As the number of electric vehicles on the road continues to increase, access to charging systems has also grown substantially. Being the owner of a plug-in electric vehicle has become even easier, especially with the convenience of home charging.
If you own or are considering purchasing an electric vehicle, selecting the right charging station to charge your car at home is an important decision. There are major considerations to take into account when choosing a home charger. Do you want a hard-wired of plug-in system? Would you want it installed inside or outside of your home? How long will you need the charging cable to be?
For ease of use, a charging station like the new Bosch Power Max 2 offers Wi-Fi connectivity, USB data storage and power metering as well as an on/off switch to save energy when not in use.
Where should I start?
The first thing you should do is make sure you understand the level of charging necessary for your car. Home chargers typically come in two categories, Level 1 (110 V) and Level 2 (240 V). In terms of incremental charging, Level 1 chargers provide 3-4 miles of charge per hour and Level 2 chargers provide 12-30 miles of charge per hour, nearly four times faster on average.
A key factor is whether or not the charging station will be able to fully charge your car overnight or faster. Level 2 charging stations vary in amperages typically ranging from 16 to 40 amps. Level 2 stations will charge your vehicle faster than Level 1, but there is a limit as some vehicles have a maximum amperage they’ll accept. This means you’ll need to know the maximum amperage of your car.
What is my car’s maximum amperage?
The amperage is the level of electric current at which your vehicle charges. Electric vehicles cannot accept a charge in excess of what they are capable of receiving. To determine your car’s amperage, review the owner’s manual for your vehicle and look for a charging station that supports that current.
What amperage station do I need?
After you have determined the level of charge your vehicle can take, you will need to match your charge station amperage with the maximum amperage of the vehicle. For example, if your vehicle can take a max of 16 amps, then a 40-amp station is more than your vehicle requires.
Selecting a station with greater amperage than your current vehicle can accept is called future proofing, which means that the charging station you choose now will still be compatible with your future EVs down the road.
How much electrical capacity do I have in my home?
Once you have narrowed down the type of charging station you need, you’ll need to confirm that your house has either a 110-volt or a 240-volt breaker, which are the required capacities for a level 1 and level 2 home charging system, respectively. If you are unsure or unable to determine the electrical capacity in your home, refer to an experienced electrician.
Does location matter when installing my charging station?
You’ll want to install it in the location that is most convenient to charge your vehicle. For outside installation, ensure your charging station has a weather-resistant NEMA 3R rating at minimum. Some units offer 18- or 25- foot cable lengths, so consider how far you’ll need to extend the cable in advance. There’s a good possibility an electrician will have to run conduit depending upon placement, and the longer length will raise the installation cost. Convenience is key because you’ll plug in your car each night to charge.
What features are important when buying a charger?
Charging stations on the market offer a variety of options. The most important features to consider include cord length, weather resistance for indoor/outdoor use, network connectivity and weight.
Movable and permanently mounted home stations charge at the same rate, so selecting one depends on your personal preference. Movable units such as the Bosch Power Max 2 provide more flexibility, so if the time comes when you move, embark on a road trip, or decide to relocate your EVSE, you can take it with you.
I’m ready to install my ESVE charger. Now what?
Once you find the charging station that suits your personal needs, contact an experienced electrician for installation. You will need a dedicated circuit for your charging equipment. Your EVSE supplier or car dealer may be able to recommend a qualified electrician if you need assistance.