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Buying an Electric Car? Everything You Need to Know About Charging at Home

If you live in the United States with an electric car, then you'll probably have to wait a long time before the rest of the country catches up. This means that most of the car charging will happen at home. Some people may worry about this as if the car will suck up all the electricity from the house. Luckily, electric cars charge just fine with a standard house outlet. There's also the option to get an upgrade. These are known as Level 1 and Level 2 charging.

Level 1 Charging

If you own a home, then you already own a Level 1 charger. There's no need for expensive technology; you can just plug your car directly into your house. Homes usually contain 120-volt outlets. You can plug your car in and have it charge fully within 8-12 hours. This can depend on the model of the vehicle. Level 1 charge can be good for cars solely used for commute between work and home.

Level 2 Charging

Level 2 charging, which requires twice the power of level one, is 240 volts. To charge with Level 2 at home, you would need to purchase and install an upgrade. Level 2 charges twice as fast as level one, only requiring 4-6 hours for a full charge. The thing about this installation is that not just anyone can do it. A professional, specifically a contractor with a permit, would be needed to get this task completed. It costs a little extra, but it's a worthy investment for a vehicle that's used relatively often.

Should You Have Level 1 or Level 2 Charging?

This all depends on how often you use your vehicle, costs, and the availability of Level 3 charging. Level 3 charging can be found at commercial charging stations made specifically for electrical cars. If there's a decent amount in your area, then you can keep Level 1 charging at home. Without access to Level 3 charging stations, you would be limited to Level 1. Level 2 is for those who only have that one electric car for transportation and drives relatively often or makes long trips. If you have an electric car specifically for work and another vehicle for other commutes, then Level 1 charging would be fine.

Purchasing an electric car can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint. This major decision comes with a significant detail to consider, and that's charging your vehicle at home. If you live in a typical household, then Level 1 charging is already available to you. You may drive your car often, however, so you may understandably need Level 2 charging.

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