Home EV charging has many benefits. This is why many EV owners install home charging stations instead of relying on the standard EVSE cable that plugs into a regular home outlet. However, you might wonder if you need a home charging station to use an electric vehicle.
This article will help you decide whether you need a home charging station or not.
What is your EV battery capacity?
Electric vehicles come with different battery capacities. For example, the electric Mini Cooper has a 32.6 kWh battery. Since a standard plug can supply up to 2.4 kW, it is possible to charge the car to 80 percent by plugging in overnight. In this case, you do not need to install a home charging station.
On the other hand, if you have a larger battery or your commute to work is longer, you might need to invest in a home charging station.
Speaking of work, your employer’s EV policy might affect your need for a home charging station.
Do you have access to a Level 2 charger at work?
Even with a larger battery, you could survive on only a 120-volt EVSE at home. Some employers offer free Level 2 charging to their staff to encourage them to switch to electric vehicles. If you work at such a place, you will always leave the office with a full battery as long as you remember to plug in when you get to work.
With a five-day, eight-hours-per-day work week, you will never run out of charge, and you do not need a home charging station because you can rely on your 120-volt EVSE cable for the times you need to top up the battery at home.
How many miles do you drive daily?
The average American driver covers about 26 miles per day. If you log less than the average, your driving needs can be taken care of with a 120-volt EVSE, as long as you remember to plug in when you are at home.
In practical terms, if your daily driving is more of school runs and some errands, the expenses of installing a home charger are not a necessity.
However, suppose you frequently drive long distances, such as a tradesman, salesman, or deliveryman who drives across town daily. In that case, the charging from a 120-volt EVSE is not adequate for you. You need a home charging station so you can start each day with a full battery.
If you live in a remote place, like on a large ranch or plantation, you might not have many opportunities to charge your car apart from at home. In this case, you need your home charging to be as fast as possible so you can always have enough battery to drive back home. You need a home charging station.
However, suppose you live in a metropolitan area with lots of charging opportunities. In that case, you could top up your battery as you go about your business. Some shopping malls, laundromats, etc., allow you to plug in while you are on the premises. Your 120-volt EVSE could be all you need to stay charged by watching out for these opportunities.
If there are DC fast-charging stations around and you choose to depend on them, you do not need to install a home charging station. A 20 minutes charging session at a DC fast charger could give you enough battery for the whole day.
Do you have a home garage or home parking?
Sometimes, you simply can’t install a home charging station. For example, you might have to park on the street, or do not have a home garage, or the rental property landlord does not allow electrical upgrades and installing a charging station.
This does not mean you can’t use an electric vehicle because you can use other charging methods.
Home charging stations have their benefits. However, as you have seen in this article, the answer to whether you need a home charging station could be a no, depending on your circumstances.