Installing An EV Charging Station At Home
If you are looking to install an EV charging station at home and are trying to decide which one to buy, you should know that you have a wide range of options. It all depends on the level of sophistication you are looking for. However, whichever one you get, the basic purpose of a home charging station is to move electric current to the car batteries without damaging the batteries in the process.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding on a charging station for your EV car.
Before we delve into what to look at when installing a charging station at home, it is helpful to know some basic definitions. They will help you decide on the one you would like to buy.
Volts: When you think of volts, imagine water flowing through a pipe. If electricity were water, voltage would be the water pressure.
Amps: This is short for amperes. This measures the rate at which the electricity flows. When you read product descriptions of charging stations, information about amps will be prominent. This is because the time you must spend charging the car is a primary consideration.
Kilowatts: Simply put, kilowatts = volts x amps. Remember that all level 2 charging stations operate on 240 volts, so if you compare two 48 amp charging stations, the kilowatts will be the same.
Level 1 Charger vs. Level 2 Home Charging Station
When you use a home charging system to charge your electric car, you will be using either 120 or 240 volt power. The chargers that use 120 volts are known as level 1 chargers. If you use such a charging system, it will take you approximately 10 to 12 hours to charge your car. On the other hand, if you use a 240 volt circuit, your car batteries will be fully charged in about 5 or 6 hours.
All electric cars come with level 1 chargers. Since they are so slow to charge, most electric car owners choose to buy a level 2 charging station. However, you can plug a level 1 charger into any regular outlet in in your home, so they are convenient. Charging stations, on the other hand, use 240 volt circuits and can charge your car much faster. These circuits are the ones that power appliances like clothes dryers.
How Many Amps Should a Home Charging Station Use?
Whichever home charging station of choose, make sure you buy one that has enough power to charge your car quickly. Chances are, EV cars will accept more powerful chargers in the future. Consequently, you should consider buying the most powerful unit you can. Don’t worry about over-charging you car. The car’s mechanism determines how much of a charge the vehicle can accept. So, even if you car only accepts 16 amps, you can safely use one that provides 40 or more amps without damaging the car.
Plugin or Hardwired?
You can buy chargers that are either hard-wired to you home’s power supply, and that require an electrician to remove. Or, you can buy the kind the plug in to an existing outlet. When considering which one of these to buy, you should think about several factors, such as whether you would like to take the charger with you to a different location, and whether you would mind paying for an electrician to install a hard-wired version. With the hardwired option, you won’t need to install a junction box. You might have to go with this option if you install your charging station outdoors.
Home Charging Station Safety
Safety is always paramount. If you don’t have a garage, you will need to install your charging station outdoors. Ideally, your home EV charging station should have a NEMA 4 rating for outdoor use. If you install an outdoor charging station, make sure the connector is protected from the elements at all times.
The Juicebox Pro 40 Smart EV Charging Station
The Juicebox Pro 40 is one of the best level 2 charging stations we have found. You can buy either the 32 or the 40 amp model. Both models are hardwired. It is UL listed and is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. With smart technology that is second to none, you will be in control of all aspects of charging. Control things like charge scheduling and energy metering. Receive notifications and know exactly when a charge is complete with LED light indicators. This charging station comes with Amazon Echo/Alexa voice controls.
This charging comes with a 24 foot cable, so you won’t be tied down. In addition, it comes with a J1772 plug that makes it completely safe for outdoor use.
You will also get:
- Real-time and historical charging data, either on Juicebox’s website, or through an app on your smart device.
- Full control over time of charge, amperage etc.
- Notifications at the beginning and end of charge. In addition, you will know when the unit is offline, back online and fully charged.
- Option to change 40 amps to 30 amps max output and avoid tripped circuit breakers.
Siemens US2 VersiCharge Universal
Now, you no longer have to decide between a hardwired and plug-in charging station. The Siemans US2 VersiCharge can do both! This charging station uses 30 amps, which means you will charge your car 4 times faster than with a level 1 charger! It comes with a 20 foot cable and a NEMA 6-50 plug. Consequently, you can plug this into any dryer outlet. It comes with a 3 year warranty and is built to last!
Customers report that, even when hardwired, this unit is very easy to install:
- Remove the front panel from your breaker box
- Install 40 Amp breaker in off position.
- Make a hole for dryer plug box and receptacle beneath you breaker box
- Put the junction box in the hole.
- Attach the junction box to the stud.
- Attach two wires to the new breaker.
- Add a copper ground wire to the ground bar.
- Remove one of the plugs on the bottom of the breaker box
- Put your three wires through the hole and into the junction box
- Attach wire to the dryer plug
- Screw the plug into the box.
- Install the faceplate on your plug.
- Mount you charging station bracket on the stud. You should ensure that it will reach the plug.
- Hang charger on bracket and secure it with the screw.
- Turn the breaker to the on position.
- Plug the charger into the dryer outlet.