If you own an electric vehicle, you know it can require considerable charging time, especially if it has a longer-than-typical range. If you’re currently forced to rely on public charging stations, not only do you have to pay for each charge, but you also have to wait around for the charge to finish. And what happens when your EV is running low and there’s no charging station nearby?
All things considered, does it make financial sense to opt for a high-speed electric car charger installation at home? For many EV owners, the answer is a resounding yes. If you’re among them, the electricians at Harrison Electric explain how to choose the right type of EV charger for your home below.
What Considerations Do You Need to Make?
Several things will need to be looked at for choosing an electric charger for your home. You need to know your driving habits, your daily routine, the car's driving range, and if you live in an area where charging stations are readily available.
Understanding how fast the car will charge or the acceptance rate will also help you determine what charger level you need. The higher the rate means, the less time it will be plugged in because the vehicle can absorb the power more quickly. Having more knowledge about your car's specifics can give you a better understanding of what you will need and make the overall process an easier one. .
Electric Charger Facts
When it comes to electric vehicle charging, there is not a solution that fits everyone, so a few things to look at include:
The prices can range from $200 to over $1000 depending on the charger, so know your budget.
Do you Want it Hardwired or Plugin?
A hardwired and permanent charger may be more streamlined looking, but it may not be the right fit for some people for many reasons including, not wanting to hire electricians. So, some companies will offer the opportunity to buy a portable unit instead. These units are designed to plug into a 240 Volt receptacle that can be mounted on a wall. This can be beneficial because you don't have to pay anyone to hook it up, and you can take it with you if you move or have a second home you travel to.
What Length of Cable Do You need?
Standard chargers use a 240-Volt outlet, but the cord needed for the power grid will vary depending on the model. You want to make sure that any charger you pick has enough cord to reach the port easily, and the recommended length is 25 feet.
Do You Want a Smart or Standard Charger?
A standard charger does the primary job of working until the battery is full, but there are smart chargers that come with apps. These applications allow the owner to look at charging to help monitor charging sessions, stop or start a session, set up sessions, and even schedule charges.
Are Your Regular Home Outlets Adequate for Charging?
Most houses are equipped with standard 120-volt wall outlets, but power is typically delivered to homes at 240 volts. Though you can certainly opt for 120-volt (Level 1) charging for your electric vehicle, charging times are painfully slow at that level. EVs with longer ranges, and therefore, larger batteries, can require up to 20 hours to reach a full charge at the 120-volt level.
If you’re fine with waiting, have a relatively short commute, or your EV has a smaller battery, 120-volt charging may be a suitable option. But, considering the fact that your home likely has a 240-volt power supply, your standard wall outlets aren’t the only available option to charge your vehicle.
Want a Faster Charge? Upgrade to 240-Volt Charging
All Level 2 chargers operate using 240 volts; however, charging speeds vary based on each charger’s amperage. If you have a long commute, tend to drive at top speed, or don’t like the idea of waiting all day for a fully charged battery, opting for a Level 2 electric car charger installation is likely your best bet.
With 240-volt charging, most EVs will get about 25 miles of range per hour with a 32-amp charger. If you have a newer EV that can accept more than 32 amps per hour, opting for a 50-amp charger can add approximately 37 miles of range to the battery per hour.
How Much Capacity Does Your Electrical Panel Have?
Before you can select the type of electric car charger you’d like to install, you need to know what your home’s current electrical capacity is. To find out, open the door to your electrical panel and check to see if there’s an open circuit breaker. If there is, you’ll also need to find out how many amps that circuit is rated for. If you’re opting for a Level 2 charger (240 volts), National Electric Code mandates that the open circuit must be rated for 25% greater electrical output than the charger you’d like to install.
Unsure what amperage your circuits are rated for? Don’t have an open circuit? Call a licensed electrician. Your home may require a service upgrade to accommodate the EV charger of your choosing, and only an electrician can make that determination.
Thinking About Electric Car Charger Installation? Contact Harrison Electric
If you’re considering electric car charger installation for your home, get in touch with the licensed electricians at Harrison Electric. We can assess your current electrical system, perform any necessary service upgrades to accommodate your charger, and complete the charging station installation. Since 1985, we’ve proudly served Twin Cities homeowners with a wide variety of residential electrical services, and we’re here to serve you too!
To learn more about our services, get a quote, or request a service appointment, give us a call today at 763-544-3300 or send us a message with any questions, and we’ll be in touch.