Everything You Need to Know About EV Chargers

  • Most people install EV chargers on their electrical panel.
  • It's important to take the guesswork out of things when it comes to choosing the right EV charger.
  • You can expect to shell out $500-900 for the average home EV charger.

Those looking to invest in an electric vehicle often have questions about EV chargers. These questions range from how fast they want to charge their EV to how much space is on the electrical panel. There’s also the question of where would you want to put your EV charger. As expected, there is the issue of safety and reliability. For those who are frugal spenders, how much money is being saved through EV chargers also comes into play. In short, there are many questions to be asked about EV chargers. Here, you will get the answers you are looking for.

Let’s start by discussing level 2 chargers. EV chargers at level 2 will all be 240V. With that said, the speed does vary and it comes down to the electrical current as well as the amperage on the charger. Charge Point notes that 32 amps is the average that EV chargers can handle. This adds roughly 25 miles RPH of charging. Outside of this, you can get a 50-amp charger for more speed. This adds about 37 miles RPH of charging. Your choice will depend on preference when it comes to speed. You’ll get a slower speed going with the average 32-amp EV charger.

When it comes to supply, you want to ensure you have enough space on your electrical panel. As mentioned above, you can get EV chargers with more than 32 amps. In order for those chargers to work, you will need to purchase a circuit breaker that’s rated at least 50 amps. That’s because, under the National Electrical Code, the circuit breaker is required to be rated 25% greater than the amperage on the electrical output of your charger. This is why it’s important to check if you have room on your electrical panel. If not, it would be wise to upgrade.

Most people install EV chargers on their electrical panel. It’s possible that you may need to pay an electrician for a conduit to run from your panel to where you’ll be charging. Another location for your charger could be close to your garage door. This is ideal if you have multiple electric vehicles. If you wish to set your charger up outdoors, you will need to get a waterproof charger. The charger will have to be rated for outdoor use. Dryer circuits typically aren’t safe for chargers. To make things easier for electricians, get a charger that can utilize a NEMA 6-50 plug. If it’s compatible with a 14-50 plug, that’s also optimal.

When you see an EV charger that is marked by the ENERGY STAR certification, that means minimal energy is being used while the charger is inactive.

It’s important to take the guesswork out of things when it comes to choosing the right EV charger. This is made easy for consumers. All you have to do is check to see if the EV charger you’re looking at is certified by a testing lab that is nationally recognized. When you see an EV charger that is marked by the ENERGY STAR certification, that means minimal energy is being used while the charger is inactive. Portable chargers could make for an unsafe experience due to all the cables and connectors that tend to lay around.

Frugal spenders might think that they’re out of luck when it comes to finding the best bang for their buck with EV chargers. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are rate plans for EV chargers available to customers in many utilities. You can also have scheduling built in, which will allow you to charge your car without the need to wait for a time that doesn’t align with your own schedule. Be on the lookout for grants and rebates as well.

Speaking of spending, let’s discuss the cost of EV chargers. You can expect to shell out $500-900 for the average home EV charger. The good news is, this is about half the amount that those without electric vehicles spend on gas in one year. To maximize your purchase, it would be wise to take the warranty option. Getting a smart charger that passes the checklist for safety is also ideal to protect your investment. You don’t want to go the cheap route unless you’re sure that you’re getting a quality product that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to safety.

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Abby Drexler

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a major in Public Relations.

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