Electric vehicle or EV charging is becoming increasingly popular as a value add for today’s Homeowners. More and more we’re seeing people wanting the ability to accommodate this installation in their homes as the trend toward greener alternatives gives Homeowners choices to consider. But what are some important things to consider before we make the leap into the world of EVs?
Typical EV charging for the home currently offered will be either level 1 or 2, this number represents the speed with which you can effectively charge your vehicle. Level 1 typically uses standard 120-volt electrical outlets and will sufficiently charge the vehicle overnight. Level 2 charging usually requires the same electrical requirements you would find with a clothes dryer or stove (30-40 Amp / 240-volt) and can cut charging times down to a few hours. Level 3 charging stations are used for commercial settings and can be found in public locations, these are very fast charging but aren’t typically compatible with residential electrical setups.
The planning stages of installing an EV charging station will require coordination with a licensed and certified electrician, they will usually be required to do a load calculation on your home as it is currently set up to determine what options would be available to you. Standard 100 Amp residential electrical services typically only allow for a certain number of large electrical loads to be fed into your electrical panel, so if you already have a hot tub or air conditioning unit installed, your options may be limited to Level 1 types of charging. If you’re at the planning stages of home construction, moving to natural gas appliances may be an option, this will lessen the load on your electrical system and allow you the option of some of the faster Level 2 charging stations. Another alternative is the installation of an energy monitoring system or “load miser”, these devices can be installed along with the EV charging station and only allows one large electrical load to be operational at any given time. But proper planning and coordination with an electrician are important to ensure your investment into the EV market goes smoothly.
The popularity of electric vehicles is growing, and with many municipalities offering rebates, it’s never been easier to make the switch to greener alternatives. If you’re in the planning stages of building a home, adapting some things to accommodate an EV charging station could be a savvy investment. And with many products now available on the market, retrofitting your existing home to accommodate one of these systems, with the proper planning, is very doable.