One of the biggest challenges associated with getting an EV home charger installed is figuring out what will work best for you. You need to start with determining what your real EV home charger requirements are before you can decide which one to buy.
You will also want only to buy a certified charger, and then have it installed by an OLEV accredited technician. Some technicians may also help you decide which type of charger to buy, but it is something that you can do on your own too. In this article, we’ll look at how to figure out your actual requirements before buying an EV charger.
How Fast Do you Need the Charger to Be?
Now, this can be a tricky question to answer because we all want the fastest charger. However, the faster your charger is, the more you pay for it. So, you need to look at it realistically. Charging speed mainly relies on amperage or the current as it is called. Your need for charging speed will vary primarily on the EV’s range and your daily commute. A car that has less range, for instance, or one that’s used for a long commute or one that’s driven at high speeds, will require a faster charger.
The majority of EVs can consume up to 32 amps, which then adds 25 miles of range for every hour it is charging. So, a 32-amp station is a good place to start. However, if you’re going to charge two vehicles, i.e., one after the other, then opting for a 50-amp charger may make more sense. A 50-amp charger should be able to add 37 miles for every hour charging.
How Much Room Does the Electrical Panel Have?
Level 2 chargers need a 240V electrical connection. So, the challenge is to choose a charger that offers the required amperage and yet works with your car and is compatible with the home’s current electrical capacity.
One way to calculate your EV home charger requirements is to use an electrical circuit that is rated at 25% more amperage than the EV charger’s output. Take, for instance, if you want to use a 40-amp charger, you will also want to use a circuit breaker rated at 50 amps. The best way to see if your current electrical infrastructure can support the charger is to open up the panel and see if there are unused circuit breakers. If the panel is full, then the electrical service will have to be upgraded.
Where Will the Charger Be Located?
Your EV home charger requirements will vary depending on where you want it installed. Do you want it installed near your electrical panel or far away from it? If it is far away, then a conduit will need to be run, which makes the installation expensive. That’s why a charger closer to your home will make things cheaper and easier. However, it is always a good idea to get an electrician to visit your home to get their professional opinion.