What is an EV charger?
An EV charger is quite simply, what EV owners use to charge their car.
Think of it the same as your phone charger, just for your car, although it’s more than a cable in most instances. Whilst it is possible to charge an EV using a standard 3-pin plug, this is only recommended in emergencies, and a dedicated charger is the best solution for most.
A home can offer the car owner a great level of convenience with minimal hassle or upheaval during the installation process.
EV charger installation requirements
There are some requirements to be able to install an electric car charger at your home, including;
Compliance-make sure your charger is fully certified – EV charger installation, they normally have to certify the installation with a government department. This is a validation that the installation has been completed safely and in compliance with all national regulations. Reputable installation companies will give you a copy of your charger’s compliance certificate. In some countries, having a compliance certificate is compulsory and without it you could face a fine, so make sure you double-check the requirements for where you live.
This compliance certificate isn’t just a reassuring guarantee of your installed charger’s reliability and safety. You also might end up needing it to qualify for insurance payouts if something goes wrong in the future. For instance, if there is an overcurrent due to the charger breaking or an event such as lightning, you’ll want to claim back the damages with your insurance company. Without the compliance certificate, the insurer may refuse to pay out because they don’t have any proof that your charger was correctly installed and protected, to begin with. Moreover, if any issues arise with the EV battery and you need the manufacturer to fix it, you could need the certificate to prove that it is the car, not the charger, that isn’t functioning properly.
Off-street parking – Off-street parking such as a driveway is required for an EV charging point installation at your home.
Also, you’ll need to check that your preferred EV charger installation location is close enough to where you actually park your electric vehicle. This is because there are different electric car charging cable lengths (we recommend a compromise between ease of use and ease of storage). You may also need to consider where the charging socket is located on your EV.
Another consideration is the distance between your home’s power supply and the desired location of the home charger, as providers may have different limits for their home EV charger installations.
A Wi-fi connection – Most EV home chargers have features and functions that require a Wi-Fi connection to access. Wi-Fi enabled chargers are optional, but the smart features they include can be extremely beneficial.
Smart chargers require a stable internet connection to function, so it’s worth making sure it will be within the field of the Wi-Fi router or a Wi-Fi extender prior to the installation. If your EV loses connection to the Wi-Fi at any point, you’ll still be able to charge, but you may lose access to the charger’s smart features.
Benefits of EV Charging at Home
- Convenient charging. You always know you’ll have access to a plug when you need it.
- Make the most of off-peak utility times. Charging during off-peak hours can save you more money than charging at high-use times of day.
- Leverage benefits from an existing solar array. Make the most of your solar panels and use the energy to support your vehicle charging.
- Reduce range anxiety. Topping off the battery during the day ensures you’ll be able to get to all the places you need to go.
- Increase your home value. Adding a 240-volt infrastructure for a car charging station at home is appealing to home buyers.
Can I install an charger myself ?
Simply put: Yes! If you already have access to a 240-volt outlet, you can easily install your own charger. For many models, it’s as easy as attaching the unit to a stud on the wall and plugging the cord into the outlet.
If you need to have your unit hardwired, rely on a knowledgeable electrician who can confirm that your infrastructure can support it. If you need to have a new outlet installed or relocated for convenience, you should also start by contacting an electrician so that your install meets local codes.
EV Charging at Home FAQs
Are There Certain Times of Day it is Best to Charge Your EV?
The best time to charge EV vehicles is during off-peak times. Many electrical utilities charge less during off-peak times. The standard recommendation for charging is 12 a.m. until 3 a.m. The charger can be controlled by a timer to charge during specific times.
If you’re out of the house all day, the easiest thing to do is plug in when you arrive home. It will be charged and ready to roll in the morning.
Can You Install an EV Charger Outdoors if You Don’t Have a Garage?
Installing an electric car charger on the side of your home or a structure on your property is often the only option for some vehicle owners. According to industry experts and manufacturers, the best option is to install an EV charger indoors, if possible, but yes, most EV chargers are rated for exterior installations. The EV charger itself is typically wall-mounted and waterproof. The cord is waterproof and when connected to the EV charging port, the connection creates a watertight seal.”
Do I Need Two EV Chargers if I Have Two Electric Vehicles?
Not necessarily. If the Level 2 charger is installed in a space where it could reach both vehicles, a household can easily share one plug for two EVs. Most vehicles and connectors can be used interchangeably to recharge a vehicle. Have your electrician install your 240-volt outlet and charging station in a space that considers the future (a day when you might have two EVs to recharge).