If you see an electric vehicle (EV) in your future, there are some things you can do to lower the costs of installing a home charging station.
To get the best value from your charger, you’ll need what’s known as a Level 2 charging station. That’s a 240-volt device that gives enough power to fully charge your EV in a matter of a few hours. It lets you charge at home later in the day (or overnight) when electricity rates are lowest. It also delivers enough energy to do a partial charge quickly for shorter-range driving.
What You’ll Need and How to Save
Like most high-voltage applications in your home, Level 2 EV chargers need a dedicated 240-volt circuit and one that delivers at least 40 amps of current. If you’ve bought a new home in a major city, you’re probably lucky. Over the last few years, most Colorado cities amended their building codes to require provisions for EV chargers in new single-family and certain other residential buildings. They don’t require installation of the chargers themselves, only running conduit for the wiring and termination points at the service panel and outlet so the wiring and connections can be added. But since running the conduit after construction can be expensive and disruptive, that can amount to considerable savings.
If you’re not so fortunate, there are still ways to save, especially if you’re considering a remodel, an addition, or adding backup power such as solar or a gas-fired generator. Each of these projects will likely involve electrical work (and probably a new subpanel), so you can save money by having the EV work done at the same time.
More Ways to Save
Give thought to where to locate your charger. Will it let you reach your vehicle easily? Different EVs connect at different places, so be sure the connection is easy to reach.
Will you want to charge more than one EV? Again, that’s a consideration for locating the charging station and how much current to supply.
How far is the station from its main electrical source? The farther wiring is run, the more it costs. An electrical contractor can help you and your other contractors choose the best solution for both economy and convenience.
Different electric vehicles may require different charging connections. Again, a licensed electrical contractor experienced in installing EV chargers can advise you on your best options.
Your Bottom Line
Electric vehicles offer some attractive features and benefits for many drivers. Careful research and planning will help you make the decisions that are right for you.
Allstar Electrical Services has installed dozens of EV charging stations in homes, parking garages, and at businesses with multiple EV fleets. We’ve helped Coloradans increase efficiency while adding comfort and convenience to their homes and businesses for over 20 years.
For advice and an estimate on installing a home EV charger or to learn more about the many ways upgraded electric services and emerging technologies can improve your home or business, schedule an appointment our website or give us a call at 303.399.7420.