Electric Vehicle Charging
Learn how to charge your electric vehicle, charging station installation costs for homes and businesses, and where to find public charging.
No more waiting at the gas pump. A major benefit of owning an electric vehicle (EV) is that you can charge it overnight, at home. This is how 90 percent of electric-car charging is doneI, and it's as easy as plugging in a cell phone. When you do need to charge on the go, you can make use of Vermont’s network of 300 charging stations (the most per capita in America). There are three levels and several types of chargers—some that require the assistance of an electrician, or even permits to install—so be sure to review your options before you purchase a vehicle or charger.
As mentioned above, you’ll receive a Level 1 charger with your vehicle at no additional cost. But if you opt for a Level 2 charging station, you’ll likely need to pay an electrician to install a dedicated 240-volt outlet. Level 2 charging units typically cost several hundred dollars unless your utility offers them for free. A third option is DC fast charging (DCFC) charging (480 volts), which can charge a vehicle in a matter of minutes. Also known as Level 3, these are by far the most expensive to install, but they’re a popular choice for public use.
- There are three levels of charging, each faster than the last.
- Level 1 requires no investment or installation—just a regular 120-volt outlet.
- Level 2 requires a moderate investment and an electrician’s assistance.
- DCFC is an expensive but fast option that’s best-suited for public charging.
Battery Life of EVs
EV batteries are warranted to last eight to ten years before they need replacing. To extend the battery life, don’t leave your car on a full or empty charge for more than a few hours. Keep the vehicle charged somewhere in between—ideally 25-75%. And while fast charging is convenient, it can impact battery health over time. Avoid frequent fast charging, especially when it’s very hot or cold. When it’s hot, try to park in the shade or in a garage.
- Don’t charge to your vehicle’s max capacity: keep the charge somewhere between 25-75%.
- Park your EV in the shade during extreme heat.
- Avoid relying too heavily on fast charging, especially when it’s hot or cold.
Installing a Public Charger
For businesses or multifamily property owners, charging stations offer your EV-driving patrons, tenants, and employees a valuable benefit. But installing the right system is critical to ensure that the investment is worthwhile and that you meet people’s needs. The installation process can be complicated, so be sure to check with your town about permits and your electric utility about any additional charges to watch out for. If you’re looking to install a fast charger, you may incur costs related to municipal regulations or utility demand charges. To help recoup these costs, you can charge drivers a fee to charge their vehicles.
- Install an EV charging station to improve customer, tenant, or employee satisfaction.
- Consult with your town and utility about permits and costs.
- Recoup the installation cost by charging a small usage fee.