Electric vehicles are incredibly popular and continue to grow at an exponential scale around the world. Some of the largest electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla have grown larger than traditional car companies like Volkswagen. Though one of the challenges facing electric vehicles is the need for the charging stations necessary to give them the same range as their gasoline counterparts.

Fortunately, modern technology is rising to meet this need by making home and business charging stations available. Though not all electric vehicle charging stations are created equal, and some do a better job of meeting specific needs.

In this article, we will take a closer look at electric vehicle charging stations for homes and businesses as well as what to look for when shopping for the best charging station to meet your needs. This calls for asking and answering some key questions.

What Is The Difference Between A Level 1 & Level 2 Charging Station?

Most homes and small businesses with electric vehicles are tasked with having to choose between a level 1 or a level 2 electric vehicle charging station. Though there are some differences in how fast they charge, which can affect the range of the electric vehicle.

A Level 1 charging only adds about 4 miles of range per hour. Whereas a Level 2 charging station adds about 25 miles of range per hour. With a Level 1 electric charging port it can take a full day to fully charge a vehicle, which isn’t always practical for a commuter or a business that wants to keep a fully charged electric vehicle at the ready. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a level 2 charger is powered by 208 to 240 volts.

What Should I Look For In An Electric Vehicle Charging Station?

Most people choose a level 2 charging station for their home or business. Though this is just one key branch on a broad decision tree. There are actually a wide range of level 2 chargers and accessories that need to be factored into finding the best EV charger for your needs.

Choosing The EV Charging Port Connection

In North America, most charging stations use a universal SAE J1772 connector which is compatible with all EVs and PHEVs sold in the United States. Though there are some Tesla chargers that use a modified version of the SEA J1772 connector. To make it easier for consumers all Tesla electric vehicles sold in the United States come with a SAE J1772 to Tesla adaptor. If you are going to invest in a Tesla electric vehicle, you will want to take this into account.

How Does Amperage Affect Charging Speed?

The Level 2 chargers you find in North America all use 240 Volts. However, the effective charging speed will differ based on the electric current amperage. This translates directly into the kind of effective range you need your electric vehicle to be able to handle on a consistent basis. As well as how much time the electric vehicle will need between each use.

A 32 Amp connection will typically increase the functional rage of the electric vehicle by roughly 25 miles per hour of charging. When you step up to a 50 amp charger it adds about 30 to 35 miles of range per hour of charging.

This means that a commuter car that will typically sit at home, plugged into the charger all night long should be able to get by with a 32 amp connection. Though a business vehicle that needs to run deliveries or pick up supplies every few hours would do better with a 50 amp connection to stay ahead of the charging demands.

The Available Space On Your Electric Panel

Your home or office circuit breaker panel can also be a factor in the type of charger you can accommodate. The 240 Volt requirements of a level 2 charger will need at least two or more spaces on your circuit breaker panel. If your current circuit breaker panel is full, you may need a professional electrician to expand or upgrade your service.

How Do The Charging Times Change Based On Amperage?

There are a few different amperage options to consider for an electric vehicle charging point. The following are rough guidelines of the kind of per hour performance you can expect at the different amperages.

  • 16 to 20 Amps will charge around 12 miles per hour
  • 24 to 30 Amps will charge around 18 miles per hour
  • 32 to 40 Amps will charge around 25 miles per hour
  • 40 to 50 Amps will charge around 30 miles per hour
  • 48 to 60 Amps will charge around 36 miles per hour
  • Where Should I Install My EV Charging Port?

Ideally, you want to install your electric vehicle charging port as close to the electric panel as possible. If your garage has its own circuit panel, you can simply have it installed there, which is a best of both world’s solution. A professional electrician will recommend running a protective conduit from the panel to the charging port.

Are Smart Features Important In An EV Charging Port?

These days everything is “Smart” to some degree. There are some Smart EV chargers that come with WiFi connectivity and a companion app to help you efficiently manage the charging on a schedule. Some even have data analytics to help you clearly understand how much money you are spending to charge the vehicle and how often it needs to be charged. This can be a great cost-efficiency measure for a business with a fleet of two or more electric vehicles.

How Much Does An EV Charging Station Cost?

The price can vary depending on amperage, components and smart features. On average you can expect a quality electric vehicle charging station to cost between $500 to $1,000. Though the cost of installation might vary, and you might want to also factor in purchasing an extended warranty.

This is roughly what the average American driver spends on gas in six months. Which means after about half a year you should see a full return on your investment. At that point, everything else is savings that can translate to the bottom line for your business or leave more room in your home budget.