All-in-One Guide to EV Charger Electrical Requirements and Installation
As electric vehicles become more common, it’s more and more likely that you’ll have one in your lifetime. Atlanta has plenty of public vehicle chargers to choose from on the go, but how do you keep your car charged and ready while you’re home?
Can You Charge an EV with a Regular Outlet?
Yes, if your car or truck comes equipped with a standard 110-volt charge cord that fits your vehicle’s charge port, you can plug it into a standard wall outlet for a charge—but it’s painfully slow. This is called a Level 1 charger and is the slowest available option. Charging electric vehicles from a Level 1 charger takes many hours.
Most EV owners opt to install a Level 2 charger in their garage or carport. This allows them to fully charge their vehicle overnight, waking to a full battery each morning. It’s an incredible convenience that most homeowners with EVs do not want to live without.
EV Charger Installation Requirements
For Level 2 home charging, you need to purchase a Level 2 charger—rebates may be available from your utility and the federal government—and have a 220-volt circuit (like the kind used by your electric stove and dryer) installed in your garage.
It’s also necessary to confirm with a professional electrician that your electric panel can accommodate the new circuit. If an electric panel upgrade is required, your electrician can perform that upgrade—federal rebates or tax credits may be available to partially or even wholly cover that expense.
Your Mister Sparky of Atlanta electrician will also be able to recommend a charger for purchase that will suit your vehicle and be compatible with your home’s electricity setup and then perform a professional home EV charger installation, turning your garage or carport into your own personal “gas” station.
Level 2 charging is faster and more power-intensive. An inspection from an electrician can tell you whether your home has a high enough power capacity for EV charger installation. If your home’s capacity is too low, schedule an electrician to install extra circuits, increasing your home’s capacity.
EV Charger Electrical Requirements
A Level 2 residential electric vehicle charging outlet requires more dedicated power than some homes have available without electrical modifications. The 220-volt outlet operates around 30 amps, producing 7.2 kilowatts (kW) of power. According to requirements from the National Electric Code, a Level 2 charger needs a dedicated 40-amp circuit.
You may also opt for a solar charging station for electric vehicles, taking advantage of the abundant Atlanta sun. Charging your vehicle with solar power from your rooftop array will keep your electric bills low and virtually eliminate your car’s already low carbon footprint.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Vehicle?
A Level 1 charger (a standard 110-volt outlet) restores 3-5 miles of electric driving range for every hour of charging. A Level 2 charger can put around 25 miles of driving range on your EV battery per hour. Level 3 chargers—the DC fast chargers you find at public charging stations—charge 100-200 miles per hour, but they’re not available to residential electric customers.
Charging times may vary, based on the equipment you use and your home’s electrical output.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle?
On average, electricity in Atlanta costs about 16¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is well under the national average. Let’s say your vehicle takes 37 kWh to travel 100 miles, which is on the high end for most EVs. With a battery that can hold a 200-mile charge, your car would only take $11.84 to recharge from empty on your home charger.
An internal combustion car that gets 25 miles per gallon would need eight gallons of gas to go 200 miles. At $3.50 per gallon, it would cost $28 to travel the distance with a gas-powered car, or more than double the cost of charging the EV.
Call Us for Professional Atlanta EV Charger Installation at Your Home
When you’re ready to get your first electric vehicle and enjoy the savings and convenience it affords, the skilled electricians at Mister Sparky of Atlanta can inspect your current electrical system to ensure compatibility, help you choose the right charger for your home and deliver a professional installation. Call us at (770) 824-9592 or book an appointment online.