November 1, 2023

What Is Included in a Home EV Charger Installation?

6 Min. Read

For the majority of EV owners, at-home charging remains the most convenient option. However, upgrading your home with a Level 2 EV charger requires an upfront investment and might entail a few changes to your home’s electrical system. Working with a licensed electrician is crucial, as they ensure the installation adheres to safety standards and local regulations. Their expertise not only mitigates risks but also guarantees optimal charger performance and longevity.

Here’s what you need to know about the installation process and the average cost of an EV installation:

Essential Components

With 83% of EV owners relying on at-home charging, permanent and portable charging units are becoming more common. These solutions include two main components.

Charging Unit

The charging unit is the main component of a Level 2 EV charger. The charging unit’s role is to pull 240 volts of current from a dedicated circuit and deliver it to the vehicle’s battery.

Charging units also include a built-in or app-controlled interface to give the user control over the charging process.

Choosing a charging unit can be complex. A licensed electrician who has experience with EV charger installations will be able to recommend the right charging product based on your unique needs, ensuring long-term value for your investment.

Electrical Wiring

There are two options for wiring a charging unit:

  • Some installations rely on a 240-volt outlet. The charging unit is plugged into the outlet and can be unplugged if needed.
  • You can also hardwire your charging unit to draw power directly from the panel, a method that enhances charger performance while eliminating the risks of failure at the outlet level.

Hardwiring your EV charger is the preferred installation method, but it requires additional work, such as trenching and potential panel modifications or upgrades, and should always be performed by a licensed electrician to prevent improper installation and safety hazards such as injury, fire, property damage, and even fatalities.

Unless you are an licensed electrician experienced in EV charger installations and performing this level of work, attempting to do it yourself, or a DIY, is not an option for safety reasons, and it’s important to work with a reliable electrician who will follow NEC and local standards to hardwire your charger.

Regardless of the wiring method, the electrical wiring components must meet the safety requirements outlined in the National Electric Code, including overcurrent protection, a safety switch for chargers rated at 60 amps and above, and GFCI protection for outlets installed in garages or outdoors. Your local electric code may have additional electrical code requirements, which is something a professional can help you navigate.

Professional Installation Expenses

Chargers start at $400 for a 40-amp charging unit and can exceed $2,000 for a more powerful unit. You will also have the cost of installing an EV charger which includes electrical materials, labor, and permit fees.

Hiring a licensed and insured electrician is a worthwhile investment that will help you save money in the long term. The right electrician will complete the project with the proper permits and address any potential hazards for a safe and durable installation.

Labor Costs

Installing a Level 2 at-home charging station is often something a certified electrician can do in a day, unless the installation will require a more complex situation, but it’s important to work with an experienced professional, even if it means spending more on labor. Hiring a qualified professional electrician is more efficient, safer, and is a long-term investment in your home and electric vehicle. Ideally, the electrician you choose should have experience with EV charger installations.

You’ll get better results if you work with a professional who understands the unique challenges linked to EV charging and who can deliver quality work that will require less maintenance over the years.

Permit Fees

It is important and frequently required to pull an electrical permit before the installation process can begin. Keep in mind that the fee schedule varies from one municipality to another, so you should always check with your local government for more information on the requirements in your area.

Failing to obtain the proper permits before installing an EV charging station can result in fines, delayed use of your charger, and can cause additional frustrations in correcting any mistakes. An experienced installer will know which permits to request and can complete the application process on your behalf. By doing so, they also take on the reponsibility of ensuring everything is filed and installed correctly.

Additional Factors

Each project is unique, and the total EV installation cost can vary depending on the configuration of your home and electrical system. Here are some key factors to keep in mind as you move forward with hiring a licensed EV charger installer.

Electrical Upgrades

A Level 2 EV charger needs a dedicated 240V circuit. A certified electrician can add a 240V circuit to your panel if you have room for a double-pole circuit breaker. However, you will need a panel upgrade or subpanel if you don’t have room.

A professional can determine whether you need a panel upgrade after performing a load calculation. Load calculations are another important consideration that can affect the cost of an EV installation project. Level 2 EV chargers can draw anywhere from 40 to 60 amps, and you’ll typically need a 200-amp panel to charge your EV while powering your appliances.

If you have an older home with a 100-amp panel, the load capacity might be insufficient. In rare cases, homes built before the 1970s might still run on 30-amp service and need an upgrade. Replacing an old panel can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $3,000.

Location and Mounting

Installing an EV charger can entail making a few modifications to your garage or driveway to facilitate access to the charger. You’ll have to consider the distance to the charger and the amount of clearance around your parking space to find the best spot to install the charging unit.

Your electrician might have to do some drywall work to mount the charging unit or some trenching to run a cable between the charging unit and your electric panel.

Get a Detailed Estimate for Your Level 2 EV Charging Installation Project

The cost of installing an EV charger can range from less than $1,000 to over $3,000. Besides purchasing the charging equipment, you’ll have to pay a certified electrician to hardwire your charging station or potentially install a GFCI outlet next to your parking spot. Depending on the age of your home, you might face additional costs linked to upgrading your panel to a 200-amp service.

With over 269,000 successful EV charger installation projects, Qmerit’s leading network of certified electricians has more experience than anyone and can help you assess installation costs with accuracy. As the largest provider of EV charging installations and other energy transition technology solutions in North America, Qmerit makes electrification easy by connecting EV owners with certified installers who can deliver a customized solution to upgrade your home with an at-home charging solution. Our installation experts can also help you take advantage of federal tax credits and local incentives to offset the cost of installation.

Learn more about our network of certified installers and get an estimate for your electrification project. Contact Qmerit today for a high-quality EV charger installation that you can trust for years to come.

Author: Greg Sowder Greg Sowder President, Qmerit Network