A majority of electric vehicle charging is done at home—overnight. Electric car owners choose to charge when electricity is cheapest because it is when electrical usage is not at its peak. Because of this, many homeowners also lean on installing residential charging stations in their garage. Let us help you navigate through the do’s and don’ts of residential electric vehicle charging so you will know what to consider when adding a home charging infrastructure.
Cost Savings of Residential Car Charging Stations
- Use a plug-in EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) to save money when installing because they are far more convenient to use if ever you move, go on a trip where you have to access 240V, you need to replace the EVSE, or if you need to charge at a distance from the install point of your charging station.
- Find an existing electric service panel with at least two open spaces. This will allow an installation of a double-pole breaker and 40 amps total.
- Keep in mind proper positioning during installation:
- Around a clear wall
- Around clear floor space
- Near the electrical distribution panel
- Use a separate meter for your EV charging station so that it will not affect the existing electrical service provider. This will also ensure that you will not need an upgrade to the service panel just so your charging station can accommodate the new charging load.
- Don’t use a hardwire EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) unless it is recommended. Hardwired means the electrical cable comes furnished with the product and is physically connected or wired into the household wiring.
Charging Level, Performance, and Costs
- Know the difference between charging levels:
- Level 1 – can be installed hard-wired to an electrical circuit or it can be portable and plugged into a 110/120-volt outlet.
- Charge time to go 25 miles: 6 hours
- Hardware cots: $0 – $4,000
- Installation costs: $0 to $8,500 (vary widely by site)
- Level 2 – normally hard-wired to an electrical circuit and is often mounted on a wall.
- Charge time to go 25 miles: < 2 hours
- Hardware costs: $5oo to $4,000
- Installation costs: $250 to $8,500 (vary widely by site)
- Know the rate at which your plug-in can charge. If you need to charge your EV overnight, this means that you have a plug-in hybrid with limited electric range or that you will not drive far between charges. Consider quick charging with the higher charging speeds available at most public charging stations.
- You won’t need to install a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station if your plug-in hybrid has a limited electric range. This means that your EV can charge entirely in less than 5 hours with the use of a Level 1 charger.
- Getting a Level 2 EV charge will not be worth the cost if you do not drive much or when your vehicle’s electric range is less than 20 miles.
Circuit Size and Capacity
- Limit the charging rate to 80 percent of the circuit’s capacity.
- Charge at slower rates for better efficiency.
- Properly size your wiring between your main electrical panel and your electric vehicle charging station to avoid losses.
- Set a limited charging speed of your charging station to less than its maximum capacity.
- Choose a specific charging time to save you money.
- Use higher capacity wiring to accommodate your new long-range and charging two EVs at the same time.
- Oversize your EV charging station for durability. For example, a charging station that can supply 40 amps of current is likely to last a long time if it is used to charge cars at 15 amps.
- Have your electrician adjust the charging station’s maximum current to not overload the circuit.
- Longer wiring that increases line losses significantly.
- Not limiting your charging speed and current.
- Not keeping actual charging rates within the capacity of the circuit.
Home Electric Vehicle Charging
The place where the majority of your charging as an EV driver will occur at home. Short charging times are becoming more and more accessible as the demand for EVs is also increasing. Just make sure that you choose a reputable electric vehicle charging installation service by SolAlt.com to ensure that you get a safe EV charging station installation.