EV Charger Installation Guide

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As you may have realized electric cars seem to be taking over the automotive industry. One of the key components of making this journey a success is having charging points. EV charger installation can be offered for both commercial and residential clients. Before getting to the installation, it is imperative to consider a few things. These include:

Planning the appropriate grid connection

There are various components in electric vehicles, notably the battery pack and charging equipment [inverters/chargers]. Having a plan for the wiring is an integral part of ensuring your success when installing EV chargers. This means having a plan with respect to where you want to locate the charging equipment and how much power you’d want to supply.

Designing

Providing your EV charger installation needs is best done by working with a designer. Designers come in handy in planning and designing important aspects such as cable routes, cable connections, disconnects, cabinets, and other aspects.

Legal issues

Electrical codes differ across the country, which is why it’s vital to be familiar with them before initiating your EV charger installation plans. Working with respected designers who are aware of legalities will help you avoid potential problems that may arise in the future. This will save you time and money through the process.

Choosing a reputable supplier

It is important to choose EV charger suppliers who are familiar with the latest innovation in this area. These suppliers should also be versatile and able to offer an appropriate range of services such as design, installation, and maintenance among others.

What Is an Electric Car Charging Station?

The term refers to the equipment that charges your battery. Charging stations are also known as EVSEs, which stands for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. These devices allow you to plug in your vehicle at home or work and charge it up. Sometimes referred to as Level 1, 2, or 3 chargers based on the amperage and voltage of the charge they produce.

Mechanical components vary from item to item, but there are some similarities among most charging stations on the market. They typically consist of:

• A power charging cord that plugs into a standard outlet or dedicated EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) charging station

• Connection points compatible with device/vehicle

• A mechanism that detects when your vehicle is plugged in and automatically begins charging

• Indicator lights to show if the equipment is turned on and working properly. Typically, there are separate indicator lights for each major component: power input, charger output, and fault (error) conditions

• An enclosure designed to protect the internal components from weather and tampering

• A locking mechanism to deter theft if the equipment is not installed in a secure area like your garage.

What Type of Chargers Are Available for Electric Vehicles?

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will indicate which charging protocols are supported. For example, some cars only support Level 1 charging while others do not have built-in chargers at all. Below are the three types of electric car chargers available today according to The US Department of Energy.

• Level 1 Charger – Uses standard 120 VAC outlet.

• Level 2 Charger – Connects to 220 VAC outlet. These chargers are also referred to as 240 VAC single-phase equipment and typically operate between 16-80 amps at up to 208/240 volts.

• Level 3 Charger – Uses 440 VAC single-phase equipment and operates between 15-60 amps at up to 400 volts.

With the 3 main types of chargers, you should be careful when choosing your charger. Ensure that it is compatible with your needs.

Home Electric Car Charger Installation

Installing a home car charger is something you can do on your own or hire an electrician to do for you. If you are interested in installing it yourself, be sure to check your local code requirements first. Installing your own EVSE will save you on installation fees but could end up costing more if it does not meet code requirements.

The majority of electric vehicle owners in the U.S. have a home where they can install a charging system, whether it’s a dedicated charger or a plug-in wall unit. A growing number of homes are being built with 240V service installed at the time of construction, but not all homes have higher amperage service with the capacity to charge at Level 2.

At this time, EVs are still a small percentage of the total vehicles on the road and thus may not affect your home’s electrical load much. If you suspect that your existing service is insufficient for adding an electric vehicle charging station, it might be best to get a second opinion from a qualified electrician on home installation..

Charging Your Electric Vehicle at Home

Depending on how much driving you do, a Level 1 or 2 home charging station could be all you need. Or, the installation of a 220V circuit and a Level 2 charger might make sense if your vehicle can take advantage of that higher voltage to reduce charging times.

When deciding what type of charging equipment you want, keep in mind that while some people will plug into a standard 120V outlet, others might opt for higher amperage service to reduce the time it takes to charge their car.

The most important piece of advice is not to get in over your head with electrical work. If you are unsure about doing electrical work, hire a licensed electrician to do the work for you.

Commercial EV Charging Points Installation

Charging electric vehicles at home is not the only way to charge your vehicle. There are various options for charging an electric vehicle, including using it as a mobile charging device or electric carports equipment. When you are looking to install commercial EV charger, there are certain things to take into account.

The first thing to consider when installing commercial EV chargers is to have a licensed electrician install the unit. Installing the charging station incorrectly can be dangerous and will likely cause damage to your equipment.

In addition, you want to ensure that you have enough power going from the grid to each commercial EV charger so that it can handle all of its load requirements. If you have a central commercial EV charging station, you want to have multiple circuits to accommodate different users at the same time.

When looking for commercial EV chargers, you should work with a company that has extensive experience in designing and installing this equipment.

How Much Does EV Charger Installation Cost?

When looking at pricing for EV charger installation, you might feel daunted by the cost of such equipment. However, this is not as expensive as it may seem.

There are three factors that will affect the price of installing EVSE:

  • The first is whether you want a Level 1 or a Level 2 charger.
  • The second factor is the amperage of the power source you are using. The higher your voltage or main service, the faster your vehicle will charge; thus, Level 2 chargers are more expensive than Level 1.
  • The final factor is whether you need an electrician to install an outlet for the charging station. If this sounds like too much to fit into your lifestyle, you may want to hire a licensed electrician.

Do All EVSE Work the Same?

There are different types of electric vehicle charging stations and how they work will depend on the make and model of your car.

The general rules, however, apply to all EVSEs: electric cars take longer to charge than plug-in hybrids, which take longer than pure electrics.

Additionally, many EVs can now accept up to a Level 3 charge, while some still can’t. Check your car’s specifications to learn more about the limits of your particular vehicle.

What Makes a Good EV Charger?

When you are looking for an electric vehicle charging station, there are certain factors that will help you find the right station.

The first thing you should look for is whether the charger will work with your car. This means that the voltage of the station should match up with the voltage of your vehicle, and if it has a plug type, make sure it matches yours.

Chargers for home use typically have their own circuit so they don’t require any additional wiring. Commercial chargers, on the other hand, can have different amperages and may require such a circuit to be installed.

If you want to use a charging station for commercial purposes or your car cannot charge on a 20A circuit, it’s best to hire an electrician so they can install the outlet.

What Should Be Considered When Installing EV Chargers?

When you are thinking about installing charging infrastructure, there are certain things to consider.

The first thing is whether your car can charge at a 20A circuit. If it has a plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicle, this should not be a problem. However, if you have a standard voltage car, you may not be able to charge it at a 20A circuit without a licensed electrician.

Another factor is how much power your station will need. For example, if you have a commercial unit with ten chargers and each one takes 5 kW, you will need 50 kW of electricity going from the grid to your building to support those ten vehicles.

In addition, you want to ensure that you have enough power going from the grid to each commercial EV charger so that it can handle all of its load requirements. If you have a central commercial EV charging station, you want to have multiple circuits to accommodate different users at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Charging an electric vehicle is a great way to save money on gas and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. You will never have to go to a gas station. With the right planning and by following the guidelines above, you can successfully install EVSE units for your home or commercial location without too much hassle.

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Your complete guide to EV chargers, Wallboxes and accessories.