Congratulations on your first electric vehicle (EV). You are just one step to contributing to a more sustainable future! Now, you might be wondering how to charge your EV and what is the right charging station for you. Although you can charge your EV from public charging stations, charging your EV at the convenience of your home takes your EV experience to the next level.
If you are living in Alberta and are thinking of installing an EV charger for your home, then you are at the right place. Here is the complete guide to installing an EV charger for your home in Alberta.
EV chargers and their types
EV chargers are electrical devices that are used to charge electric vehicles. EV chargers are broadly categorized into three main types: EV Level 1 Charger, EV Level 2 Charger, and EV Level 3 Charger (DC fast charging).
EV Level 1 Charger: These are EV chargers commonly found at home. It uses a connection to a standard 120-volt outlet and charges 8km per hour. It takes 12 to 20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle.
EV Level 2 Charger: These are EV chargers used in homes, businesses, and common areas. It uses a connection to a 240-volt outlet and charges 30 km per hour. It takes 6 to 14 hours to fully charge an EV.
EV Level 3 Charger: These are commonly used in most businesses and common areas. It uses a direct connection to an electrical system and charges 100 km per 30 minutes. It usually takes 1 to 4 hours to fully charge an electrical vehicle.
Why more Albertans are getting EV charging stations for their homes
EV charging is evolving and is becoming more affordable for consumers. The residents of Alberta are at the forefront of this EV revolution, and more and more people in Alberta are installing EV chargers at home. Here are some of the reasons why EV chargers for homes are growing in Alberta.
Financial gain: The gasoline price in Alberta is increasing, and more and more people are shifting toward EVs as an alternative way of transportation to tackle increasing gasoline prices.
Government incentives: To tackle the menace of climate change, the Alberta government is providing $5,000 for people buying EVs for $45,000 or less. Due to this incentive, people are shifting toward purchasing electric vehicles, and many of them are installing EV chargers for their homes.
Climate change factor: Climate change is a reality. Gasoline-consuming vehicles are one of the main contributors to climate change. As responsible citizens, people in Alberta are opting for EVs to tackle climate change and reduce their carbon footprint. Hence, there are more charging stations being installed at home.
Potential for solar energy: Alberta has a huge potential for solar energy. It has 333 sunny days and has the potential to produce 1,257 kWh/year. Hence, people are installing EV chargers at home, integrating them with solar panels, and charging their EVs with free, clean, and sustainable energy.
How does EV charging stations work?
EV charging stations for your home actually work similarly to how you would charge your phone. To charge your electric vehicle, you would connect it to the EV charging port installed at your home just like how you would charge your mobile phone to the electric socket. For that, you need to install an EV charging port at your home with the aid of professionals following Alberta government best practices and regulations.
Pairing your EV with solar
Two primary purposes of electric vehicles are to reduce carbon emissions and use free and clean energy instead of gasoline. Although you can charge your electric vehicle by powering it directly from a power outlet, pairing it with solar panels allows you to charge your electric vehicle with free, clean energy from the sun. Solar panels convert solar energy into electrical energy which is can be used to charge your home’s energy consumption and your electric vehicle.
You can integrate your EV charging station with your solar energy system by following simple steps.
Step 1: Determine the amount of power you need to charge your EV on a daily basis. The size of your solar panel system will depend on the EV charging requirements for your electric vehicle or your home. Get a certified EV installer to come and do a complimentary consultation for you.
Note: You can also size your solar panel system to meet your home’s electricity consumption.
Step 2: The certified solar and EV installer will ask you a few questions to determine where you want your EV charging station to be installed. They will evaluate the site with your needs in mind, and answer any questions you may have.
Step 3: When you are ready to move forward, your certified solar and EV installer will run an internal audit to make sure your system meets industry standards. They will also coordinate an inspection with your municipality to make sure everything is up to code.
Step 4: Once your solar panel system and EV charging station have passed, and once you have clearance to start using it, you can turn on your solar panel system and start using clean energy drawn directly from the sun!
Benefits of installing an EV charging station at your home
Although there are public infrastructures for EV charging, there are multiple advantages of installing an EV charging station at your home or rental property. Here are the top 5 benefits of installing solar charging at your home.
More convenient: It is convenient to charge your vehicle at home when you are not using it, just like you how you would charge your phone when not in use. According to the statistics, 80% of EV owners prefer to charge their electric vehicles at home. Further, installing an EV charger at home saves the time involved in traveling to a nearby EV charging station and the time required to charge your electric vehicle.
Less expensive: The electricity charges vary during the daytime. It is higher during peak hours and less during non-peak hours. You can drastically reduce your charging costs if you charge it during non-peak hours. Installing EV chargers at home allows you to reduce the charging cost by charging them during non-peak hours. And, if you decide to install solar panels to offset your electric vehicle’s energy consumption, you can end up saving more money by owning your energy in the long run.
More predictable: If you rely on public EV charging stations, then you might have to wait for hours in line to charge your electric vehicle. Even after that, you might have to wait for a long time to charge your electric vehicle for a considerable range as the charging capacity of Level 1 EV chargers are approximately 5 miles per hour. If you have an EV charging station at your home, you can charge it at your convenience and have a considerable range in less amount of time as Level 2 EV chargers can charge at a rate of 25 miles per hour.
Safety: Charging your electric vehicle at your home is safer than charging your electric vehicle in a public place. Usually, public charging stations are mostly Level 1 EV charging stations, and you have to wait hours to charge your electric vehicle fully. Leaving your electric vehicle in the open may expose it to risk, damage, theft, and vandalism.
Increases your property value: Electric vehicles are the future of the transportation industry. For property owners, installing an EV charging station helps you stand out among other homes and helps you to attract more tenants. EV charging stations are also becoming an expected amenity, just like high-speed internet.
How much does it cost to install EV charging stations for your home?
There are a number of factors that influence the cost of installing an EV charging station for your home. Some of these important factors for the cost of EV charging stations are discussed below.
Charging Output: The most significant factor that influences the cost of a charging station at your home is the output capability of the charging point. The greater the out, the greater will be the cost. The normal charging output of the EV chargers is 3kW and 22kW. In addition, it also depends on the type of EV charger. The Level 1 EV chargers are less expensive than Level 2 EV chargers, which are less expensive than Level 3 EV chargers.
Charging lead length: Whether you install tethered or untethered charging dock if you need a cable more than the standard length to ensure that your EV reaches the charging station, you need extra wire. The greater the length of this wire, the greater the price will be.
Location of charging port: Whether installing an EV charging port externally or inside the garage, the types of the material of your walls and the distance between your vehicle and the port can influence the EV charging station cost.
Mechanical protection: As discussed before, your charging port can either be of 3kW or 22kW, and this high power requires mechanical protection such as casing, sleeve, or other means of protecting cables from easy penetration, abrasion, and contact. The greater the mechanical protection required; the greater the cost.
Things to consider when choosing an EV charging station installer
Keeping in mind the multiple benefits of installing an EV charging station at your home, you must also take a look at different factors when choosing an EV charging station installer for your home. Here are the top things to consider when choosing an EV charging station installer.
Knowledge and expertise: Knowledge and expertise of the EV charging station installer are the first things to consider when choosing a service provider to install an EV charging station. This is to ensure the safety of your home and electric vehicle. Ensure that the installer has the required knowledge, expertise, and experience to deal with EV charging station installations at home.Make sure that the installers have a sound understanding of technical requirements and regulations specific to EV charging stations.
Check testimonials/feedback: Feedback and testimonials are the best things to consider while choosing the right installer. Choose the service provider that has good testimonials and feedback.
Check their past projects: Before choosing the EV home charging station installer, it is imperative to check their past projects to check the expertise and credibility of the service provider. Checking their past projects helps you find the right EV charging station installer by looking at their work. In addition, you can also ask the service provider to provide a list of their past EV charging station projects.
Certification and compliance: An ideal EV charging station installer is the one who provides certification showing compliance with government regulations. Furthermore, such compliance certification can also help you with insurance pay-outs in the future.
Note: It is critical to ensure that your EV charging station has the required permitting requirements from your municipality. Failure to do so can create future implications for future electrical projects (i.e.: solar panel installation, battery backup, and more).
Your budget: Installing an EV charging dock at your home is not cheap but consider it a worthwhile future investment.Always go to multiple service providers and check for their costs as well as the quality of service you will be getting.
Safety: Last but not least, safety is very important.It should be on the top of the list while choosing the right EV charging station installer. Installing an EV charging dock requires professional expertise to ensure your home safety, EV charger safety, electrical panel protection, and your property investment as a whole.
At Zeno, we make solar panel and EV charging station home installations easy. If you are thinking about getting an EV charging station for your home, contact Zeno today for a fee custom EV charging station quote.