Whether you’ve just bought a new electric vehicle or you’re looking at making your first purchase, welcome to the exciting world of EV chargers.
There are a number of different home EV chargers available, and each type has its own benefits. The key is finding the right one for you. Assessing how you plan to use your EV will help you determine the type of charger you need.
In this blog we’ll explain some of the exciting options and opportunities that lay ahead when you begin shopping for a EV charger.
EV Charging At Home: Decide on Fast or Trickle Charging for Your Vehicle
The first step to choosing an EV charger is to decide whether you want a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. Most homes already have a Level 1 charger, as outside outlets are typically 110V and can trickle charge your vehicle.
Trickle charging is slow charging of an EV, typically through a wall outlet. How long it will take depends on the vehicle and the specific charger. Level 1 chargers charge at rate between 1 - 1.5kWh. A Nissan Leaf, for example, will take about 22 hours to charge fully.
So depending on how often and how long you plan on driving each day, a Level 2 charger may make more sense.
Level 2 EV chargers are 208 or 240V. They come in a wide range of charging speeds, with most ranging between 3.3-7.4 kWh per hour. They typically charge a Leaf in four to eight hours. You can buy a Level 2 charger from the manufacturer or some electricians (like us), who will install the charger for you.
At Western Integrated Home, we prefer to work with Flo chargers. Flo is a Canadian company who offers chargers that are both high-performance and affordable. They have a wide variety in their product line, so it’s easy to find the best EV charger for you.
Do You Want a Smart Charger for More Control?
Many people don’t know this, but you can buy a smart EV charger for your home that comes with a ton of cool features.
There are several reasons why homeowners are investing in smart chargers. They gather useful data about your EV, your charging system, and overall energy consumption and relay it back to you. This gives you more control over the flow of electricity in your home.
The smart chargers we sell at Western Integrated Home let users configure settings remotely and view usage data from a secure online portal. In addition, the charger's internal software is updated automatically so new functionality can be added over time.
Look for Safety and Reliability for Consistent Performance
Investing in an EV charger should come with considerable assurances regarding safety and reliability. Before making any purchase, make sure the EV charger is CSA certified.
In the event that something goes wrong, or if you have any questions, buying an EV charger from a company that has a 24/7 support team, such as Flo, will reduce stress and provide peace of mind.
Another way to improve the reliability of your home EV charger is to think about the environment you plan to install it in.
Some are better suited for the outdoors, cold climates, or handling rain and snow. Consider getting a weatherproof charger to give yourself more options about where you can charge your EV.
Think About Where You Want to Charge Your EV
Improving your charger’s reliability isn’t the only benefit of taking your environment into consideration.
If you want to charge your car in the driveway in the summer and in the garage in the winter, not only will you want to buy a weatherproof charger, you’ll need a cord long enough to reach both locations.
Research Available Rebates for Additional Savings
If you’re buying a Level 2 charger, the BC government offers several rebates to make the installation more affordable. These rebates include 50% of the costs of the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charger, up to $350.
You may be eligible for a rebate and can begin the application process if:
- You purchased a cUL, cETL, or CSA certified charger (such as a Flo charger)
- The charger is Level 2 (208V or 240V)
- Your property was built more than 6 months before the EV charger installation
- It’s been less than 90 days since the installation
Rebates are also available for owners of apartment buildings and condos, as well as workplaces. The complete list can be found on the BC Hydro website.
When you’re looking to buy an EV charger, we recommend taking the time to research and find the charger that matches your needs.
Whether you want a Level 1 or Level 2 charger, smart or not, indoor or outdoor, making an investment in an EV charger is one that will pay off in the long run.