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EV Charging

Whether at home or on the road, it is easy to charge your electric vehicle.

There are 3 speeds available for EV charging:

Level 1 Charging: Easy

  • Provides 4-5 miles of range per hour
  • Comes with every electric vehicle
  • Plug directly into a standard 120-volt outlet
  • No other special charging equipment needed

Level 2 Charging: Fast

  • Provides 25 miles of range per hour
  • Commonly used for public, work or home charging
  • In-home installation is available

DC Fast Charging: Fastest

  • Provides 80% charge in 30 minutes
  • Typically found along major highway corridors

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.

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.

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 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!

At-Home Charging FAQs

Depending on the charging cord that is included with the EV, you can plug into a regular wall outlet, utilize an existing 240V outlet (appliance outlet similar to those used for household dryers), or install a level 2 charger at your home.
You can charge your vehicle with a standard, 110V wall outlet, though, depending on your needs (length of commute, your home’s electrical layout, etc.), you may need an electrician or contractor to install a charger. For dedicated level 2 chargers, Ameren Illinois recommends hiring a qualified electrician to assist with installation. 
Costs for purchasing and installing a Level 2 charging station at home can range from $500 to over $2,500. This cost is dependent on the type of charger desired and any installation requirements.
The cost to charge your vehicle can vary based on the model of car, daily usage, and rate plan. On average, the cost to charge an EV is the approximately equivalent to paying $1 per gallon of gasoline. The Ameren Illinois Savings Calculator can help you determine your exact cost.

Ameren Illinois offers a comparison tool where customers can review different electric vehicle Level 2 charger models.

Be sure to also check the charger manufacturer’s website for any warranty information or available incentives.

Standard cord lengths are 18 feet but are available up to 25 feet. Cords should never be placed in walkways, wrapped or draped over the vehicle.
EV drivers who live in apartment complexes or condos without a garage may need to consider additional factors when charging the vehicle. Speaking with the apartment property manager is an excellent first step to see if they already have plans to add charging equipment for their residents or learn if there are any other options available.
While researching Level 2 chargers for home use, be sure to check for warranties. Charging equipment manufacturers often provide multi-year warranties that protect your EV investment.
Yes, this is a standard but necessary certification for assuring safe and reliable operations.
Ameren Illinois recommends always consulting with a certified electrician who is properly trained and qualified. 
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