Electric vehicle charging – Charger installation
Installing an EV charger at home
Having an EV charger at home is the most convenient and least costly way to charge. That’s why over 80% of EV owners charge at home. Like charging your cell phone overnight, you can plug in your vehicle, then “set it and forget it” until the morning. You’ll head out with a fully charged vehicle and peace of mind.
The cost of installing an EV charger will depend on factors that may depend on where you reside:
- cost of charging unit
- electrical capacity of your home
- electrical permit requirements
- cost of labour
If you’re already an EV owner or just starting to think of making the investment, you’ll want to become familiar with the chargers available. Before you decide which, one is right, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my parking space in a garage or is it outdoors? If your parking space is outdoors, an outdoor rating for your charger is important.
- How much do I drive? This question can help you establish whether you need a Level 1 or Level 2 charger in your home. If you drive frequently, a Level 2 charger might be preferable. The average Canadian drives approximately 20,000 kilometres per year, or about 55 kilometres per day.
- Is the charger safety certified?It’s worth repeating, chargers without safety certification can lead to injury or property damage.
- Do I want a portable or wall-mounted charger? Some chargers can be plugged directly into a standard wall outlet, while others need a 240 V outlet. The latter must be installed by a certified electrician, which might cost more initially but will result in faster charging times.
- How can a “smart charger” benefit me? Some chargers come with Wi-Fi technology that allow you to monitor and program your power use remotely. Take advantage of this feature to program your charging during off-peak periods to save on electrical costs.
DC fast chargers are not suitable for home installation. They are most often found at dedicated charging stations, public spaces, along highways, or at tourist destinations.
Hiring a licensed electrician
A Level 2 EV charger is a high-voltage appliance with similar electrical requirements to an electric stove or dryer (240 volts), and in most jurisdictions, must be installed by a licensed electrician who can also help you:
- choose a charger
- determine the electrical capacity of your home
- submit electrical permits on your behalf
I live in a multi-unit residential building (MURB)
MURB tenants face unique challenges associated with the installation of EV charging stations as there are more decision makers in the process. Tenants, building owners, strata councils, and property managers all play a role in the consideration and implementation of a charger installation.
The Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (PDF, 3.6 MB) outlines a comprehensive approach to the planning and installation of EV charging infrastructure in new and existing multi-unit residential buildings. It does not include recommended EV charging solutions as these decisions should be made in consultation with an expert.
EV chargers and your business
For business owners, the great thing about EV chargers is that they can be installed just about anywhere—from malls and parking lots to libraries and underground garages. An EV charger can also be a great way to:
- attract customers and help support employees who work at your facilities
- allow customers and clients to shop or browse while they charge their cars
- help show a corporate commitment to sustainability and green living
By choosing an ENERGY STAR certified EV charger for your business, you can save energy while providing clients with a green benefit.
If you don’t have authority over your building, you’ll need to obtain permission to proceed with an installation.
Whether you are leasing space or own your own building, consulting a licensed electrician will help you through the next steps, including:
- selecting a location for the charger(s)
- submitting permits
- checking your electrical infrastructure and making upgrades, as necessary
- assisting with rebate applications
- installing the charger(s)
Incentives for installing EV chargers
Rebates of up to 50% of the installation cost per home charger are currently available in some provinces. Check with your provincial energy providers to determine how you can save on an EV charger installation.
Multi-unit residential buildings and workplaces
Incentives for the installation of EV charging stations in MURBs and workplaces are available through federal and provincial programs.
The Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) provides funding for the installation of EV chargers in MURBs and workplaces.
Please consult your provincial energy provider for EV charger incentives and rebates. A licensed electrician may also point you towards available incentives and may assist you with the application process.
Note: Some rebates require pre-approval of the work before it can begin. Please check the requirements of any rebates or incentives to determine whether pre-approval is needed.
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