If you’ve recently purchased an electric vehicle, the auto manufacturer probably gave you a Level 1 charger. However, these EV chargers can take hours to recharge your car and give you little mileage. If you’re frustrated with this setup, take a look at how installing Level 2 chargers can give you a better experience.
A Guide to Level 2 EV Chargers
How fast do they charge?
A Level 2 charger uses 240 volts, the amount of power needed for most major appliances, and can handle up to 80 amps. A Level 1 EV charger, on the other hand, uses only 120 volts and can take a full day to charge your car. With an upgraded charger, you can cut this time in half. Depending on the car, you could charge it in about 4 to 9 hours.
Why upgrade your circuits?
As mentioned previously, a Level 2 charger will need a 240 volt connection. Additionally, you’ll need to pair that with the correct amperage. This means you should work with an electrical contractor to ensure your circuit breaker can handle the amount of amperage needed to charge the car. For example, if you need a 40-amp Level 2 charger, you’ll need a circuit breaker rated for at least 50 amps. Learn more about SPAN Drive and how it can improve speed and overall control of your EV charging power.
Where should you put it?
You should install the charger close to the electrical control board in your home. Manufacturers make weatherproof chargers rated for outdoor use, allowing you to install a charger inside or outside, depending on where you park. Dryer circuits are not recommended for use with electric vehicle chargers. Look for a charger that can use a NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 plug, two common plug types that electricians can install easily.
How do you ensure safety and reliability?
There are nationally recognized testing laboratories that can test and certify the safety of a charger. An EV charger with an ENERGY STAR® certificate shows that a charger uses minimal energy when not charging, which can help lower your electrical bill.