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EV Charging

The EV Purchasing Cooperative Program is highlighting EVADC’s EV Charger of the Week videos to show residents where public EV charging stations are located around Montgomery County and how to use them. Check back each week for new EV charger videos! Watch YouTube Playlist

EVs are powered by batteries that must be recharged from an electric source. Compared to gasoline, electricity is more affordable and cost-steady. In Montgomery County, powering your vehicle from the electric grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70-75% compared to an internal combustion vehicle.

There are many ways to charge an electric vehicle. The most convenient way to charge your EV is at home. Charging is also available at workplaces, retail locations, parks, highway rest areas, and parking garages throughout our region. This page will help you understand the different ways to charge, how long it takes, where to find public charging, and how to install EV charging equipment at your property.

Level 1 Chargers

  • Level 1 Chargers use standard 120V outlets, which are found around the home and used by most home electronics. Every EV can be charged at Level 1.- in most cases, the adapter is included with the vehicle. Level 1 charging supplies about 5 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging. Charging overnight provides 40 miles of range, which is enough for most typical drivers. Fully charging on Level 1 can take a day or longer.

Level 2 Chargers

  • Level 2 Chargers use 240V circuits. 240V outlets are sometimes found in homes for use with certain dryers and stovetops – if not available in your home, you can hire an electrician to install one. Level 2 charging supplies about 25 miles of range for every hour of charge. This type of charging equipment is commonly found in shopping centers, public parking garages, recreational areas, apartment buildings, and many workplaces.

Level 3 Chargers

  • Level 3 Chargers, or Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers (aka DCFC) use high-powered 480V circuits for Rapid EV charging. DCFCs are only found at public charging stations and can supply about 40 miles of charge in 10 minutes.

Networked EV Chargers

Networked, or “Smart chargers,” are connected through remote Cloud technology and can be operated through a mobile app. Users can remotely monitor their charging status, control the charging duration, make payments, set reminders, schedule charging, track energy usage, etc.

Non-Networked chargers are solitary functioning units and cannot track charging data or other operational data. Due to their simplicity, they are often inexpensive.

EV Charging Safety and Best Practices

According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), EVs are safe to charge at your home or business when operated correctly with certified charging equipment. FEMA provides EV charging safety tips in this article.

Data compiled from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and from Recalls.gov shows that electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles. EV battery fires have occurred when the battery becomes damaged or punctured, which can result in fires that last longer and require more resources to extinguish than other car fires.

EV batteries can last 10-20 years or up to 300,000 miles if they are maintained well. To maximize the life and performance of your battery:

  • ​Try to usually keep the charge level between 20-80% and moderately charge your vehicle every 2-3 days.
  • Avoid depleting the battery entirely and only charge to 100% before taking a long-range trip. You can use automatic features to limit the total charge to 90%.
  • Avoid daily use of DC fast charging, which places more strain on the battery.

Find EV Charging in Montgomery County

There are over 500 charging plugs open to the public in Montgomery County, including 100 DC Fast Chargers. Twenty-two (22) conveniently located EV charging stations are available at parking facilities in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. Maps of those locations are available from the Division of Parking Management. Local utilities have also installed charging at parks and other public facilities.

Check the Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center or charging station location services such as Plugshare to find an EV charger near you.

Install EV Charging

Montgomery County is ready to support residents and businesses who want to install charging stations on their property. You will need an electrical permit from Montgomery County to complete your project. Please see these resources for guidance on the permitting process for residents and commercial entities.

Home Charging

Charging at home is one of the biggest benefits of EVs. In fact, over 90% of EV drivers regularly charge their vehicles at home. Download our At-Home EV Charging Guide for information to get started.

Technical Requirements Charge at home by plugging the manufacturer-provided Level 1 charging cable into a standard 120V outlet or install a Level 2 charger on a 240V circuit. You will need 30-50 amps capacity in your panel box.

A licensed electrician can evaluate your current electrical system and advise if you need to upgrade your panel or need additional wiring. Equipment and installation costs 1,500 on average for a Level 2 system, but costs can vary widely depending on the electrical work needed.

Permitting Apply for a residential electrical permit from the Department of Permitting Services to install a Level 2 charging station for your garage or driveway.

Curbside Right-of-Way Charging Residents without off-street parking have the option to apply for a right-of-way permit to install curbside charging equipment in the public right-of-way. The homeowner is responsible for arranging and paying for equipment and installation. Residents may not reserve a parking space on the public street in front of the charging station or take payment for charging, but you may lock the charging equipment or use automatic features to control access. Multiple property owners may coordinate to install one or more shared EV chargers on the street to share costs and use of the charging infrastructure.

Choosing Equipment and Installer There are multiple equipment suppliers and installers to choose from. When selecting equipment, check eligibility requirements for utility incentive programs. Equipment vendors or your electric utility may be able to connect you to installer partners. Always work with a licensed electrical contractor.

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EV Charging for Apartments, Condos, and Townhomes

EV charging is a valuable amenity for apartments and common ownership communities, providing residents with cost savings and convenience. Simplify your multifamily EV charging project by following these steps:

  • Survey residents to understand current and future demand for EV charging. Visit VCI-MUD.org for survey templates and other resources.
  • Conduct a site review with a licensed electrician to design your project and select your equipment.
  • Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-interest financing and technical assistance.
  • Contact your electric utility for incentives and power needs.
  • Apply for a commercial building permit and electrical permit and follow all regulations and best practices for accessibility.
  • Create guidelines and educate residents about best practices to make the most of your shared resource.

The average cost for equipment and installation for commercial EV charging is around 6,000 per station. Costs can vary significantly based on the amount of electrical work needed.

The webinar below provides information and recommendations from the Departments of Environmental Protection and Permitting Services, the Commission on Common Ownership Communities, Pepco, the Montgomery County Green Bank, and Clarksburg Condominium II Association.

Commercial Properties

Workplaces are ideal locations for convenient and affordable EV charging. Both Level 1 and Level 2 charging are useful for employees that leave their vehicle parked for the workday. Charging access can be limited to employees or available to visitors and can be provided for free or can be set up to require payment. Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center for more information about workplace charging.

Retail locations can also attract visitors by installing charging. Charging during a meal or shopping trip can be a great way to keep your EV battery topped up.

Installing commercial charging requires both a building permit and electrical permit. Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-cost financing and technical resources. If your business is located in one of the County’s Transportation Management Districts, there may be additional resources and requirements for EV charging.

Incentives for EVSE

There are a number of incentive and financing programs to help residents, multifamily property owners, and businesses install charging:

Montgomery County’s Green Bank offers financing for EV charging stations for commercial, property owners, and residents in Montgomery County.

Maryland Energy Administration offers incentives for EV supply equipment, but funding for this program was exhausted as of December 2022. New funding may be available beginning July 1, 2023. Visit MEA’s website for the current programs that support EVs throughout Maryland.

Electric utilities servicing Montgomery County offer incentives for EV charging as well. Check your utility’s website for the current availability of these programs.

  • Pepco’s EVSmart Program provides Maryland residential customers with residential charger rebates, special Time-of-Use discounted rates for off-peak charging and a managed charging program that gives the utility some control over your EV charger. Pepco also offers incentives for commercial multifamily customers and provides charging discounts for commercial fleets.
  • Potomac Edison’s EV Driven Program gives residential and multifamily property charging rebates on qualifying EV charging stations, as well as off-peak charging rewards.
  • BGE’s EVSmart Program offers incentives on residential chargers, multifamily property chargers, and a special Time-of-Use (TOU) discounted rate for off-peak EV charging

Contact Us

Have a specific question about EVs that’s not covered here? Contact us at AskDEP@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.

Commercial electric vehicle charging

As more drivers go electric, Smart EV chargers are becoming a must-have amenity for workplaces, event centers, apartments and other industries. Our fully-networked, grid-responsive charging stations maximize your EV infrastructure investment and provide access to best-in-class electric vehicle charging to your customers, guests, and employees. Our commercial EV chargers also qualify for charging incentives, providing unbeatable value to property owners and helping them reach sustainability goals.

  • High charging speeds: 7.2 kW to 350 kW options compatible with all electric vehicles
  • Safe energy efficient: UL, cUL and Energy Star certified
  • Easy to use install: Intuitive EV driver app for payment, powerful admin dashboard, LED indicator lights for charging sessions
  • Wi-Fi-enabled: Connected stations reduce your charging costs and let you access utility and state EV incentives

Award-winning commercial charging stations

Available in 32A, 40A, 48A and 80A configurations

RFID QR code authenticated through the Enel X Way App

Supports 1 or 2 JuiceBox Pro charging stations

With cost-effective ground mounting

Robust design for durability in all weather conditions

Supports 2 JuiceBox Pro charging stations

Pay with RFID, QR Code or through the Enel X Way App

20-foot cables with cable management system

Charge up to 80% in 30-60 min

Locate chargers and pay with the Enel X Way App

Supports Visa, Amex, Mastercard mobile wallet

Flexible configurations from 100-350 kW

Upgradable by 50 kW units

Wi-Fi, LTE Ethernet-compatible

Maximum power the fastest charge

Charge two vehicles at 175 kW

Maximize revenue with public DC fast charging

Enel X Way DC fast charging products provide fast charging speeds from 50 kW to 350 kW, models that can scale as your needs grow. With EV market share continuing to grow, surging to 7.1% in January 2023, Enel X Way is committed to deploying over 10,000 DC fast chargers by 2030.

High-output Level 2 solutions: Low CapEx, quick charging

JuiceBox Pro can bring the fastest available Level 2 charging in the same compact footprint. With speeds as high as 48A (11.5 kW) and 80A (19.2 kW), you can charge vehicles in 9 hours using JuiceBox Pro 48A or as quick as 5 hours with the JuiceBox Pro 80A.

Charging is a breeze with up to 19.2 kW in the same compact footprint

Can be mounted on JuiceStand Pro or utilized with the JuicePedestal all-in-one solution

Futurepoof your business

Maximize charger deployment with fast charging speed compatibility

Take advantage of EVSE incentives

Many commercial properties are eligible for utility and state EVSE incentives, which provide thousands of dollars for equipment and EV charging installation.

”Enel X Way offered the perfect EV charging solution for our parking facility serving the Shrine Auditorium and the University of Southern California. With JuiceNet Enterprise we are able to manage access to our JuiceBox charging stations and support the needs of our diverse customers, enabling both private EV charging for monthly renters and public EV charging for drivers parking with us while visiting one of the many nearby destinations. Adding EV charging stations with Enel X Way adds value to our World Class Historical Entertainment Venue.”

David Garner, COO Classic Parking, Inc.

Trusted by commercial partners

Ready to get charging with Enel X Way?

Share the love savings

Earn 100 for every successful commercial EV charging referral. and your workplace, apartment building or favorite business partner will get 10% off their order.

JuiceNet Enterprise: Robust site management features

EVSE asset management

Configure and tailor user groups, access and payment options for your EVSE asset portfolio

Energy cost optimization

Reduce operating costs by controlling and capping peak energy usage and optimizing charging times

Robust admin dashboard

Access historical charging activity and monitor your portfolio of Electric Vehicle chargers in real-time

Detailed reports

Charging data available for billing and monitoring purposes. Export reports in PDF, CSV and XLSX

Designed for businesses their employees

Delivering all the features you need to make EV charging easy, reliable and cost-effective, our commercial EV charging solutions are enjoyed by thousands of drivers and are available in Level 2 and DC fast charging hardware options.

Become a reseller or affiliate

Offer our top-rated EV charging stations to your residential and commercial customers as an Enel X Way reseller, or partner with us as an affiliate to earn a commission on every charging station sold.

FAQs

Do I need a Wi-Fi setup?

You will need a Wi-Fi connection to use JuiceBox’s Smart charging features, such as power monitoring, scheduling, and reminders. In areas without a reliable Wi-Fi connection, you can use a JuiceRouter to provide reliable LTE-to-Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 16 commercial charging stations within a 150’ radius. In the absence of Wi-Fi, your JuiceBox will act as a standard charging unit, and any schedules or limits you set when connected to Wi-Fi will remain, even if the JuiceBox is no longer connected to Wi-Fi. We highly recommend connecting your JuiceBox to Wi-Fi, but your electric car will be charged even if you cannot connect.

What electric vehicle models is this unit compatible with? Can JuiceBox charge Teslas?

JuiceBox supports the J1772 connector standards used by all major EV manufacturers for Level 2 charging stations in North America and can therefore charge any EV on the market. Tesla drivers can charge with a JuiceBox via an adapter commonly owned and used by Tesla drivers.

How can I save money with JuiceBox commercial stations?

With the JuiceNet Smart charging platform, you can use the load balancing feature to cap your overall electricity consumption and control demand charges to reduce your energy bills. And, by controlling your load through software, you can expand your EV charging operations without expensive infrastructure upgrades.

What Is Smart charging?

A Smart charging station is a station that is connected to the Internet and can respond to grid signals. Smart charging allows businesses to optimize charging sessions and participate in utility programs to save electricity and reduce electric bills.

Why are JuiceBox commercial charging stations so much more affordable than other commercial stations?

Our mission is to support the Rapid decarbonization of the transportation system, so we design our products with performance and value in mind. Our JuiceBox commercial charging stations are constructed to be durable and powerful. They offer the same (or greater) functionality for less than a fraction of the cost of leading competitors, and they come with a three-year product warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

What are the benefits of offering public EV charging stations to my tenants, employees and customers?

By offering public EV charging stations, you can establish your business as a forward-looking and sustainable leader. This can help attract high-value tenants, retain key employees, and increase customer spend. It also allows you to future-proof your property as both regulations and market demand converge to make electric vehicle charging a necessary amenity at commercial properties.

How do I take advantage of local EV charging incentives?

You can use our rebate eligibility checker to search our database of local incentives and rebates available for electric vehicle supply equipment in your area. If you are eligible for a rebate, you will likely need to file appropriate materials with the utility or local organization providing the rebate after purchase. Our electric vehicle chargers are also available for instant rebates in certain areas, so please make sure to check your eligibility and to follow up with your energy provider. Contact our EV experts to find and leverage all available incentives in your area.

Is JuiceBox safety certified?

Yes, JuiceBox is UL Listed, which means it adheres to the highest safety standards for electric vehicle supply equipment.

What power levels do JuiceBox commercial charging stations offer?

For commercial use, JuiceBox offers three power levels— the JuiceBox Pro 32 for the lowest power needs, the JuiceBox Pro 40, our most popular model, and the JuiceBox Pro 48 for even higher-powered charging.

What is your return/refund policy? Is there a warranty?

If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return the product for a refund within 30 days of your purchase. Learn more about our satisfaction guarantee return and refund policy.

We also offer a 3-year limited warranty on commercial charging stations. Please note that this warranty is only valid for use under normal commercial operating conditions. Using a commercial box outside of normal commercial operating conditions voids the commercial warranty. Read more about our warranty.

What are the installation costs for commercial EV charging stations?

The commercial EV charger installation costs can vary greatly depending on electrical needs, distance to the circuit panel and how the station is mounted. The installation cost can range between 1,000 to 10,000 per station installed. Many installation incentives are available from utilities, states and cities. See what incentives are available in your area and contact our commercial team to save on your EV deployment.

What is the difference between a residential and commercial EV charging station?

Commercial EV charging stations offer all the convenience and universal compatibility of JuiceBox home charging stations, but also come with the features needed to manage multiple users in commercial settings.

Will JuiceBox commercial stations work in rain and snow?

Yes, JuiceBox commercial stations are ruggedized for indoor and outdoor EV charging station installation, even in extreme weather conditions. All JuiceBox commercial stations meet NEMA 4X standards for durability.

EV Charging Basics

Learn more about different charging options for electric vehicles (EVs), plus where you can find rebates to help cover purchase and installation costs.

EV Charger Types

EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.

EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.

Important differences include:

  • Input voltage. This is how much power a charger requires to operate and is expressed in volts.
  • Power output. This is how much power a charger can generate and is expressed in kilowatts (kW).
  • Charging speed. This is the number of miles added to the EV’s battery per hour of charging and depends on the charger’s power output.
  • Equipment and installation cost. While basic EV chargers are inexpensive and can be plugged into a standard outlet, others have higher upfront equipment and must be installed professionally by an electric vehicle service provider (EVSP).
  • EV power intake. Depending on your EV, the power output pulled from a charger (in kW) may be limited by how much the EV’s battery can withstand. Check your vehicle’s specifications to know which charging level your vehicle can use.

Numerous manufacturers produce EV chargers, with a variety of products, price points, applications and functionality. Because of these differences, it is important to choose an EV charger that fits your intended use and budget.

Direct Current Fast Charging

How fast is DC fast charging?

Depending on the EV, DC fast chargers can currently produce a 10-80% charge for a 300-mile range battery in approximately 20 minutes (~540 miles of electric drive per hour of charging).

What is the input voltage for a DC fast charger?

Currently available DC fast chargers require inputs of at least 480 volts and 100 amps, but newer chargers are capable of up to 1000 volt and 500 amps (up to 360 kW).

How much do DC fast chargers cost?

A CALeVIP Cost Data analysis found that the unit cost per charger for rebate recipients ranged from a minimum of 18,000 to a maximum of 72,500. The mean and median unit cost per charger was 29,135 and 23,000, respectively.

In addition to higher equipment costs, DC fast charger installations require a commercial electrician from the initial planning phase due to the electrical load and wiring requirements.

Is a DC fast charger the right EV charger for me?

DC fast chargers are the highest-powered EV chargers on the market. They often are used as range extenders along major travel corridors for long-distance trips and in urban environments to support drivers without home charging or very high mileage drivers. At current charging speeds, they are ideal for places where a person would spend 30 minutes to an hour, such as restaurants, recreational areas and shopping centers.

It is important to note that not every EV model is capable of DC fast charging, and therefore, they cannot be used by every EV driver. Further, DC fast chargers have multiple standards for connectors, whereas there is only one common standard for Level 1 and 2 charging (SAE J1772). DC fast chargers have three types of connectors: CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla, though CCS is increasingly becoming the industry standard.

Level 2 Chargers

How fast is Level 2 charging?

A Level 2 charger can currently produce a full charge for a 300-mile range battery in about 6-8 hours and is perfect for destination and overnight charging.

What is the input voltage of a Level 2 charger?

Level 2 chargers typically require 220V or 240V service.

What is the power output of a Level 2 charger?

Level 2 chargers are available with a variety of power outputs from 3 kW to 19 kW, which can sometimes be adjusted.

How much do Level 2 chargers cost?

CALeVIP Cost Data show that rebate recipients reported average L2 equipment costs ranging from 685 to 6,626 per connector. The mean and median were 2,976 and 2,884 per connector, respectively.

Is a Level 2 charger the right EV charger for me?

Level 2 chargers are typical solutions for residential and commercial/workplace settings. Most offer higher power output than Level 1 chargers and have additional functionality.

Non-networked vs. networked chargers

In general, Level 2 chargers are distinguished between non-networked chargers and networked chargers.

Networked chargers have advanced capabilities, such as charge scheduling, load management and demand response. They are more common in commercial/workplace settings where payments are required or at multiunit dwellings (MUDs) where the property’s electricity bill is shared by multiple residents.

They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated).

Some models of networked chargers also can limit charging to certain hours, which allows the operator to maximize a time-of-use (TOU) electricity rate structure and only allow charging when electricity is the cheapest (usually sometime between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.). This type of control also increases the likelihood of participating in utility demand response programs.

Some of the enhanced features of a networked Level 2 charger include remote access/control via Wi-Fi or cellular connection, access control/ability to accept multiple forms of payment, load balancing across multiple chargers and more. Additionally, California will soon begin allowing the use of submeters already embedded within networked chargers to bill electricity use. For more information on submetering, visit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website.

Non-networked Level 2 chargers are used both in single-family residences and MUDs. They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated). Non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for installations at MUDs or commercial sites that are powered by the residents’ or tenants’ subpanels.

In this case, any electricity used by the chargers will be charged to the individual’s electricity bill, thus eliminating the need to separately meter the chargers. Further, when electrical capacity is available, non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for site hosts that need higher power than Level 1 charging but do not have a large budget.

The Difference Between Level 1 2 EV Chargers

Whether you already own an electric vehicle (EV) or are looking to purchase one in the near future, the biggest topic of concern for most drivers comes down to where charging will occur and how much it will cost.

Despite having an environmentally friendly vehicle that cuts reliance on gasoline, using a Level 1 home charger is not reliable or convenient for most EV drivers. Instead, having a faster, Level 2 charging station can reduce range anxiety and calm logistical fears, as you become less reliant on charging on the go.

But what exactly is a Level 2 car charger and why does it present better value than its Level 1 counterpart?

Types of EV Charging Connectors: What is Level 2 Charging?

Vehicle owners are often supplied with Level 1 chargers from automobile manufacturers at the time of purchase to use at home with 120v standard outlets. However, upgrading to a Level 2 EV charger is a good and practical investment. A Level 2 charger is like having your own gas pump in your garage, but it is a Smart appliance that charges your vehicle. An added convenience: not only is a Level 2 car charger ready when you need it to be, you can save on electricity by charging during lower rate times.

A Level 2 EV charging station delivers an electrical current from an outlet or hardwired unit to the vehicle via the connector, similar to a standard-issue charger. Level 2 car chargers use a 208-240v power source and a dedicated circuit — potentially up to 60 amps. However, 32 amp charging stations like the EvoCharge EVSE or iEVSE Home Smart EV Charger offer more flexibility and potential costs saving by requiring a lower 40 amp circuit.A Level 1 will deliver around 1.2 kW to the vehicle, while a Level 2 charger ranges from 6.2 to 19.2 kW, with most chargers around 7.6 kW.

EvoCharge EVSE Level 2 EV Charging Station

EvoCharge’s standard EVSE Level 2 charger is a simple plug-and-charge solution for the basic needs of charging your vehicle at home quickly and safely.

Shop EVSE

How Fast is a Level 2 EV Charger?

While a Level 1 charger will typically get 4 miles of driving range per hour of charge, a Level 2 charger will get an average of 32 miles of driving range per hour of charge. This means that you’re charging up to 8 times faster with a Level 2 charging station. Typical charging time for a Level 2 EV charger is around 3-8 hours from empty to full while the average Level 1 EV charger will take 11-20 hours to fully charge.

Level 2 chargers will deliver 6.2 to 19.2 kW versus the 1.2 kW you get with a Level 1. For a direct comparison, check out this resource to see how fast a Level 2 charger is compared to its counterpart.

When One Might Consider a Level 1

A Level 2 EV charger needs a 240v outlet, which many new homes or new multi-unit homes and building standards require. If you do not have a 240v outlet, a certified electrician can easily install one and the cost can sometimes be offset through local, federal, state or utility companies which offer rebates and financial incentives for the charger, installation, or for charging during lower electric rate times.

Additionally, Level 2 charging stations like the EvoCharge iEVSE Home Smart EV Charger allow you to customize charging schedules with the EvoCharge mobile app to better control charging, lessening your overall cost and making you eligible for further rebates through your municipality so you get faster charging times at a lower cost. The mobile app also provides usage history, multiple vehicle controls, and much more.

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Your guide to EV charging

A standard home charging station, whether it is a Level 1 (120 V) station or a Level 2 (240 V) station, will provide pass through AC power to the vehicle for charging. The vehicle will convert this AC power to DC power and utilize the DC power to recharge its batteries. The actual battery charger is on-board the vehicle. EV charging stations essentially act as electrical safety equipment that, first and foremost, ensure safety for the user, then the vehicle, and then the power grid. A charging station implements several layers of redundant safety features to protect the user from potential electrical hazards while connecting and disconnecting the station to the vehicle for charging. Once connected to the vehicle the EV charging station will inform the vehicle that power is available and at what level. From that point the vehicle takes over to initiate and take full control of the power transfer, unless an electrical fault occurs, in which case the station will stop the power transfer immediately.

How do I choose the right EV charger for my EV?

Enphase has created an EV charger selector tool to make it easy for you to find the right EV charger for your EV. The tool will recommend a charger based on your EV make and model. Additionally, you can learn about calculating battery charging times and power acceptance rates.

What’s the difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 EV charger?​

There are two “levels” of chargers (Level 1 and Level 2) used for home EV charging. They deliver different charging speeds for charging your EV at home. Level 1 chargers are very slow, while Level 2 chargers offer faster charging.​

Typically, EVs come with a Level 1 or “trickle” charging station in the trunk of the car for portability. The Level 1 charging station plugs into any standard 120 V household outlet to charge your EV. This delivers a very slow charge and typically provides about 4-5 miles of range per hour of charge. For some drivers this is enough.​

Many EV drivers want the option to charge their EV at a faster rate. Level 2, or 240 V, charging stations offer higher speed charging. Level 2 chargers require a dedicated 240 V line to the charging station, and there are various power levels (and, hence, charging speeds) available from Level 2 charging stations. A Level 2 charging station can provide between 16 to 60 miles of range per hour of charge, depending on the vehicle that is being charged and the charging station being used. ​

To learn more about calculating charging times and EV charge acceptance rates, read our EV charging time article.​

What’s the difference between a hardwired EV charger and a plug-in version?

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Some Enphase EV Chargers are designed for hardwired installation and others for plug-in installation. The hardwired EV chargers include service wires which are routed through a three-foot flexible conduit with an additional six inches of wire extensions for easy installation into a junction box. With a hardwired EV charger the installation is more permanent, the EV charger can still be moved, but you would need an electrician to uninstall the EV charger and then reinstall it at your new location. Hardwire Enphase EV Chargers are rated for indoor or outdoor installation.

With a plug-in EV charger, it will come with a high-quality, over-molded 240 V plug attached instead of the flexible conduit included with a hardwired charger. The plug length is 12 inches, the longest length allowed per National Electric Code, and this includes the plug itself in the measurement.​

Additionally, we offer two different types of 240 V plugs—NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50—with our charging stations. For a plug-in installation, the electrician should verify the wiring and upstream circuit breaker are adequate to deliver the EV charger power rating. The electrician should also ensure the receptacle supplied with the product is installed with the EV charger. This delivers the safest installation for a plug-in charger.​

Always use a qualified electrician when installing EV chargers and supporting equipment. To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.

How do I determine which EV charger will charge my car the fastest?

Three key elements determine how fast an EV battery will charge:

  • Battery size and storage, which differs by EV​
  • Power acceptance rate, which differs by EV​
  • EV charging station maximum power delivery rating, which varies by EV Charger ​

To determine how fast an EV charger will charge a given EV, here are the basic rules to consider:​

  • If the charging station offers less power than the vehicle’s maximum acceptance rate, the charging station would be the limiting factor in determining the charge time. ​
  • If the vehicle’s acceptance rate is lower than the charging station’s maximum output rate, then the vehicle will be the limiting factor. ​
  • To determine your estimated total charge time, you would take your vehicle battery pack rating and divide it by whichever number is lower, the vehicle’s acceptance rate, or the station’s output rate. ​

Most vehicles will provide this information through the dashboard interface once you plug into a charging station.​ You can also get more details about calculating battery charging times and power acceptance rates in our EV charging time article.

Our EV charger selector tool makes it easy to find the right EV charger for your EV make and model.

Are there any rebates or incentives for buying an EV charger?

There are many programs around the country that provide incentives for installing a Level 2 EV charger. Here are the federal, state, utility, and private incentives that we know about: EV charger rebates and incentives by state.

We recommend you contact your local utility or check the US Department of Energy Laws and Incentives website for any other incentives that may be available for installing a Level 2 EV charger.

Do I need an electrician to install an EV charger?

We recommended that you have a qualified electrician install your EV charger because there are certain electrical requirements for the product itself, wiring size requirements, and local electrical codes that an electrician will have knowledge of, which ensures that the charging station will be installed properly and safely.​

A qualified electrician can also assess the home’s current electrical infrastructure and advise you if there’s any additional work necessary (for example, an electrical panel upgrade in an older home). Most homes will have capacity available, and the work will merely be wiring the station to a dedicated circuit in the case of a hardwired charger or installing an appropriate and safe receptacle/outlet in the case of a plug-in charger.​ To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.

Can I install an EV charger outdoors?

Yes. For outdoor installations we recommend installing a hardwired 240 V EV charger. All Enphase EV Chargers have a fully sealed NEMA 4 enclosure that provides superior protection to the components inside the charger from outdoor elements.​

We recommend a hardwired EV charger for an outdoor installation as it provides better weather protection for the connection to power. If you install a plug-in EV charger outdoors, we recommend installing a watertight cover over the plug and outlet combination.

We also recommend checking with a licensed electrician to ensure installing a 240 V plug-in EV charger outdoors meets your local codes. There was a change in the National Electric Code requirements at the beginning of 2017 that allowed plug-in 240 V EV chargers to be installed outdoors, however sometimes local codes can vary.

To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.

Can I charge my EV when it’s raining or snowing outside?​

Yes, the charging head on Enphase EV Chargers are designed to drain water and the inlet on your vehicle is designed to drain water as well. Once the charging head is connected into your vehicle’s inlet, a water-tight seal will be formed.

What is the difference between UL and ETL ratings and why is it important?

These two listings are predominantly about user safety and product quality. UL and ETL are both considered Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). NRTLs provide independent safety and quality certifications for electrical appliances. UL develops the testing standards and tests to them, ETL tests to UL standards.

Products with UL or ETL listings are recognized as safer than units without these listings. Make sure the logos of one of these testing laboratories are shown directly on the product you purchase to ensure its safety.​

An inspector sign-off on a permitted installation in line with the National Electric Code requires that the EV charger be NRTL listed (in the US that is either with ETL or UL). Enphase uses both laboratories.

Will using an EV charger with a higher output current rating than my EV can accept damage my vehicle?

No, using a higher amperage EV charger will pose no harm to the vehicle. EV chargers are a pass-through, electrical safety appliance. The EV is in complete control of the charge and will only take the power it can accept and no more. The actual charging takes place on the vehicle. Our units will supply AC power to the vehicle and the vehicles onboard charger will convert the AC power to DC power and charge the vehicle’s batteries.

For example, a Chevy Volt can take in 3.3 kW for charging and the HCS-40 EV charger can deliver up to 7.7 kW. When an HCS-40 EV charger is plugged into the Volt the station will “tell” the Volt how much power is available through the charger’s communication system. From that point the vehicle will take over, activate the charger and accept the power it wants, up to the limit established by the EV Charger.

Some of our customers purchase EV chargers that offer a higher power level than their current vehicle can accept, which allows them to future proof their installation in anticipation of purchasing a vehicle that could accept more power. ​

How much energy does an EV charger use when it’s not charging an EV?

Enphase products consume very minimal power when not in use. We call this “standby power,” and the draw on the HCS EV charger for standby power is approximately two watts. For comparison, leaving an HCS-40 EV charger powered up for about 50 days would use the same amount of power as leaving on a 100 watt light bulb for 24 hours (a very small amount).

Enphase EV Chargers do not come with a power switch because the standby power consumption is so low, and a switch could be forgotten, or accidentally not turned on, resulting in your EV not receiving its charge.

How do I know Enphase EV Chargers will work with my EV?

Enphase EV Chargers work with virtually every EV sold in North America. The industry standard connector in North America is SAE J1772. Commonly referred to as a “J-plug.” All Enphase EV Chargers come with this type of connector and can be used with any electric vehicle.​ While Tesla uses its own proprietary connection interface, they provide a connection adaptor which can also be used with Enphase EV Chargers.

Will an EV charger work with my EV’s onboard timer?

Yes, our EV chargers provide pass-through electricity and will not supply power to the EV unless the vehicle is requesting a charge. The vehicle is in complete control of the charge and if a timer is set within the vehicle the EV charger, even if plugged into the car, will not supply power to the vehicle until the vehicle requests a charge at the scheduled time.

Note: Our HCS products do not currently work with the charging timers of the Nissan Leaf 2023 and Mercedes-Benz EQS 2022-2023.

How do I find public EV charging stations?

You can visit websites such as PlugShare or Google Maps which allow you to search by address, city, or zip code to find stations in your area. Google Maps and PlugShare both show charging stations along with other helpful information from their respective community of users. The services are also available as apps that you can download to your smartphone for a convenient way to search for stations when you are on the go.

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