Installing a household EV charger can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and understanding of the process, you can have a reliable and efficient EV charger in your home in no time.
Installing a home EV charger is a great way to save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and experience the convenience of charging your electric vehicle from the comfort of your own home.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about installing a household EV charger, from selecting the right type of charger for your needs to the installation and testing process. By the end, you'll have all the knowledge and confidence you need to get the job done efficiently and safely.
What is an EV charger?
An electric vehicle charger (EV charger) is a device that is used to charge electric vehicles, such as cars and trucks. The most common type of EV charger is a Level 2 charger, also known as a 240-Volt charger, which is plugged into a standard wall outlet.
EV chargers are typically installed at home because it is the most convenient way to charge your vehicle. A home EV charger can be plugged directly into your car’s charging port.
The charger plugs into your electrical outlet and completes the flow of electricity from the outlet to your car's battery. There are different types of EV chargers that vary in terms of power, capacity, and cost depending on your vehicle’s charging needs.
Benefits of installing a household EV charger
Save Money - Installing a home EV charger can help you save money in the long run by reducing the number of times you have to “fill up” your car at an EV charging station.
Depending on the type of charger you choose, you can charge your car at home for less than you would pay to charge it at a public charging station. - Save Time - If you’re like most people, you might not have the time to spend waiting around at a charging station.
Installing a household EV charger allows you to charge your car from the comfort of your own home, while you do something else. You don’t need to worry about finding an open charging station, and the time it takes to charge your car can vary based on your own schedule. - Support the Environment - Installing a home EV charger is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
It is estimated that the global use of electric vehicles, including hybrids, will reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Installing an EV charger at your home is a great way to make a difference. - Enjoy Convenience - One of the most appealing features of an EV charger is the convenience of charging it from your own home.
This is a great feature if you have a hectic schedule and aren’t able to find the time to charge your car at the public charging station. - Have More Freedom - Have you ever had to give up your plans because the public charging station you planned to charge at had a long line and your battery was almost empty? If so, you know how frustrating it can be. Installing a household EV charger allows you to charge your car from the comfort of your own home when you need to, without the worry of a long line.
Have More Security - Charging your car at a public charging station can be a bit scary at times, especially if you’re alone. Installing a home EV charger can provide you with a little more security by charging your car at home, in a place you’re familiar with.
Types of EV chargers
Level 1 Charger - Level 1 chargers are typically used for charging electric vehicles that use a Level 1 battery, such as motorcycles and scooters.
These chargers are capable of charging 1 kilowatt (kW) and can take up to 24 hours to fully charge a vehicle. - Level 2 Charger - Level 2 chargers are capable of charging 2 kilowatts (kW) and are primarily used to charge plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and fully electric vehicles.
Level 2 chargers can take anywhere from 3-12 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. - Combo Charger - A combo charger is capable of charging both a Level 1 and Level 2 battery. These chargers are most commonly used for charging all-electric vehicles (BEV) and PHEVs.
Fast Charger - A fast charger is capable of charging a BEV battery at a much faster rate than a standard Level 2 charger. A fast charger can charge a battery at a rate of 15 kW or more, which is about 6 times faster than a Level 2 charger.
Tap Charger - A tap charger is a type of Level 2 charger that is designed to work specifically with certain Tesla vehicles. A tap charger plugs into the car’s charging port to charge the battery while you drive.
Choosing the right EV charger
Charger Wattage - The wattage of an EV charger will determine how quickly it can charge your car.
You will need to select a charger that is compatible with your vehicle’s charging needs. If you are unsure of which charger wattage to select, you can speak with your car manufacturer to determine the appropriate wattage.
Charger Compatibility - If you are purchasing a new home EV charger, make sure that it is compatible with your car. Most chargers will state if they are compatible with a specific vehicle brand, but it is important to verify this before purchasing a charger.
Charger Location - You will also need to consider where you will be placing your home EV charger. You will want to make sure there is enough space in your home to accommodate the charger. You will also want to make sure the charger is located near an electrical outlet and is placed on a flat, level surface.
Charger Installation - Once you have selected the right EV charger, you will need to have it installed. You can have a qualified electrician install your charger, but you might also consider installing it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. You can find helpful installation guides for various types of chargers online.
Preparing to install your EV charger
Check Electrical Usage - Before purchasing and installing a home EV charger, you will need to make sure your home has the appropriate capacity to support the charger.
You will also want to consult with your local utility company to make sure that the charger will not put a strain on your electrical service.
Installing an EV charger at your home can be quite expensive. You will need to consider the cost of the charger, installation costs, and any necessary permits if you plan to have the charger professionally installed.
Find an Outlet - Before purchasing and installing your home EV charger, you will need to find an outlet that is capable of handling the charger. You will want to make sure the outlet is not overloaded and can provide enough power to the charger.
Installing your EV charger
Shut Off Power - Before you begin any installation, you will need to shut off the power to the outlet where you plan to install your charger. You will also want to make sure your area is clear of any debris that might get caught in the blades of the charger.
Check the Outlet - Before installing your charger, you will want to make sure the outlet is functional and capable of supporting the charger. You will also want to make sure the outlet is properly grounded and wired to a 15-amp circuit.
Install the Charger - Once you have ensured your outlet is ready, you can begin installing your charger. The specific installation process will vary depending on the type of charger you choose, but you will typically want to plug the charger into the outlet and connect the wiring to your car’s charging port.
Testing your EV charger
Get Familiar - Before testing your charger, you will want to become familiar with the charger’s control panel. This will ensure you know how to properly use and control the charger.
Ensure the Power is Turned Off - Before testing your charger, you will want to make sure the power is turned off to the outlet you will be testing the charger on.
Test the Charger - You can test your charger by plugging your car into the charger and turning the car on. You will want to make sure the charging indicator light, or lights, on your car are on.