Installing an EV charging station in your home will help you get the most out of your electric vehicle, but there are a few practical questions to consider. Proper planning will ensure that this electrification project is convenient to use and meets all your current and future needs.
In this article, we’ll cover the key factors you should consider as you prepare for your at-home EV charger installation.
If you’re wondering how to install an EV charging station, it’s usually best to start by considering the unique configuration of your property.
The location of your home, electric panel, and preferred EV charging station is one of the first things to think about when considering how to install an electric vehicle charging station.
A qualified electrician can help pick a convenient spot that you can access from your usual parking spot. Most charging cables measure between 18 and 25 feet, which means the charging station doesn’t necessarily have to be close to your parking spot, but you should consider whether the cable will get in the way and become a potential hazard.
Your electrician will also consider the distance between the charging equipment and your home’s electrical panel. If you add new wiring, the distance can increase the project’s cost since the installer will have to do additional trenching and drywalling work.
Keep in mind that a more complex installation that requires trenching, navigating crawl spaces, goes through a finished basement, or is a significant distance away from the electric panel will require additional labor and can increase the cost of your installation. A licensed electrician can work with you to determine the least complex option, but certain complexities may be unavoidable depending on your home layout and existing electrical infrastructure.
When installing an electric vehicle charging station, load calculation should always be a priority. Charging an EV can draw anywhere from 16 to 80 amps. With many homes running on 100-amp panels, EV charging can take up a significant percentage of your home’s electrical capacity and an overburdened panel can lead to outages and other electrical hazards.
An electrician may be able to address this issue by installing a load management device prioritizing EV charging and other vital electrical needs over other circuits or by installing a subpanel, however, it’s usually best to increase the load capacity with a 200-amp panel upgrade to future-proof your home and avoid the need of additional panel upgrades in the future.
With over 37% of households owning two vehicles, upgrading your electrical panel is a worthy investment since you might need to charge two EVs in the future or power other electrification projects, and a 200-amp panel is better equipped to power your home, any electrical appliances, and your electric vehicles.
The EV charging market is currently growing at an annual rate of 36%. Manufacturers are offering more options than ever, and choosing a charging product can be a challenging aspect of installing an EV charging station.
Owners can choose from three types of EV charging units, but not all three options are a realistic solution when installing an electric vehicle charging station at home.
Level 2 charging is the most viable solution for at-home charging, but you’ll have to choose between two main types of chargers:
Compatibility isn’t a major concern when installing an EV charging station.
Nearly all EVs on the North American market currently use the J1772 plug. Last year, many electric vehicle automakers announced plans to replace this existing standard with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug developed by Tesla. This change is anticipated to take place in EV models as early as 2025.
For EVs released prior to 2024, charging equipment with a standard J1772 will remain the best option. Newer EVs with the NACS port will either require upgraded charging equipment or an adapter to work with a legacy J1772 plug.
Due to the high voltage required EV charging and especially Level 2 EV charging, it is crucial to incorporate best practices and National Electric Code requirements into your installation project for a safe charging experience.
The NEC has strict requirements regarding EV charging station location, charging cables, ventilation, electric shock protection, and more, Electrical work such as installing a dedicated EV charging station circuit either through a hardwired connection or a NEMA 14-50 outlet often requires permitting and an inspection to ensure the installation is safe and meets all federal and local code requirements.
These rules aim to create an stable environment where charging equipment can safely deliver 240V of power without damaging the EV battery or increasing the risk of electrical shock or fire.
A qualified electrician can assess your unique risks and design a safe system that follows or exceeds NEC requirements.
Regulations can vary from one municipality to another, and a certified electrician can help you navigate the rules established by the NEC and your municipality.
For instance, you’ll need to obtain an electrical permit to hardwire a Level 2 charger to your electrical panel. If you’re opting for a plug-in charger, you will need to follow NEC regulations and install a GFCI outlet in your garage or next to your outdoor parking space for added ground fault protection.
Installing an electric vehicle charging station requires careful planning. You should consider your home’s configuration, the load capacity of your electrical panel, and which charging product makes the most sense for your needs.
Qmerit can connect you with a certified electrician to make your at-home EV charger installation a seamless process. With over 269,000 EV charging station installation projects to-date and the most trusted network of certified EV charger installers in North America, you can feel confident with your EV charger thanks to Qmerit’s Peace of Mind Guarantee and expert installers. Find out why our EV charging installers are trusted by top automakers, businesses, and homeowners, and get an estimate for your project by contacting Qmerit today!