08 February 2023

Why EV charging stations are a good investment for your household

Given the pace of the energy transition, and impending petroleum-based car phase-out, it looks inevitable that EV charging stations will eventually be a common feature of the typical household. Apart from benefits to the environment, convenience, and efficiency, there is the question of costs. You can opt for a basic charger for your electric vehicle (EV) but, as we explore below, choosing a more advanced EV charger can not only amount to a more rewarding home experience, but prove to be a better investment in the long run.

In this blog, we first look at the cost considerations involved. We then look at the reasons why investment in an EV charging facility in your home makes sense.

Cost considerations:

  • Home energy bill: Your home energy expense will increase when EV charging is considered. The size of your car's battery and the electricity tariff you are on play a part, although smart charging can help reduce some of the associated costs.

  • Cost of installation: The cost of installing the charging station depends on labour fees, the number of civil works needed, the length of cable runs required and the materials. If extensive work is needed, installation fees are going to be higher. 
  • Upgrading power capacity: For most houses, installing EV chargers is inexpensive if you purchase a unit with an amperage level that matches your home's available power capacity. If you have to upgrade your electrical capacity, costs increase.

  • Type of charger: The same logic applies to the type of charger you choose. Factors like design, amp capacity, speed and extent of in-built smart tech drive up the cost.

  • Charging input: There are various chargers with differing output capabilities. The higher the charging intput, the higher the cost.
  • Cable length: Most cables run between 15 and 25 meters long. It will come at an additional cost if you require more than the standard length.
  • Location of charging port: The ideal charging location is wherever you routinely park your car and where the cable can easily reach the outlet. This might be inside garages where reinforcements might be necessary to install the system properly, which naturally incurs extra charges.
  • Labour costs: The installation cost is divided between materials and labour costs. Typical installs can take around 2 to 4 hours to complete. However, it varies depending on model specifications, site accessibility, and any additional work that needs to be done to ensure the system works efficiently.

Companies like Alfen offer a variety of smart charging stations for home EV charging. You can ensure home EV charging is a positive investment by:

  • Doubling down on the cost advantage of electric vehicles

  • Using off-peak charging: Keep the cost of EV charging down by using an off-peak charge. Smart functionality can also ensure EV owners save considerably on the costs of charging. Check energy suppliers who offer EV-friendly tariffs with off-peak rates.

  • Using smart charging apps to monitor EV charging habits: The app insights on usage and consumption help you make more informed decisions that reduce your energy costs. Use the app to create optimal start times and maximum charge levels for cost-effective charging and maximising battery lifespan. Knowing the energy your home and care consume is an engaging and positive experience given our urgent need to protect the environment and cut costs. 
  • Considering connection to a green energy supply: Using solar panels in the home can further reduce reliance on the grid and save more money. This is especially true during the current energy crisis in Europe, which may not be the last one.
  • Checking for employer contribution: Check if your employer offers reimbursement for EV charging. Employers may offer to offset some of your routine working commute charging costs as an employee benefit.
  • Availing of government grants: With EU energy transition policy targets in mind, most countries dedicate funding towards encouraging greater EV adoption, including electric car charger installation.
  • Checking comparison with public stations: Installation domestically often means paying less than what you will be charged at a public station, which is often more expensive.
  • Checking if EV chargers increase the value of your home: New homes in many countries across Europe are legally obliged to have EV infrastructure. Homeowners in the future will see the benefit of buying a home with all of the work already done and pay for the pleasure.

  • Assessing vehicle-to-home potential: Installing EV charging infrastructure at home enables vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology, allowing an EV to be used as a power source for an individual house or home. The tech allows you to reduce the power you use from the grid instead of relying on the power stored in your car's battery.

    Once the upfront expenses of buying your EV and installing the charger are behind you, the fuel savings quickly add up. You will earn this money back over time, and the support available from government grants to intelligent charging and vehicle-to-home technology can accelerate return on investment. It also adds to the value of your home, while you continue to enjoy the personal and social benefits of driving your car.