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Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is accelerating across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. With more households adding EVs, installing a residential EV charger is the next step for many. But navigating the charger types and options can be confusing. In this guide, we’ll explore the most suitable EV charger solutions for residential applications and how to choose the right model.

White electric vehicle being charged at home with a green illuminated charging port indicating ongoing EV home charging installation in the DFW area

Level 1 EV Chargers

Level 1 is the most basic type of EV charging. It simply uses a standard 120V household electrical outlet and the portable cordset that comes with the vehicle. Here are the key factors to know:

  • Charging Speed: Adds about 2 to 5 miles of range per hour charged. Very slow compared to other levels.
  • Electrical Requirements: Uses a regular 120V wall outlet on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit. No additional electrical work needed in most homes.
  • Hardware Needed: No charging station hardware required. The car’s portable cordset plugs directly into a wall outlet. The outlet should be a dedicated circuit with nothing else running on it.
  • Use Case: Good for plug-in hybrid owners who only need a few miles of electric range per day. Provides slow overnight charging for pure EVs as well.
  • Considerations: With Level 1’s slow charging speed, it may not fully recharge an empty EV battery overnight. Requires planning ahead for fully recharged daily driving range.

While Level 1 is the simplest option, the very slow charging makes it imperfect as a primary long-term solution for many EV owners. Faster charging is usually preferred.

Level 2 EV Chargers

Level 2 EV charging is the “Goldilocks zone” – much faster than Level 1 for practical daily use, while more accessible for home installation than commercial fast charging. Key attributes include:

  • Charging Speed: Adds 10 to 25 miles of range per hour charged. Can fully charge most EVs overnight.
  • Electrical Requirements: Requires a dedicated 240V circuit with 40-50 amps. Often needs an added circuit from the home electrical panel.
  • Hardware: A hardwired or plug-in charging station is installed to provide the Level 2 power source. Multiple models from recognizable brands are available.
  • Use Case: Level 2 is ideal as a primary daily home charger. It charges EVs quickly enough for regular overnight use while avoiding electrical upgrades needed for faster DC fast charging.
  • Considerations: Installation costs vary widely based on existing electrical capacity. Upgrades like a new panel may be needed in homes with inadequate electrical service.

For its balance of charging speed and installation feasibility, Level 2 is the most popular EV charging solution for daily home use.

DC Fast Chargers

DC fast charging provides the fastest charging speed available, but is not practical for most home installations:

  • Charging Speed: Adds 60 to over 100 miles of range in only 20-30 minutes. Great for quickly topping off.
  • Electrical Requirements: Requires high-power 480V or 208V electrical service with 150-900 amps. Significantly higher than residential capacity.
  • Hardware: Commercial stand-alone charging stations or combination Level 2/DC units.
  • Use Case: Enables rapid public charging while on road trips. Provides “gas station” fast refueling experience.
  • Considerations: The high infrastructure demands make residential DC fast charging impractical and extremely costly to install for most single-family homes. Best for commercial sites.

While fast charging is great when you’re on the go, Level 2 is still the residential “sweet spot” considering charging needs and installation complexity.

Key Considerations for Home Installation

When installing an EV charger at your residence, here are some additional factors to weigh:

  • Hardwired or Plug-In: Hardwired chargers are wired directly into the home’s electrical panel and are the most robust residential installation option. Plug-in chargers use a NEMA outlet which simplifies installation, but this is not an ideal long-term approach.
  • Single vs. Dual Head: Single head chargers support one vehicle while dual head models allow two EVs to charge simultaneously, useful if you have more than one EV.
  • Smart Chargers: Opt for a “smart” or “WiFi-enabled” charger allowing monitoring, access control, scheduling and other functionality through a smartphone app and online dashboard. This provides maximum convenience and flexibility.
  • Future Proofing: Consider installing a higher amperage circuit than needed for your current EV if you may upgrade to a new vehicle with faster charging capacity in the future. This avoids having to upgrade electrical service twice.

Carefully weighing factors like your current and future charging needs, installation costs, and features will ensure your home EV charger provides an optimal charging experience for years to come.

READ: What Should I Consider Before Installing an EV Charger at Home?

Which Home EV Charger is Best For You?

With those considerations in mind, one of these EV charger options likely makes the most sense for your situation:

  • For plug-in hybrid drivers who only require limited electric miles per day, Level 1 via a 120V outlet may suffice if charging overnight is feasible. This avoids any installation costs.
  • For all-electric drivers needing reliable daily charging, a hardwired Level 2 smart charger (WiFi-enabled) provides the best experience and future-proofing. It’s the ideal primary home EV charging solution.
  • For two EV households, consider installing a dual-head Level 2 smart charger for maximum flexibility charging two vehicles simultaneously.

If electrical service upgrades are cost-prohibitive, a basic single head Level 2 plug-in charger (uses NEMA outlet) gets the job done affordably while avoiding panel upgrades. But a hardwired model is still preferable long-term.

With this overview of the most suitable EV charging options for homes, you’re well equipped to choose the right charger for your household’s needs and budget. 

Reach out to McBride Electric to get started on your EV charger installation and join the EV revolution!

Start the EV Charger Installation for Your Home in DFW

If you need help selecting the right electric vehicle charger for your home in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, let McBride Electric lend our expertise. We can advise you on the pros and cons of Level 1, Level 2, and fast charging options for residential use.

To get a personalized, EV charger recommendation for your home, call us at 817-858-0255 if you’re in Fort Worth or 972-733-1199 if you’re located in Dallas. We’ll evaluate your electrical system, charging needs, budget, and other factors to suggest the ideal EV charger model. With our assistance, you can choose a charger to conveniently power your electric car at home. 

Don’t delay, contact us today for expert EV charging guidance tailored to your situation.

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