Can you imagine what it would be like to never go to a gas station again? If purchasing an electric vehicle (ev) has been on your mind lately, ceasing your gas station visits could be a real possibility. A common accessory that goes with an electric car is a 240-volt home charger. While you will need a professional to install the unit, unless you have extensive experience with electrical work, there are a few things to get familiar with before installing an electric car charger.

Your home’s electrical grid

Before you install an electric car charger, you will need to see if your home has the proper means to service it. If your home electrical grid can’t handle the additional electricity, then installing the charger will be a much larger project. However, if this isn’t the case, assess the size, age and distance of your garage to your home. If you live in an older home, an electrician may have to do some rewiring or replace the system entirely, depending on the condition of your existing wiring. If your home doesn’t consist of a garage, the charger will need to be installed on an outdoor mount that needs to meet the national electrical manufacturers association’s (nema) standards.

What to look for in a charger

Once you’ve made sure that no changes need to be made to your electrical system, you’ll need to pick your charger. In the u.s., all electric vehicles and plug-ins – with the exception of tesla – use a standard j1772 plug. Although they all work the same, it’s not a “one size fits all” type of product.

  1. Cost:costs will vary depending on the type of charger you use, the cord length and the amperage. These factors determine the price of one charger from another. Typically, level 2 chargers range from $500 to $1000, and are recommended for most electric vehicles.
  2. Installation type:an ev charger is meant to be a permanent installation, but some are labeled as “removable” and use a standard plug. While still permanent, these are meant for homeowners who want the option to take the charger with them if they decide to move.
  3. Amperage:level 2 chargers come in two types: 16-amps and 30-amps. In most cases, it’s best to choose 30-amps, because it will provide you with the maximum charging speed and it will fit in a variety of electric vehicles.
  4. Cord length:the location of your charger will ultimately depend on how far you’ll need to reach the car’s charge port. A good idea is to install the unit close to the garage door, so that you can still charge your car while it’s parked in the driveway. Typically a 16- or 18-foot cord is sufficient enough to get the job done.
  5. The plug:the sae j1772 plug is a five-port plug that connects to your car. Each port has a different function for power, communication, proximity detection and ground wire. While it may seem complicated, it’s a fairly straightforward plug to ensure that your car is properly connected and communicating with the charger.

If you are planning on purchasing an electric vehicle, make sure to consider all of these factors before installing an electric car charger in your home.

Wiremasters electric has been providing residential and commercial electrical services in south florida for years. Our goal is to operate above industry standards and provide quality services to meet your needs and surpass your expectations. Contact us today to find out more information and to set up an appointment with one of our miami electricians.