One of the things that you definitely need once you transition to an electric car is an electric car charger in your home. Having the option of charging your electric car at your home is essential to ensuring that your car is charged up and ready to roll whenever you need it.
There are three main types of electric car charging stations for your home and each has their own installation process.
A Level 1 EV charger will usually come with your electric vehicle and will not require any special installation. A Level 1 charger plugs right into a standard 120 volt wall outlet and charges your vehicle without any additional modifications or costs of installation.
A Level 2 EV charger utilizes 240 volts of electricity with the main benefit being a much faster charge time. The downside is that we are now talking about installation by a licensed electrician who is familiar with modern vehicle chargers. Your home is already run with 240 volts and is used for larger appliances like electric dryers and ovens.
The 240 volt wiring for your car charger will need to be run from your breaker panel to your charging location of choice, likely your garage or carport. A “double-pole” circuit breaker will need to be attached to two 120 volts at the same time which effectively doubles the circuit voltage to 240 volts. It may be necessary to replace your breaker box so you will have a compatible interface, if it’s not possible to simply install a double-pole breaker in your existing breaker panel.
Once we run the proper wiring, we mount the charging unit at the most convenient charging location in your garage or carport. The charging unit effectively acts as a safe holding location for the charge current, and prevents electricity from flowing through the unit until it senses that the charger is connected to your car’s charging port.
Installing a 240 volt charging station requires a significant level of expertise and safety. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to hire a professional and licensed electrician to install a vehicle charging station.
There are local building codes, permits and inspections to consider and taking on a project of this scope as a DIY do-it-yourself project can lead to significant damage to your home electrical system or your car, not to mention the risk of electric shock of 240 volts, which I am certain is not a pleasant experience.
Level 3 charging stations, also known as DC Fast Chargers, are primarily used in commercial and industrial settings. These “fast chargers” can be extremely expensive and require specialized and powerful equipment to operate. The bottom line is that these chargers are not meant for home use.
Level 3 chargers are indeed quite fast and can deliver a significant charge in 30-45 minutes. These units are used at changing stations like the Tesla stations. An important detail is that not all Level 3 chargers are compatible with all electric vehicles, so you really want to pay attention if you plan to use one.
Steps for installation are really pretty basic. What you want to do is identify the best location for the charger based on your own situation. Next, you want to have an electrician run the proper 240 volt wiring to the location of your choice. Once the wire is run, the electrician will be able to install and hook up the car charger so that it is operational. The process itself is really pretty simple, the difficulty lies in running the wire to the location of choice and also diminishing the risk of shock or other error by following the protocol of a licensed electrician.
If you are planning on purchasing an electric vehicle or you already have one and would like to install a Level 2 electric vehicle charger, give Residential Electric DFW a call. As the Dallas Metro area expands, saving on gas with an electric vehicle makes a lot of sense and we are here to help you by installing your charger professionally and safely. Call today for a quick quote on installing your electric vehicle charger and we can even help you buy the best unit to suit your needs. We are also experts at home automation projects!
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