Switching over from the routine of visiting the gas station all the time can be a difficult transition. If you are a recent owner of an electric vehicle, or you have been thinking about getting one, you might be stuck on a tough question. How exactly do you go about charging your vehicle?
Unless you are fortunate and your work has a charging station free to use, there are two options available to you. Either you put up with public charging stations, or you can get an electric vehicle charger installation at home. Of those two, an EV charger installation is easily the best and most convenient option. Then again, you may get stuck on another big question. What exactly goes into an EV charger installation? Well, here is everything you need to know.
What Is an EV Charger Installation?
If you do not know what an EV charger is already, it is a way for you to charge your electric vehicle. An EV charger installation, in this case, is a way for you to charge up your car at home.
Whether you are at home or a public station, all you need to do is plug the appropriate EV charging cable into your vehicle. A 240V current will deliver a charge over several hours, similar to how you expect to charge your phone. In the case of an EV charger installation, that power will come from your home’s electricity.
Benefits of an Electric Vehicle Charger Installation
Getting an EV charger installation at home is a game-changer. Preparing your car for the drive ahead could not be more convenient, freeing up your time to be more productive or relax as you like.
Let’s say you already have an electric vehicle. You might be more or less comfortable with public charging stations. So how does a home charger benefit you? The first and most obvious benefit is that your charger is yours alone. You do not have to share, and there is always a spot ready for your car.
The other more subtle benefit is cost savings. Public charging stations certainly are not free, at least not always. While charging at home is not free either, considering your energy rates at home, you are likely to break even in a handful of years.
Of course, time is a factor, as well. Unlike gas vehicles, where you can dump a few gallons in the tank and be on your way in a couple of minutes, electric cars can take hours to be road-ready. With a home charging station, you can charge your car while you sleep instead of wasting your life at a public station while trying to stay awake through your most recent audiobook.
Types of Chargers
If you are considering a home charging station, you should know there are a few different types of chargers to think about. Currently, there are three levels. There are Level 1 chargers, Level 2 chargers, and Level 3 chargers. As a rule of thumb, Level 1 chargers are the least expensive and charge the slowest, while Level 3 are the most costly and charge the fastest.
Level 1 chargers are the slowest chargers available, but they have the least upfront cost. With a Level 1 charger, your vehicle will be working with a typical 110-120V output. That is the same voltage you would expect from essentially every other appliance or device in your home.
Because of this, your vehicle does not get a lot of power very quickly. Instead, you can expect your battery to charge in about 40 or so hours. In other words, a Level 1 charger will offer your vehicle about five miles of range per hour. If you do not find yourself driving very often, a Level 1 charger can work. For anyone who expects to be driving on a regular basis, a Level 2 charger should be the minimum consideration.
Level 2 chargers are, for the most part, the standard charger among the electric vehicle community. Level 2 chargers punch far above a Level 1’s weight class, delivering a 220-240V charge, similar to the major appliances around your home.
Compared to a Level 1 charger, a Level 2 rockets ahead in chagrin speed. You can expect about 25 miles of range per hour or a full charge in around 9 hours. That means you can effectively charge your battery to complete with a good night’s rest every day. While Level 2 chargers are more expensive than Level 1, they offer a much greater degree of convenience and freedom.
Level 3 chargers are on another level. You might hear Level 3 chargers referred to as DCFC chargers or DC fast chargers. That is because they work a little differently than Level 1 and 2 chargers; Level 1 and 2 chargers use alternating current, where Level 3 chargers use direct current.
A Level 3 charger is 400V or more, delivering a rate of 50 to 6 kW per hour. Instead of a Level 2 charger’s 9 hours of charging, you can expect a Level 3 charger to get the job done in about an hour and a half. That’s about 150 miles of range per hour. However, while it is very fast, it is more expensive. Unless you constantly need topping off your charge, a Level 2 charger will do well for most applications.
Tesla Charger Installation
Tesla uses their own proprietary chargers, so if you are a lucky Tesla owner or aspiring to become one, you are going to need a Tesla Charger Installation. Like other electric vehicles, Teslas also use Level 1, 2, and 3 chargers.
While considering what type of charger is best for your home, you might want to consider some extra features to make your life even more convenient. Some EV chargers have the option of including WiFi and some security features. With a WiFi connection, your charging station can connect to your phone through your home network. You could manage your station from the comfort of your own bed.
Choosing a Location for your EV Charger Installation
Of course, you will probably want your charging station at home. But where at home? The best spots tend to be near your driveway or inside your garage. A reliable electrician will work with you to find the best spot inside these two areas.
Consider Upgrading Your Electric Panel
If you are getting an EV charger installed at home, you need to think about your electric panel, too. If you are lucky, you might not need to pay it any mind. However, you do need to make sure your electrical panel has a slot open for your new charger and that it can deliver enough power.
Your electrical circuit should be rated for about 25% greater amperage than your selected charger’s output. If your charger is rated at 40 amps, your electrical panel should rate at 50 amps. You should be able to find your panel’s rating on the inside of the door or on the panel itself.
The Best Electrician Near Me
If you are interested in an EV charger installation for your home, you need a local electrician that you can trust. The team at Safe and Sound Electric takes pride in our quality of workmanship and business ethics. We take every job seriously and provide every customer with the best service possible.
To get an estimate on your EV charger installation or the best electrician services around, call Safe and Sound Electric to schedule an appointment.