When you switch to an electric vehicle, you stop contributing directly to pollution as it does not produce tailpipe emissions. You also get to spend less on maintaining your new car. However, you need to keep the battery charged, and you will soon discover it is different from refueling an ICE car.
The best way to charge your electric car is at home, and it is best you buy and install your charging station. It is like having your private filling station because you can charge anytime you want and for how long you need to. In this article, we will examine what you should consider when buying an EV charging station.
What charging speed do you want?
Charging speeds determine how long you have to plug your car into the grid. The rate, however, depends on the type of charger you use.
Level 1 chargers usually come with the electric car, if it is new, or you can purchase one. However, Level 1 chargers are the slowest and require many hours to supply enough charge to the battery.
Level 2 chargers are more expensive, and you have to purchase them because the car manufacturer does not supply them. However, they charge faster, meaning you do not have to stay connected for so long.
If you want to charge faster, you should get a Level 2 charging station.
Level 2 chargers usually require the services of a trained technician for installation. Also, you may need to make changes to your home wiring to accommodate the charging station and satisfy other local codes. However, Level 1 chargers are not complicated because they can plug into a standard home socket.
Depending on where you park your car, you might have to make trenches to run cables to the charging station. You also need to take note of the side of your vehicle where the charging port is located, so the charging station is not placed on the wrong side.
If you have your car in the open and the charging station cannot be under a roof, you need to purchase a charging station that can withstand the rain, sun, or even snow. Make sure the cable does not become rigid when the weather is cold.
Charging stations primarily charge your EV. However, some models have extra features that make them easier to use. For example, some charging stations can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, meaning you can stop or pause charging from the comfort of your couch.
Other chargers let you program or schedule your charging. You could stop charging at a particular percentage, for example. Or you could time your charging to take place during off-peak hours of the day when electricity cost is lower.
Some charging stations can handle two cars simultaneously, which is suitable for households with more than one electric car.
However, the more features your charging station has, the more it will cost, which brings us to the next factor to consider.
This is perhaps the most crucial factor because you need to work within your budget. As stated earlier, the more features you want in your charging station, the more you will pay. However, you should be able to get a suitable charging station within a reasonable budget.
While calculating the cost, you should remember to add the workmanship and site preparation costs to avoid surprises.
However, you might be able to take advantage of incentives offered by the government meant to encourage or promote electric vehicles as pollution-free alternatives to ICE cars. They come as rebates, tax credits, or subsidies. It is worth checking what you are qualified for in your area to help reduce the costs.
It is advisable to buy your charging station from reputable brands because they are usually certified for safety and quality. You will also have more peace of mind because they typically have a manufacturer warranty.
The best way to charge your EV is by installing your own home charging station. However, you need to consider what you need from a charging station and other requirements before making your purchase.