09/01/2022

How to Determine the Best Location to Install Your EV Charging Station

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5 Min. Read

One of the major selling points for home EV charger stations is convenience.

As a homeowner who has just purchased an electronic vehicle (EV), you will likely now be in the market for a level 2 charging station. Naturally, you will want to maximize your convenience by installing your charger in an optimal location for your EV charging needs.

With level 2 EV charging at home, qualified electricians can customize your installation and place the charging equipment in the best place for you.

In this article, we will provide you with recommendations for determining and selecting a prime location for your at-home EV charging station installation.

Indoors versus outdoors

While your charging station can be installed indoors or outdoors, an outdoor charger must be specifically designed to offer protection from the elements, such as rain and lightning.

An outdoor charger will also require you to ensure that the distance between the charger and your EV’s charging port is well within the length of your charging cable, for optimal positioning, and to ensure the location is functional for your needs.

Indoor charging provides you with the convenience of charging your EV while your car is parked in the garage.

In either installation, a permit is required by homeowners’ insurance carriers and local authorities.

Permitting is best handled by an experienced electrician. If you decide to file the permit by yourself, remember that you will be responsible for correcting any errors, and for all the costs of doing so. On the other hand, if an electrical contractor files the permit, they are responsible for correcting the work and all costs to do so.

In addition, you will need a dedicated 240-volt circuit that may draw anywhere from 32 to 80 amps. Depending on the amperage draw of the charger it may require modifications to your electric panel or the installation of a new panel.

Once again, you will need an experienced electrician for this complex and potentially dangerous work. A 240-volt current can cause fire, injury, and other damages and when it comes to this type of electrical work, mistakes caused by inexperience can be deadly, costly, and avoidable.

We encourage you to read our previous article for additional information regarding the benefits and risk mitigation of hiring a licensed and experienced electrical contractor to install your electrification systems rather than attempting a DIY at home.

Garage space constraints: will it fit?

You can typically work with your contractor to find an optimal location to mount your EV charging station in the garage. Mounting the EV charger closer to your electrical panel will help reduce the installation cost and it is worth considering proximity when mapping the location out prior to installation.

While uncommon, if there is no space available to install the EV Charger in your garage, as mentioned above, you can install an outdoor charger, so long as it is within cable length restrictions.

Clearances around your vehicle

At this time, automakers have not yet adopted a standard for EV charging port location, making optimal EV charging station installation a more specific determination for the charging needs of each vehicle.

For example, while Ford and Chevrolet have standardized a front left EV location, the charging port for Mercedes and BMW is located on the right rear of their EVs. Finally, Nissan and Audi place the port on the front end of the vehicle.

While each automaker has their logical reasoning for the charging port placement on their electric vehicles, the varying locations add an additional layer of complexity; you will need to consider your EV’s details to achieve the optimal location for your EV charger installations. The key here is to optimize both the charger and charging port locations so that the cable will not obstruct traffic around your EV.

Vehicle accessibility

Start with the position of where you plan to park your EV in your garage or parking space. Then select a location for your EV charger that will fully allow you to access your EV without hindrance or obstruction. Next, ensure that the charging cable easily reaches your EV charging port without excess tension.

You can estimate this length by measuring the distance from your charger station, then adding approximately 10 feet.

Notably, cables for Level 2 chargers can be up to 25 feet long. Check with your charger manufacturer to verify the specific lengths they provide that meet the needs of your vehicle and are available to you. In general, your cable should be at least 20 feet long.

  • Loading and unloading: To avoid tripping over the charging cable while unloading from the rear of your EV, make sure that the cable runs on the side opposite of where you would typically walk to access the cargo area or any other frequently traversed routes.
  • Clearances: Test this space to ensure that side clearances are adequately providing no interference with door functionality or access to your charger.

On the left or the right?

This determination will largely depend on where your charger port is located on your EV and where the EV will be located in your garage or parking space. Situate the charger to best avoid having the cable impede foot traffic. Thankfully, charging cables range from 6-25 feet in length, enabling you to mount your charger on the left or right side of your EV. Additionally, most U.S. vehicles are left-side drive, so it may be of greater benefit to locate the cable on the opposite side to avoid obstructions when accessing your EV.

Distance from EV to charging station

Finally, to ensure the optimal EV charger location, consider where you usually park or where you intend to park. Then, install the charging station at the best distance from your EV possible within the length constraints created by your cable and the location of the charging port on your EV.

To sum up, you want to avoid the hassles of public charging by installing a home EV charging station for maximum convenience. To maximize that convenience, selecting the optimal location for your EV charging station installation is crucial.

The process for determining the prime location in your home is complex and must be done on a case-by-case basis as one size does not fit all.

All of this means that you will need an experienced, dependable partner to work with you from the beginning to design and implement the right installation for you.

Qmerit is that partner.

We simplify installations for EV drivers across the U.S. and Canada. With an unsurpassed network of certified electricians specializing in EV charging technologies, Qmerit will stand alongside you from start to finish of your project to achieve success in your EV charging station installation.

Get started today by providing basic information about your home and submitting a few photos. We are happy to assist you by providing upfront pricing or a custom quote offer, depending on the needs of your home and the complexity of your project!

Author: Greg Sowder Greg Sowder President, Qmerit Network