Having an electric vehicle charger installed is a big decision, but many homeowners are considering just this. One of the biggest concerns any electric vehicle owner has is where to charge up, and an at-home charger is a perfect answer. A Modern Home Level 2 charger can fill up most electric vehicles overnight, allowing drivers to start out on a full tank.
So, what should homeowners know before committing to installing an electric vehicle charger? Here we will take a look at a few factors to consider in helping you decide whether a Level 2 charger is right for you.
Do I Need a New Electric Vehicle Charger?
In most cases, you do not absolutely need to have a dedicated electric vehicle charger installed, but in many cases, you will probably want one. The fact is that most electric vehicles come with Level 1 chargers which can plug into a standard household outlet.
These chargers allow you to plug your EV into your home’s existing 120-volt outlets with no additional work. However, the downside is that the charging process may take a while. Generally, these chargers are capable of adding roughly 3-5 miles of range for every hour of charging, which may be enough for a plug-in hybrid.
However, for many dedicated electric vehicles, this may mean several days of charging to reach a full battery. In contrast, a Level 2 charger works at 240 volts and with a far higher amperage allowing it to charge EVs much faster.
Depending upon your home’s circuitry and the charging unit, a Level 2 charger can add between 12-60 miles of range for every hour of charging. This is a significant increase in charging rate, which is needed for many drivers that drive their vehicles heavily on a regular basis.
Can My Electrical Panel Support an EV Charger?
In order to install an electric vehicle charger, your service panel will need to be able to accept the additional load. Whether or not your existing service panel can do this depends on its service size and your current electrical demands. If you have an old 60 amp service panel, it is unlikely it will be able to handle the additional load, which means an upgrade will be necessary.
If you have a typical 100 amp service with limited electrical appliances such as gas heating and no central AC, you may be able to support an EV charger. If you have a 200 amp service panel, then chances are you are good to go installing an EV charger unless you have an extremely high demand in your household, such as multiple central AC systems.
Can My Home Accommodate an Electric Vehicle Charger
If you have a garage or a driveway, then chances are you have a good location for installing an EV charger. An electric vehicle charger can be located outdoors for weather-resistant models or inside a garage. However, the power cable will need to be able to reach the vehicle.
It is possible to buy chargers that are up to 25 feet in length which means you have some leeway. On-street parking is likely not an option, nor are detached garages located far from your home that are unconnected to your electrical panel. However, as long as you park within 25 feet of your home chances are you can reach a charger.
Installing a dedicated electric vehicle charger is a big decision, but if you have or intend to purchase an EV, it can be a great improvement to its utility. Consider whether or not you will be driving your EV heavily on a regular basis, as well as whether your home can support a charger, and consider contacting a licensed electrician to help you decide whether your existing electrical system can support the additional load.
If you have questions about your home’s electrical system or are considering installing an EV charger, contact Clark Electric. With more than 10 years of experience in the electrical industry and certification in EV charger installation, we are ready to help ensure your EV receives a fast charge right from your home. Call us at (844) 431-8050 and connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.