A home electric vehicle (EV) charger represents convenience for a growing segment of the population: in the US, plug-in electric vehicles account for a 2.9% share of all passenger cars, continuing an upward trend that has lasted for years. A homebuyer that owns an EV will probably prioritize energy efficiency and bid more for a home that aligns with their values. Because of this, it’s worth considering other upgrades to capitalize on future trends in home energy as well.
Solar panels, for instance, can bring a 4.1% average home resale premium, according to a study conducted by Zillow. If your area experiences regular power outages, energy self-sufficiency has the potential to be a big selling point. The long-term savings you get from lower utility fees may also be a factor.
Here are the key considerations when it comes to installing electric vehicle supply equipment (known as a home charging station), solar panels, and other smart home energy technology on your property.
A study by realtor.com showed that home listings in metro areas with the most EV charging stations were 1.5 times higher than surrounding ZIP codes and 2.6 times higher than the rest of the country. It’s no surprise that most of these zones are in California — the state leads the nation with over 13,000 public charging stations. New York, with 10,000 fewer stations, is in second place, and Florida, Texas and Massachusetts are close behind. The presence of charging stations in your community indicates EV adoption, and installing a home charging station may offer convenience to many prospective homebuyers.
Electric car owners know the basic charger that comes included with their vehicle is very slow and best used for emergencies. Known as a Level 1 charger, this device converts the 120-volt AC power from a standard wall outlet into direct current (DC), which is required for charging. Level 1 chargers typically provide three to five miles of range per hour.
In order to save time when charging, EV owners will look to upgrade to a Level 2 charging station when they purchase a new home. These devices require an electrician to install a 240-volt electrical supply sourced from a dedicated circuit and can provide around half a mile of range per minute.
It’s important to know the spare amperage capacity available in your home as this dictates what electric service upgrades, if any, are needed. Level 2 chargers typically require 30 to 50 amps of current. If your home contains a 100-amp electrical panel, your appliances are likely using most of its capacity, meaning you may need to upgrade to a 200-amp panel. Median Level 2 chargers cost between $600-$800, with additional installation fees ranging from $800 to $1,300.
If you’re intent on maximizing the resale value of your house by being an early adopter, consider bringing a DC current into the home. A DC charger enables charging speeds as fast as one mile per minute, doubling what a Level 2 unit can provide. It also opens the door for bidirectional charging. This concept refers to the potential for energy stored in the EV’s battery to flow out and be used to power the home in what’s known as a vehicle-to-home (V2H) application, or to sell excess energy to the utility company as part of a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) arrangement.
Millennials represent 38% of all homebuyers. Clean energy and smart home technology is on their radar. Devices like smart thermostats have become commonplace, indicating the potential for increasingly advanced and automated home energy solutions. Solar panels, for instance, can reduce reliance on grid power and provide peace of mind in case of a blackout when coupled with a backup battery.
For energy-conscious buyers, a home equipped with solar power, battery-based energy storage, and V2H/V2G-compatible EV chargers is a rare find today. Such future-proofing may translate into larger resale returns in the right market.