First, some congratulations are in order: You purchased an electric vehicle (EV), making the world a little greener and less polluted. That has to feel good!
Now that you have the car, the next step is to choose a charger. When it comes to residential EV chargers, there are a lot of worthy models you could pick. That said, one charger may be better for you than another—depending on the type of car you have, your home’s electrical configuration, and your budget. In that sense, the “best” EV charger is relative to your needs.
As you compare different EV chargers, you should consider the following specifications and features:
- Level 1 vs. Level 2
- Amperage Rating
- Portable vs. Hardwired
- Safety and Energy Certifications
We’ll go into more detail about each of these specifications to give you a better idea of which EV charger is the best for you.
Want To Consult With an Electrician About an EV Charger for Your Home?
Just call Roy’s PowerWorx at 716-218-1106 or request a worry-free appointment online. We’ll quickly schedule one of our licensed electricians to help you choose the best charger. We can also install the charger for you.
Level 1 vs. Level 2
First, you’ll have to decide whether to stick with a Level 1 charger or opt for a faster Level 2 charger. We’ll explain the difference between the two.
When you purchased your EV, the manufacturer automatically included a Level 1 charger with the vehicle. You can plug this charger into a regular outlet to charge your car’s battery. The downside to Level 1 chargers is that they have prolonged charge times (they take 11–20 hours to charge a battery fully).
A faster charging option is a Level 2 charger. Level 2 chargers can fully charge a battery within three to eight hours. To achieve this faster charge speed, you must connect a Level 2 charger to a 240V outlet. An electrician will need to install this outlet for you.
While Level 2 chargers offer faster-charging speeds, they also come with a higher price tag. The cost of the charger itself ranges anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Besides the cost of the charger itself, you’ll need to consider the cost to install the 240V outlet, plus any electrical modifications the electrician needs to make to install the charger.
Even though Level 2 chargers are more expensive, they are usually the best option for most drivers because they can charge batteries much faster.
The amperage rating of an EV charger also determines its charging speed. The higher the amperage, the faster the charging speed.
Most Level 2 EV chargers range from 16 to 30 amps; some even go as high as 80 amps. Higher-amperage chargers are more expensive, and they may require significant upgrades to your home’s electrical panel, which increases cost even more.
Before you purchase a charger, we recommend consulting with a professional. An electrician can help you determine the ideal amperage for your charger based on your EV, electrical panel, and budget.
Portable vs. Hardwired
Chargers generally fall into one of two categories: portable EV chargers or hardwired chargers installed to a fixed location.
A portable option provides a little more flexibility because you can disconnect it if you move. That said, most 240V outlets are not designed for frequent plugging and unplugging, so you should still plan on leaving it plugged in most of the time.
If you plan on charging your vehicle outside, you’ll want to go with a hardwired charger because they are weather-resistant. Hardwired chargers are typically more expensive to install than portable chargers, but they are generally safer and capable of providing faster-charging speeds.
We recommend that you consult with an electrician to help you weigh the pros and cons of both charger types. That way, you can choose the EV charger that best fits your needs.
Safety and Energy Certifications
Regardless of the EV charger you choose, you should make sure it has the following certifications:
- UL Listing: If a charger has a UL Listed seal, it means the charger meets national electrical safety standards.
- Energy Star®: An Energy Star®-certified charger conserves energy when it’s not actively charging your vehicle, making it more energy-efficient overall.
Purchasing a charger with both of these certifications will reduce the risk of an electrical hazard and lower your long-term energy costs.
Ready for a Worry-Free EV Charger Installation?
Call Roy’s PowerWorx at 716-218-1106 or request an appointment online. Our licensed electricians can install the best L2 EV charger for your home and vehicle. We offer flexible financing options to help Buffalo, NY homeowners better afford efficient, fast-charging EV chargers.
When you work with Roy’s PowerWorx, you can count on fair prices, free estimates, dependable guarantees, and exceptional service.