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Cost to Install an EV Charging Station at Home

November 10, 2023

Whether you own an electric vehicle or you’re considering switching to one, a key concern is easy access to power. And while electric vehicle charging is growing more accessible by the day, a home EV charger offers the convenience and flexibility to charge up as needed. Being able to plug in your vehicle at home is a no-brainer, but there is, of course, one potential barrier: The complexity and cost to install an EV charging station in your home.

Cost to Install an EV Charging Station at Home

From the type of EV charging station to the location of your home’s circuit breaker, cost considerations to install an EV charger at home can vary quite drastically. 

Let’s break it down.

EV Charger Levels

There are three different levels of EV chargers—Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3—each of which has its own speed of charging, installation requirements and cost. If you’re wondering how to choose a home EV charger, this is the place to start.

Level 1 EV Charger

The most cost-effective, but least efficient EV charging solution. A Level 1 EV Charger requires a standard 120V outlet, so it's simple for the everyday homeowner to purchase and install. However, the charge is slow, providing a mere average of 3-5 miles per hour of charging. 

Level 2 EV Charger

The standard for everyday EV drivers. Requiring a 240V power source (similar to what is used for large appliances like dryers and stoves), a typical Level 2 EV Charger can deliver over 40 miles per hour of charging, taking a car’s battery from 0-100% in about 8-10 hours.

Level 3 EV Charger

The fastest charge and steepest price point. The Level 3 EV Charger comes with the highest price tag—and we mean the highest—and requires significant infrastructure and utility work to deliver the necessary level of power to the charger. As it is currently in 2023, Level 3 chargers aren’t practical for residential spaces.

Hardwired vs. Plugged-In EV Charging Station

There are two different ways to connect a charging station to a home’s power source – by plugging it in or hardwiring.

•    Plug-in EV charger requires a 240V outlet where the charger will be mounted (in a garage or driveway).
•    Hardwired EV charger requires direct installation into a home’s electrical system. 

When determining which option works better for your needs and budget, each has its own pros and cons. For example, a plug-in charger offers flexibility and portability while a hardwired home EV charger delivers a faster charge. 

From a cost perspective, the biggest difference isn’t whether you choose a plug-in EV charger or a hardwired EV charger, it’s whether there is appropriate access to power the charger where it’s needed.

The plug-in EV charger requires a 240V outlet, which is not a common feature in an older home but is gaining popularity as a standard feature in new construction. So, if your home already has a 240V outlet in the garage or other convenient location, a plug-in charger offers a simple installation. 

And what if you don’t?

It gets a bit more complicated.

Where is your circuit breaker?

Level 2 EV charging requires a dedicated circuit breaker, which in some homes, especially older homes, is not always available. In these cases, a new circuit breaker will need to be installed in the panel to supply power to the EV Charging circuit. Whether you need a 240V outlet for a plug-in EV charger or you’re installing a hardwired EV charger, the location of your load center is going to determine the scope of work required to deliver appropriate power to your charging station.

For example, if the circuit breaker is in the garage, it’s likely going to be straightforward for a professional to run power to the EV charger. However, if it’s located in the basement or on the other side of the house, installation is going to be significantly more labor-intensive requiring #6 AWG wire to be run through walls and ceilings to get from the breaker panel to the EV charger.

DIY EV Charger Installation vs. Hiring a Professional

If the cost to install an EV charging station is going to largely be from labor costs, you may be thinking -- can I just DIY it? Well, maybe.

If your home has a 240V outlet in the garage, installation simply requires being plugged in and mounted to the wall. The Plug-In Home Level 2 EV Charger comes ready-to-use right out of the box and doesn’t even require internet or specific software.

Installing a hardwired home EV charger is a bit more complicated and should only be done by a certified electrician. 

When choosing whether to DIY or have a professional install, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. 

Do you need a permit to install an EV Charger?

In most cases, yes, a permit and inspection are required when installing a home EV charging station. Permit costs and specifications may vary based on federal, state and local building codes, but overall, it ensures the installation is done in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) to ensure the process is done safely. Contact a local electrical inspector to determine code specifications and the permit process.

EV Charger Accessories and Add-Ons

Another cost consideration is EV charging accessories and add-ons that are not included in your EV charger purchase. Two common examples of these are optional cable hook/plug holsters and conduit kits – both of which are included as standard components when you purchase Legrand Level 2 chargers. Be sure to clearly read product descriptions to understand what is included and required for installation to save from headaches down the road.

EV Charger Rebate

While there are certainly up-front costs that need to be considered when installing an EV charging station at home, don’t forget about the potential cost-saving opportunities as well. Installing a home EV charger that is Energy Star-certified may qualify homeowners for tax credits, rebates and other incentives based on location.