Why You Need a Level 2 Home Charging Station for Your EV in Germany
If you own or you are considering owning an electric vehicle (EV) in Germany, one of the most important things is to figure out how you will charge it at home. Spoiler alert: Level 2 home charging / wallboxes / EVSE / call-it-as-you-want became essential and will become more and more important. It offers convenience, cost-effectiveness, and it helps maintain a healthy battery. So, in our short guide, we'll see together everything you need to know about having a Level 2 charging station, including its benefits, the types of chargers available, and the factors to consider when making your decision.
Why Level 2 Charging is The Best for Your EV
As you may know, Level 2 charging is mainly becoming popular among EV owners due to its faster charging speed. Compared to Level 1 charging, which typically takes several hours to fully charge an electric vehicle, Level 2 charging can reduce the charging time by up to four times. This makes it a sound choice for people who have a daily commute or need to travel long distances regularly — but it is also the best option for actually almost any EV owner.
Indeed, the charging speed provides peace of mind for EV owners in all situations, as it allows them to recharge their vehicles quickly and conveniently. It is also a great choice for people who frequently have guests that are EV owners, so they can quickly charge their cars too.
Also, Level 2 charging permits your EV to preheat its battery, which is an essential process if you drive in cold weather. Indeed, Level 2 charging means 240 or 220 volts, which can support heating whereas 120 volts is usually not enough for this. As EVs use electric air conditioning and heating for keeping the battery at the right temperature to improve performance, it's best to preheat the car when it's still plugged into the grid power to maintain optimal range.
The Cost Savings of Installing a Wallbox in Your House
In addition to being a convenient way to charge your EV, Level 2 charging can also help you save a lot of money. While Level 1 chargers come standard with many new EVs and can be used with a household outlet, they are not very powerful and take a long time to fully charge an EV. Public charging is an option as well, but it can be more expensive and can negatively impact battery life (especially Level 3 charging) if done frequently. All considered, Level 2 chargers are the best all-around solution as they are powerful enough to fully charge an EV overnight, cost less per kilowatt-hour, and allow for more useful activities while charging.
With its smart features, you can set your EV to charge during times when electricity prices are at their lowest. This means that not only will you be able to keep your vehicle charged and ready to go at all times, but you'll also be able to do so at a lower cost. These same smart features are also a good way of limiting your state of charge to 80% in order to keep your battery healthy. Additionally, thanks to these, you can get insights about your EV charging and thus be quickly informed of any irregular activity.Although before, the savings were even better thanks to a 900€ grant for installing a home charging station. Unfortunately for our German readers, the grant is not available anymore.
Safety and Technical Specs of Level 2 Home Charging
Finally, Level 2 charging is also important for a number of safety reasons. Level 2 charging is actually considered more secure than Level 1 because of its higher voltage and dedicated circuit with safety features. It requires a 240-volt circuit and won't share power with other appliances, which then reduces the risk of electrical hazards. Level 2 chargers also have built-in safety features like surge protectors and ground-fault protection — this makes it a more reliable and safer option.
In terms of technical specs, Level 2 charging comes in various amp ratings, usually between 30 and 50 amps, which provide different speeds of charging. Various brands of Level 2 chargers are available in Germany, including Wallbox, Engea, Juice, and Keba — these are amongst the most trusted and popular ones. It is also recommended to invest in a bit more power than is currently needed in the installation so you can be safe in the future, especially as you might want to get a more power-hungry electric car in the future.
Another great news is that now, easy and all-included solutions exist for people who don’t want to go through the maze of choosing and finding out how to set up a wallbox, calling an electrician, etc. Indeed, companies such as Lade-Express offer all-included services for picking the right charging station, funding it, installing it, and everything that comes after that. A great service that saves a lot of time and hassle!
To sum it up, the short answer to whether you absolutely need a dedicated EV charger at home is no, but it is definitely recommended — we saw how many great advantages it has! But at the end of the day, whether or not to install a home charger is a personal decision that depends on factors such as your charging needs, the inherent affordability that depends on your home circuit and construction, and the actual availability of public charging around you. However, while installing a Level 2 charger adds some extra costs to your EV equipment, the faster charging time, the money-saving and the convenience make it a worthwhile investment.
Level 2 home charging is really important for EV owners — we saw that with faster charging times, cost savings, and added convenience compared to Level 1 charging, its advantages can’t be ignored!On top of these, it also helps keep your battery healthy, and it has shown to be a more reliable option than other home charging solutions. Moreover, its recent developments made it possible to have plenty of different models out there to choose from, so you can be sure to find one that fits your needs. And while it's not 100% mandatory to have a dedicated EV charger at home, it’s strongly recommended for you to have the best EV ownership experience. All-in-all, the benefits of Level 2 home charging make it a worthwhile investment for any EV owner in Germany.
- Why is home charging important for EV ownership?Home charging offers convenience, money savings, and helps maintain battery life.
- Why is Level 2 charging better for EVs?Level 2 charging is faster, safer, and permits important pre-heating for the battery. It also offers smart features that help to properly charge your EV and give you insights in your charging process.
- What types of Level 2 chargers are available in Germany?A variety of brands, such as Wallbox, Engea, Juice, and Keba, offer good options for Level 2 home chargers in Germany. New companies such as Lade-Express offer all-included packages to choose, fund and install your home-charging station.
- What are the benefits of Level 2 charging for EVs?Level 2 chargers are powerful enough to fully charge an EV overnight, cost less per kilowatt-hour, and allow for more useful activities while charging.
- Is it necessary to install a dedicated EV charger at home?While it's not necessary, it's strongly recommended to install a Level 2 charger in order to have the best EV ownership experience.
- What should I consider when choosing a home charger for my EV?The main factors to consider are amp ratings, installation options, smart and connectivity features, as well as your own charging needs.
- What is wireless charging technology for EVs?Wireless charging is the fact of using the road as an induction charger for EVs. The road can also work as a solar panel to bring electricity to the grid. While it is a promising innovation for EVs, it is still in the early stages of development and not available in Germany yet.
- Can Level 1 charging be used with a household outlet?Yes, Level 1 chargers come standard with many new EVs and can be used with a household outlet, but they are not very powerful and take a long time to fully charge an EV.
- Can public charging be a good option for EVs?Public charging is an option, but it can be more expensive and can negatively impact battery life if done frequently.
- Is the Home Charging Station 900€ subsidy (KfW 404) still available?Unfortunately, the subsidy is not available anymore. You can find more information on the official website here.
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