As gas prices continue to rise, electric cars are becoming more and more accessible, both in choices and cost as well. For many, weaning themselves from fossil fuels and helping the environment makes buying an EV an easy choice. For others, it’s a simple matter of cost or convenience. Plug in your car, wait a while, and off you go.
In the Vancouver area, a mid-range gas will run you close to four dollars per gallon. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average miles per gallon for U.S. cars is just about 25. If the gas tank holds 15 gallons, that comes to $60 for around 375 drive miles or about a buck for every six miles.
The U.S. Department of Energy states, “The fuel efficiency of an EV may be measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles. To calculate the cost per mile of an EV, the cost of electricity (in dollars per kWh) and the efficiency of the vehicle (how much electricity is used to travel 100 miles) must be known.”
The average cost of one kilowatt-hour is just under 10 cents in the State of Washington. With a 200-mile range 66 kWh battery, that math works out to around 30 miles per dollar (ar $6.60 per full charge). So the cost to charge an electric car offers some pretty good savings over gas!
Of course, people don’t buy cars or trucks or SUVs based strictly on the cost to run them. The size, power, and even the look of the vehicle can come into play. But if you’re in the market, you may be wondering what an EV charging station installation cost is.
Residential EV charging stations
In all actuality, you don’t really need a charging station for your home. Most electric vehicles come with chargers or adapters that allow you to plug right into a regular 120v outlet. These are the most common outlets in your home’s electrical system, used for a lamp, a toaster, or fan.
As we said before, however, it takes an extremely long time. For an hour of charging, you’ll get from 4-5 miles of driving distance. So, if you live in Vancouver and want to head up to Seattle, you’ll need to wait through 36 hours of charging. And don’t forget about charging to get your car back home!
This is known as Level 1 charging. Not very efficient, but after eight to 10 hours of charging, you should be able to run errands without having to sweat it too much. And you won’t have to pay for a charging station. But if you’re planning a trip to the beach or the mountain, you may want to map out charging stations you can use along the way.
Want to pay for a faster charge? You’ll want to look into a Level 2 charging station that uses a 240v circuit. You actually already have this circuit in your home, but it’s being used by an electric stove or clothes dryer. Hot food and dry clothes are important, though, so you’ll want to add to your electrical panel.
Home Advisor pegs the average cost of a Level 2 charger for your home anywhere from $500 to more than $2,000. This doesn’t include adding another 240v circuit to your electrical panel, installing the proper wiring, and other labor costs associated when you install an EV charging unit.
If your panel is located in the garage or somewhere near an exterior wall, the cost to install an electric charging station won’t be as much as if the panel is located somewhere more central in the home. A wall-mounted Level 2 charging station will require a permit from your local jurisdiction to install.
In fact, any charging station will require a permit. Depending on where you live, permits can cost up to $100 or more. However, you may be able to get most if not all of that back through incentive programs. Make sure to ask your electrician about these plans.
Commercial Charging Stations
If you’re building a commercial facility, it also might make sense to have a few electric vehicle charging stations. A business park, shopping mall, or other location that has a couple of fast-charging stations may make it a more attractive location for business and the public in general.
These facilities usually employ Level 3 charging stations and can completely charge an electric vehicle in about an hour (depending on the battery size). To fully charge your EV is about 20 times faster than a Level 1 charging. But it will cost you to achieve those kinds of charging speeds.
Because these are dedicated stations, each station could cost more than $100,000. But, having the ability to make a charging station available to employees or customers could make it worth your while. Public charging stations also charge a little bit more than what EV owners pay at home.
Considering an EV Charging Station?
Thinking about buying an electric vehicle but want to make sure your home is equipped to charge it? Contact Prairie Electric and we’ll set up a time to come to your home. We’ll take a look at your current panel, discuss locations for the charging station, and what level you’re interested in.
We also design-build charging stations for commercial purposes. You have probably seen a station or two at your local grocery store or shopping center. If you’re building a new facility, now is the perfect time to add a few stations of your own. No matter what your situation, Prairie Electric has the experience to deliver exactly what you want.