Home EV Charger Installation: Do I Need To Upgrade My Electric Panel?
Congratulations on making the leap from gasoline to an electric car! The environment thanks you for creating fewer emissions and less noise pollution. Plus, with a home EV charger installation, you don’t need to visit a public charging station or gas station to keep your car running.
Home charging is a significant benefit of going electric. But, it requires special charging equipment and a dedicated 240-volt outlet from your electrical panel.
You’ll have to invest some money to install a home charger (we’ll get into the installation costs a little later in this article), but the good news is that it’s a quick, straightforward job for your trusted local electrician.
If you’re already off gasoline or are researching electric vehicles to see if one is right for you, we’re here to answer all your questions about charging your EV at home.
We’ll answer all the questions we’ve been getting lately from homeowners in Fort Washington, Abington, Glenside, and other neighborhoods where more people are going green and switching to electric cars.
If you have any questions or want to get the ball rolling on a charger installation for your home, call Your Home Solutions at (215) 768-8102. We’re available 24/7, and you’ll always speak to an electrician right away when you call.
Do I Need More Power At Home To Charge My Electric Car?
Technically, you can charge your electric car at home with an ordinary three-prong, 120-volt outlet. But that’s a slow charge and can affect the rest of the house.
A level 2 outlet that’s 240 volts is faster and is the kind of dedicated outlet you see for your electric dryer, for instance.
Before we go any further, the other consideration is whether you have 100 amp service in your home or if your electrical panel is 200 amps or higher.
Older houses with 100 amp service won’t draw enough power to charge an electric car. But, 200 amp service is the standard nowadays anyway.
So while it will cost a little to upgrade, it’s better for all your home’s electronics and appliances. Check out our article here to learn more about it.
Now, back to your vehicle.
How Much Energy Does An Electric Car Need To Charge?
The amount of energy your electric car requires to charge depends on the battery capacity. That’s measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), or the amount of energy the battery will consume (or use) in an hour. EV batteries range from around 13 to over 40 kWh capacity. The more charge you have, the further you can drive.
So, how does that translate into your home’s power needs?
Do I Have Enough Energy To Charge My Electric Car?
The more electricity you can provide to your car at once, the faster it will reach full charge. That’s why you can use a standard 120-volt outlet (although it’s not recommended) in lieu of a level 2 charging station.
It’ll do the job, but it will take a while.
Charging overnight with a 120-volt outlet will power your vehicle for about 40 miles of range. By contrast, a level 2 charger can get you 40 miles in about two hours of charge.
With most batteries providing 150 miles or more on a full battery, it makes the most sense to charge faster. That way, plugging in overnight gets you to capacity.
Please note, however, that a fast charge won’t cost you less on your electric bill. A 120-volt outlet will take longer to provide the same amount of electricity you can get from a level 2 outlet in less time.
If you’re always charging to capacity, you’ll use the same amount of power.
How To Get An EV Charger Installation In Your Home
It’s possible to install an EV charger in your home by yourself. You don’t need permits, and it’s a straightforward process. But, as with any electrical work, it’s best to call a professional to prevent dangerous electrical problems.
Why? Because, quite simply, electricity is dangerous!
You’ll need a dedicated 240-volt circuit coming from your electric panel. Then, there’s the connection to the charger, which you’ll likely mount on a post or garage wall.
While it’s straightforward, a lot can go wrong.
At the least, overloading a circuit can affect the power supply to half the house or your entire home. A bad connection can mean no power to your new outlet.
Even worse is a wrong connection or loose wire somewhere. Then, you’re risking an electrical surge or even a fire.
Those problems can occur if the current is too strong for the wiring, if it jumps to your plumbing, or causes the insulation in your walls to catch on fire.
Who Installs Electric Car Chargers?
A licensed, insured electrician can install a car charger quickly and with no problem. You’ll also need an electrician if you’re also upgrading from 100 amp service to 200 amps or more. They won’t need to pull permits, and you’re covered under their insurance and warranty (if they offer one) should something go wrong.
How Much Does It Cost To Install An EV Charger At Home?
The cost to install an EV charger at home ranges from $300 to $4,500. But, the average is around $1,200 or as low as $600. The wide range is due to your home and its current electrical service.
Installation on a detached home is faster and cheaper than a twin or rowhome because there are fewer obstacles to work around in a single house. Then, there’s the cost of the charger itself — you have some options here.
The biggest jump in price comes if you need to upgrade to 200 amp service. But, as we mentioned, that’s also a good investment for your entire home.
Without upgrading the panel, an installation takes between two and five hours.
Electrician In Fort Washington, PA, And Surrounding Areas
If you’re considering an EV charger installation for your home, call Your Home Solutions for an electrician in Fort Washington, PA, Abington, Chestnut Hill, and other surrounding towns. Our number is (215) 768-8102, and you’ll talk to an electrician immediately. We’ll answer all your questions and get you a quote based on your home’s unique needs as soon as possible.