Back to $name

Charging Stations

Charging at Home

Electric Vehicles Charging at home

With 80% of all electric vehicle (EV) charging taking place at home, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to make the most of your charging experience.

Contact Ameren and request a free service assessment to get your home plug-in ready. At no charge to you, we’ll assess the capacity of the service to your home and, if needed, we’ll upgrade it to ensure your new EV can be adequately charged. Electric contractors are familiar with installation and other technical and permitting issues.

EV owners in Illinois may also want to explore Ameren Illinois’ hourly pricing program, Power Smart Pricing (PSP). Visit PowerSmartPricing.org or PlugInIllinois.org, respectively, for details.

Here’s a step-by-step process and other considerations for getting ready at home:

Before anything else, decide how you will charge at home. Your new electric vehicle will already come with a small, portable 120-volt charging unit that can be used with a common household outlet. And this may be all you need, depending on the size of your EV’s battery, the number of miles you drive daily, and the amount of time you feel you have to “charge back up” at the end of the day. Check out the charging times in the Fuel Cost Comparison Table for help in making this decision.

Your new EV will also be capable of charging at 240 volts. If you feel that 240-volt charging would better serve your needs, determine the type and model of charging station your EV manufacturer provides or specifies, and that equipment’s electrical requirements. More than likely, a number of options will be available.

A quick survey by an electrical contractor can determine if your home has adequate electrical capacity for electric vehicle charging.

  • If you’ve chosen 120-volt (Level 1) charging, most EV manufacturers recommend a dedicated 20-amp circuit be available.
  • If you’ve chosen 240-volt (Level 2) charging for the faster charging times, a dedicated 240-volt, 20 or 40-amp circuit will have to be added.

Depending on the size and age of the home, there may not be sufficient electrical capacity to handle this, meaning a new electric service panel may have to be added. The initial survey can determine if such an upgrade - generally the most costly step in installing charging facilities - is necessary.

If installing in an enclosed garage:
The wall socket or charging station should be located for easy access and where the charging cable will stretch the shortest distance - so check the location of the charging port on the vehicle too! Avoid locations where the cord or cable crosses an area of heavy foot traffic. A wall-mounted charging station should not block a garage entry or exit, or be installed near explosive materials like flammable liquids or combustible dust or fibers.

For a detached garage with inadequate capacity or no electric service at all:
The installer should be able to help you decide how to extend the wiring to accommodate charging equipment. An overhead wiring extension is less expensive but less attractive, while an underground extension represents a more attractive (and more expensive) option.

For charging outside:
Electrical sockets and charging stations are weatherproof and can be placed outdoors. They should be protected from damage and installed in a secure location to protect against vandalism. Be sure to check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended operating and charging temperature ranges and locate the equipment accordingly.

Apply for the permit to do the desired work, if required by local jurisdictions. If applicable, your contractor can begin work when it is issued. When the installation is complete, your contractor can also arrange for the wiring inspection with the local inspection authority (if needed) and make any required changes.

The steps above will ensure your home is ready, but there is the "other side of the meter" to consider as well, and this is where Ameren comes in. As our way of contributing to a positive ownership experience, we want to ensure our grid is sufficient for charging your EV too.

Call our Construction Hotline at 888.659.4540 in Illinois or submit an online request for a free capacity assessment of our service wires to your home. In most cases a visit to your home is not required. If you've purchased an EV and an upgrade of these lines is necessary, we’ll take care of it at no charge!

Other Home Charging Considerations

  • Where is your outlet or charging station located compared to the plug-in port on the vehicle itself? Standard cord lengths are 18 feet but are available up to 25 feet.
  • Do you want your 240-volt charging station to be permanently wired to your electric panel or plugged in to a 240-volt wall socket (like your clothes dryer)? Plugging it in lets you to take it with you if you ever move.
  • What kind of warranty are you getting? Understand any costs that may be involved in maintaining your charging station.
  • Is the charging station Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed? This is a standard but necessary certification for assuring safe and reliable operations.
  • Is a trained, certified electrician with a current license doing the installation? Make sure they have access to parts and equipment for any future service needs.

Public Charging Stations

Charging stations provide the electricity for recharging EVs. Depending on the EV model, charging is available at various levels.

Level 1 - 120 volts

This voltage is most commonly found in your home and portable Level 1 charging equipment is provided with every new electric vehicle.

Level 2 - 240 volts

This type of charging is generally preferred because it's faster. Level 2 charging requires a separately installed charging station and can be purchased for home installation. Costs for purchasing and installing a Level 2 charging station at the home can range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the work required.

Level 3 - 480 volts

(Also known as fast charging)
This is intended for commercial and public charging locations - the electric version of a local gas station. Industry standards have not yet been developed for Level 3 home installation charging.

Alert Info