Unless you’re a do-it-yourself expert or a highly experienced electrician, the idea of installing an electric vehicle (EV) charger can be daunting. So, where do you start if it’s the first EV charger you ever bought? Can you install it on your own?
If you’re wondering where to get started when it comes to electric vehicle charger install, here are the tips to achieve success:
1. Plan Your Charger Location
Some people have assumed that installing an EV charger is easy. However, you have to plan your charger location accordingly before installing. The homeowner’s location makes sense electrically as it may lead to longer and more expensive runs to get power from the electrical panel to the charger. It’s also crucial to consider the charger’s location in relation to plugging it into the car and getting power to it from the house.
2. Calculate The Load
An EV charger is one of the best gadgets to install in your garage. To ensure a successful EV charger, determine if your electrical system supports the installation of an EV charger as it requires more power than you think. Typically, they take almost the same amount of power as your stove, but unlike stoves, EV chargers utilize full power as soon as they’re plugged in.
This may stress your electrical system or, worse, overload it. To avoid this from happening, have an electrician perform a load calculation. This way, you’ll know if your home has enough power capacity to accommodate your charger.
3. Select The Right Brand Of Charger
If you have a Tesla, you must purchase a charger from the same car manufacturer. It’ll provide you with options for charging. For other electrical vehicles, you may purchase any brand of charger you choose.
If possible, opt for chargers with a long cable and warranty. They should also be designed to withstand up to 50 degrees Celsius.
4. Prioritize Safety
An EV charger mediates a huge amount of electricity from your apartment building or house into your car. Therefore, if it isn’t properly installed, you and your family can be dangerously exposed to electricity. To avoid the risks of electric shock or fire, it’s critical to select a specialized and experienced EV charger installer.
5. Make Sure To Have Space In Your Electrical Panel
When you’ve confirmed that your house can power an EV charger, ensure you have the space. If your electrical panel is full, or if it’s already an old model, you might need to change or upgrade it. Depending on the brand of your charger, a new panel space should be made.
Often, your electrician will tell you whether or not your panel is enough. Once you’ve confirmed that your house has the space and capacity, the rest of the steps are easy.
6. Hire A Reliable Electrician Or An EV Charger Installer
Unless you’re a highly qualified and experienced electrician who installs EV chargers, never do it yourself. Always hire certified and experienced installers.
This may prove to be more expensive in the short term, but it’s crucial to ensure your charger is safely and properly installed and that you comply with the regulations. In addition, other EV charging points may lose their warranty when not installed by certified electricians. If you don’t want that to happen, hire an EV charger installer.
When looking for the best EV charger installer, opt for the one recommended by your EV charger brand. Other EV charger brands provide services covering both the installation and the unit itself.
If it’s not possible to purchase a bundled package, there are some options available. You can consult your automobile association, ask your friends who have EV chargers installed, consult your car dealer, or search online. Just always remember to choose the installer with specific experience in EV charger installation.
Once you have hired a professional EV charger installer, you can guarantee compliance with national regulations, like wiring regulations. When your electrician completes the installation, they normally need to certify the installation with the local government. It’s a validation that the installation has been done safely and in compliance with the national regulations.
7. Get a Compliance Certificate
Reliable installation companies will provide you with a copy of the charger’s compliance certificate. In other countries, having a compliance certificate is compulsory, and without it, you might end up paying a fine. Therefore, ensure to double-check the requirements in your local area.
The compliance certificate isn’t only a reassuring guarantee of your installed charger’s safety and reliability. You might also end up needing it to qualify for insurance payouts when something goes wrong over time. For example, if there’s an overcurrent because of the charger breaking or events like lightning, you would want to claim back the damages with your insurance provider.
Without the compliance certificate, the insurance provider may refuse to pay out because they don’t have any proof that your EV Charger was protected and installed correctly. Also, if any problems arise with the EV batter and you want the manufacturer to repair it, you might need a certificate to prove that the car itself is not functioning correctly, not the charger.
8. Select The Right Type Of Charger
There are various types of chargers made for electric cars, including Level 1 EV chargers and Level 2 EV chargers. Level 1 EV charger is the simplest type, which operates on ordinary household current and can be plugged into a grounded wall socket with a 3-prong plug. This kind of charger is also convenient and easy. However, its charging power is very slow. More often than not, a level 1 EV charger is ideal for hybrid vehicles, which may recharge your vehicle overnight.
Level 2 EV charger, on the other hand, typically uses 240V, which is the type of electrical circuit used for dryers or electric stoves. There are also portable level 2 chargers, but they still need a 240V plug.
Installing an EV charger might not be as simple or as cheap as you expected. However, by ensuring a professional and proper EV charger installation, you’ll reap its amazing benefits in the long run. A reliable installation service can make a difference to ensure that your charger installation complies with national regulations and is safe.
Whether you select a comprehensive package offered by your EV charger provider or hire local electricians, you must find trusted and reputable electricians with particular expertise in EV charging station installation. With the right installer, it offers an end-to-end service to ensure you’re covered for all future and present charging needs.