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The Pros and Cons of Public vs. At-Home EV Charging Stations

If you have an electric vehicle (EV) and you’re trying to decide if investing in an at-home EV charging station is worth the investment, you’ll want to know how it compares to relying on public charging stations. A public charging station refers to an EV charger that’s available to the general public. Usually, you’ll have to pay to use it. In contrast, an at-home EV charging station is one that’s installed at your home, and you’ll only have to pay the electricity bills associated with it.

Before deciding if residential EV charging is for you, learn more about the pros and cons of public and at-home EV chargers.

Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of Public EV Charging Stations

One of the biggest benefits of public EV charging stations is that they don’t come with high initial costs. Since a company will have already paid for the station and installed it, you simply have to pay for the electricity and any usage fees at the station. 

Another potential benefit of public EV charging stations is that they sometimes feature rapid charging stations that are too expensive for most homeowners to afford. As a result, some public chargers are better for times when you’re in a rush and need to charge your vehicle quickly. 

While public EV charging stations have many benefits, they have some potential drawbacks if an EV owner plans to use them as their only mode of charging. When you don’t have an at-home charger, you’ll likely experience some of the following cons of relying solely on public EV chargers:

  • Long public waiting times for car to charge: When you arrive at a charging station, you might have to wait in line to use a public charger. After a spot opens up, you’ll then have to wait a little while longer as your vehicle charges. Due to the possibility of long wait times, it’s often better to use an at-home charger as your primary source of charging, reserving public chargers for longer trips or times when you’re not in a rush.
  • Inconvenient searching for public stations: If you’re not familiar with where public charging stations are located in your area, it can be potentially inconvenient and stressful to find an electrical charger near you. Even after you find all the public stations on your normal route, it can be beneficial to also have an at-home charger you can use before you take your EV to an unfamiliar area. 
  • Potential damage to your battery: While public charging stations are usually safe for your battery, constantly using Level 3 fast-charging stations can cause your EV’s battery to degrade faster than using Level 1 or Level 2 chargers for the majority of your charges. As a result, it’s best to only use rapid charging stations occasionally and stick to an at-home charger for most of your charging needs if you want to lengthen your battery’s life. 

Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of At-Home EV Charging Stations

With the potential drawbacks of sticking to public charging stations for most of your EV charging needs, you’ll likely want to know about the advantages of at-home EV charging stations. Check out the top benefits of at-home EV chargers below:

  • More convenience: When you have a charging station at your home, you won’t have to drive to a public station every time you need a charge. Instead of having to wait in a parking lot, you can charge your vehicle while you sit on your couch or sleep in your bed.
  • Increased savings: Charging your vehicle at home is incredibly affordable. For EVs that use 33 kWh over 100 miles and for homes with electricity costs of 0.13 per kWh, the US Department of Energy found that charging these vehicles at home only costs around $0.04 for every mile of charge. Many public stations charge more for their electricity, meaning at-home charging can help you save money. These savings can even make it so a residential EV charging station pays for itself over time
  • Greater home value: Besides offering savings and convenience, EV charging stations can increase your home’s value. With more homeowners and potential homeowners switching to electric vehicles, a home with a pre-installed EV charger is an attractive prospect. Due to the increased interest in EV chargers, purchasing one can make your home more desirable to buyers and help you sell it for more money. Once you sell your home, this increased value can help you earn back your initial expenses from buying a charger.

While there are several benefits to at-home EV charging stations, they can have some drawbacks. For example, many homeowners stick to the Level 1 EVSE charger that they received from the dealership when buying their EV. These chargers often have significantly longer charging times than chargers at many public charging stations. 

However, you can solve this issue and receive faster charging by opting for a Level 2 EVSE charger. Since Level 2 chargers offer 30 to 44 miles of charge per hour, they’re much faster than Level 1 chargers that only provide two to five miles of charge per hour.

Another potential drawback to EV stations is that they have higher upfront costs than charging your vehicle in public. If you don’t have the budget to pay for them and their installation, you’ll likely need to stick to public stations. However, those with the money to do so will reap the long-term saving benefits by charging at home and raising their home’s value.

Choose Bonney for At-Home EV Charging Station Installation in Sacramento

With the many benefits of investing in an at-home charging station, you might be interested in installing one at your home. At Bonney, we’re proud to offer at-home EV chargers to homeowners in Sacramento as one of our many electrical services. When you’re planning on buying an EV charger, our team can inspect your home, provide you with recommendations on the right charging station for your needs, and install the station for you. 

Find out more about our EV charging station installation services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule installation, please contact us.