6 Things to Consider While Choosing a Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger


6 Things to Consider While Choosing a Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger

Most electric vehicles come with a Level 1 charging station that allows the vehicle to be charged from a standard household outlet. It may be sufficient if you don’t drive it much or if your vehicle has a limited electric range. However, if you want faster charging with a better range, you would need to upgrade to a Level 2 charging station. 

With just a minimum investment you can install a dedicated 240-volt line in your home, that can add 12 to 60 miles of Range Per Hour of charging. A faster charger means you get the most out of your electric vehicle and be able to drive electric for most of your local and long-distance trips. 

In this blog, we take a look at some of the important factors to consider and questions to ask about charging at home which can help you find the right charger for your specific need.  

There is another level of faster charging, called DC fast charging – contact us for more info.

 1. Charging Speed 

Level 2 home charging stations operate at a voltage between 208V and 240V. Meanwhile, the fastest charging you can get out of your charger depends on the amperage of the charger and the vehicle’s acceptance rate in kW. The most basic home chargers typically start at 3 to 3.7kW, with more advanced units delivering 7kW and the priciest units achieving as much as 22kW. The greater the kw, the lesser time it will take  to charge the EV. 

However, what matters is the amount of time you drive your vehicle in a day. If you don’t drive much and bring the vehicle home with a healthy amount of battery remaining, you perhaps only need a 3.6kw charger to slowly recharge the vehicle overnight. If you drive a lot bringing very little battery in your vehicle, then a faster charger may be a better option. 

2. Electric Supply 

You should also make sure to choose a charger with an amperage or current level that works with your car and your home’s available electrical capacity. It is advisable to have the electrical circuit 25% greater in amperage than your charger’s output.  Some EVs can manage with fewer amps, but buying more capability than you may need today makes the installation future proof and makes the investment more solid.  

For example, if you want to buy a 32-amp Level 2 charger, you’ll need a circuit breaker that’s rated for at least 40 amps and enough service coming into the home to handle the additional load. You can check your electrical panel in your house to find out how many amps are available for charging or talk to an expert electrician, such as All Electricall.

 3. Charging Cord 

One of the most important elements of a charging station is the cable that charges your electric car. Almost all the chargers you get comes with a standard plug to connect to 240-volt chargers, but the cord used to tether the car to the power grid varies in length from model to model. Make sure you only buy the charger that comes with enough cord to reach your car’s charging port. 

15 feet long charging cords are the most common ones in the less costly models but that may not be necessarily adequate if the EV’s port is located on the opposite end of the garage from the available power source. A 25-foot long cord is better suited in this case.  Another important aspect of the charging cord is its flexibility. The more flexible it is, the easier it is to roll it up or use it in winter. 

4. Safety Measures 

Always consider buying a charger that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to ensure optimal safety. Many people consider portable chargers as it is appealing for travel, but it can be very difficult to deal with as the cables and connectors can quickly get old when moved from place to place, and taking all the cables and connectors everywhere is not a safe practice.  

The safest and most reliable way to install the EV charger is getting a wall-mounted station. It is advisable to hang the charging cable and connector when not plugged in. Also, make sure you consider the warranty and available support from the vendor you are purchasing from. Look for a minimum of 2 years warranty as well as 24/7 online support as it would be handy if anything goes wrong. 

5. Smart Features 

Durability, long charging cord, charging speed are some of the most important features you can look at when purchasing an EV charger. These aspects directly influence your charging performance and are important for the health of the EV.However, many smart features come with EV chargers. 

Some smart chargers come with WiFI and connect with apps to manage and schedule charging, send charging reminders, etc. Some smart chargers can communicate with your power company to charge only at off-peak times for discounted rates, and a few can even receive commands through Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. Although smart chargers don’t charge any faster, they can provide valuable data on your charging costs, miles driven, charging time, etc. 

6. Cost of EV Chargers 

The cost of an EV charger varies depending on the charger brand, location of your charger installation point, the electrical panel, and the local electrician service charge. The cost of the Level 2 charger also depends on the charger power as the more power you have, the faster your vehicle will charge. You should also note that some areas may even require you to obtain a permit before charger installation. So you need to consider these factors that play an important role in your cost. You may also take advantage of government incentives and programs like tax rebates depending on where you live which can help you in cutting cost. 

The average Level 2 home EV charger costs about $650 to $1400 + installation cost which is still very minimal when compared to what you pay for gas in a year. EV chargers are durable and last for many years so the investment will be long-term. Also, even if you change your vehicle, you can adjust the amperage of your charger to fit your charging needs. While investing in an EV charger, make sure you invest in an EV charger that is safety tested and has smart features. 

Installing the EV Charger 

The installation and maintenance of an EV charging station should only be carried out by a qualified electrician. Even if you have electrical knowledge, it is better to consult an expert as they have sound knowledge and expertise on the Electric Vehicle, chargers, maintenance, and the required electricity. 

We specialize in the complete EV Charging Solution — from need analysis and site assessment to product/charger selection, and installation and maintenance support. 

If you are looking for an EV charging solution or curious about how an EV charging solution can be installed in your home, workplace, or organization, let us know. 

Please contact us for a free consultation. 

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