Can you charge an EV (electric vehicle) at home? The answer to this question is yes—if you have the right electrical upgrades. If you're not sure what you need to charge your EV in your garage or if your home's system can handle this type of job, take a look at what you need to know about professional electrician services and your options.
Can You Use An Existing Outlet To Charge Your EV?
Yes, you can use some types of household electrical outlets to charge an electric vehicle. But you may not want to. It is possible to charge an EV using a traditional 120 volt AC plug and outlet setup. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this option (known as Level 1) requires one hour of charging time per five miles of driving.
While your home's existing 120 volt outlets are convenient and won't cost you extra to install, this isn't a practical option. You would need to charge your car for at least 10 hours just to drive 50 miles using this arrangement.
Are There Faster Charging Options?
What can you do if you don't have the time to charge your car using a 120 volt outlet? A Level 2 charger uses 240 volt service. This option provides 25 miles of driving per every hour of charging time. While a 240 volt outlet still takes more than just a few hours to charge an EV, it does provide a significant time-distance advantage over Level 1 charging.
A Level 3 charger is the fastest currently available. These chargers are the commercially available stations you may see in parking lots or at rest stops. These DC charging stations provide between 100 and 200 miles of driving range per 30 minutes of charging time. The expense and technical requirements of a DC charging station make it an impractical option for residential use. This makes a Level 2 charger the best at-home option for your EV needs.
Who Can Install A Level 2 Charger?
Electric contractors are your best option for EV charger installation and similar in-home jobs. These licensed professionals have years of experience in electrical repairs, diagnostics, wiring, receptacle, and installation work.
A combination of specialized training and on-the-job or hands-on experience provides the electrical contractor with the skills necessary to safely install a new outlet or charging station in your home. Failure to install an outlet or Level 2 charger correctly could result in an electrical injury, fire, or a home hazard.
A poorly or incorrectly-installed charger could also damage other parts of the electrical system or your car. This makes it important to hire a contractor who is licensed and qualified to work with home EV chargers.
For more information, contact an electric contractor near you.