Mike Sullivan, Janary 25, 2024

1. Assess your charging needs: There are two levels of home chargers – Level 1 (120V and slowest) and Level 2 (240V and faster). Level 3 (fast chargers installed at some public charging stations) are not used for home charging.

Almost all EV’s come standard with a 120 volt plug.  It plugs the car into a regular household outlet. Usually the 240 volt connector is an optional extra.  Ford F150 Lightning comes only with a 240 volt plug, so you will need to wire a plug in your garage or parking spot to charge at home.  A Plug-in Hybrid has a much smaller battery than a full-electric car, and many report not needing more than the 120 volt charger for daily recharges.  As a general rule, a 120 volt charger can add a maximum of 6 km per hour of charge.  A 240 Volt 32 Amp charger can add 30 km per hour of charge.  So a car with a 400 km range would need 13 hours to completely recharge at level 2 speeds.  People don’t generally completely deplete their vehicle, so real world recharge times are somewhat less.

 2. Know the requirements:  All EVs come with one of four kinds of plug-in receptacles on the car – J1772, ComboCCS, CHAdeMO, and Tesla. All of these receptacles can be connected to compatible Level 2 chargers. Not all can connect to Level 3 chargers – this should be checked at the time of purchase.

For home charging a few owners use a regular 120V wall plug. This is slow and there are cautions about plugging EVs into older homes lacking updated wiring. A few homeowners will need to upgrade their electrical panel before charging their EV at home.

3. Understand the mechanism: Most owners install either a 240V Level 2 receptacle (like those for clothes dryers or electric stoves), or a 240V Level 2 charger. Level 2 receptacles typically use the portable charging cords that either come with or can be purchased with many EVs. Level 2 home chargers are wall mounted, plug directly into the car, have to be compatible with the vehicle, and are not portable.

4. Find an advisor, check Ontario funding. General Motors provides funding towards the installation of EV receptacles, and uses their own installers.  They also provide both level 1 and level 2 cords as standard equipment.

5. Consider load management: If you have multiple high-demand electrical appliances in your home, consider load management solutions to ensure that your EV charging does not overload your electrical system. Plan for the future: Think about future EV purchases and whether your charging infrastructure can accommodate additional vehicles.

6. Choose a qualified contractor who can select a suitable location for the charger, considering factors like accessibility, proximity to your vehicle’s parking spot, and the distance from the electrical panel.

7. Monitor energy use: Install a separate meter or monitoring system to track your EV charging energy consumption.  Most vehicles will have some form of on-board tracking.

8. Schedule regular maintenance: Keep your EV charger in good working condition by performing routine maintenance and inspections.

Close-up of an electric car charging. Traffic lights in a blurry background” by Ivan Radic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.