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Decode the code: Electric vehicle charging on residential properties

Thinking about getting an electric vehicle? Get the 411 on installing a charging port at your home.

Aerial view of Boston highway and Zakim bridge

It’s estimated that 80-90% of EV charging happens at home.

It’s no secret that electric vehicles (EVs) are on the rise — a record 1.2 million electric vehicles were sold in the US in 2023. If you’re thinking about getting around gas prices with a new EV, but don’t know where to start, plug in to your research with this quick explainer on electric vehicle charging.

Why get an electric vehicle?

In addition to the climate impact, electric vehicle drivers save an average of $500-$1,500 per year in refueling costs, in addition to a ~40% reduction in maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle.

Did you know? Massachusetts offers rebates for electric vehicles. If you buy or lease an eligible vehicle, you can apply for up to $6,000 in rebates. Check out all the incentives our state has to offer.

Charging at home

According to a recent survey, 45% of Bostonions would consider buying an EV if they had access to charging stations. Let’s dive into how to make that happen.

Level 1 chargers plug into a standard 120-volt (NEMA 5-15) electrical outlet using the cord that comes with the vehicle. While it doesn’t require extra equipment for your home, this method can take up to several days to fully charge the car. As such, it’s recommended for residential parking areas where Bostonians (and their cars) typically spend longer hours.

Level 2 chargers plug into a 240-volt (NEMA 14-50) receptacle — like the one used for home appliances — and can charge the car in about seven hours. Typically, this is more appropriate for commercial parking spaces where cars spend less time.

Get the 101 on EV installation, which includes requirements like:

  • Covering the cost of the charging station
  • Stations must be installed by a licensed contractor
  • Permits in specific cases