Electric car chargers are super convenient for keeping your electric car battery fully operational for your commute, road trips, and other travel. It’s almost essential to have one of these if you own an electric vehicle (EV).
Let’s cover some of the important considerations for choosing the most appropriate car charger.
Basic Homeowner Considerations for Owning a Car Charger
Getting a car charger depends on the electrical structure of your home. Newer and older homes tend to be different in this regard.
The first thing you want to identify is the location of the electrical panel in your home. Is it in the garage? If so, don’t make any adjustments yet. The truth of the matter is that the current EV market is very dynamic, malleable, and changing.
While we can tell you what to use right now based on current cars, it could change very quickly in a few years. The EV regulatory landscape could change entirely, and it’s possible that this would lead many more homeowners to go from hybrid cars to EVs. This would in turn change the sophistication of batteries and plug-in equipment.
If, on the other hand, you own an older home, you may need a total retrofit on your garage’s electrical circuitry. At Teague Electric, one of the first things we look at is circuit capacity and decide if we need to augment it further.
Lots of New EV Models & Significant Electrical Requirements
If all you own is a hybrid vehicle, you don’t need anywhere near the amount of electrical capacity as a truly electrical vehicle. EVs require substantial resources, which will require serious equipment as well as space in your garage.
The connections to onboard chargers will have different links. The tricky part is that there is currently no standardization for circuitry, plug-in locations, or link-up cords. Cords, for example, might insert into the front, back, or side of the car. They also come in varying lengths (16 feet, 18 feet, etc.). You’ll have to ask yourself how this would spatially work with your car, the charger, and your garage arrangement.
We also see a large variety of battery capacities with EVs. As far as the maximum circuit load is concerned, our limit is set at 22w (22,000 watts), which would require a dedicated circuit.
Level 1 and Level 2 Electrical Car Chargers
Most vehicles on the market fit into what’s called either Level 1 or Level 2 home charging. Level 1 chargers are standard, 3-volt, 50-amp circuits. Level 2 chargers add a greater charging capacity that gives an EV battery a much higher Range Per Hour (RPH). When your RPH is higher, the battery lasts longer, and it takes less time to fully charge it.
Granted, most of what’s available today only requires a Level 1 charger.
Most manufacturers emulate the kind of EVs that Tesla has been producing for the past 15 years. Those cars, trucks, and SUVs often fit into the Level 1 framework. While the plug-in options vary significantly, the circuitry will be pretty similar. We estimate that you would get everything you need from a 240-volt circuit.
As you can see, car chargers are evolving even as we write this. If you want to learn more, check out this article on what to consider when shopping for electric car wall chargers. It gives you a better understanding of the purpose of plug-in chargers as well as hard-wired chargers.
Ask Teague Electric Anything About Electric Car Chargers
It’s vitally important to consult with a competent electrician whenever you purchase a car charger. Local ordinances in Kansas City require your electrical equipment to be wired together a certain way. We can always help you make sure everything is done to code.
Teague Electric also specializes in almost any electrical remodeling services you can imagine. This includes security enhancements, new lighting, panel upgrades, repair work, and much more. We vouch for our expertise with more than 40 years of experience installing and troubleshooting all things electrical.
Contact us soon to learn how to optimize your garage for electric car chargers.