GreenCars 101

Charging at Home and at Work

Chase Drum
Mar 2024
Looking to maximize the benefits of EV ownership? Having a solid plan to charge at home – and access to charging at work – can make your experience with an electric car even better. Read on for some top tips.
There are many ways you can maximize the benefits of EV ownership. One way is to have access to charging at home and work. Click here to learn more.

Maximize the Benefits of EV Ownership

Understanding the details of charging at home and at work is crucial for maximizing the financial benefits of owning an EV – and will help prolong the life of your electric car. Charging your car at home or work is slower than what you can expect when charging during a road trip – but there are significant benefits and savings to charging your car at these chargers.

This article explores what to be aware of when charging an EV at home or work, offering a comprehensive guide for current and prospective EV and business owners. Our next guide will cover everything you need to know when charging your car at a DC fast charging station.

EV charging display at store

Charging at Home

Charging at home is the most convenient as well as the cheapest way to “fuel” your electric vehicle. When you get home, plug in your EV just like you would your phone; in most cases, you’ll leave the next morning with a full “tank” of electrons. Home charging is good for your car, helping extend the life of your battery – while saving you money in the process.

Be Aware of Time of Use Pricing to Lower Your Charging Costs

For some EV drivers, there are ways to plan your home charging for significant cost savings. It's important to understand your utility's pricing structure because a lot of utilities offer Time of Use (ToU) pricing.

This means the cost of electricity changes depending on the time of day, allowing you to charge your vehicle during off-peak hours at a lower cost than charging when energy demand on the system is at its highest. Planning your charging schedule accordingly can lead to significant savings.

Most EVs can even schedule when to charge at specific times through the dashboard screen or vehicle app. It’s cheaper to drive an EV over a combustion engine car, and taking advantage of ToU pricing simply magnifies the advantage of going electric.

Woman getting EV charging station installed at home

Install a Level 2 Charger for a Larger EV or Longer Distances

Most drivers can charge at home using just a regular wall outlet if they have a smaller car and a shorter daily commute. However, once you start looking at more powerful EVs, or electric trucks, you may want to think about upgrading your home charger. While electric trucks are more efficient than their combustion equivalents, they take longer to charge than smaller, more efficient EVs. Most home charging stations are Level 1 (wall outlet) or Level 2 (dedicated installation). Level 1 charging can take days to fully charge an EV, while Level 2 charging can do it in 4-10 hours. If you have a bigger EV that takes longer to charge, or if you commute longer distances daily, you’ll want to install a Level 2 charger.

The cost of installing a home charging station can vary depending on the type of charger and the cost of installation. Level 1 chargers are typically the least expensive option (or even free if you already have a wall outlet available), while Level 2 chargers can cost several hundred dollars or more.

Installing a home charging station requires some planning and preparation. In some cases, older homes may need an electrical system upgrade to accommodate the added load of an EV charging station. This can include upgrading the electrical panel or adding a dedicated circuit and it is highly recommended to hire a licensed electrician (with experience installing EV chargers) to install the charging station and make any necessary electrical upgrades.

If you don’t have an existing preference for a home Level 2 charger, you can purchase one right here on GreenCars, and even get an estimate for installation.

Keeping Safe When Charging at Home

When charging your electric vehicle at home, it is essential to follow all safety guidelines and instructions provided by the manufacturer. This includes using the correct charging cable, avoiding overloading your electrical system, and ensuring that the charging station is properly grounded. Ensure that your charging station is installed in a location that is protected from the elements, and that the charging cable does not pose a tripping hazard. Regularly inspect your charging equipment for wear and tear.

woman charging car

Charging at Work

Many of the considerations that apply to home charging are also true for workplace charging. Offering charging at a business helps encourage EV adoption and the convenience of charging at work cannot be overstated. It allows drivers to make the most of time spent parked during work hours, reducing the need for charging at home and on the go. It just makes EV ownership easier – and honestly practical – for people who don’t have great options for charging at home. By demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and providing tangible benefits to EV owners, employers can play a pivotal role in the transition to electric mobility.

Plug in at Work to Increase Your Range

Charging at work can effectively double your EV's daily range, if you can also charge at home, making it especially beneficial for those with longer commutes. This helps alleviate "range anxiety" and reduce the need for charging stops at typically less reliable public fast chargers, at least in city centers.

Check to See If Your Employer Offers Free or Subsidized Charging

Many employers offer free or subsidized EV charging as part of their sustainability initiatives. Taking advantage of workplace charging can lead to considerable savings on fuel costs over time. I’d recommend that any business that is thinking of installing EV chargers either offer them as a free work perk – electricity is pretty cheap – or make sure that if they do make users pay, that the chargers are placed where there is strong cellular or internet connection. Of the many Level 2 chargers I’ve used, they’ve only failed me when the charger can’t connect to the internet (or if it requires an app to download).

Go Green by Charging at the Right Time

Charging your EV during the day can also have environmental benefits. In regions where renewable energy sources like solar or wind power contribute significantly to the grid during the day, charging your vehicle at this time can further reduce your carbon footprint.


While charging an EV at home requires some initial setup and ongoing management, the convenience and long-term savings can be significant. For EV owners who have the option to charge both at home and at work, a balanced approach can maximize benefits.

Utilizing workplace charging for daily commuting needs while taking advantage of off-peak rates at home for overnight charging ensures that the vehicle is always ready to go. Additionally, being mindful of the environmental impact of electricity generation can guide when and where to charge.

As the infrastructure for EV charging continues to expand, the integration of electric vehicles into our daily lives will only become even more common and make living with a car of any type less hassle.

A young couple admiring the forest and trees next to their RAV4 Hybrid

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