LIVING WITH ELECTRICITY – ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGERS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you’re in the market to purchase an Electric Vehicle, you will need to install a dedicated outlet at home to provide power for charging.

A detached homes current electrical panel should have adequate capacity to support either a Level 1 or 2 type charger. Check your panel to see if you have 1 or 2 available circuit breaker positions remaining before consulting a qualified electrician to confirm you have the capacity.

There are two principal types of Electric Vehicle Chargers available; LEVEL 1 & LEVEL 2. TIP: You must give this choice careful consideration.

LEVEL 1 CHARGERS

These chargers require a dedicated 120/125 Volt CSA 5 – 20R outlet, rated at not less than 20 amps. The outlet must be labelled identifying its purpose. Level 1 chargers will nominally draw no more than 1400 Watts. Placing a lower added load to your panel.

  • ADVANTAGE: With the use of a conversion adaptor, you can plug in and charge just about anywhere!
  • DISADVANTAGE: Prolonged charging time.

LEVEL 2 CHARGERS

Rated at 240 Volts with a demand of up to 80 Amps. A Level 2 Charger of this type will nominally draw no more than 7.7 Kilowatts and may require a dedicated 240 Volt 40 Amp Outlet. The outlet you install must be an exact match provided with your vehicle.

  • ADVANTAGE: Speedy charging time.
  • DISADVANTAGE: Places a greater load on your panel.

BEST LOCATION FOR A CHARGER OUTLET

  • In your garage, should you have one.
  • An outdoor outlet below 2.5 meters from grade must be protected with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting breaker or device (See our last post about GFCI’s)

WHERE IN THE WORLD OUT THERE CAN I PLUG MY NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE?

  • More and more public locations have installed charging stations, most of which are free up to a certain period.
  • Most commercial chargers will work regardless if your charger is Level 1 or 2.

APARTMENT LIVING OR OTHER TYPES OF STRATA HOUSING

Consult your strata group, as Electric Vehicles are now becoming commonplace and strata councils must consider the need to provide outlets for strata owners.

Live a Safe Life!

Extra reading: B.C. Hydro Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment Guidelines

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