Should You Let Someone Charge an Electric Vehicle at Your House?

As summer travel ramps up, you might find yourself in a situation with an electric vehicle. If you don’t have one, perhaps your guest does. Should you let your guest charge an electric vehicle at your house? How expensive is it to charge an electric car at home?

Letting someone charge your electric vehicle at home is easy

Letting guests charge an electric vehicle at your house
A Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle parked on the driveway of a suburban home | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

More people decide to hop in electric vehicles and cars every day. You might run into a situation where a guest wants to charge up while at your house. If that’s the case, you can offer up a plug if you are comfortable doing so.

Adriana Porter Felt, who works for the Google Chrome internet browser, asked about electric vehicle charging etiquette on Twitter.

“What’s the etiquette on car chargers? Do you offer house guests to charge their cars? Is it rude to ask someone if you can charge there while visiting?”

Adriana Porter Felt | Twitter

EV drivers can just plug into a regular outlet in your garage or driveway. It doesn’t use that much electricity to charge an electric car at home because it is a pretty slow process.

The cost of letting a guest charge an electric vehicle at home

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Someone at Slate investigated this further. If your guest arrives with 20% left on the battery with an average 70 kWh battery, charging it up won’t cost much at all. The national average price of electricity is around $.011 per kWh, which is under $7 to charge the car fully. You might not even get that far, depending on how long it is plugged in. A full charge could take 12 hours or longer.

But much of the time, it won’t even be that expensive. The price of charging an electric vehicle at home varies by location and time. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Hawaii and California have some of the most expensive electricity in the country at $0.27 and $0.18 per kWh (that’s a kilowatt-hour). If your guest charges up at these prices, it might cost $15 or so.

Arkansas and Louisiana are some of the cheapest in the country at $0.8 and $0.7 per kWh. A full charge in these states can come in under $2. That really won’t make a difference in your overall monthly bill, especially if it is just a one-off visit from friends.

Public EV chargers are always an option if you are in a pinch

While charging an electric vehicle at home might sound like an expensive process, it really isn’t. You wouldn’t charge a friend for plugging a phone in overnight or using the oven. Unless someone plugs into your garage outlet daily, the cost is pretty negligible.

Most drivers will opt for installing a home charger for everyday use, road trips likely require the use of public electric vehicle chargers. Malls, hotels, movie theatres, and many restaurants have chargers you can use in a pinch.

Either way, letting a guest charge an electric vehicle at your house is polite and not a big deal. Who knows, maybe you will plug your electric car in at your guest’s home in the near future.

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