Hello fellow EV enthusiasts!
As the owner of EV Charge PDX, a local woman-owned business specializing in EV charger installations, I am delighted to address one of the most common questions we receive: “What is the average cost of installing an EV charger at home?” As we all embrace the electric vehicle revolution, it’s essential to understand the financial aspects of charging infrastructure for our homes.
EV Charger Installation Costs: Factors to Consider
The cost of installing an EV charger at home can vary based on several factors, so let’s break them down:
- Type of Charger: There are different types of EV chargers available, such as Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and even Level 3 (DC fast chargers). Level 1 chargers are the most affordable option, but they provide slower charging speeds. These chargers often come with new EVs but you typically only get 3-5 miles for every hour of charging. If your EV is primarily used for commuting and only drive 15 or 20 miles per day, you may be able to rely on a Level 1 charger, which plugs into a normal household outlet. If you drive more or simply have a larger battery and want to be sure you can get a full charge overnight, a Level 2 charger will be a better option. Level 2 chargers are more commonly used for residential installations, offering charging times as much as 9X faster than those of Level 1 chargers and will be the focus of our cost analysis.
- Electrical Infrastructure: The existing electrical setup in your home plays a significant role in installation costs. If your electrical panel has available capacity, the installation should be relatively straightforward. One of the primary requirements is to have 200 amps of main service. Most homes do, but if you do not, a panel upgrade may be required. Further, if you do have 200-amp service, but your panel appears to be full (no open slots for an additional dual pole breaker) we can typically consolidate several individual breakers making room for a new dedicated circuit for your EV charger.
- Distance and Location: The distance between your electrical panel and the preferred charger location can influence the cost. The greater the distance between the preferred charger location and the panel, the more materials and labor time is required. Also, if the panel is on a different level than where the charger will go or if there are other obstacles, this will impact the installation cost.
- Permitting and Inspection: All areas require permits and sometimes an inspection will be required for EV charger installations. These fees will be included in the project but don’t add a significant amount to the total cost.
- Labor and Materials: Certified electricians and quality materials are essential for a safe and efficient installation. Reputable installers ensure compliance with local codes and standards, providing peace of mind for EV owners.
Average Cost Estimates
Based on our experience at EV Charge PDX and data from additional sources, the average cost of installing a Level 2 EV charger at home can range from $500 to $1,500. However, it’s important to note that this estimate can vary depending on your location, specific requirements, and the variables described above.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy, typical installation costs for a Level 2 EV charger at home range from $800 to $1,500. This estimate includes both materials and labor. Keep in mind that regional differences and individual circumstances can influence the final cost.
The California Energy Commission, in its research on residential EV charging infrastructure, found that installation costs in their state generally fall between $1,000 and $2,000. However, this study was conducted in California, where factors such as higher labor costs and specific regulations can impact the overall expenses.
The Level 2 chargers themselves cost between $399 – $750 for the most popular models. Because our clients are predominantly in the service areas of Portland General Electric (PGE) Pacific Power and Light, and Salem Electric, we recommend and provide high-quality Level 2 chargers that qualify for rebates from these utility companies. These rebates are typically $500 but can go as high as $1,000 for qualifying income-eligible clients. These rebates can significantly reduce the cost of the overall project and we help facilitate the rebate process by providing all the necessary information and documentation needed for the rebate application.
Investing in Your EV Charging Solution
While the initial cost might seem significant, installing an EV charger at home is a valuable long-term investment. By eliminating the need to rely solely on public charging stations, you save time and money on charging fees while enjoying the convenience of charging your EV overnight or whenever it’s parked at home.
Another benefit of having a Level 2 charger is it can reduce your reliance on DC fast charging. Using DC fast chargers can be harmful to the range and longevity of your EV’s battery due to the excessive heat DC fast charging generates. For more information on the impact to your car’s battery when using DC fast chargers, check out this article.
Moreover, as the popularity of electric vehicles grows, installing an EV charger can increase the resale value of your property and attract potential buyers who value the accessibility of private charging solutions.
As the proud owner of EV Charge PDX, I encourage all EV enthusiasts to consider the benefits of having an EV charger at home. While the average cost may vary based on multiple factors, the convenience and long-term advantages of home charging make it an investment worth considering.
We will also help you take advantage of EV charger rebate programs based on what is available in your service area and provide information on opportunities to charge your EV at reduced rates. PGE is the only one who has this program currently. For more information on these reduced rate programs, check out this article.
If you’re located in the Portland or Salem area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation, free assessment, and personalized quote. Together, let’s power the future with sustainable energy solutions!
Michelle Grove, CEO
EV Charge PDX