicle can be charged at home with the universal SAE J1772 connector.*
*With the exception of Tesla who uses its own type of connector. However, there exists a one-way adapter to plug an SAE J1772 connector in a Tesla car.
What is the difference between a level 1 charging station and a level 2 charging station ?
Level 1 charging stations
The level 1 charging station is slower. It only provides 1 to 1.5 kWh of charging per hour. For the majority of vehicles on the market, a complete charge takes between 8 to 20 hours depending on the size of the battery.
Level 2 charging stations
The level 2 charging station is faster. Typically, it provides between 3.3 to 7.4 kWh per hour. For the majority of vehicles on the market, a complete charge takes between 3 to 8 hours depending on the size of the battery.
What are the advantages of a level 2 charging station ?
- It is faster than a level 1 charging station (3 to 7 times faster depending on the vehicle and charger).
- Possibility of using a programmable heating system (available on some EV models).
- Augment your daily range with short charging events.
- Possibility to program your charging start time to maximise off-peak electricity rates (varies depending on the region).
With a residential level 2 charging station, the electric vehicle charges faster during the first hours of charging according to the battery capacity and its state of charge. By making a stop at home for an hour or two, you can greatly extend your daily commuting with a level 2 charging station. For example, charging a Nissan Leaf with a 6.6kW charger adds close to 40 km (25 miles) or range per hour. Moreover, with a programmable heating system, you can leave your house in the morning with a warm and defrosted vehicle.
To benefit from these advantages, you will need to buy a level 2 charging station as well as have it installed by a certified electrician. There is no need to have an electrician install the charging station if you already have a 240V electrical outlet installed in accordance with current safety regulations.
Deciding whether you need a level 1 or level 2 charging station depends on your situation and needs. Will you be using your electric vehicle many times during the same day? What distance do you have to travel in one day with your EV? How much time will you have to charge your electric vehicle?
Would you like to purchase a residential charging station that meets your needs? To find out all you need to know about buying a level 2 charging station, please consult our section How to choose your charging station!