EV Charging Made Easy: Navigating the Installation Process

You may have noticed an increasing number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads. That’s no fluke: today, multiple car manufacturers project that at least half of their vehicles will be electric come 2030.

As more of your neighbours, friends and family members begin to move toward electric vehicles (EVs), you might also consider making the switch yourself — EVs can boast greater self-sufficiency, savings, and environmental benefits, among other perks. 

But wherever you are in your EV journey, know that one reliable way to enjoy even greater peace of mind and savings with an EV is to opt for an EV charger installation at home.

What Is an EV Charger?

The answer’s very simple! Sometimes known as a charging station, an EV charger operates much the same way as an iPad or cellphone charger —a station supplies electricity to the batteries of plug-in vehicles. There are three main types of EV charger.

The Three Types of EV Chargers

  • Level 1: The simplest form of charger, Level 1s, can operate on a regular household current. You can usually plug into a standard, grounded wall socket. However, the charge time is very slow. 
  • Level 2: These units use the same voltage as a standard clothes dryer. They offer a speedier charge time and are the most commonly installed residential charger for EV owners.
  • Level 3: These chargers are installed for commercial use and will provide a much faster charge time. It’s unlikely to see this type of charger in a home due to the high voltage required.

What Charger Will You Need?

Level 2 chargers are ideal for most homeowners. They offer a relatively fast charge time and an in obtrusive installation process. This charger does operate on the same voltage as major household appliances. However, you won’t want to unplug the clothes dryer every time you need to charge your EV, and you’ll likely not have an outlet in a convenient location.

For these reasons, you’ll need some minor modifications when installing a charger at home. But don’t worry; the process is quite simple!

The Installation Process

First, it’s vital that you hire a licensed and certified electrician; they’ll keep you on the right side of compliance, can advise on any work notifications that may need to be filed, and will ensure the job is done safely and right the first time.

To boost your confidence, look for an electrician who specializes in the installation of electric chargers, who has excellent customer ratings online, and can boast many years in the business. 

Once you’ve found your electrician, they’ll check your breaker panel for space and assess the capacity of your home’s electrical circuit. They may move on to installing your charger, or they may need to upgrade or add extra bandwidth in the form of a subpanel to accommodate the charger’s needs.

Next, they’ll likely need to install an outlet in a convenient location, either in a garage, carport or on an outside wall. Don’t fret too much about deciding the location for yourself — your electrician will be able to help you find an ideal spot, which will be somewhere easy to access and sheltered from external elements.

They’ll then run wiring to this outlet, and voila! Your station is installed, and you’re all set to get charging!

The Takeaway on Navigating the Install of an EV Charger

Ultimately, finding the right electrician will set you up for a smooth and satisfactory installation, immediately boosting your confidence in the process, setting you up for thousands of kilometres of gas-free driving and for many years to come.