Today’s electric cars all come with a 120-volt charging cable that can charge the battery from a household socket if there are no other options. But sooner or later, most battery-electric car owners will want a 240-volt Level 2 charging station that can recharge the car as much as four times faster.
Owners of plug-in hybrids with ranges below 30 miles may find the standard charging cable fine, but as plug-in ranges rise, they too may decide a charging station will increase their all-electric driving. While a 240-volt charging station isn’t complicated, there are many different options on the market.
First, be aware of a little bit of terminology. Modern electric cars have the actual chargers built into them. So the unit installed on your garage wall is not actually a “charger,” although it is commonly called that. The unit is also called an EVSE, for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.
If you’re looking to install something to charge your electric car in your garage, carport, or elsewhere, an EVSE is what you want. Proper installation is necessary, as the home’s electrical system must be able to support the additional load. Our expert electricians at Speedy have you covered.
An additional item to consider is to look at the viability of installing the charger close to the garage door in order to be able to charge a vehicle in the driveway when necessary. Also, note that it is easier to dedicate a circuit for the installation when there is a fuse panel or electrical entry into the garage. It may be more difficult (or more costly) to perform the installation when a power point is not as accessible.
While some homeowners may enjoy going the DIY route with their home projects, this one really is one for the professionals. Licensed and certified electricians are aware of current standards and can take necessary precautions when attempting to install new EVSEs. Individuals who have decided to install their own charging equipment may run into problems later, due to inadequate or improper permitting. Additionally, safety is a big concern whenever making renovations, and most DIYers will suggest using professional services when working around electricity for at least that reason.
Wiring is an important step. Locating an accessible power source and making sure a home’s system can handle the additional load is part of the initial installation process. Additional steps include:
- Deciding whether you want to use both Level 1 and Level 2 charging;
- Determining the best location for the equipment;
- Choosing the specific brand of station you wish to use, based on various options that may come with the equipment;
- If desired, installation of a 240-volt line to an area below the charging station;
- Ensuring that the new circuit has a capability of 50 Amps for best results;
- Having an electrician install a socket (A NEMA 6-50 is used in the majority of charging states that are not hard-wired); Installing the equipment after the garage is properly wired.
Currently, there are dozens of charging stations available. Homeowners can find an electric car charging station from Lowe’s or Home Depot or can purchase one directly online. Researching the kinds available will help electric car owners make the best choice for their needs. Once you’ve decided which way you want to go, we are ready to help you install it and get you happily on the road. Call Speedy Electric and AC today!