How to Charge Electric Cars at Home
As EV (electric vehicle) public charging stations in Vancouver begin to introduce fees, many motorists are looking to save money by finding other means to power up their cars.
The best solution to avoid being hit in the pocket when topping up your car’s battery is to install an EV home charging station.
Besides financial benefits, a dedicated recharging unit in your garage or other parking spots at home makes it far easier to get the best out of your electric vehicle in terms of convenience and monitoring energy consumption. Investing in a fast charging station can also add value to your home.
Charging your electric or plug-in hybrid car at home means you can start your day with a fully-charged vehicle at a minimal cost. All you have to do is remember to plug it in the night before!
If you buy a brand-new electric car, it will probably come with its own charging station, but this may not be as powerful as you’d like.
Owners of older EVs also find themselves exploring the best way to charge their electric car at home – now more than ever in Vancouver, to avoid fees at public recharging points.
Why You May Have to Pay at Public EV Recharging Stations
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common on Vancouver roads as we progress towards 2040 when all new cars will have to be zero-emission.
Motorists in British Columbia are already topping the per capita tables for buying the most zero-emission vehicles in Canada.
However, it looks like the days of free public recharging points for electric cars are numbered. For example, North Vancouver’s five city-owned charging stations introduced fees in April 2019.
More public recharging points look set to do the same. Reasons for this include the law of supply and demand and a March 2019 change in regulations that allows businesses to resell electricity.
So, as even more drivers of electric vehicles are looking at ways to cut costs by charging their vehicles at home, let’s look at the possibilities.
EV Recharging Options at Home
You have two main options when installing an EV home charging station:
Level 1 charging station – using a standard 120-volt outlet.
Level 2 charging station – 240 volts.
There is a third, ultra-fast charging station option. Level 3 charging installations use extremely high voltage but are very expensive, which makes them cost prohibitive for most owners of electric vehicles.
Many EV drivers choose the Level 2 option. The higher output from 240 volts means a much shorter charging time.
A Level 1 charging point can take 11 to 16 hours to top up your electric car (six to eight hours for plug-in hybrids). Level 2 charging stations typically take six to eight hours for an electric vehicle (three to four hours, plug-in hybrid).
Motorists who buy a new electric car often find they need to upgrade to a Level 2 recharging unit for a faster charge.
Level 1 Vs Level 2 Charging Stations
EV motorists can save hundreds of dollars a year compared with running a gas or diesel fuel car.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run and maintain, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and deliver better performance. Fully electric cars also put an end to oil changes and exhaust systems.
Electric motors last far longer than gas-fuelled engines, significantly reducing the likelihood of a breakdown.
To take full advantage of all the benefits of an electric vehicle, you need to be able to keep its battery operating at peak performance.
Most new electric vehicles come with a Level 1 charging station. If you don’t drive much or your car is a plug-in hybrid with limited range, a Level 1 charging station is handy because you can just plug it into your standard 110-120V outlet.
On the downside, Level 1 charging stations are slow – that’s why they’re sometimes called “trickle” systems.
A Level 2 EV home charging station provides the ideal solution for motorists looking for the added convenience of recharging their car almost twice as fast (depending on your vehicle and type of charger).
Why You Need a Licensed Electrician to Install a Level 2 Charging Station
A Level 2 charging station requires an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) control to connect to your car.
According to British Columbia electricity supplier BC Hydro, you’ll need a licensed electrical contractor to ensure your Level 2 EV home charging station is installed in line with electrical safety codes.
A qualified electrician with experience in EV charger installations can help you to make an informed decision on what type of home charging station is best for you and your car, taking into consideration factors such as:
The make and model of your vehicle.
Location of the nearest electric panel to your parking spot.
Your vehicle’s electric range.
Capacity of your home’s wiring system.
If you are thinking about installing a home charging station at home in the Metro Vancouver Area, give us a call, we can do the job to the highest of safety standards while giving you a highly functional EV home charging station.
Ready to install an EV chargerin Metro Vancouver, request a quote today.