Calculating the cost of installing a home charger for an electric vehicle may appear time-consuming, but it is worthwhile. After all, charging your electric vehicle at home will save you both time and money. When it comes to purchasing an EV home charger, the cost of installing an EV home charger in Canada can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of charger, the electrical requirements, and the installation complexity. In this guide, we will discuss each factor in detail to help you better understand the cost of installing an EV charger at home.
Types of EV Home Charger
The type of EV charger you choose is one of the main factors that can affect the cost of installation. Currently, there are three main types of EV chargers: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.
Level 1 chargers are the slowest and least expensive of the three. They use a standard 120-volt outlet and can take up to 20 hours to fully charge an EV. These chargers are typically included with the purchase of an EV and are suitable for those who have access to a power outlet near their parking space.
Level 2 chargers are the most common type of EV home charger in Canada. They use a 240-volt outlet and can fully charge an EV in 4–8 hours. These chargers require professional installation and can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, depending on the features and complexity of the installation.
Level 3 chargers, also known as DC fast chargers, are the fastest and most expensive type of EV home charger. They use 480-volt direct current and can charge an EV up to 80% in 30 minutes. These chargers require special equipment and installation and can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000.
The charging speed is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an EV home charger. The charging speed can range from Level 1 (120 volts) to Level 3 (480 volts), with Level 2 (240 volts) being the most common for home charging.
If you have a long daily commute or frequently take long road trips, a Level 2 charger is recommended. Level 2 chargers can fully charge most EVs in 4–8 hours, but it also depends on the battery size of the EV.
Charge using a standard wall plug (level 1): 1 hour of charging for 8 kilometers of driving range
All EV models include a portable cord-set that allows you to charge using any standard household outlet. This is known as Level 1 charging, and it is the slowest charging speed, but it ensures that you can always recharge no matter where you are. If you drive a plug-in hybrid, Level 1 charging may be all you need. Most plug-in hybrids on the market can be fully recharged overnight using Level 1.
Charging with an EV Charging Station (Level 2): 30 km driving range after 1 hour of charging
The most common method of charging is referred to as Level 2, and most EV drivers will install a Level 2 charging station at their residence. Because all electric vehicles and charging stations sold in North America use the same plug standard, any vehicle can use any Level 2 station in Canada or the United States. Level 2 stations have the same electrical requirements as a clothes dryer or stove (240 Volts/30 Amps), and they can be installed by any speedcertified electrician.
Level 3 EV home chargers are not common in Canada, as Level 3 charging is usually associated with DC fast charging stations found in public charging stations. Level 3 chargers, in general, have much higher power and charging speeds than Level 2 chargers, which are more commonly used for home charging.
Factors That Affect the Cost of an EV Home Charger
The cost of an EV home charger can vary depending on several factors, including the following:
Electrical Requirements: The electrical requirements for your home can also affect the cost of installing an EV charger. For example, if your home’s electrical panel is not compatible with the charger, you may need to upgrade the panel or install a new one, which can increase the cost of installation. Additionally, the distance between the charger and the electrical panel can affect the cost of installation. The farther the charger is from the panel, the more wiring and conduit will be required, which can increase the installation cost.
Installation Complexity: The cost of installation can vary depending on the complexity of the installation. If additional electrical work or permits are required, the installation cost can increase. For example, if the installation requires additional work, such as trenching, conduit, or permits, the cost of the installation can increase. If the installation requires a new circuit or electrical panel, the installation cost can increase as well. In some cases, additional electrical work may be required to ensure the charger is installed safely and meets local codes and regulations.
Type of charger: As discussed earlier, the type of charger you choose will affect the cost. Level 1 chargers are the least expensive, while Level 3 chargers are the most expensive.
Connectivity Options: The connectivity options for a home EV charger can vary depending on the charger. Some chargers require a hardwired connection to your home’s electrical system, while others can be plugged into a standard outlet.
Features of EV charger: The features of the charger, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, smart charging, and scheduling, can also affect the cost. The more advanced features the charger has, the higher the cost.
Rebates and incentives: Rebates for home EV chargers in Canada vary by location; some electric companies also offer rebates and incentives for installing an EV home charger. The good news is that more governments, municipalities, utilities, and businesses are offering rebates to new EV drivers in their territories each year. These incentives can help offset the cost of the charger and installation. We recommend that you find out what rebates are available to you as soon as possible, because some rebates for home EV chargers are given on a first-come, first-served basis, whereas others may have a specific deadline to submit your application.
How to Choose the Right EV Home Charger in Canada
Choosing the right EV home charger can be challenging, but considering the following factors can help you make an informed decision:
Compatibility: Ensure that the charger you choose is compatible with your EV. Some chargers may not be compatible with all makes and models of EVs, so it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing a charger. In addition, some chargers may require an adapter to work with certain EVs. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s website or contact customer support for more information on compatibility.
Charging Speed: Consider the charging speed you require. If you have a long daily commute or frequently take long trips, a Level 2 or Level 3 charger may be more suitable.
Features: Determine which features are essential for your needs. If you want to schedule charging during off-peak hours, consider a charger with scheduling features.
EV Home Charger Cost: Consider the overall cost of the charger, including installation, and look up any available rebates and incentives.
In conclusion, the cost of an EV home charger can vary depending on the type of charger, features, installation, and rebates and incentives, all of which can influence the cost. However, installing a home EV charger is no more difficult or costly than installing a new 240-volt outlet for power tools today, and more electricians will gain experience installing chargers as more EVs hit the road, making them even more accessible in the future.
Just keep in mind the factors we discussed here when you install an EV home charger so that you can make an informed decision when choosing an EV home charger that best suits your needs.
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