When you’re planning to buy an electric vehicle, it’s important to think about how you’ll keep it charged. One of the best ways to keep your vehicle charged is by installing an EV charger at your home.
Charging stations are appearing around the world as electric vehicles grow in popularity, so nothing beats the convenience and peace of mind of having an in-home EVSE. However, most homeowners don’t feel comfortable installing an EVSE on their own. In fact, according to our survey, 79% of U.S. homeowners do not feel confident installing an at-home EV charger themselves. At the same time, one in five homeowners say they plan to upgrade or purchase an EV in 2023, and over half of all surveyed homeowners say they would be likely to install an at-home charging station after purchasing an electric vehicle.
Given how many homeowners plan to purchase an electric car in the near future, and how few feel confident installing a home EV charger, it’s clear that many people could use some more information on the charger installation process.
In the following sections, we’ll provide you with some of our top tips for home EV charger installation:
- What is a Home EV Charger and How Does It Work?
- Features to Look for in an EVSE
- Home EV Charger Installation Services
- Home EV Charger Installation FAQs
What is a Home EV Charger and How Does It Work?
In purely technical terms, the charging component of an electric car is located within the vehicle itself. Most of us think of the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) as the charging device. However, an EVSE merely carries electricity from your house into the car, where it is converted to a usable form.
Home EVSE chargers come in multiple levels. The level of an EV charger dictates how quickly the charger can fill your car battery, as well as a few other elements.
Here is a brief description of the different EVSE charger levels:
- Level 1 – Sometimes called clow chargers, Level 1 charging devices come included with an EV. They plug into a standard 120V outlet and provide between 3kW and 6kW of power. These types of chargers take approximately 20 hours to recharge a vehicle.
- Level 2 – Also known as fast chargers, these are sold separately from the car and refuel EVs more quickly. These chargers require a dedicated 240V circuit installation in your home’s garage and provide between 7kW and 22kW of power. Level 2 chargers generally charge three to seven times faster than a Level 1 charger, depending on the car and charger model.
- Level 3 – Level 3 chargers, also called rapid chargers, are generally not found in homes. They can fill the battery of an EV in 30 minutes to one hour because they provide as much as 50kW of power. These devices typically appear on major roadways and serve as “gas stations” for EVs.
While Level 1 chargers come included with the car the slow charging speed makes them less convenient than Level 2 chargers. The increased charging speed of a Level 2 charger ensures that your car can drive at a moment’s notice, even if you only plugged it in a few hours ago.
Features to Look for in an EVSE
While the key differences between EV chargers are their levels and rate of charge, those aren’t the only features that matter. Here are some other elements to consider when choosing an EVSE for your home:
- 30-Amp Charging Service
A 30-amp charging service offers the capacity to add 30 miles of range in about an hour. If your current EV can’t take full advantage of this faster rate and currently accepts only 16-amp level charging, that’s okay — you don’t want to have to upgrade your EVSE later when you buy a new EV with a faster onboard charger.
- Appropriately Sized Charging Cable
Most cables run from 15 - 25 feet. Consider this when choosing the location of your EVSE to ensure that it can reach the area where you park your vehicle.
Wi-Fi enabled EVSEs with touchscreens cost more, but offer features that can be controlled remotely for metering, monitoring, and changing charging events (some chargers may already be controllable from your car or other mobile apps).
Why You Should Hire a Professional for Home EV Charger Installation Services
The installation of an EVSE unit can be a tall order, even for those with DIY experience in wiring. There’s a slim chance that your home won’t be able to handle the load of the charger, which could force you to upgrade your electrical system by installing a new meter and breaker. In this case, we highly recommend hiring an experienced electrician.
If your garage is aging or detached from the main house, there could be problems with erosion or damage to the wires that would almost certainly require a professional eye. Don’t attempt a DIY EVSE installation. Even the most minor oversight or error can lead to electrical fires and other serious issues.
Home EV Charger Installation FAQs
Can I Install an EVSE Myself?
Professional installation from an insured, trained Mr. Electric service professional is recommended for the safety of your home, family, and vehicle.
Should I install my EV charger inside or outside?
Typically, you want to install your EV charger inside your garage. If you don’t have a garage, consider installing it under a car port or other covered area to protect it from inclement weather. Most chargers can withstand all types of weather, but installing them indoors further minimizes issues.
Does installing an EV charger increase home value?
Electric vehicle sales are just now reaching the level where having a home charger is an enticing incentive for home buyers. A quality home EV charger can slightly increase your home’s value.
How long does it take to install a home EV charger?
Provided there are no major wiring upgrades needed to run the EV charger, it takes about two hours or less to install the charger. It can take up to six hours if there are unforeseen obstacles during the installation process.
How much does it cost to install a home EV charger?
The cost of installing a home EV charger varies greatly depending on the results of the home safety check and the type of charger being installed. Unforeseen obstacles, such as a lack of expected wiring, can add costs to the installation process.
Call Mr. Electric for Home EV Charger Installation Services
When choosing an expert electrical company for your EVSE install, you can be confident that Mr.Electric® is up for the task. We are always glad to support you with your electrical needs, and we'll help you make a smooth transition to electric vehicle ownership.
If you’re looking to get a Level 2 charger system installed in your home, then get in touch with your local Mr. Electric. Our experts can install a dedicated circuit and a Level 2 EV charger for faster charging to ensure your EV is always ready to go! Call us with your questions about home EV charger installation.