Is A Level II Home EV Charger Worth It?

Ross Ballot
by Ross Ballot
Image: Jason Siu

The decision to invest in a Level 2 home electric vehicle (EV) charger depends on various factors and personal preferences. This type of charger isn’t for everybody, but it can be a very beneficial way to improve the convenience of owning an EV. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:


Charging Speed:

Level 2 chargers are faster than standard Level 1 chargers that typically come with electric vehicles. They can deliver more power to your EV, resulting in quicker charging times. If you often find yourself needing a faster charge, especially if you have a longer daily commute, a Level 2 charger might be worth it. Level 2 chargers typically provide higher power levels compared to standard Level 1 chargers. While Level 1 chargers may take many hours to charge an electric vehicle fully, Level 2 chargers can significantly reduce charging times. This is especially valuable if you have a larger battery capacity or need to top up your vehicle quickly between trips.


Convenience:

Level 2 chargers offer the convenience of faster charging at home, which means you can start each day with a fully charged vehicle-- or at the best level of charge for each specific vehicle, which in many cases is around 80%. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a busy schedule and limited time for charging. Having a Level 2 charger at home offers the convenience of a faster charging option, eliminating the need to rely solely on public charging stations. It allows you to maintain your EV's battery level more easily as part of your daily routine, much like refueling a traditional gas-powered vehicle.


Compatibility:

Ensure that your electric vehicle is compatible with Level 2 charging. Most modern electric vehicles support Level 2 charging, but it's essential to verify compatibility with your specific model. Manufacturers provide information on the charging capabilities of their vehicles, including the maximum charging rate and the types of chargers supported. You may need an adapter for certain vehicles.


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Using it is as simple as connecting the PulseQ AC Portable to your vehicle and choosing from one of two charging modes - Plug and Power for an instant power up or Smart Schedule so you can charge when rates are lower.


You can keep track of your vehicle’s charging status with the PulseQ’s LCD display. Additionally, you can tailor your charging to your needs by adjusting the charging current.


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Image: Jason Siu

Costs:

Level 2 chargers typically involve an upfront cost for purchasing and installing the charging station. Evaluate your budget and consider any additional installation expenses. Some governments, manufacturers, and utilities may offer incentives or rebates to offset these costs.

The costs associated with a Level 2 charger include the price of the charging station itself, professional installation, and any potential upgrades to your home's electrical system. While there is an initial investment, consider long-term savings on fuel costs and the potential for incentives or rebates that may offset some of the expenses.

Speaking of investment, the cost of the charger itself has come down significantly over the last few years, making installing a Level 2 home EV charger much more affordable.


Home Electrical Capacity:

Check your home's electrical capacity to ensure it can support a Level 2 charger. You might need to upgrade your electrical panel or wiring, which could add to the overall cost. Some older homes may require upgrades to the electrical panel or wiring to handle the increased load. Factor in these potential costs when evaluating the overall investment.

Travel Patterns:

Assess your driving habits and the distances you typically cover. If you don't drive long distances daily and your current charging setup meets your needs, a Level 2 charger might not be necessary. Level 1 charging overnight with intermittent stops at public chargers may be sufficient for your needs. On the other hand, if you often find yourself needing to charge quickly between trips, a Level 2 charger becomes more valuable.

Future-Proofing:

Consider the potential growth in the adoption of electric vehicles and whether a Level 2 charger would be a wise investment for future-proofing your home charging setup. As the adoption of electric vehicles continues to grow, having a Level 2 charger at home may become more advantageous. It can increase the resale value of your property (albeit minorly) and make it more appealing to potential buyers who own or plan to own electric vehicles.


In summary, a Level 2 home EV charger can be worth it for individuals who prioritize faster charging, have compatible electric vehicles, and can accommodate the installation costs. It's essential to weigh the benefits against your specific needs and circumstances before making a decision.


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Ross Ballot
Ross Ballot

Ross hosts The Off the Road Again Podcast. He has been in the off-road world since he was a kid riding in the back of his dad’s YJ Wrangler. He works in marketing by day and in his free time contributes to Hooniverse, AutoGuide, and ATV.com, and in the past has contributed to UTV Driver, ATV Rider, and Everyday Driver. Ross drives a 2018 Lexus GX460 that is an ongoing build project featured on multiple websites and the podcast.

More by Ross Ballot

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  • John John on Jul 10, 2024

    I would not buy an electric car if yo don’t have access to a level 2 charger at your home. Level one takes forever, and level 3 you have to most likely wait. They are not working and are expensive. They also take about 30 minutes for a “fill up” .


    I have an electric car. Second level at home and I love it. 4 dollars per 100 km.

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