With ever-increasing gas prices, electric vehicles are becoming not only the green option, but the budget friendly option too. With manufacturers from Tesla, to Ford and VW all introducing electrical vehicles to their line ups, owning an electric vehicle has never been more convenient. While there are plenty of public charging stations available, nothing can beat the convenience of having a vehicle charging station at home.
The most important factor when deciding on your charging station is knowing what connector type you will need. The North American standard for electric vehicles is the SAE J1772 socket, though some manufacturers, like Tesla, have opted for a modified SAE J1772 socket. Many charging stations only come with one socket so it may be worth your while to invest in a charging station that allows for a variety of cables and sockets to be used.
The next factor to consider when choosing your charging station is current and power. Current and power affects how quickly your car can be charged. In Florida there are two levels of Home EV chargers. Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 charges will come free with your vehicle and does not require any modification to your home to use, as it is designed to be used with your standard 120-volt wall outlet. However, due to safety regulations, it charges your car with a lower current of 16 amps leading to longer charge times.
A Level 2 charging station runs at 240 volts of electricity and requires a professional electrician to install. It needs to run from your electrical mains to your home’s breaker box through a double pole circuit breaker and finally to the charging station. Level 2 charging stations allow you to charge your vehicle at 240 volts and a maximum of 9.6 kW and 40 amps which greatly decreases charging times.
Since a Level 1 charging station is as simple to set up as plugging in a cord, lets focus on installing a Level 2 charging station. Once you have settled on where you would like your charging station to be installed, you need to consider how you would like your charging station to be powered. Your options are 1) have the charging station powered by your electrical mains, or 2) take full advantage of the strong South Florida sun and install solar panels.
Solar panels work with electrical mains to make sure your car always has a charge. Whether you opt for a traditional inverter and deep cycle batteries, or a prebuilt system like the Tesla Powerwall, you will be able to harvest the sun’s energy and charge your car for free! After you have decided how to power your charging station the installation can begin.
Installation requires a licensed electrician who will begin by installing a double pole circuit breaker, wiring 2 hot wires to the circuit breaker, a ground wire to the ground bus bar and a final wire to the wire bus bar. Once this is completed the wires are chased to your charging location. Your electrician will make sure the wires are properly insulated and are not in harm’s way. The wires are then connected to the charger of choice. A Level 2 charging station is not a DIY job, as the high voltage nature of the work in incredibly dangerous and should only be left to an electrician.
Should you need any help in installing a vehicle charging station, of the licensed electricians at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric are happy to help you choose the ideal location and ensure a skilled installation. For all your residential electrical services, remember Art Can Fix It!
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