5 tips for charging your electric car at home, according to a top EV executive at GM

  • It's important to put a lot of research into your charger purchase when you shop for an EV.

  • Rising energy costs can be combated with rebates and incentives.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all home-charging solution.

Before you bring home your first electric vehicle, it's important to know the do's and don'ts of home charging.

An enjoyable and easy home-charging experience is an integral part of transitioning from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric one, especially while public charging infrastructure continues to lag the pace of electric vehicle adoption.

A vast majority of EV owners currently have some form of home charging to juice their cars between drives, but recent studies have shown that this experience has been less-than-desirable for many new EV drivers.

Insider spoke with General Motors' Director EV Ecosystem Derek Sequeira to get tips for improving the at-home charging experience.

Get an understanding of your current electrical system

The first thing any EV shopper should do is learn the basics of their home's capacity for amperage and your home's panel size, Sequeira said. All of this information will help you shop for an installation more efficiently.

"That will allow you to talk to your installer and guide them through what type of capacity you will need," he said.

Shop for your home charger along with your EV

Speaking of preparing for installation, shopping for an EV and a charger should go hand in hand. Right now, about 80% of all EV charging is done at home when your car is stationary for the longest time, Sequeira said.

GM has addressed this by integrating the charging purchase into the vehicle purchase at the dealership, he said. All of GM's EVs come with their own charging offers, ranging from integrating the charger shopping with the vehicle shopping for the Bolt, to a free home charger with the purchase of a Hummer.

"What we are aiming to do is make it super easy for a customer to get Level 2 charging installed in their homes," Sequeira said. (More on EV charging types and levels here).

Know your capacity needs

You'll need to understand what your charging speed needs will be when you install your Level 2 charger at home, Sequeira said. The size of your battery and how much you will be driving are important to consider.

"For those doing more driving – maybe your commute is an hour a day – you probably want to opt for a higher charging speed in your home," Sequeira said. "In that case, we'd want to put you towards a wall-mounted charger where you have the ability to charge at faster speeds."

Get to know which charger rebates you qualify for

Installing a home charger can get quite expensive, but there are lots of different rebates available to help defray the cost. Rebate aggregators like ZappyRide can help you make sure you're not missing out on any discounts.

"It's been super helpful to connect our customers with the rebates and incentives in their area," Sequeira said.

Learn more about how your local utility charges for electricity

Not all states are the same when it comes to charging for charging. Before you build your new EV fueling routine at home, it's important to know when your area's peak energy hours are. Sometimes, charging overnight can actually be more expensive than charging during the day.

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