Home vs. Public Charging: Picking the Perfect Way to Power Your EV

Time Of Info By TOI Staff   April 5, 2024   Update on : April 5, 2024

EV chargers Melbourne

The electric vehicle revolution is happening now. More and more drivers are switching to cleaner and more efficient transportation. However, many people still have one big question: how do I charge my vehicle? Both home and public charging can be beneficial and inconvenient, depending on your driving habits and lifestyle. To help you make the right choice, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and determine which option is best for you.

Home Charging: Comfort and Reliability

Imagine waking up every morning to a fully charged EV, ready to take you anywhere. With home charging, excitement can become your reality. Here’s why charging from the comfort of your own home is a great choice for many EV owners:

Comfort: reliable and always accessible;

Cheaper: home charging is generally much cheaper than public station charging. Electricity is usually cheaper than gasoline, and off-peak charging can help you save even more.

Control: If you have a home charger, you control the entire process. Depending on your schedule or electricity tariffs, you choose when to charge.

Battery health: frequent fast charging at public stations can be more stressful for your EV battery than slow and overnight charging at home.

Types of Home Chargers

There are generally 2 kinds of home chargers:

Level 1 home charging: the slowest option. Typically it takes 8-12 hours to recharge an electric vehicle from 0 to 100%. Many vehicles come with a Level 1 charging cable that simply plugs into the outlet.

This comes standard with most EVs and plugs into a standard household outlet. While convenient, it offers a slow charging rate. You will probably gain only a few miles of range each hour.

Level 2 Charger: This is a more powerful charger that cannot be installed by nonprofessionals. A level 2 charger can substantially reduce the charging times you will need to top off your battery in a matter of hours, not overnight.

Installation: Whatever your solution, installing a level 2 charger at home will require a dedicated circuit and potentially a good deal of electrical work. This stuff isn’t cheap but is usually less expensive than installing a fuel pump at your home. How much it costs will depend heavily upon your electric system and how much modification it will require. Many programs run by governments and utilities have also created incentives for home charger installations, so you are not likely to take the hit on your own.

Who should consider home charging?

If you have a dedicated parking space that you have access to and you mostly use your EV for local trips or commutes, home charging is the obvious choice. Additionally, if you’re after a sure way to save money and optimize the convenience in the charging process.

Public Charging: You’re on the go and you need power! Luckily, public charging is increasingly available and faster than ever.

Accessibility: Public charging networks continue to expand in scope and magnitude. You’re almost certain to find a charging station at your local mall, at or near your workplace, and along the major routes you drive. In some areas, the density of residential charging stations has also increased significantly.

Fast Charging: Many, if not most stations are now Level 3 DC Fast Charging stations, capable of adding a significant amount of range very quickly. This makes public charging a fantastic solution for long trips and when you’re in a hurry.

Variety of Options: Public charging networks vary in the speeds they offer and in the structures of their pricing systems. You can choose the option that best suits your personal circumstances and budget.

Public Charging

Cost. Public charging is usually more expensive than home charging. The cost can vary from company to company, location to location, and by speed of charge.

Availability. The number of charging stations is always increasing, but they may not always be easy to find. In rural areas, stations are still few and far between. Frequent use might result in waiting at popular stations.

Convenience. Public charging takes more planning, and you might have to wait in line if you need a charge quickly.

Who Should Charge in Public?

Public charging is perfect for people that live in apartments or housing where using a home charging solution is impossible. It’s also good for people who only do a few long trips a year that would require them to charge in public.

How Can I Make the Right Choice?

Your choice of how to charge ultimately depends on your personal lifestyle. You should also consider the following:

The distance you drive each day. If you only use your EV for a few miles of commuting, a home charger might be enough for you. However, if you drive often for both long and short distances, you need an option that includes public charging.

Your budget. Though using a home charger is cheaper in the long run, a Level 2 charger costs up to $700.

Your personal needs. People who don’t mind waiting near a public charging station in order to charge their car should opt for home charging. Public charging is for you if you value the comfort of having more options and cannot charge your EV at home.

Home vs. Public Charging: Which Is the Future of EV Charging?

While it is hard to predict the future, a simple overview of the current trends around EV charging can provide an answer to the question. While public charging can seem to be the most likely solution given the difficulties related to it, it is far from the best option in the long-term perspective. The demand for EV charging is likely to grow, and the cost of energy will not become any cheaper, which makes outside charging solutions not only inconvenient but also expensive. At the same time, home charging is a flexible and convenient solution that grows more accessible in terms of investments.

Overall, home charging appears to be the future of charging for EVs. In cities like Melbourne, where the demand for electricity is not expected to decline and the number of electric cars is likely to grow, relying solely on public EV chargers Melbourne for everyday commutes or even some rare day trips may not be the most attractive option, both from the convenience and cost perspectives. While some people may still utilize public charging stations, the concept of owning an EV is closely related to the convenience provided by home charging. Eventually, having a home charger is likely to become the new standard for EV charging, offering the most flexibility and cost-effective solution.


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