If you have a plug-in vehicle, you may want to explore your options in home car-charging stations. While these are not mandatory purchases, there are benefits to owning one for your plug-in car. With the onslaught of electric vehicle purchases in recent years, more manufacturers are making car-charging stations suitable for home purchase and installation.
Many plug-in vehicles can charge successfully from a standard 110-volt wall plug, known as “level 1 charging.” However, a major drawback of this loading option is the time it will take to charge your vehicle. Depending on the battery level Wallboxen and the size of the battery, loading may take as little as eight hours and as much as 20 hours from a wall outlet. Replenishing from car-charging stations is known as “level 2 charging.” This level of loading will occur two to four times faster than from a wall outlet, which can give you much more flexibility with your vehicle. Anyone who uses a plug-in vehicle regularly should plan on purchasing a station to ensure that your vehicle is ready to go whenever you need it.
It helps to know what features you may need. The configuration of your garage, the schedule you typically keep for loading, and your household electrical service should be factors in your purchase decision. Someone who charges a vehicle overnight may have different loading needs than someone who charges in an ongoing fashion with every pit stop in the driveway.
An electrician experienced with car-charging stations is of paramount importance for this project. The electrician can offer advice about household amperage needed to support the system, circuit breakers to purchase, and installation location for optimal convenience and reasonable installation costs. It’s also common to make upgrades to a home’s electrical wiring to handle the increased load from the electric automobile.
You may need to get a special permit to operate certain charging apparatus at your home. To apply for a permit, submit documentation to your local municipality for review. You may need to visit the office in person, or you might be able to apply for the permit online. Expect to pay a fee for the permit. It’s also likely that the local municipality performs inspections of all car-charging stations within its jurisdiction. Once you have your equipment installed, schedule the inspection. A building inspector will check the location of the installation, any upgrades you have made to your electrical system, and any modifications you have made to the structure of your garage. As long as the equipment and modifications fall within local Wallboxen codes, you should receive your permit without problem.
Although you will have some expense and effort involved in this installation, most electric car owners who use their cars frequently find it a worthwhile endeavor.