With electric cars becoming more popular, a lot of Winnipeggers are looking to install an electric car charger, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). In this article, we’ll try to cover everything you need to know for installing a charging station for your electric vehicle.
Keep in mind that you would still need a Winnipeg electrician to come out to your property to give you a proper quote.
Because Winnipeg is still not yet fully adaptive of electric car technology (at the time of writing this, anyways), it’s wise to probably get two or three quotes to compare not only prices but also what each Winnipeg electrical contractor puts into the job such as placement and safety. Likewise, you can always talk to someone in the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.
It’s not a bad idea either, from a statistical standpoint, to let Manitoba Hydro know that you’re installing a charging station.
The first thing to recognize is that the electrical requirements for your electric car charging station are similar to that of a stove or clothes dryer – 240 Volts/30 Amps.
However, there are essentially three levels of charging power at the moment:
Level 1 – 120 V AC
Level 2 – 208 to 240 V AC
DC fast charging system – 400+ V DC
While you could, in theory, just use your existing plugs at home, there are some questions you need to answer first.
Is there an outlet available that’s on its own circuit? If not, there’s a very high chance it won’t be able to handle the charge if it’s not its own dedicated circuit.
Assuming that you have an outlet that’s on its own circuit, is it enough for how much you drive? Are you always on the go, or is your routine fairly…routine? Can you go 12 hours or more without driving to its fullest capacity?
Is your home already on the brink? Perhaps you live in a home with a lower amperage breaker panel. If this is the case, you might want to look into replacing or upgrading your breaker panel.
If you do go for the Level 2 ESVE, which is the most popular, consider that it uses 30 amps but there should be capacity for an extra 10 amps, which means you require a dedicated 40 amp breaker.
Where you locate the EVSE is another factor. Do you have to make any alterations to the garage infrastructure to accommodate the charging station?
Most chargers come with a 20 foot to 25 foot cord. Make sure it’s somewhere accessible, and if outside it doesn’t interfere with snow clearing.
Plug-in stations connect to a dryer plug (aka NEMA outlet). Every station specifically requires a specific NEMA outlet. Make sure the NEMA outlet is compatible with whichever charger you get.
The last major factor of how much it’ll cost you to install a electric car charging station in your home is the charger itself.
For more basic models, you can find some around the $750-$1000 range.
For models that include Smart Technology in addition to upgraded features, you’re looking at $1000 to $1500.