As the owner of an electric vehicle, it is your responsibility to keep the battery charged so you can use it anytime you need it. Home charging is the most convenient method to charge. However, because it is possible to charge in public too, just like an ICE car driver can buy fuel in public, some EV owners wonder if they really need a home charging station.
This article will examine what you need to consider to know if you can rely on public charging.
The first thing to consider is the prevalence of public charging where you live.
How many public charging stations are available around you?
An ICE driver can reasonably leave home confident of finding a filling station to buy gas. However, for an EV driver, finding public chargers could be tricky due to the current state of EV charging infrastructure.
For city dwellers, it might not be so difficult to find a public charging station. For example, Tesla has its Superchargers in many cities, and you can pull into one to charge if you own a Tesla car, in addition to numerous destination chargers. Other third-party charging networks like Electrify America and ChargePoint also have chargers concentrated in cities. Some public establishments might also offer the opportunity to charge.
However, as you go farther from the city center, the number of public chargers decreases. In sparsely populated places, it becomes harder to find public chargers. If you live in such areas, you need to install your own home charger to charge your battery regularly.
Parking or rental conditions
If you have to park on the street, obviously, you can’t install a home charger. The same might be true of high-rise apartments that you share with lots of people and maybe have to park in a shared underground garage.
For some single-unit rental properties, the landlord might forbid making electrical upgrades required by a home charging station. This will make it impossible to install your own home charger.
Is an EV charger available at work?
Some businesses offer electric vehicle chargers for customers and staff. While customers might be required to pay a fee, these chargers are often free for the staff. If you work at such a place, installing your own home charger might not be necessary since you will be at work all day and plug your car to charge. For the occasional times, you need to top up at home, a 120-volt charger would be sufficient.
Suppose you are a beneficiary of this kind of charging arrangement, and you have an electric car with bi-directional charging. In that case, you can save on your household electric bill by switching your home power source to your car when you return from work.
How much driving do you do per day?
The Level 1 120-volt charger that comes with your car actually charges slowly, but if you do not drive many miles per day, you could get by with it. However, if work or other daily activities require you to drive for longer, a Level 1 charger would not be adequate for you.
In the same way, your EV battery size could negate the need for a home charging station. If you own an EV with a smaller battery, like the Mini Electric Cooper, you can get up to 80 percent by plugging it into a standard home socket.
However, a word of caution with using a Level 1 charger for a long time on a home socket. There is a risk of the leads becoming very hot the longer the current flows. This might cause the domestic socket or cable to melt.
While home charging is the best way to charge electric vehicles, sometimes, the living conditions of an EV owner might not allow them to install their own charger. However, a home charger is recommended in other instances, although it is possible to rely on public chargers.
By the way if you like this post and you are in the market for a new Tesla, Tesla has an amazing referral program that offers you 1000 free supercharging miles if you use a referral code when you make your purchase. As a two-time Tesla owner, having owned a model S and model X, I can assure you that purchasing a Tesla will be the best automotive decision you’ve ever made and will ever make in your life. So why not make use of my referral code below and we can both continue to enjoy the wonderful Tesla life.