With the popularity of electric cars on the rise, home car charging stations are becoming more popular! Particularly in the tech-hub of Bellevue and Redmond, electrical vehicles are becoming a more common sight! For electrical vehicle owners or new purchasers, having a home charger installed is the next step in their vehicle evolution. But there are questions to ask and requirements to meet when getting started. So what does it take to have one installed in your garage?
Understanding Electric Car Charging Stations
There are three levels of charging stations. Level 1 is a 120-volt charger, which is a good, inexpensive choice for hybrid car owners. For full electric cars, the most popular choice is a Level 2 charger, which is a 240-volt electric supply. L2 chargers are 3 to 10 times fast than L1 chargers, making them a great choice for homeowners. Level 3 chargers are not commonly found in households. They charge as high as 800 volts and can run up to $50,000. While they’re fast, those speeds aren’t needed for everyday driving. L1 chargers are sufficient for many homeowners, but L2 chargers are popular for the balance between speed and cost that they bring.
Installing a New Car Charging Station
Once you’ve selected a car charging station you’ll need a professional to install it. Depending on your electrical situation, a professional, licensed electrician may need to do the installation for you. After inspection, your electrician will run a conduit from your electrical panel to your new charging station. Of course, this relies on there being enough available amperage from your current electrical panel. Electrical Vehicle Charging Statements come with their own set of requirements. Among these, your circuit is required to provide 25% more amperage than your output requires. A licensed electrician can see what availability you have, and get you started on the installation process.
Maintaining Your New Car Charging Station
Fortunately, maintenance for a Level 1 or Level 2 car charging station is simple! In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy says “Since the PEV market is relatively new, little information is available about the maintenance costs or lifespan of EVSE. Regular maintenance is generally not required for Level 1 EVSE. If the EVSE is damaged due to vandalism or driving over a cord, it is more common to replace the damaged component than to try to repair it.” This is equally applicable for level 2 stations. Like with all appliances and electronics, monitor and be mindful of your energy consumption. If a problem arises, make sure to have a licensed electrician inspect and diagnose the issue!
It’s an exciting time to be on the road! Beautiful hybrid and electric cars pepper our highways and save on gasoline. If you’re ready to join the ranks of electrical vehicle owners, we hope this got you thinking about what it will take! If you’re in need of a licensed electrician, call us for a referral. We are happy to help!