How quickly can I charge up my car?
You have three choices when it comes to charging speed:
Level 1 Charging
All EVs come with the appropriate cord allowing you to simply plug your vehicle into a standard 15 amp/120 volt outlet. This option, known as "trickle charging," is very slow. It works best for plug-in hybrids with small batteries, or people who do not drive much each day. Charging a battery-only EV (BEV) using a 15 amp/120 volt outlet can take a day or two, depending on the size of the battery and how depleted it is.
Be aware that there are potential fire hazards associated with plugging an EV into an older, worn-out 120v electrical outlet. The outlet may no longer be able to safely deliver power for its maximum rated load over many hours. Have an electrician check the condition of an older outlet before using it for EV charging.
Level 2 Charging
Most homeowners and businesses will choose Level 2 charging. Level 2 charging will charge a car in a quarter of the time that Level 1 charging allows.
While EV owners incur an up-front expense to install a Level 2 charging system, CMLP offers residential customers a rebate of up to $250 to offset the cost. Residents may also be eligible for federal tax credits.
A Level 2 charging system consists of a 240 volt wiring circuit from your house electrical panel to a NEMA 14-50 outlet (much like the outlet into which you’d plug an electric stove or clothes dryer), or to a wall-mounted EV charging station. Level 2 charging will charge your car in a quarter of the time that Level 1 charging allows. This means that you can fully charge your car overnight from empty, so that your EV’s full range is available each day.
Have an electrician wire a 240 volt circuit, including a 50-amp circuit breaker, from your house panel to a 240 volt NEMA 14-50 outlet and/or wall-mounted charging station in a location that is convenient for charging your car. A Level 2 installer finder service can help you find an electrician with experience installing these systems.
You may charge your car directly from the NEMA 14-50 outlet at Level 2 speeds. Another option for charging your car is to purchase a wall-mounted Level 2 home charging station and plug it into the NEMA 14-50 outlet. The station will come with a cord and charger head that plugs into your EV. Home charging stations offer components ranging from standard safety features and status lights to features such as enhanced displays, smartphone connections, and keypads. Note that some charging stations must be hard-wired instead of plugged into an outlet. If the brand of home charging station that you prefer needs to be hard-wired, have your electrician wire it in when they are wiring the 240 volt circuit from your house panel.
The cost to install a 240 volt circuit and NEMA14-50 outlet can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the location of the house panel and the location of the charging outlet. Wall-mounted charging stations cost $500 - $700, exclusive of installation costs.
CMLP offers Concord residents a rebate of up to $250 to help offset the cost of installing a Level 2 charging system. The installation of a 240 volt circuit and NEMA 14-50 outlet, or the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charging station are eligible expenses.
A business with a single fleet vehicle might choose charging equipment similar to that which a homeowner would install (see above).
However, businesses installing charging equipment for multiple employees, customers, fleet vehicles or multi-family property residents will likely want to install one or more commercial-grade Level 2 (208 - 240 volt) single or dual port (13 amp or above per port) charging stations that are network-enabled. A network-enabled station has the capability to connect to the internet and/or private network and be able to transmit and receive information. Among other functions, this capability allows each user to pay for EV charging based on how much they use the station. Each station will be mounted on a pedestal or wall.
Charging stations will have a console, a cable and connector and a cable management mechanism. Signage and/or pavement painting will designate "charging only" parking spaces, and communicate other rules, such as the length of time that a vehicle may charge. Bollards or wheel stops may be installed to protect the station from damage. For more detail, see the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of CMLP's Commercial EV Charging Station Rebate webpage.
While businesses incur an up-front expense to install a Level 2 charging station, CMLP’s Commercial EV Charging Station Rebate, combined with grant funds available from the state through the MassEVIP Program, are designed to cover a substantial portion of the eligible costs of installing a typical $30,000 dual port station. The commercial EV charging station rebate applicant is responsible for covering non-eligible costs such as electricity, software and warranty subscriptions, maintenance and permitting.
Level 3 Charging
Also known as public Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC), Quick Charging and Supercharging, Level 3 charging typically adds hundreds of miles of range per hour of charging. This is the preferred type of charging to use on any long trip, and/or when you are charging in public with a low battery and not planning to park for long. Typical charging stops are usually 20 - 30 minutes to get the range required. Many new fast charging sites are being added every year. Get a handy charging station map by downloading the PlugShare app. Plugshare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car!