February 2023

Thinking electric car? 5 reasons to plug in at home.

These days, more and more people are thinking about electric vehicles (EVs), whether to save on the cost of gas or to reduce emissions and help the environment. If you own or are considering switching to an electric vehicle, a Level 2 home charging station can be an efficient, lower-cost way to recharge.

Plus, if you decide to sell the home in the future, a home charging station can be attractive to buyers. Here are five reasons home charging can be a smart decision.

Charging at home is convenient and cost-effective.

While some employers offer free EV charging at work, if you don't have that option, the most convenient and low-cost way to charge your car is at home.Footnote1 You can save even more by charging at night when rates are usually lower.

Level 2 chargers are faster.

Every electric vehicle comes equipped with a charging port and a Level 1 charger that can be plugged directly into a standard 120-volt household outlet. However, Level 1 chargers are also the slowest option, generally adding only 2 to 3 miles of driving range per hour. That means it could take more than a day to fully charge a battery.

Because Level 2 chargers are much faster, you can fully charge most batteries overnight or during a regular workday. They use a 240-volt outlet such as you may have for your electric clothes dryer.

While Level 3 DC chargers are the fastest way to recharge batteries, they're not generally practical to install at home. However, if you need a fast charge, they can be found in some public charging stations and are becoming more and more common.

In most cases, installation is reasonably affordable.

Most Level 2 charger installations cost between $1,500 and $3,000,Footnote2 which ranks with othermoderately priced home improvements. But there are several things that can affect the cost:

  • Can you park close enough to a power source? Most chargers come with about 25 feet of cable. Parking on the street probably won't work.
  • Can your home's electrical system handle the additional load? If not, you would need a major upgrade. One warning sign would be if your electrical panel doesn't have room for another circuit.
  • Where is your electrical panel? If it's in the garage, adding a new circuit could be easy. But if your panel is in the basement, you may need to drill through the basement ceiling to run the wiring up to where you can reach the car.

There are programs to help with the cost of installing a home charger.

The good news is that the federal tax credit for charger installations has been extended through 2023. For consumers, that means you could get a credit for 30% of the costs, up to $1,000.Footnote3 Depending on where you live, there may also be state or local incentives. Be sure to confirm the incentives up front, since some may have expired at the end of 2022. One place to search for incentives by state is Enelx.com.

Adding an EV charger could help with resale.

While it's not clear whether a home charger would increase resale value, one study by Zillow showed that homes with EV chargers sold as much as 10 days faster than comparable homes without chargers.Footnote4

That could be a big asset if you decide to sell in the future. Whatever you choose to do, researching your options up front will help ensure your electric vehicle meets your needs.

A note from your lending specialist

Keep in mind that a home equity line of credit could be a good way to pay for home improvements like adding an electric car charger. Let me know if you'd like to discuss your options.

1 "How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?" John M. Vincent, U.S. News, Aug. 27, 2021. Accessed December 2022.

2 "Considering an electric vehicle? Here's how to prep your home for one." Rachel Kurzius, The Washington Post, September 26, 2022. Accessed December 2022.

3 "Is There a Tax Credit for Electric Vehicle Chargers?" JuiceBlog, enelx.com, June 2, 2022. Accessed December 2022.

4 "Buyers Pay up to 3.7% more for Homes that Work Hard & Play Hard," Jeff Tucker, Zillow.com, March 15, 2022. Accessed December 2022.

MAP5411355 | 01/2023