Will I need a home charger?

November 19th, 2023

Will I need a home charger?

We decode what EV chargers are, who should want one, and which ones you should consider.

What is a home EV charger?

A home EV charger massively boosts the speed you can charge your EV in your garage or driveway by boosting the amount of electricity that’s injected into your car’s battery.  An EV charger does this by drawing electricity at a higher voltage and amperage than a normal electrical outlet.

If you’ve seen a 240V “dryer outlet” in your laundry room or garage, that’s the type of outlet that allows for this higher amount of electricity to flow into your car.  It can charge your car about 6-8x times as fast as a normal outlet.  This means that you can fully charge just about any EV battery overnight in your garage.

Models vary, but just about every home EV charger consists of a “box” that installs on your wall and houses the brains for the equipment, and a connector cord that plugs into your car.

Who needs an EV charger at home?

If you drive less than about 30 miles per day, you might be fine without a home EV charger.  This is because you can typically add about 30 miles of range to your car overnight just by charging it from a normal outlet.  This is sometimes called “trickle charging” but if you don’t drive much, it can keep your battery topped up every day.

If you drive more than 30 miles per day, or you have multiple EVs, or you want to be able to be sure to have a full battery any morning that you need it - an EV charger could be right for you.

Not sure whether you fit in this camp or not?  That’s what an EV Expert is here for you - set up a consultation today.

Install a charger or use an existing Dryer outlet?

If you have an existing 240V dryer outlet in your garage or otherwise accessible to your parking lot, charging your car at a fast rate may have just gotten much easier.  Here’s what that means:

You could choose to purchase a removable charge cord or adapter to plug directly into that outlet, instead of installing a wall “box” and connector.

There’s important safety considerations you should take into account:

  • To use an EV charge cord, you’ll need a specific kind of 240V outlet, called NEMA 14-50.  In older homes there are a wide variety of other types that your charge cord won’t fit into.  It’s not just a question of replacing the receptacle in a different kind of 240V outlet to fit your EV charge cord - a NEMA 14-50 outlet must be properly wired.  Use a licensed electrician to properly wire and ground a NEMA 14-50 outlet or you could create a code violation and fire risk.
  • Even if you have a NEMA 14-50 outlet already in your garage, it is important to inspect the wiring to ensure that it’s ready to handle the electricity amperage from EV charging over extended periods of time.  Old or subpar wiring might create a fire risk, so have a licensed electrician inspect existing wiring before charging from an EV for extended periods of time. Despite this, here’s the good news: if you have a 240V outlet in or near your garage, you’re very close to having everything you need and it’s almost certain that some low-cost electrical work will get you ready to charge quickly at home.

Need help evaluating your home for an EV charger installation in Houston? We can help with that. Tell us about your home to get a free EV charger quote.

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