After making the fuel-saving purchase of an electric car, you’ll probably want to install an electric charger where you live for a convenient way to recharge while you’re parked at home. But you may wonder just how much installing an electric charger is going to set you back.
The cost of installing an electric charger can vary, depending on how much the car is driven and how much power the car owner wants. The cost of the charging unit ranges between $400 and $700. Labor can cost another $1,000 to $2,000. This cost can increase, depending on your home’s electrical capacity.
Getting an electric car charger installed in your home can have a very variable price, so it’s important to know what it is exactly that’ll raise the costs of your installation and whether your specific needs warrant the extra money.
Every home is a little different, so it’s important to understand what about yours may contribute to the cost.
How Much Does An Electrical Charging Station Cost?
While electric cars are, in the long run, a fantastic way to save money on gasoline and other expenditures that come with owning a traditional car, they do often come with an initial investment that you should be aware of. This price can also vary.
There are two charging station levels that you need to be aware of when getting an electric car: charging station level 1 and charging station level 2.
Depending on the charging station level, you could be paying more or less to get it installed. Each charging station offers you different speeds of charging your vehicle, with level 3 being the fastest and level 1 being the slowest.
In addition, the higher the charging station level, the higher the cost of labor.
This could be more expensive, depending on how complex the installation is. Installing an electric charging station in your home can have hard to predict costs because of a few different factors.
- where you’re located,
- the expertise of the electrician you’re working with,
- your particular garage, and
- house needs can influence the costs of installation.
Cost and Operation of a Level 1 Electric Charging Station
This is the standard electric charging station that comes with your electric vehicle. These don’t come with any additional costs as long as you have a standard electrical outlet in your home or garage, but if not, this can cost between $75 and $485 to get it installed.
These electric charging stations need 120 volts or 15 amps of electricity to function. This is usually accomplished by any standard outlet inside or outside your house.
You would assume every garage has a standard outlet installed but our previous home, built in 1927, did not have any electrical plugs in the garage. Not convenient.
The Tradeoff of the Low-Cost Level 1 Charging Station
The low amp requirement comes with the compromise of slower charging speeds. Level 1 is referred to as Trickle Charging.
- Lower recovery. Because the amp need is so low for this charging station level, it is not as powerful, so it’s only able to recover 4 to 5 miles of range per hour.
- Much longer charging time. Depending on your specific vehicle, this could look like 10 hours of charging, all the way up to 40 hours, depending on the capacity of your vehicle
It’s not impossible to get by on a level 1 charging station; if you don’t anticipate driving every day, then you could certainly make this work.
The convenience of its low voltage requirement also means that you could theoretically charge your car in the same outlet you use for your television set, which is nice. However, for most drivers, the slow charging speeds aren’t going to cut it when it’s time to go to work in the morning.
Electric car owners, when they first get their vehicle, might find that the charging speeds of the first level are much too slow for their needs, so they upgrade, which can be a quick and easy process.
Cost and Operation of a Level 2 Electric Charging Station
The electric charging station level 2 is the go-to recommended level for consumers.
If level 1 charging is like trying to fill up a gas tank with a spoon, then level 2 charging is akin to filling up a gas tank with a hose.
- Quick Recovery. Electric charging station level 2 charges your vehicle 3 to 5 times faster than level 1, recovering 25 to 30 miles per hour.
- Fast and Convenient Charging. In just a few hours per day, between meals or at work, your vehicle can be fully charged and ready to go.
You need a 240 Volt outlet to make use of this special charger, and chances are you’re already familiar with this kind of outlet. Appliances such as your dryer machine and oven in the kitchen need this to function. Installing this charging station could cost anywhere between $500 and $700, with labor costing an additional $1200 to $2000.
Most likely, you won’t have an outlet with this voltage capacity conveniently in your garage. If this is the case, then you’re going to have to get an electrician to install a 240-volt circuit that can handle 40-50 amps.
You will also need spare capacity for a 240 Volt breaker in your electrical panel. A 240 Volt breaker takes up two spots in your distribution board.
Not only does a charging station level 2 shorten the time it takes for your car to charge, but it also adds value to your home if you were to ever sell it. With this charging station, you get a consistent and reliable location to charge your vehicle.
Cost and Operation of a Level 3 Electric Charging Station Level
The third level of the electric charging station series, otherwise known as “DC Chargers,” is the most efficient and most expensive out of all the levels to install.
These are charging stations that you can usually only find out in public locations that you can use to charge your car at a much greater speed.
They can charge an electric vehicle to 80 percent or full in about 30 minutes. But it will cost you.
The DC Charging station itself costs between $10,000 and $40,000, with its installation and labor costing anywhere between $4,000 and $50,000. The expense of its installation can be explained by the ultra-high power it provides to your vehicle and its limited availability. You can find these stations in designated locations in your state, making the location of these stations’ mandatory for any long trips you’re going on.
Additional Costs of Installing an Electric Car Charger
Electrical work is the single biggest factor to consider when calculating the cost of installation. Depending on the electrical setup of your house, the final costs of installing an electric charger can be much different than your neighbor.
This can vary based on several things, including:
- The state you reside in
- The electrical panel capacity of your home
- Where you plan to install your electric charger
Related article: These 28 Electric Cars Qualify for a Tax Credit (including tax credit for installing a home charging station)
Electrical Upgrading Costs
If you have an old household that doesn’t support the required voltage needed for your electric charger, you’re going to need an upgrade, which can cost thousands of dollars depending on what you specifically need.
Chances are, however, if you’re just sticking with the electrical charging station that your vehicle came with – the level 1 station – then you won’t really have to worry about having your home ready and up to date.
If you plan on going with the level 2 charging station, then you need to keep in mind the circuits available in your house and whether they have enough voltage to support an electric car charger.
In general, most garages don’t come with a 240 volt to 100 amp circuit; it’s a very specific kind of voltage that usually has very specific applications. So, if you’ve never used one before, chances are you don’t have one and need to get it installed.
- To install a 240 volt to 100 amp circuit in your garage, it’s going to cost anywhere between $500 and $1500.
- If you need to remodel your garage to accommodate your new car and charging station, that can cost upwards of $5,000 on average.
Getting Your Home to Sufficient Electrical Capacity
Level 2 charging stations require a lot of power to work. In fact, they require more power than your driers, ovens, and air conditioners to function properly.
“Power” here refers to how fast energy is being used or transmuted, and considering how a level 2 charging station can offer your vehicle enough power to fully charge in just a few hours while your house and other electronics are on, having a sufficient electrical capacity is crucial.
Modern homes demand a lot of energy; if your house doesn’t have the capacity to handle the load of an electric car, you’ll have to get an electrical panel upgrade, adding to the cost of installation.
Estimated Costs of Upgrading or Replacing an Electrical Panel
The expense of getting your panel ready to handle a charger for an electric car can vary, depending on what type of panel you have and how much additional power you need. A slight upgrade might cost under $300, but these costs go up exponentially, the more work that is required.
- Replace 100-amp electrical panel: up to $1,100
- New 100-amp service panel: up to $1,600
- New 200-amp service: up to $2,500
- Upgrade to 400 amps: up to $4,000
- Add a low-amp subpanel: up to $1,000
You ideally should have 50 amps in an outlet available for charging your electric car, and if you don’t have that, then you’ll have to settle for charging your car at a fraction of the pace that it could be charged at.
In general, charging an electric vehicle can double or triple the overall power load of the entire house, which is a testament to the amount of commitment needed to own an electric vehicle and go through installing a charger.
Costs of Wiring For an Electric Car Charger
Wiring is another potential cost that you have to consider when getting an electric car installed. Wiring is a process in which an electrician makes sure that there is enough wiring from the electric panel to the wall where the charging station is installed could be expensive depending on your needs.
The wiring could cost you anywhere between $6 to $8 per foot of wiring. If it’s a small job, the cost of wiring can be as little as $125, but if you plan on wiring the entirety of your house, then this could cost you up to $10,000.
Why Wiring Costs So Much
Wiring can cost you a lot of money because the drywall needs to be opened up in a variety of different places, adding to the costs of your installation. It’s a process in which you remove the outdated wiring in your house or location and replace it with new, more up to date wire that gets the job done.
Depending on your house and specific needs, instead of in specific locations, you may need to remove all of the wire to have your house up to date with the electrical code.
Because rewiring can be very expensive, it’s best to be certain before getting an electric charging station if you need to rewire. If your house is old, consider scheduling a home inspection with a local electric company.
This will give you an idea of every repair that you need and can also indicate whether your home and garage are capable of including an electric charging station.
Permit Costs for Installing an Electric Car Charger
Most states require homeowners who plan on installing an electric charging station into their homes to get a permit for doing so. And while this is relatively cheap in comparison to other aspects of the charging station installation, this is still a cost you most likely will have to keep in mind when getting your car and station. This can cost up to $200 in total.
- How to Charge Your Electric Car Without a Home Charger
- 8 Tips to Take Your Electric Car on a Road Trip
Outdoor Installation of an Electric Car Charger
Electric car charger installations sometimes offer you the choice between indoor or outdoor installation. Depending on the type of charger you want, that is either hardwired or plugged in, and depending on where you want to charge your vehicle; one may be more suited for your needs than the other.
Why Install an Electric Car Charger Outdoors?
This is an attractive option for individuals who don’t have a garage or don’t want to use their garage as a charging station. If outdoor charging appeals to you, then you’re going to require the assistance of an electrician to install an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment).
Getting an outdoor EVSE installed costs between $500 and $1,200 depending on your specific needs for configuration. This can vary based on local labor rates. When getting an outdoor charging station installed for your home, you need to have access to an external wall or freestanding pole.
In case you were concerned, you don’t have to worry about weather conditions messing up your charger, as an outdoor charger is fully functional in all weather conditions.
The Costs of Charging an Electric Car in Public vs. at Home
If you’re going to go through the expense of installing a charger at home for your electric car, you probably wonder how much the cost differs between using a public station and your home station.
Costs of Using a Public Charging Station
If you’re out on the road and won’t be able to go home anytime too soon, then using a public charger will be necessary.
To publicly charge your vehicle at one of the 20,000 public charging stations or some 70,000 outlets in the United States, you can find yourself paying between $7 and $36 for a full charge. (Source: Evadoption.com)
To help shave off some of the costs of public charging, you could get yourself a charging membership. If you think you’re going to be using public charging stations quite often, this can save you an additional 10% on charging in comparison.
Charging Costs at Home
If public charging isn’t an attractive option in your city, then you can take comfort in knowing that charging at home is always the cheaper option. Although costs can vary based on the type of vehicle you own, the time of day you charge, utility company and state, you’ll find that charging will cost you between $3 and $8 per full charge.
Depending on your electrical setup, on its own, charging your electric vehicle will cost you an additional $25 to $35 to your electric bill per month, and that’s assuming you’re charging it within 30 miles per night. If you go more than that, then this can raise your bill even higher.
Regardless of the cost having an electric vehicle adds to your monthly bills, having an electric charger installed is cheaper than public charging.
Additional Accessories and Costs of an Electric Charger
Depending on your needs, there are additional accessories and upgrades that can add to the cost of your electric car installation. For instance, you can get totally optional but totally helpful cable organizers or Wi-Fi boosters.
Depending on how far away your vehicle will be parked from your charging station, a lengthy charging cable can be mandatory. Charging cables are flexible in the sense that they can be mounted in garages or outside, and depending on the type, it’s compatible with most electric car brands. You can get a 25 ft. cord on Evwest.
When you have 25 ft. of cable, it’s tacky to leave it just sprawling about without something available to keep it in place when not in use. Cable organizers can be built into your charging station or mounted separately and serve to keep your charging station organized. You can find cable organizers for $10 to $35 on Amazon.
If you don’t own a garage or aren’t interested in putting your charging station in your garage, then a pedestal mount would be helpful for you. A pedestal mount is an outdoor mount for your charging station so that it’s somewhere easily accessible. The cost can be anywhere between $160 and $850 and can be found on sites such as NovaCharge.
In general, if you wish to fill up your own car, this could cost you anywhere between $3 and $8 per fill-up, which judging from the prices, is a much better price range than using gasoline, right. It’s a lot healthier on the sanity.
Universal Cable Retractor
Instead of a more traditional mount or cable organizer, you have the option of getting a universal cable retractor which has a simple yet effective design. It suspends your charging cable and retracts it for you so that you don’t have to labor yourself to organize it yourself. It has the added benefit of working with any brand of charging cable, and it works with any length as well. It’s easy to install and reduces cable wear by keeping the cord off the ground at all times.
The EvoCharge Universal Cable Retractor can be found on Amazon for $399.
Some charging products benefit from using Wi-Fi to maintain tabs on the status of your vehicle. Depending on how far away your vehicle is, it can be beneficial to have a Wi-Fi-booster. On average, they cost between $20 and $80 and can be found on Amazon.
Brands of Electric Car Chargers for Home
Depending on the brand of the charging station that you get, its price can add to the overall money you spend on your installation. There are different charging stations for different people, and there’s a reason for that.
Charging stations offer a combination of different features, which ultimately drive up their price and functionality. Depending on what you consider to be a need, you could be paying more. Here’s a quick list of the different brands, features, and costs.
These charging stations can cost you between $330 and $970. The cool thing about them is that they’re very customizable, offering you four different plug-in options, which can be useful if you only have access to certain kinds of outlets and don’t want to spend money on getting an electrician’s help.
The ClipperCreak charger comes with a 25-foot cable and comes with a four-year NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) warranty. Unfortunately, it does not come with any software.
JuiceBox Pro comes as a 32 or 40 amp charger and also comes with a 25 ft. charger cable, so you don’t have to get that separately. It also has integrated cable management.
Their products also come with Wi-Fi enabled, a smartphone app, and an online control dashboard and are one of the only products that are able to show you the charging status of your vehicle. This costs between $330 and $970.
ChargePoint charging stations offer you access to their app, which grants the ability to schedule charges, check your charging status, and even set charging reminders. ChargePoint stations cost between $600 and $870 and can be purchased from 16 to 50 amps.
Webasto features a 32 ramp level 2 charging station but has a portable option as well. It has a water-proof certification and contains built-in security and safety measures for your peace of mind. Unfortunately, it has a basic design with no software to support it. Webasto charging stations cost between $170 and $530.
Tax Credit and Incentives for Installing a Home Car Charger
Installing an electric charger for your car can be expensive, especially if you need to have electrical work done on your home. Some of this is alleviated due to electrical charging stations being eligible for a 30% tax credit for their purchase and installation costs, thus saving you money in the long run. In addition, electrical car owners enjoy some incentives:
- Rebates – Most utility companies provide rebates of up to 50% on the purchase and installation of Level 2 home charging stations. Wi-Fi-enabled stations are more likely to be eligible because utility companies use the data to distribute electricity more efficiently.
- Discounted Registration and Title Fees – Some states provide EV buyers with discounts on sales tax, registration fees, and title fees.
- Access to Carpool Lanes – Many states give EV owners access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
- Discounted Parking – Some cities and local businesses offer free public parking for EVs.
Even though owning an electric car and charging station can be expensive, it’s not without its benefits.
Tallying the Costs to Install an Electric Charger
The costs of installing an electric vehicle can vary by state, utility company, the electrical needs of your home, and the type of electric vehicle that you own. If you need work done on your home in order to properly sustain an electric charger, then you could be spending up to tens of thousands of dollars. There are also additional costs to having an electric charger installed depending on the brand you buy and the accessories you need.
There’s no one size fits all to how much it costs to install an electric vehicle. In general, installing an electric vehicle can cost between $400 and $1700 before labor costs. With labor costs, and depending on your electrical situation at home, these numbers can jump up to or over $5,000.