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Things to Consider When Buying an EV Charger for Your Home

Electric vehicles are not part of the realm of science fiction anymore, with many manufacturers unveiling a new model seemingly every month. In turn, more people have started buying them. The next logical step for most new EV owners is installing a charger at home.
Bosch EV charger for home use 9 photos
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EVs will slowly replace conventional combustion engine-powered vehicles, I am sure we can all agree with that, they are becoming more practical and environmentally friendly.

One of the reasons why they got off to a slow start is the lack of recharging stations and the long time it takes for them to charge.

If the first problem is far less common in developed countries, with countless charging networks being developed and expanded, the charging time still is nowhere near as quick as filling up a tank.

Naturally, most owners opt for installing a charger at home to let the car recharge overnight and wake up to a full battery every day,  which is extremely useful in busy urban environments where time is of the essence.

If you are one of the EV owners who have not yet bought a charger but are thinking of doing so, it is very important to do your homework before making a purchase.

Typical electric cars take somewhere around 7 hours for a full charge from 0 to 100%, but if you will be using the car predominantly in the city or for short trips you will rarely need to recharge it from such a low point.

Keeping that in mind, you should not go and buy the fastest and most expensive one on the market, unless you have an irregular schedule, and you drive long distances.

If you will be doing most of the charging overnight, you can safely get a cheaper Level 2 charger and wake up with your car fully charged and ready to go.

One of the first things you should consider is amperage. We would recommend a 30-amp unit even if your vehicle cannot take full advantage of it. Eventually, you will replace your car with one that does.

You will notice two types of chargers on the market, hardwired and plug-in. The first type is set into a fixed position and is permanently connected to the electric supply, while the others can be connected to an outlet.

Usually, chargers that deliver 40-amps or less can be plugged into a NEAM 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 outlet, while those that deliver more must be hardwired and permanently mounted.

Also, be sure to buy one that meets the safety requirements of widely accepted safety standards. (like UL or ETL marks in the U.S.) As far as brands go, we would recommend established manufacturers like Bosch, Siemens, or ChargePoint.

Another aspect you should consider is cord length. There is a wide range of chargers that are available with standard or extended charging cords, so make sure you measure the distance between the place you usually park your car and the spot you want to install the port.

If you decided what charger you are going to buy, call an electrician who is certified for this task and schedule a visit. He will check your electrical system, fuse box, and will give you additional information about the installation.

Depending on what unit you chose and your electrical system, the installation could take as little as 15 minutes, but if the system layout and positioning of the port are complicated, installation could take and cost more. Weather is also an issue, so if it is very cold outside your electrician might have to reschedule.

Make sure that you get a compliance certificate when the installation is completed. In case the charger breaks down or does not function properly, you can hold the electrician accountable or it could prove useful in a warranty claim.

Finally, remember to have your charger checked at least once a year and keep it clean and protected from the elements as much as possible.


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