What You Need to Know About Electric Vehicle Chargers

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable each year. With all of the major car manufacturers now offering electric models, it might not be long before we’re all driving EVs. If there’s one major downside of owning an EV, it’s a lack of public electric vehicle charging stations right now.

There are plans to build thousands of charging stations throughout the country, but as of now, it can be tricky to find a charging station without driving out of the way. For that reason, you need to install a home charger to charge your vehicle overnight.

It’s important to understand that not all EV chargers are created equal. We put this post together to help you choose the best charger to meet all of your needs.

Level 1 vs Level 2 charging

The first thing to look for in an EV charger is the charging speed. Two distinct power levels determine your charging speed. Level 1 EV charging equipment delivers a standard household current at 110 or 120 volts. Level 2 equipment charges your vehicle at 220 or 240 volts, the same power used for clothes dryers and electric ovens.

The biggest advantage of Level 1 chargers is that they can be plugged directly into any outlet to charge up your car; however, since your vehicle is only getting 110 or 120 volts, the charging speed is very slow. Level 2 chargers are more expensive and may need to be professionally hardwired to your home, but they charge your vehicle in about half the time.

What’s a bidirectional charger?

When shopping for an EV charger, you may come across products labeled as a bidirectional charger. As you may be able to tell by the name, the current in these chargers flows in two directions. Bidirectional chargers can be used to charge your car, or that energy can be discharged from your car back to your home or power grid.

Bidirectional chargers tend to be on the more expensive end, but a higher price tag won’t matter in a few years, as the devices can pay for themselves due to lower electric bills.

Where should your charger be installed?

Although many Level 2 models can be connected directly to a dryer outlet, this can pose a fire hazard. If you’re going with a Level 2 charger, you’ll need to hire an electrician to retrofit your home for one.

It’s typically easiest and cheapest if the stations are installed next to your current electric panel, so if your panel is in the garage, you’re all set. If it’s not, your electrician will need to run a conduit from the panel to the garage, which can get pricy.

Save big by living in one of our Healthy Communities homes

EVs save on gas prices, but you still need to pay for the electricity to charge your car. For that reason, consider moving into one of our Healthy Communities. Our energy-efficient homes are designed to slash your energy bills, and it’s easy to install electric vehicle charging stations at our properties. Contact us today to learn more about life at Healthy Communities.

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