A Beginner’s Guide to Electric Car Charging at Home: 7 FAQs

Only 10% of vehicles sold in the world were electric (plugin hybrid and fully electric) in 2021. By 2025, this number is expected to grow up to 23%. In less than 4 years, we will have twice as many electric cars as we have today.

As the number of electric cars grows, so does the concern for developing sustainable charging infrastructure. But in reality, the gap between the supply and demand of commercial electric chargers is always going to widen.

Because unlike refueling of gas-powered cars, electric cars take a longer period to re-juice their batteries. So, there is an imminent need to develop an alternative approach. The best way to cope with it is to use electric car charging at home.

With the advance in technology and awareness, charging electric cars at home is becoming easier. Still, people have a plethora of questions regarding EV charging. This article will try to answer the frequently asked questions about EV charging at home. 

So, let’s dive right into it!

1. Can You Charge an Electric Car at Home?

Yes, you can charge an electric car at home. You can plug your EV charger into any regular socket at home. The electric sockets at the house have a voltage rating of 120 V or 230 V. Both types of sockets can be used to charge electric cars.

EV charging stations/points are classified into three levels. Level 1, level 2, and level 3. The regular home sockets with 120 volts are designated as level 1 chargers. They take the longest time to charge your batteries.

Charging stations with 208-240 V sockets fall under the second category, i.e., level 2 of EV chargers. At last, there are the commercial fast or superchargers operating at 800 Volts. They are the fastest way of charging your EV.

Charge up your electric car from the comfort and safety of your own home! Check out our detailed guide to the best electric car chargers on the market.

2. What are the Requirements For Charging an EV at Home?

Although you can plug your EV charger into any socket, there are a few requirements that must be kept in mind. Here they are:

  • Ideally, you must have a 9 feet wide and 18 feet deep space near the socket. 
  • An additional 5 feet of aisle access is recommended on either side of the vehicle.
  • It is better to dedicate a 3-pin socket for charging your electric vehicle at home.
  • The charging socket doesn’t necessarily need to be indoors. But ensure that the area around it is well-lit and accessible.
  • The socket you are using for EV charging must have a current rating of 30-35 amps.
  • Always use the original charging cable and plug that came with your car.
  • A normal electric car charger will take 32 amps of current. So, a 30-35 amp circuit breaker should do the job for you. But if there is an extra load on the same branch, you must not use the other appliance while charging your EV.

3. What is the Cost of Electric Car Charging at Home?

Charging the electric car at home is the cheapest method of all, but it is also the slowest. In the U.S., it costs just under $0.05 (5 cents) per mile to charge an electric car. As opposed to that, even the most fuel-efficient car will cost no less than $0.22 (22 cents) per mile. 

Now, if the range of your electric car is 300 miles, the total cost of a single charge will come out to be 300 x $0.05, which comes to $15.

The exact cost of electric car charging at home will depend upon the local electricity rates. But let me lay out a general calculation. Using that, you can estimate your cost of EV charging at home.

First of all, you must know the power rating or current rating of your EV home charger.

In case you are not sure about it, consult the owner’s manual.

You can also purchase an AVO meter to check the exact current drawn by your EV.

The power rating of most home chargers is between 3.6 and 7 kW.

If you charge your EV overnight (~8 hours), use this formula to estimate the units of electricity that are consumed.

No. of hours x power rating (kW) = number of electricity units consumed

If you have the current rating of your EV charger, use this formula to calculate the power rating.

Power rating (kW)t = Voltage x Current Rating  

Multiply the number of units with the price of one unit. This will give the exact cost of charging your electric car at home

4. How Long Does Electric Car Charging at Home Take?

It would take somewhere between 20-40 hours to charge your electric car using a 120-volt charging socket at home. However, if you are using a 208-240 volt socket, the time will be reduced to half. You can fully charge your car in about 12 to 18 hours using a level 2 charger.

If you’re interested in calculating the exact time of charging your EV at home, use the methodology described below:

  • Check the capacity of your EV’s battery pack. Let’s use the example of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, which has a battery pack of 77.4 kWh.
  • Check the power rating of your charging socket. At home, it is usually 3.6 kW or 7 kW. Let’s assume a charging socket of 3.6 kW in this case.
  • Now divide the battery capacity by the power rating of your charger to get the exact time. In our example, the answer comes out to be 21.5 hours.

5. How Much Does it Cost to Install a Special Home EV Charger?

It costs somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 to install a wall-mounted or standing EV charger at your home. These types of points are designated under level 2 of EV chargers. By installing these special-purpose chargers, you can significantly reduce the charging time.

The voltage range of level 2 home-based EV chargers lies between 208 and 240 volts. The pricing of these chargers is dependent upon the level of sophistication and technology it offers.

For example, some chargers can connect to WiFi. You can control functions such as auto on/off, remote on/off, and auto off after complete charging with the help of a mobile app. Such chargers will cost more than a normal EV charger.

You can choose an EV charger that best suits your needs and budget. 

6. Are There Any Downsides of EV Charging at Home?

It is extremely convenient to charge your EV at home. Still, there are a few disadvantages, or should we say less favorable things, about EV charging at home. Let’s talk about those:

  • Level 1 home-based chargers are the slowest option for charging your electric cars. It may take a day or two to completely recharge your battery at home. 
  • As opposed to that, you can charge your EV up to 80% at a level 3 (DC fast) charging point in less than 20 mins. While you grab a quick bite, your car is ready to go another 300 miles.
  • You have to dedicate a separate socket for charging your electric vehicle at home. You can’t even plug another electrical appliance into the same branch while charging.

7. What Precautions Should You Take Before EV Charging at Home?

EV charging at home is perfectly safe, and there is nothing to worry about. But please beware of the following safety hazards and take certain precautions to be extra safe:

  • Make sure that no live wire going into or coming out of the EV charger is exposed. If so, please replace it with a properly insulated wire.
  • When you insert the plug into a 3-pin socket, make sure that it fits perfectly and isn’t loose. Ensure the same for the plug inserted into the car’s charging port.
  • All EV connectors must be polarized, protected by double insulation, and have a grounding pole that connects first and disconnects last.
  • Some EV batteries are known to produce hydrogen gas while charging. When you are charging such an electric car indoors, please make sure that there is proper room for ventilation.
  • You can charge your electric car outdoors while it is raining. But ensure that no water directly splashes into the socket or EV port while you are charging.
  • If you live in an area with a high risk of flood, all charging sockets and infrastructure must be installed above the highest anticipated level of flood water.
  • The area where you are charging your electric car must be well-lit. A minimum of 300 lux and 30 footcandles of lighting should be provided to ensure proper visibility.
  • You must follow all the rules of personal protection against electrical hazards. Such as wearing rubber sole shoes while touching electrical equipment, plugs, wires, and sockets. 

Final Word; Electric Car Charging at Home

In conclusion, electric car charging at home is very convenient. We’ve tried to answer all the frequently asked questions regarding this topic. Plus, we’ve laid out the best approach to charge your electric car at home, along with safety precautions.

Still, if you have any other queries or confusion about electric car charging at home, feel free to ask those in the comment section down below.

  1. The article assumes that the EV battery has been completely discharged when estimating the time needed to recharge. It should clarify that you only need to “top off” your battery and mention the amount of range gained per hour of charging.