How To Install EV Charger At Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

how to install ev charger at home

Do you know the UK has over 1,000,000 completely-electric vehicles (and approximately 620,000 plug-in hybrids!) running on its roads?

It’s excellent for the environment and vehicle owners struggling with gas expenses. However, one problem is the scarcity and unequal distribution of EV charging stations in the country. Considering how rapidly the usage of EVs is increasing, the UK skill needs thousands of EV charging stations to power its vehicles.

As a result, if you are an EV owner, the thoughts of, “Where do I charge my car?” or “What if I ran out of battery?” can become real-life concerns, primarily if you don’t reside in a significant city or populated area.

In this scenario, investing in a home charging solution is the best way to ensure your EV always has sufficient charge. Home charging stations are much more convenient and cost-effective in the long term and provide the necessary peace of mind.

Thus, we present a step-by-step guide on installing a home EV charger in today’s blog. We also introduce you to different types of EV chargers for home use, the features to look for, safety concerns, and more.

So, if you are an EV owner eager to skip the charging line, continue reading!

Different Types of EV Chargers for Home

Similar to phone charging cables, vehicle chargers and charging cables have a few variants.

Electric vehicles mainly have two charging options: Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. The type of connector you need depends on your car and the power rating or speed of the charge point you require.

Here, we explain both options to help determine which one may suit your vehicle.

Level 1 EV charger:

Level 1 chargers for electric vehicles are among the simplest and most cost-effective choices. One end of the cable plug goes into the car’s charge port, while the other can go into any ordinary 120 V outlet.

Most electric vehicle packages come with a Level 1 charger, reducing the additional cost of purchasing it separately. Also, most homes already have a 120 V outlet for powering their television and toasters, making your home EV charger installation process much simpler.

However, be aware that Level 1 chargers are among the slowest EV chargers. They charge a vehicle at an approximate rate of 2 to 5 miles per hour. For short trips (ranging from 40 to 60 miles), you must keep your car on charge for eight to 12 hours. If you are making longer trips, it can take 24 to 36 hours to bring the battery to a comfortable level of charge.

Level 2 EV charger:

Contrary to the Level 1 EV charger, the residential EV charger installation process for Level 2 chargers can be demanding and costly.

One end of these chargers plug into the electric vehicle’s charge port, while the other uses an EVSE wall station to transfer the power. The EVSE attaches itself to a 240/208 V outlet to get the power. However, in some cases, you can notice the other end of the cord plugging directly into the 240 V outlets, eliminating the wall station.

Furthermore, Level 2 chargers charge at a rate of around 10 to 29 miles per hour. Considering most electrical vehicles have a median range of around 250 miles, charging your car for 10 hours on a Level 2 charger will give it sufficient power for most trips.

Moreover, most electric vehicles use J-plug or J1172 for Level 2 charging, which you may need to purchase separately. To set up the charging station, you may also need to buy a hardwired electrical connection or a NEMA 14-50 outlet on a dedicated circuit.

Configuring and installing the Level 2 charger involves more work and expense. However, considering it can add around 10 to 60 miles of driving range hourly, the investment is worth it.
If you own an electric vehicle (EV) and have quick charging facilities at home or have more than one EV, a Level 2 charger might be the best option.

What about a Level 3 fast charger?

The Level 3 EV chargers are among the fastest charging solutions for electric vehicles.

These fast chargers use 480 V to charge up electric vehicles at an impressive rate. It can power up a nearly depleted battery in 30 minutes.

However, they are unsuitable for installing a home electric car charger. You will likely notice these superchargers at commercial sites like highway stops and public places like shopping plazas, car dealerships, and corporate office parks.

Can I Install A Home EV Charger, Or Should I Consult Professionals?

If you plan to install a Level 1 electric vehicle charger that pairs well with your existing outlets, you can do it yourself. Simply follow an adequate EV home charger installation guide. The process will be as easy as attaching the unit to a stud and plugging the cord into the outlet.

However, if you wish to invest in a Level 2 charging solution or need to have your unit hardwired, relocated or newly installed, consider hiring professionals to confirm whether your home’s infrastructure can support the project.

Installing electric vehicle charging points can be a complex procedure. Even the slightest error can lead to faults and unfortunate accidents. Avoid trying to do it yourself unless you already have the set-up at home or have experience installing EV charging solutions.

Hiring a certified installer might appear expensive up front, but it will be much more beneficial in the long run. For the most affordable option, consider Affordable EV Charging Solutions. We offer the cheapest home EV charger installation, so you can enjoy the benefits of electric driving without breaking the bank.

Reputed EV charging solution providers typically have the tools, experience, and expertise to install your charging safely while complying with applicable codes, laws, and regulations.

In addition, professional services often come with quality warranties and ongoing support for maintenance and repairs. If you face any issues with the installation process or the product, you have a support team to refer to. Plus, working with the correct professionals can help you save money in the long run, as the health of your charging station will always be in knowledgeable hands.

How To Install An EV Charger At Home? (Step by step process)

Now that you know the different types of home EV chargers, let’s jump into our installation guide.

Firstly, if you use a Level 1 EV charger, you can connect the cord from the package to a 120 V wall outlet. There are little to no complexities involved with installing Level 1 EV charging solutions. Depending on your precise location, you may or may not even need legal permission for the project.

Still, we recommend checking the outlet with a professional installer before moving forward.

However, if you wish to install a more powerful charging solution, such as Level 2 EV chargers, you must hire a professional and follow a set of guidelines.

To help you plan the installation process, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to install a home EV charger:

Step 1: Determine what type of EV charger fits your needs

Assess your daily driving patterns and the capabilities of your vehicle to select the correct charger for your EV. As mentioned, you can use the Level 1 charger if you seek cost-effective ways to keep the vehicle’s battery full and comfortable with overnight charging.

On the other hand, if your driving pattern and lifestyle demand a fast charger and you have the budget, go with the Level 2 electric vehicle charger. These high-power chargers can be expensive but excellent at quickly powering electric vehicles.

Another point to consider here is charger-vehicle compatibility. Different electric vehicles may require distinct connectors for charging. Hence, ensuring the charger pairs well with your car is essential. Additionally, we recommend looking out for some crucial EV charger features, such as monitoring capabilities, scheduling options and smart connectivity.

Step 2: Get all the necessary permits

Depending on where you reside and the regulations in your locality, you may require permits to execute the steps to install an EV charger at home. In the UK, most electric car owners can install a charging station without permits unless

  • The installation is close to the highway
  • In a listed building
  • Over 0.2 cubic metres (in case of wall-mounted chargers) and over 1.6 metres tall (in case of ground-mounted)

Additionally, if you live in a rental home, you may need permission from your landlord to install an EV charging station. You shall have a designated parking space for vehicles, such as a private garage, driveway and off-street parking.

Furthermore, ensure the entire installation process adheres to your locality’s electricity safety requirements, including proper insulation and grounding. Some local authorities require the submission of building permit applications and construction inspections. Hence, connect with your local building to understand the applicable regulations.

Step 3: Select an appropriate location

No matter how dedicatedly you follow a home EV charger installation guide, if the location you choose is unsuitable, you must redo everything.

Hence, be mindful when picking a designated area for your electric vehicle charging solution.

Make sure the location is favourable for installing the charging station by assessing factors like –

  • Accessibility
  • Proximity to the vehicle parking space and electric panel
  • Protective measures for the charging station, such as weatherproofing the area
  • Flexibility for vehicle changes
  • Cable management

Ideally, the charging device should be as close to the parking space as possible for easy cable connection. Also, the charging station should be at an adequate height above the ground for safety reasons. It should be protected against dust, rain, and other environmental elements.

Step 4: Check electrical capacity and upgrade if necessary

Before researching installing an EV charging station at home, you must confirm that your home or building can support the charger’s power requirements.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, an average EV requires 3.3 kilowatts to 19.2 kilowatts when charging. Hence, consider contacting a professional electrician to inspect your home’s electrical panel. If needed, upgrade the panel to accommodate the charger. You can do this by installing a dedicated circuit solely for the EV charger or increasing the amperage.

Step 5: Prepare the wall surface and mark the position

Once you have purchased the electric charger and selected a designated location, begin the residential EV charger installation process.

Start by cleaning the wall surface where you wish to install the charger. Then, stick and position the reference paper on the wall with adhesive or tape. Ensure it sits at a level in line with the charger’s requirements and dimensions.

After attaching the paper, mark the hole positions on the wall with a marker or pencil. Make sure the EV charger’s backplate mounting points and the marked holes align.

Step 6: Drill holes and install anchors or bolts

Use a drill to make holes into the wall at the marked positions. The size of the drill should match the diameter of the anchors or bolts you will use for the home EV charger installation process.

Then, all you have to do is hammer the bolts and anchors into the holes. However, be careful not to mix up the anchors or bolts of different points, considering they can have various sizes and types.

Step 7: Install the backplate and mount the electric vehicle charger

It is a crucial step since even the tiniest error can damage the EV charger. Hence, take your next steps carefully.

Begin with removing the reference paper from the wall and positioning the backplate of the charger on the anchors or bolts. Use screws or appropriate fasteners to secure the backplate before mounting the EV charger.

When installing the EV charger, ensure it aligns with the mounting points. For effective locking mechanisms, we recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 8: Route the cable and establish the electrical connection

The power code should be away from any heat sources and sharp objects to avoid damage to the insulation of the wires. Additionally, route the power cord neatly without blocking passages and avoiding safety hazards.

Furthermore, when establishing the electrical connection, following the manufacturer’s guide on installing an EV charger at home is essential. You may require a 240 V circuit breaker or AWG cables to connect the circuit breaker.

For these steps, it’s best to partner with an experienced electrician or your charging station seller.

Also, take the necessary steps to ensure safety and compliance with local electrical codes during the process.

Step 9: Testing and check-up

While the professionals are still by your side, test your home EV charging station to ensure everything functions adequately. Familiarise yourself with the settings and configuration of the electric vehicle charger and perform a trial charge to verify that it’s doing its job.

If you encounter any defects or issues in the surrounding area, address them immediately. After finishing the residential EV charger installation process, clean up the area and double-check all the connections to guarantee safe use.

Factors To Consider For Safety

A home electric vehicle charging station should not possess any safety hazards if correctly installed.

The trouble arises when homeowners need to realise just how energy-intensive these charging stations are.

A home EV charger installation process can draw much more energy supply than other household appliances. For comparison, plugging in an electric vehicle charger to a standard outlet can draw approximately 2,300 watts, while the average microwave uses around 1,000 W and a laptop takes about 50 W.

Using incorrect installation methods or faulty charging equipment can be dangerous. The high load can strain the electrical circuit and create a fire hazard.

So, what measures can you take to ensure your steps to install an EV charger at home are safe?

Here are a few safety considerations from our experts to guide you:

1. Please choose the correct equipment and accurately install it.

Ensure the charging device you choose for the vehicle is compatible with the car and your home’s powering capabilities. Also, hire credible professionals for proper installation, mainly if you invest in a Level 2 charger.

2. Charge during off-peak hours and monitor the charging sessions:

Schedule your charging sessions during off-peak hours, such as early or late at night. It will help reduce the strain on your electrical grid and utilise lower electricity rates. Furthermore, take notes of the charging rate and completion time. If you notice any abnormalities, contact the professionals.

3. Maintain proper ventilation:

The charging area should have adequate ventilation to reduce the heat generated during charging. It should also be clear of flammable materials and moisture damage. Remember to unplug the charger after powering up the vehicle.

4. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines:

Most reputed EV charger manufacturers offer instructions on using the charging equipment for best safety practices. We recommend following these instructions carefully. Moreover, ensure the charging device is certified and thoroughly tested before purchasing.

5. Use dedicated outlets:

Whether you are using a Level 1 charger or a Level 2 charger, we recommend using dedicated outlets to handle the designated amperage.

6. Consider installing a Residual Current Device or RCD:

Experts suggest installing a ground fault circuit interrupter or RCD alongside the charging unit to identify faults and safeguard against electrical and fire hazards.

7. Keep it out of reach of children:

If you have pets or children at home, ensure the charging connector and cables are away from their reach to prevent damage and accidents.

8. Follow the vehicle’s maintenance guide:

Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal safety and performance. Also, take advantage of smart charging features for effective energy management.

9. Protect the charging station outlet:

Consider using protective covers to protect the charging device from dust and water. Also, ensure the EV charger is within 15 to 20 feet of the vehicle’s charge port. The charger should be at least 18 inches off the floor and within the range of your home’s Wi-Fi network.

10. Avoid charging to the max:

Avoid charging your EV’s battery to the maximum capacity. Otherwise, it can strain the battery pack over time. Instead, you can charge it to a slightly lower level, around 80% to 90%, to cover your daily commute.

What Features To Look For In A Home EV Charger?

Once you have familiarised yourself with how to install a home EV charger and determined what type of charger you need, take a closer look at the basic features of an electric vehicle charger.

The incorporation or absence of these features can significantly impact the functionality and safety of your electric vehicle chargers.

Hence, be sure to make a mental note of these points:

A cord, at least 20 feet

A long cord allows flexibility to charge the vehicle in the parking spot or outside. If you plan to purchase another plug-in car, you can use the same port to charge both vehicles in different spots.

Certification

As previously mentioned, purchasing charging stations that have undergone proper tests is crucial to ensure they meet industry and safety standards. Untested chargers can cost less upfront, but they can pose serious safety hazards.

Wi-Fi connectivity

If you are keen on using the data and controls offered by smart chargers, Wi-Fi connectivity features can be beneficial. It will allow you to use cheaper electricity rates during off-peak hours.

The right amount of power

Charging stations use kilowatts to measure their power output. Before purchasing a charger, ensure its power output matches your vehicle’s requirements. Below is a brief guide to comprehending the charger’s power output.

  • 3.6kW: These offer the slowest range of speed, ideal for plug-in hybrid cars
  • 7kW: The 7kW EV home chargers are a popular option for overnight charging
  • 22kW: The 22kW EV home chargers are the fastest home charger that requires a three-phase electricity supply

Untethered or tethered

Determine whether you want a tethered or untethered charger. Tethered charges come with permanent cables attached to the charging unit, while untethered EV chargers require separate charging cables.

Compatibility with solar panels

You can enhance the environment-friendliness of your electric vehicle by using renewable energy to power it. Many EV chargers these days pair seamlessly with solar and wind energy providers. Hence, remember to look for this additional feature.

What KW Is Best For Home EV Charging?

A critical step of your home EV charger installation process is confirming the ideal kilowatts for your vehicle. As previously mentioned, the 3.6kW is the slowest option you have. Considering most drivers leave their electric vehicle to charge overnight, it can be a good charger option for some.

However, most experts recommend the 9.6kW for drivers since it can add approximately 18 to 29 miles per hour of charge for a midsize vehicle. 11.5 kilowatts is nice to have if you are seeking fast charging, and you should stay within 7.2 kilowatts for daily commutes.

For the longevity of your EV’s battery, we recommend keeping the charge between 30 to 80 per cent.

Furthermore, if you want a more precise number on how high you can go with the charger’s kW, learn about the maximum power your EV can accept. Next, work with a professional to figure out what your home and budget can support.

Benefits of EV Charging At Home

As more and more car owners swap out their standard models for smart electric vehicles, the queue at public charging stations will only grow longer.

However, there are other reasons for installing a home electric car charger. An EV home charger offers many benefits to electric vehicle owners, from convenience to cost savings.

Let’s look at them to comprehend the rise in the EV home charger market.

1. Convenience:

A home EV charger offers significant convenience to vehicle owners, including readily available charging points, overnight charging facility, reduced reliance on public stations, and no waiting in long lines.

2. Cost savings:

Although the initial investment in installing an EV charger for homes may seem high, it can save substantial costs over time. With a home charger, you can charge during off-peak hours and take advantage of potential incentives with some charger installations.

3. Fast charging:

With a Level 2 charger with good kilowatts, you can easily power your electric vehicle without wasting hours or waiting in lines. It is particularly beneficial for EV owners with daily commute requirements.

4. Increased range confidence:

Your home charger will give you the peace of mind and confidence to cover long ranges with the EV. Since you can recharge the vehicle anytime, you don’t have to stress about running out of power.

5. Environmental benefits:

As previously mentioned, you can reduce your carbon footprint by using solar or wind energy to power your electric vehicle. This can be more rewarding for both you and the environment.

How Much Does It Cost To Install EV Charger At Home?

Knowing what type of charger you purchase and the professionals you are working with is the only way to estimate the precise cost of a residential EV charger installation.

But to give you a ballpark figure, the average cost of installing an electric car charger can be nearly £1,000, including the cost of trenching and labour. Fortunately, you can get up to 75% discounts based on applicable government grants.

Lastly, the power of your electric vehicle charger will be the most significant factor affecting the cost. Typically, 3kW electric car chargers are the cheapest, costing around £250 – £500 on average. The 7kW can be more expensive, with an average price range between £450 and £800.

Fuel Your EV With The Safe And Eco-Friendly EV Chargers By Affordable EV Charging Solutions!

Now that you have our guide on installing an EV charger at home, you can confidently start shopping for the correct electric vehicle.

Installing home charging stations can be a demanding process. Like any other home improvement project, you may have to deal with flaky contractors, unexpected costs and ambiguous information.

Our blog will help you avoid these issues. Affordable EV Charging Solutions has also brought you efficient smart EV charging solutions that integrate advanced technologies to utilise renewable energy for charging.

We can help you maximise your vehicle’s environmental benefits while reducing electricity costs. So, contact us today!

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