July 15, 2022

Should you own or rent an EV charger?

Over the past few years, electric vehicle (EV) sales have been in overdrive. Domestic EV sales more than doubled from 2020 to 2021. They rose from 0.5% of new car sales in the US during 2015 to now over 5%; this number is projected to reach 50% by 2030, according to an ambitious target recently announced by President Biden.


To reach President Biden’s goal of 500,000 EVs by 2030 congress recently passed the first major federal funding program that focuses on nationwide EV charging infrastructure. This law provides $5 billion over the next five years to build out a strategic EV charging network that’s publicly accessible and reliable.


Why home chargers are so popular

Many European nations have well over 10 times as many EV charging stations per mile of paved road as we do. And yet, about 70% of EU EV drivers have home charging stations, and 40% have chargers at work. Even if our public charging infrastructure increases 1000% by 2030, home chargers won’t go out of fashion.


Most EVs come with a free Level 1 home charger, which can add about 5 miles of Range Per Hour (RPH). But most EV drivers prefer to purchase a Level 2 home charger, which can add 15 to 25 RPH. Since the average daily commute in the US is over 40 miles, the average EV driver using Level 1 chargers would have to plug in their cars at home for more than eight hours each night, and if it is empty it could take 40-50 hours to charge a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or 5-6 hours for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) . A level 2 charger can charge a BEV from empty in 4-10 hours and a PHEV in 1-2 hours. It’s no wonder that US EV drivers are more than twice as satisfied with Level 2 home chargers.


What are the benefits of owning your charger

Access incentives and rebates

If you’re reading this, you probably already know about the tax credits for EVs. But did you know there are also incentives and rebates for buying electric vehicle chargers? When you add up all the federal, state, and local deductions, write-offs, and refunds, your charger station comes heavily discounted. For instance, the federal tax credit covers 30% of the costs of purchasing and installating an EVSE when installed in a low-income or non-urban area, starting January 1, 2023. Plus, dozens of local utilities even offer hundreds of dollars in rebates! This also can apply to a property owner, landlord, or even a tenant who's interested in installing an EV charging solution in multi-family homes and apartments.


Extend battery life

Another benefit is that smart home-charging allows you to keep your battery holding more charge for longer. Super-fast Level 3 DC charging wears your battery out much sooner and quickly reduces its capacity. Since battery replacement is by far the largest maintenance cost associated with EV ownership, it’s worth saving Level 3 charging for special occasions when you’re on the go. If you set up a Level 2 home charger with smart capabilities, you shouldn’t have to worry about your battery wearing out before your car does.


Charge quickly and easily

Overall, a Level 2 home charging station seems like a no-brainer: you can fill up the median range for new EV models in just about 8 hours while you sleep, but most people won’t need 250 miles of charge every day. You can also use smart charging options from our Enel X Way app to set up and remotely tweak your charging rules. For instance, you can tell your charger to fill up to 80%, because regularly filling above this harms battery life; and you can tell your charger to fill up when electricity is cheapest or cleanest. That’s why most EV owners invest in a smart Level 2 home charger.


What if I want to rent my EV charger?

Leasing options

There are options for leasing your Level 2 charging stations. However, these often impose limitations on how you can use the charger, and prevent you from taking advantage of all the generous federal, state, and local tax breaks which go to purchasers of EV supply equipment. So, naturally, leasing is a pretty rare choice. If you can’t purchase your own EV charging station, you can always suggest to your landlord or employer to consider doing so.


Concierge option

One alternative is offered by SparkCharge. It offers a unique concierge service which delivers portable Level 3 charging on demand through its modular Roadie system. If you schedule an appointment, they send a van to where your car is parked and give it up to 100 miles of charge, unless your battery gets over 80% full. Their technology is a charging block of several batteries, and a charger unit that connects them to your charge port. For example, you could book a Roadie four-stack to fill up one car 70 miles in an hour.


This may be convenient if you need a boost on the go and can’t wait thirty minutes at a rapid charging station. However, about 60% of SparkCharge customers currently use its services to fill up at home, and 40% at work due to the lack of charging infrastructure. This may become a convenient occasional supplement for EV drivers as public charging stations grow in availability (only about 15% of publicly available chargers in the US are level 3). But, regardless, the best deal for EV drivers is owning a Level 2 home charging station because of the added benefits and incentives along with its at-home convenience.


What next?

Owning a level 2 EV charger makes more financial sense than relying on a public charging station, and it’s better for your car battery. Take a minute to browse our offerings of JuiceBox Level 2 home chargers today!

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