There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for home EV charging equipment for your electric vehicle. You certainly want to make sure you’re buying a unit from a reputable company, that the unit is safety certified, has a good warranty, and is built to last many years.
However, one of the most important considerations is: How powerful of a charging station do you need? Most battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) available today can accept between 40 to 48-amps while charging from a level 2, 240-volt source. However, there are charging stations available today that can deliver more power, and some that can deliver far less, so deciding how many amps you need for your EV charger might seem a little confusing.
Common EV charging terms
There are four main questions you should consider before purchasing your home EV charging equipment.
How much power can your EV accept?
Electric vehicles are limited to accepting a certain amount of electricity which will be listed in either amperage (amps) or kilowatt (kW). All EVs have onboard chargers, which convert the electricity they receive in the form of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) which is how it is stored in the vehicle’s battery.
The power of the onboard charger dictates how much AC power the vehicle can accept. Some EVs have more powerful onboard chargers than others, and they range in power from 16-amps (3.7 kW) up to 80-amps (19.2kW). Therefore, the first thing you need to consider is how much power can your EV accept.
How many miles do you usually drive?
Most Americans drive about 40 miles per day. With home EV charging, you only need to replenish the miles you drove that day because you can plug in every night when you arrive home. Therefore, it’s a good idea to know what your daily and weekly driving needs are, because you can probably get by just fine with a home charger that delivers much less power than your EV is capable of accepting.
If you do use a lower-powered home charger and occasionally need more range for a long trip, you can access public DC fast chargers to rapidly charge up for the long drive.
How much power is available at your home?
Your home has a limited supply of electricity, and you may not have enough available power to install a high-powered dedicated circuit for the EV charger without an expensive service upgrade.
You should always have an electrician perform a load calculation of your service before purchasing your EV, so you know if you can install a home charger, and if so, what is the maximum amperage it can deliver.
What is your EV charger budget?
Besides the cost of any possible electric service upgrades, you may need to install the dedicated EV charging circuit, you also need to consider the cost of the charger. Electric vehicle charging equipment can cost as little as $200, and it can also cost up to $2,000, depending on how powerful the unit is and what features it offers.
You should decide what you can and are willing to pay for the charger and installation before searching for a charger. Talk to your electrician about the difference in cost to install the charger based on how many amps it will deliver.
Lower-powered chargers should cost less to install because the thinner wire as well as the less-powerful circuit breaker will cost less than what is required for higher-powered chargers.
EV charging circuits and miles added
Eye on the future
While you may be just getting your first electric vehicle, it surely won’t be your last. The entire industry is in the early years of transitioning to EVs while internal combustion is being phased out. Therefore, it makes sense to consider down the road when you may have two EVs in the garage.
If you have the budget to install a high-powered circuit for charging now, it’s probably the right decision, even if your current EV cannot accept all the power the circuit can deliver. In a few years, you may need to charge two EVs at once, and the single high-powered circuit can power two EV chargers, and ultimately save you the expense of installing a second, lower-powered circuit.
So check out the video and let us know if you have any questions about your home EV charging needs. Leave your comments and questions in the comment section below and we’ll try to answer them.
Source: State Of Charge
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