Are you curious about how much it would cost to get an EV charger installed in South Carolina? You might already own an electric vehicle and want to have the complete setup, top-to-bottom. Perhaps you’re thinking about getting one but want to know that you can afford it. It’s completely natural to want to charge your electric vehicle while you’re in the luxury of your own home, either sleeping or relaxing. Or maybe you’re a business owner, and you want to provide EV charging as a part of your business model.
No matter why you’re interested in learning about EV charger installation costs, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to understand the cost of electric vehicle chargers, why you might need one, and ultimately give you a clear picture of EV charger installation costs in South Carolina.
Electric Vehicles – What Are They?
This may seem obvious to some. Electric vehicles at face value are just cars or automobiles that run on electricity instead of gas. That’s true, but it’s also a little more complicated than that.
Electric vehicles (otherwise known as EVs) are automobiles that have a motor powered by electricity. This is opposed to the normal combustion engine that most cars have. Some vehicles have both an electric motor and a combustion engine, and those are called “hybrids.” Simply put, electric motors run on electricity, and combustion engines burn fuel to provide power to the car.
When a lot of people think about electric cars, they think about the future. An image of the Jetson’s or some other futuristic tv show or movie might come to mind. Flying cars that are powered by electricity – what a marvel! But it might surprise you to know that electric vehicles are not a new idea. The first electrical motor recorded in history was actually in 1828, while the first electric vehicle was created by an Austrian inventor, Franz Kravogl, in 1867.
In 1914, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison worked together to build a more affordable electric vehicle. Their model clocked in at about $1,750. That might not seem like a lot, but around the same time, Ford’s Model T was flying off the shelves at a measly $650 each. That’s almost a third of the price!
So, suffice it to say, the average consumer wasn’t going to buy an electric vehicle when a much cheaper alternative was on the market. The trajectory and success of the Model T’s and the many oil reserves we were discovering all over the world put electric vehicles on an indefinite hiatus. The automobile industry moved away from electric cars, and the world became obsessed with oil.
Electric vehicles didn’t resurface again until 1970, when the Clean Air Act was passed. Around that time, the scientific community started to recognize how harmful gas consumption was for the environment. As a result, gas-guzzling vehicles now comprise 30% of the United States’ carbon emissions.
This has caused enormous damage to the environment. Fortunately, there’s a way to fix it – electric vehicles. Statistically, if everyone switched to electric cars today, we could reduce our CO2 emissions by 30%.
All-Electric Vehicles (AEVs)
There are two primary types of electric vehicles. The first is an AEV, which stands for an all-electric vehicle. These EVs are powered 100% by an electric motor. You have to plug AEVs into a power source (an EV charger) to give them power, making them operate.
There are variations of these AEVs called FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) and BEVs (battery electric vehicles). The time it takes to charge these EVs depends on the type of EV charger you use and the car’s battery.
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
The second type is the PHEV, which stands for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The primary difference between this type of EV and the AEV is that the PHEV runs on electricity and gas. So, when the electric motor taps out and runs out of power, the car will switch over to the combustion engine. This is incredibly useful for anyone who doesn’t have immediate or regular access to an EV charger.
As a PHEV driver, you get the best of both worlds. You get to help with the environment, but when your electric motor runs out of electricity, it just automatically switches over. That gives you a lot more flexibility. If you’re interested in buying an EV, you should check out the [electric vehicle incentives in South Carolina].
Both types run on electricity, which requires the use of an electric vehicle charging station.
What’s an EV Charging Station?
There are around 25,000 charging stations, comprising 78,500 charging outlets all over the United States. There are over 800 charging stations in South Carolina alone.
These are all commercially owned EV chargers, but you might be surprised to learn that most electric vehicle owners rarely (if ever) use commercial charging stations. According to the United States Department of Energy, 80% of electric vehicle owners charge their EVs at home, using a residential charging station, 100% of the time.
Putting it simply, a charging station is exactly what you think it is. It’s a station that you plug into to charge your electric battery. The station is typically connected to the electric grid or some other electrical source to provide an electrical charge. These chargers are often called EVSE, which stands for electric vehicle supply equipment.
There are three types of EV chargers:
Level One EV Charging Station
These EV chargers charge using a 120V plug. This goes right into the outlet and doesn’t require any more equipment. Most electric vehicles actually come with a level one charging station. If you misplace, lose, or break yours, replacements are relatively inexpensive, coming in around $300.
This option is more a “charger” than a fully optimized charging station, which is likely something you’ll be more familiar with. It’s a lot more like charging your phone, except it takes a lot longer. Some can take up to twenty-four hours to provide a full charge. On average, they give about two to five miles for every hour of charging. These are the chargers you’ll find in most homes of EV owners.
Level Two EV Charging Station
A level two charging station comes with some additional equipment that you’ll have to set up. They deliver power through a 208V plug for commercial units and a 240V plug for residential units.
The level two charging station provides about ten to twenty miles for every hour of charging, depending on the model. Many electric vehicle owners decide to purchase a level two EV charging station for the significant increase in charging speed. These charging stations cost between $300 and $1200, plus a little more for a 240V outlet.
These stations are usually found in workplaces and homes but can be found in commercial charging stations, as well.
Level Three EV Charging Station (DC Fast Charging Station)
These are the most powerful charging stations on the market, and you might compare them to your average gas station. They need a 480V outlet and require some high-powered equipment. These stations give about sixty to eighty miles for every twenty minutes of charging. They can even charge more than one vehicle at a time.
Unlike the other two levels, these are used only by commercial charging stations. They cost anywhere from $12,000 and $35,000 for the charger and hardware to set it up.
What’s the Cost to Install an EV Charger in South Carolina?
Depending on the type of charger you want to purchase, they can range from $300 to $35,000. So, you should definitely do your research on the kind of equipment you’ll need to buy and decide what type of charging station you’ll want.
If you want to pay someone to have the charging station installed, you’ll have to put aside a little extra. According to Home Advisors, getting a residential charging station installed in South Carolina costs between $454 and $1,065. For a commercial installation, you should expect to pay a bit more. The higher the charger’s level, the more work involved, and the more expensive the installation will be.
Based on information from the Department of Energy, it costs between $600 and $12,700 for a level two installation and $4,000 to $50,000 for a level three installation in South Carolina.
Where is all that electricity coming from? You have to remember that you’ll still have to pay for that extra electricity when you purchase an electric vehicle and electric vehicle charger. To zero on the most beneficial savings possibilities, you might consider making the switch to solar energy for all your electricity needs.
If you’re interested in getting solar energy, you should check out the cost of installations for solar energy in South Carolina. If you’re unsure about whether you’ll be able to afford it, remember that South Carolina provides incentives and rebates for solar energy.
Obviously, the cost of installing an EV charging station varies, depending on what level of charging station you want to buy. There might be more work if you decide to opt for a high-level charging station, but no matter what you choose, it’s a wise choice. Like most EV owners, you’ll probably want to control when you charge your vehicle, rather than relying on going to commercial charging stations whenever you need a charge.
Plus, if you pair your new electric vehicle and charging station with solar energy, then you’re saving money on gas, electricity, and you’re doing the absolute most to save the planet. That’s a perfect scenario!