If you own an electric vehicle, installing an EV charging station at your home offers huge benefits compared to having to always use public charging stations. The most obvious factor is the convenience of being able to charge your car overnight as you sleep.
Having your own EV charging station at home also tends to be far cheaper than paying the high surcharges at most public charging stations. The average cost at public charging stations usually ranges between $0.30 and $0.60 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and the current average electricity rate in Wisconsin is around $0.11 per kWh. This means that having your own EV charging station at home could easily reduce the amount you spend to charge your vehicle by anywhere from one-third to one-sixth.
All of these factors make having your own EV charging station at home an excellent decision. Still, now that we’ve convinced you why you need a home EV charging station, the question is whether you should have it installed in your garage or outside your home. To answer this, let’s look at the different types of home EV charging stations and the benefits and drawbacks of indoor and outdoor installation.
Types of Home EV Charging Stations
When deciding to install a home EV charging station, your two options are a level 1 or level 2 charger. Level 1 chargers are 120-volt stations, and they have the advantage of being cheaper to purchase and install. However, a level 1 charging station will charge your vehicle far more slowly than a level 2 station. It typically takes eight to 12 hours at the very least to reach a full charge with a level 1 station. In most cases, you will be able to drive somewhere between two and five miles for every hour of charging with a level 1 station.
Level 2 EV charging stations are 240 volts and can provide a much quicker charge due to the additional power. With a level 2 station, you will usually be able to go somewhere between 10 to 40 miles for every hour of charging. This means that you are virtually guaranteed that a level 2 station will be able to fully charge your vehicle overnight, which isn’t always the case with a level 1 station.
There is also a third type of EV charging station, a level 3 or DC fast-charge station. This is typically what is used at most public charging stations, and this type of charger is what you’ll find at most public charging stations. Depending on your vehicle, a level 3 station should provide anywhere from 75 to 1,200 miles per hour of charging and should be able to take your battery from empty to full in around 30 minutes. However, level 3 charging stations can be extremely expensive, and most residential electrical systems cannot handle this level of power.
Indoor vs. Outdoor EV Charger Installation
Once you’ve decided whether a level 1 or level 2 station is the better option, you’ll then need to think carefully about where you want the charging station installed. Most EV industry experts and charging station manufacturers recommend indoor installation if possible. Even if you don’t actually have room to charge your vehicle in your garage, you can still install the charger inside and run the cord to your vehicle outside.
There is generally zero risk with charging your vehicle outside even during heavy rains or snowstorms as the charging port on your vehicle is designed to drain water away to prevent possible damage to the port or the vehicle. The cord itself is also fully waterproof and creates a watertight seal when you connect it to your car’s battery port.
The only issue is that if you choose to install the station inside and charge your vehicle outside, you won’t be able to fully close and secure your garage door when charging as this could damage the charging cord. The only way to get around this is to install a small access panel that allows you to run the charging cord through your wall instead of under the garage door. Otherwise, you will need to leave your garage open and unlocked whenever you’re charging your vehicle.
The primary reason that most experts recommend installing the charging station indoors is that it will be protected from the weather, animals, and other people. This means that indoor charging stations tend to last longer, and most will also come with a longer warranty than charging stations designed for outdoor installation. Even though outdoor charging stations are designed to be fully waterproof and protected from the elements, an outdoor station still likely won’t last for nearly as many years as an indoor station.
All that being said, there is still absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to install your charging station outdoors. In fact, doing so can be a more secure option compared to having to leave your garage door unsecured all night long to accommodate the charging cord. However, if you do decide to install the charging station outdoors, it is highly recommended that you choose a level 2 station. For outdoor charging, a level 1 station generally won’t cut it due to the added uncertainties of outdoor charging and the additional time it takes compared to a level 2 charger. You will also need to consider your options for securing your outdoor charging station to prevent unauthorized access.
The primary reason that people opt to have their EV charging station installed outdoors is for convenience. Installing the charger outdoors allows you to choose an area that may be much closer to where you park so that you won’t have to worry about running a long cord out from your garage to your vehicle. On the other hand, if you have room inside your garage to park your vehicle, then installing the charging station inside is generally the best option. This is primarily because the charger should last longer indoors and also won’t create any security issues that could arise with leaving your garage unlocked at night.
No matter where you decide to install your EV charging station, you will definitely need to hire a certified electrician to perform the work. Both level 1 and level 2 stations require their own separate circuit, and you will need an electrician to ensure that the circuit and charging station are installed safely and correctly.
Contact the Professionals Today
At Black-Haak, our team of licensed electricians has the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that your new EV charging station is installed correctly and works just as it should. We have experience installing both level 1 and level 2 stations for customers in Fox Valley and the surrounding areas, and we can also help you decide whether it is better to install your station in the garage or outside your home.
We also specialize in a full range of other electrical services including inspections, repairs, rewiring, lighting, surge protection, and home automation. Our team also consists of professional plumbers and certified HVAC technicians that can manage any aspect of your home’s plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems. To learn more about your options for home EV charging or to schedule a consultation, give Black-Haak a call today, and we’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.