As electric cars become more and more practical and popular, electric car wall chargers become a necessary consideration. For those wanting to save considerable charging time, a dedicated electrical circuit is the only way to go.
Yes, you can plug your electric car directly into your existing home 120-volt outlet. The problem is achieving a full charge could take an several days to achieve. To drastically reduce your charging time at home, you will need to look at the options for dedicated electric car wall charger circuits.
The Differences Between Hardwired or Plug-In Electric Car Wall Chargers
One of the biggest decisions is choosing between a hardwired (permanently installed) and plug-in option. In either case, the services of an electrician may be needed. Teague Electric can help.
Before installing a charger, you need to be sure that your setup is safety certified and that you have the capacity in your electrical panel to install a charging station. Consulting a licensed electrician for this step is recommended.
Next, you will want to consider the differences between hardwired and plug-in electric car wall chargers.
The great thing about a plug-in charger is that it can be portable. However, there are very important things to consider before going this route.
- Does your garage already have a 240-volt line installed? You will likely need one to operate your plug-in charger. Teague Electric can install a line if necessary.
- You will want to turn off the circuit breaker before plugging in or unplugging any 240-volt appliances, this can be inconvenient if you travel with your charger.
- Many plug-in charger manufacturers offer compatible plug adaptors to fit a variety of NEMA outlet configurations.
- Be sure that an electrician has verified that all wiring to the outlet is correct and up to code.
- Do not use an extension cord or wall plug adapter with any plug-in electric car wall chargers.
- Be sure that your charger is wall mounted or otherwise supported so that it is not hanging from the outlet. Outlets are not designed to support the weight of a charger.
- Portable or mobile chargers typically will have a lower maximum output than its hardwired counterpart version.
For all of the above considerations and to ensure safety, it’s best that you consult a licensed electrician.
A hardwired charger is more of a permanent installation. They can be moved, but you would likely need to have an electrician uninstall and reinstall the unit.
Hardwired electric car wall chargers can be installed indoors or outdoors. If you wish to charge your car outdoors, a hardwired solution is the better option as its less apt to being stolen.
Other reasons to consider hardwiring:
- The larger NEMA outlets are not designed for repeated in/out use, internal components designed to hold tension on the connection can loosen with overuse causing a loose connection. Hardwiring eliminates the additional connections and risk.
- Often a hardwired device will be rated for higher amperage than a cord connect device.
- 240-volt charging stations are high power – like exterior HVAC equipment, household oven and cook-tops, hardwiring provides the best connection to power with the least amount of possible failure point connections.
- Some manufacturers offer other key “built in” features with their level 2 hardwired chargers such as WIFI connectivity and automatic updates.
Other Electric Car Wall Chargers Considerations
Generally speaking, plug-in hybrids with the ability to run on gasoline may not warrant the investment in a dedicated wall charger. However, if you’re regularly driving your hybrid long distances, a wall charger could add a lot of convenience. And, of course, if you’re driving a pure electric car, electric car wall chargers likely become a necessity.
There are more electric vehicle charging options than ever. Shopping can become a bit overwhelming. Here are a handful of things to consider when looking at your options:
- Size. Where are you going to put your charger? A large or bulky charger might not work for your space.
- Smart charging. Some units interface with a smartphone app, allowing you to monitor the charging and view different stats.
- Weatherproof. If you’re going to be charging outdoors, look for a unit that is weather resistant.
- Cable length. The length of the cable in relation to the charging port on your car is going to dictate where you can mount your charger.
Contact the Professionals at Teague Electric for Best Results
Whether you choose a plug-in car charger or hardwired option, a licensed electrician is going to be able to ensure that your installation is safe and to code. Don’t leave anything to chance.
To work with the area’s service and workmanship leaders of the past 40 years, contact Teague Electric.