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The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor EV Charging

Table of Contents

I. An Overview of Home Charging Stations for EVs

Either you’re still in the consideration phase of transitioning full-time to an electric vehicle, or you’ve already made the switch, chances are you will eventually be faced with where and how best to charge your EV. But not to worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Public charging has undoubtedly seen a considerable increase in patronage as more public charging stations pop up almost daily. Nevertheless, the convenience and ease home EV charging presents trump that of public charging by light years. 

If you intend to access EV charging in your home garage or just by a post along your driveway, installing a home EV charging station wouldn’t be a bad idea. These devices allow you to charge your EVs while you enjoy sleeping all night and waking up to a fully charged EV ready to hit the road. Still, your option will largely depend on your driving habits and EV battery capacity among other factors. But how do home charging stations work, and what options are available? 

To start with, you need to understand that different home charging stations have various capacities and are not manufactured the same. Notwithstanding, the possibility of a home charging station often lies in 2 options: level 2 EV chargers and level 1 charging stations. These two charging stations have their peculiarities and advantages. 

Level 1 EV chargers often serve as the last resort with essential functions similar to a smartphone charger. They are essentially simple cords that only require that you plug them into the nearest home power sockets, and you are good to go. However, this charger charges very slowly and sometimes takes a whole day to fully charge a battery. But on the flip side, level 1 chargers are inexpensive since they accompany most EVs from the manufacturer and often don’t need any professional installer to start using them.

In contrast, the level 2 EV charger charges faster and costs more to purchase and install since you will often need the services of a professional installer to get it working. Still, the investment delivers extra dividends as it is more efficient and faster when charging your EV. 

Perhaps one defining factor that wins the argument for home charging is that you never need to worry about joining long lines of EVs at public charging stations. This convenience is a top priority for most EV owners when installing a home charging station. You only need to get home, and you’re sure a plug-and-charge device is waiting for you, except for those long trips where you need to go along with a portable EV charger. Also, you can schedule your EV for home charging during hectic work weeks that don’t allow you to use public charging stations. 

Again, home charging can be a cost-effective charging option for your EV, considering that most home charging occurs during the off-peak periods at night. This period is also characterized by low electricity tariffs as the grid is often underused. This arrangement can save you high charging costs over the lifespan of your EV. 

In essence, once you can decide on the right home charging station that suits you, you can reap its benefits immediately, including lower charging expenses and a hassle-free charging experience. 

Home Charging Stations for EVs
source: flickr.com

II. Advantages of Outdoor EV Charging 

Owning an EV comes with so many benefits already on the lips of most EV owners who don’t fail to sign it at the slightest opportunity, including reduced carbon footprint and fuel expenses. Besides your EV charger manufacturer, your experience as an EV driver will be significantly impacted by how and where you choose to charge your Electric vehicle. Here are some advantages you will experience if you go the route of outdoor EV charging. 

Especially if you have a small residential space indoors, choosing the outdoor EV charging route can help you effectively manage your space. Running cables around an already tight indoor area can cause anxiety, considering that you have to install a charging station causing further congestion within your home. 

Also, it can help you save costs as you wouldn’t install any other device beyond the charging station. On the contrary, an indoor charging station often requires additional accessories, often costing more money. 

Most home charging stations use level 1 chargers indoors, which can consume more energy if used during the day as it takes longer to charge an EV battery. On the other hand, outdoor home chargers are typically level 2 chargers that are more energy-efficient and faster, especially if it is from one of the top EV charger companies.

III. Best Places to Charge Your Electric Vehicle 

You might not be immune from the consequences of locating your home charging station indoors or outdoors, but knowing the advantages of both options also helps you make the best decision. Especially for the convenience and effectiveness of the charging station, you may need to consider some factors in choosing the right location for your charging station. Essentially, the prevailing weather conditions of your locality are paramount, as harsh weather can cause serious havoc for your charging station if situated outdoors. Again, the cost of installing the charger and other accessories can be high depending on where you locate the charger. 

However, if you install the charger indoors, you can secure it from the effects of harsh weather. This decision can prove very effective if you stay in heavy snow or rain-prone areas and places with high temperatures. It can also serve you well if your parking space is fixed, such as a garage. Nonetheless, indoor installation can be more expensive as it often requires additional installation separate from the main charging station. It can include the cost of rewiring and changing the existing electrical panels to accommodate the new installation. Also, locating the charging station in an area of the house that receives a lot of air is advisable to avoid overheating and for safety regulation purposes.

For outdoor installation, especially if you don’t have a fixed parking spot, it can be an effective location for your charging station. It affords you the convenience of using shorter charging cables without spending more on rewiring and panel upgrades. Also, you can have a wall-mounted, pedestal-mounted, or pole-mounted charging station when installing outdoors. Yet, you run the risk of theft and damage from harsh weather and might require additional costs to install lockable protective boxes for the charging station. 

Best Places to Charge Your Electric Vehicle
source: flickr.com

IV. Exploring Non-Residential Options for Outdoor EV Charging

Being a mobility device means your EV will not always be home. You’re more likely to be caught up in the middle of driving up and about the town, where you’ll require a quick top-up from public charging stations every now and then. So, here are some of the best places to charge your EV if you find yourself out of your home longer than planned. 

  • Public charging stations: Of course, you’ve got to admit that this will be the natural choice you’ll often be presented with as they are more in number in most places than any other charging station. You’ll often find these stations as level 3 EV chargers at rest stops, shopping malls, parks, and general public places along most highways and major roads. Numerous apps and websites can help you locate the nearest public charging stations. Interestingly, you can find free and paid public charging stations depending on your location. Also, some can offer more services with a paid membership plan. 
  • Office charging stations: With the work-life balance phenomenon catching on pretty quickly for most workplaces, employers are trying to provide more perks for their employees. These benefits include providing a workplace charging station for their employees to reduce their stress in locating a suitable charging station while at work. This move can help staff give their best at work without worrying about other things like where to charge their EV. 
  • Terminal charging stations: These charging stations are often targeted at travelers, with the majority of them located at such places as hotels, inns, and restaurants. These places are favorite quick-stop destinations for travelers. It is very suitable for quick top-ups while stopping on your trip. 

In short, these various options offer opportunities to charge your EV regardless of where you are. Nevertheless, your specific needs will determine which option is best for you. 


Finally, sustainable transportation is a reality with electric vehicles with many accompanying benefits. And as more people transition to EVs the opportunities for reduced carbon emissions and eco-friendly options. However, where to install your home charging station can influence your EV experience. Overall, the convenience and cost-effectiveness of home charging options make it one of the best charging decisions for EV owners, indoor or outdoor. Still, you may have to use non-residential charging options like public, workplace, and terminal charging stations occasionally.