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A Guide to Installing a Car Charger at Home

Shannon Higgins

October 2022

tesla car charger

In the very near future, electric vehicles will be the normrather than the exception— to vehicles on the road. Whether your motivation for buying an EV is environmental or financial, battery technology is advancing fast, and driving range along with it. With more charging stations popping up every year, the days of internal combustion engines are truly numbered.

If you're considering an EV purchase, one of the main questions you probably have is how quickly can I charge it at home, and how much will it cost to install my own charger ? Every EV, home, and charger model are different with unique features, benefits, and charging timeframes. As such, it's always best to consult an expert when you're ready to move forward with an EV charger install.

With that said, this blog will answer some of the more common questions we get about EV charging at home. If you still have questions at the end, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team through the button at the end and we'll be happy to help.

Can my home handle an electric vehicle?

The first step to answer this question is evaluating where you currently park your car. If you rely solely on street parking, the logistics of installing a car charger at home will become increasingly complicated, leading to the probability that your home won't be able to accommodate one. Carports and garages are the best situations for installing a car charger on for your home because they are close to a wall for mounting, usually close to an existing power source, and conveniently located to where you normally park your car.

The second step to answering this question is taking inventory of your electrical panel and the loads it currently handles. If your main electrical panel is already maxed out, adding in another circuit for your car charger might be necessary. A licensed electrician will be able to determine whether or not you'll need to upgrade your panel or add a sub panel to handle an additional draw from your EV.

Should I buy a car charger beforehand?

This question depends on what level of charge you'd like. Most electric vehicles come with a Level 1 "trickle" charger. These chargers typically plug into a standard 110V outlet and charge at a rate of approximately 4 miles an hour. A lot of owners find this rate too slow and opt to purchase and install a 220V, Level 2 charger that charges anywhere between 20-80 miles an hour, depending on your EV and selected charger model.

If you're not sure what would be ideal for your situation and charging needs, talking to a qualified car charger installation team can help. They'll help advise on what car charger would be ideal to purchase to suit your goals and needs.

How much will my energy bill increase?

There unfortunately isn't a straightforward answer to this question since it relies on a number of factors to determine how much your energy bill might increase. You should take into consideration how much you're planning on driving your EV, your current utility plan, and whether or not you need to worry about on-peak rates and / or peak demand charges.

If you work from home and only drive your car 1-2 times a week and only charge off-peak, the increase in your electricity bill will be lower than someone who drives their car daily and doesn't pay attention to on-peak vs. off-peak charging. 

How much does it cost to install a car charger?

Probably the most important question when it comes to deciding whether or not to install a Level 2 car charger for your home is how much it will cost. The factors that influence this the most are the proximity of the car charger location to the existing power source and if you need to upgrade your electrical panel or add in a sub panel.

If your power source is only a couple of feet from where your car charger will be installed, and your current panel can handle the addition of an additional 220V circuit, then your installation costs will start around $750-$1,000. If your desired charger location is far from your electrical panel, a longer conduit run will be required. This can increase the cost of the job to $1,500 or more, depending on other necessary upgrades.  Keep in mind that this is not including the cost of the car charger itself. 

Although these upfront costs might seem like a lot, it's important to remember they'll be greatly offset by the savings you'll reap by not going to the gas station or waiting for a simple 110V outlet to trickle charge your car. There's also the added benefit of a cleaner and more sustainable way to commute to work and get around town. An added bonus is when you install solar, you can drive on sunshine!

If you're interested in installing a car charger for your home, our team of licensed electricians will be able to help. Start by requesting a free, no-obligation car charger quote through the button below.

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