Guide On How To Charge Your Electric Car With Charging Stations. 100 amp ev charger

Guide On How To Charge Your Electric Car With Charging Stations

Electric cars (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles are relatively new on the market and the fact that they use electricity to propel themselves means a new infrastructure has been put into place, one which few are familiar with. This is why we have created this useful guide to explain and clarify the different charging solutions used to charge an electric car.

In this EV charging guide, you’ll learn more about the 3 places where it’s possible to charge, the 3 different levels of charging available in North America, fast charging with superchargers, charging times, and connectors. You’ll also discover an essential tool for public charging, and useful links to answer all of your questions.

Before we get into those concepts, it is good to know the various terms used for charging stations. They usually all refer to the same thing.

  • Charging station
  • Charging outlet
  • Charging plug
  • Charging port
  • Charger
  • EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment)

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Electric Car Home Chargers

Charging an electric car or plug-in hybrid is mainly done at home.Home charging accounts actually for 80% of all charging done by EV drivers. This is why it’s important to understand the solutions available, along with the pros of each.

Home Charging Solutions: Level 1 Level 2

There are two types of home charging: level 1 charging and level 2 charging.

  • Level 1 charging happens when you charge an electric vehicle (EV) using the charger included with the car. These chargers can be plugged with one end into any standard 120V outlet, with the other end being plugged directly into the car. It can charge 200 kilometers (124 miles) in 20 hours.
  • Level 2 chargers are sold separately from the car, although they’re often purchased at the same time. These chargers require a slightly more complicated setup, as they are plugged into a 240V outlet which allows charging 3 to 7 times faster depending on the electric car and the charger. All of these chargers have an SAE J1772 connector and are available for online purchase in Canada and the USA. They usually have to be installed by an electrician. You can learn more about level 2 charging stations in this guide.

For every electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, the use of a level 2 home charging station is recommended to help you charge faster and enjoy your EV’s full potential. Provincial and municipal incentives are available in some regions to help with purchase and installation costs. You can also check the following websites for more information.

  • Quebec incentives for electric car home chargers
  • British Columbia incentives for electric car home chargers (the program is temporarily suspended)
  • For the United States, we suggest you check your government website.

The pros of home charging

To enjoy all the benefits of charging at home, you need to use a level 2 home charger.

A fully charged battery in a few hours

A level 2 charger allows you to charge your electric car 5 to 7 times faster for a full-electric car or up to 3 times faster for a plug-in hybrid compared to a level 1 charger. This means you’ll be able to maximize the use of your EV and reduce stops to charge at public charging stations.

It takes around four hours to fully charge a 30-kWh battery car (standard battery for an electric car), which allows you to make the most out of driving your EV, especially when you have a limited time to charge.

Start Your Day Fully Charged

Home charging is normally done on evenings and at night. Just connect your charger to your electric car when you come home from work, and you’ll be sure to have a fully charged battery the next morning. Most of the time, an EV’s range is enough for all your daily travel, meaning you won’t have to stop at public chargers for charging. At home, your electric car charges while you eat, play with the kids, watch TV, and sleep!

Save Big on Charging Costs

  • In Quebec, it is about 30% less expensive to charge at home than at a public charger and 6 times less expensive to drive 100 km (62 miles) on electricity than on gas.
  • In Ontario, it is roughly 65% less expensive to charge at home than at a public charger and 5 times less expensive to drive 100 km (62 miles) on electricity than on gas.
  • In British Columbia, it is roughly 30% cheaper to charge at home than at a public charger and 5 times less expensive to drive 100 km (62 miles) on electricity than on gas.
  • In the United States, it all depends on the price of electricity and gas. You have to compare the consumption of electricity in kWh/100 miles of the EV multiplied by the cost of the kWh vs. the consumption of gallons/100 miles of the gas car multiplied by the price of a gallon of gas. That way, you will be able to quickly know how much you could save on your travel costs.

Electric Car Public Charging Stations

Public charging allows EV drivers to charge their electric cars on the road when they need to travel longer distances than allowed by their EV’s autonomy. These public chargers are often located near restaurants, shopping centers, parking spots, and such public spaces.

To locate them easily, we suggest you use ChargeHub’s charging stations map that is available on iOS, Android, and web browsers. The map lets you easily find every public charger in North America. You can also see most chargers’ status in real time, make itineraries, and more. We’ll be using our map in this guide to explain how the public charging works.

There are three main things to know about public charging: the 3 different levels of charging, the difference between connectors and the charging networks.

Charging Station Connectors

Charging Station Networks

Here’s How We’re Charging EVs at the Level 2 Maximum of 19.2 kW at Our Office

This Porsche Wall Connector can charge more than three times faster than our ChargePoint units.

EV charging rates are often referred to by their simple Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and Level 3 (400V and up DC) classifications, but within those categories can be a wide span of charging rates. Level 2, for example, can range from a 6.0-kW ChargePoint hookup you might encounter in a parking garage to the maximum rate of 19.2 kW. If you own an EV, you want to be charging at home as much as possible; it’s more convenient and far cheaper that way. And we think the sweet spot is the ability to recharge your vehicle’s battery roughly overnight: call it in 10 to 12 hours or so.

For many EVs with moderate-size battery packs, this is possible with mainstream home-charging options, such as the ones featured in this roundup. But for vehicles with larger packs, such as the 131.0-kWh Ford F-150 Lightning, the 128.9-kWh Rivian R1S or R1T, or the 112.0-kWh Lucid Air, you’ll need substantially more juice for anything close to an overnight charge. For example, the charge time for a Lightning using a 6.0-kW outlet is roughly 24 hours, and a Hummer EV with its gigantic 212.7-kWh pack would take almost 40 hours.

How Charge Rates and Times Are Calculated

A quick refresher: The rate is simply the power output, or voltage times current, e.g., 240 volts and 40 amps equal an output of 9600 watts, or 9.6 kilowatts. And an electrical circuit can run continuously at 80 percent of its rated capability, so a 50-amp, 240-volt circuit is required to be able to charge at 40 amps or 9.6 kW. To estimate an EV’s charge time, take the battery capacity, add 10 percent for losses, and divide by the charge rate.

All About EV Charging

The long charge times with some of these latest big-battery EVs on the 6.0-kW ChargePoint units we have at our office caused us to search out a replacement for the two Tesla Wall Connectors we also have at our office, both of which were wired to support 19.2-kW charging on the Model S, an option Tesla has long since discontinued. While we’ve used a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter to charge non-Tesla EVs, that connector is only rated for charging at half the 19.2-kW maximum.

We landed on the Porsche Wall Connector, which sells for 1586. Expensive, yes, but there aren’t that many options for the fastest Level 2 charging. Ford’s Charge Station Pro goes for 1310, Lucid’s Connected Home Charging Station for 1200—both which support bidirectional charging. Clipper Creek is the rare third-party choice, and it goes for 2195. And the Porsche unit is the only one with a display on it, the same 5.0-inch touchscreen interface found on Porsche’s optional portable charging equipment, which is a 1120 option when purchasing a Taycan.

We were hoping we’d be able to view our charging remotely through the My Porsche app, but it turns out you have to be charging a Porsche that’s in your account to do so. We instead view the energy use on the screen to track EVs’ efficiency and can look back through previous charging activity if necessary. There’s also the possibility of connecting to the charging unit’s own hotspot to view activity, although we haven’t yet been successful in making that work.

Try This at Home?

To be able to charge at the maximum 19.2-kW rate, three things must align: your house must have a dedicated 100-amp circuit for EV charging, your charging equipment has to have the capability, and the vehicle must be able to accept it. For example, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, our 2022 EV of the Year, has a 10.9-kW onboard charger. So, it can’t charge at a higher rate than that on a Level 2 outlet no matter what charging equipment is installed. To be able to charge a Porsche Taycan at the maximum rate, you have to select the 1680 option for the 19.2-kW onboard charger when ordering, or there’s the possibility to retrofit it later.

But, when all of these things align, the charge times are impressive: a Taycan with the large pack can be charged from empty to full in under five hours, a Lucid Air in about 6.5 hours, and a F-150 Lightning or Rivian R1S or R1T in about 7.5 hours.

Dave VanderWerp has spent more than 20 years in the automotive industry, in varied roles from engineering to product consulting, and now leading Car and Driver’s vehicle-testing efforts. Dave got his very lucky start at C/D by happening to submit an unsolicited resume at just the right time to land a part-time road warrior job when he was a student at the University of Michigan, where he immediately became enthralled with the world of automotive journalism.

How Many Amps Are Required for a Level 2 Charging Station?

As a new electric vehicle (EV) owner, you’ve most likely realized that the Level 1 charger (charging cord) delivered with your car is too slow for daily use. And driving to a Level 3 charging station can be inconvenient. So what is the solution? Installing a Level 2 charging station in your home is often the best option.

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Level 2 chargers offer better speeds than Level 1 chargers and are more convenient than public charging stations. But that raises the question of the installation requirements of a Level 2 charger. While charger installation requirements might be less than you think, some prerequisites include 40 to 100-amp circuits. So what else do you need?

Level 2 charging stations are the ideal solution for most EV drivers

The convenience and functionality of Level 2 chargers make them superior to other charging options, balancing speed, cost, and comfort. At the same time, they enable EV drivers to skip lines at public charging stations and avoid waiting hours for a Level 1 charger to recharge their battery. See EV charging 101 to learn more about the essential differences between chargers.

Drivers can plug in when they get home at night, and their EV is ready to go in the morning. The advantages over other charging options include:

  • Providing convenience— Because your EV charging solution is in your home, it could not be more convenient.
  • Fitting your schedule and saving time—Plug it in when you get home, and your battery is being charged as you sleep. As a result, you spend less time than you would pump gas with a conventional car.
  • Avoiding costs and hassles—You don’t have to drive to a public charging station and wait for your vehicle to charge. In addition, the price is up to 30% less than you would pay for public charging, and you’ll know the total cost in advance.

What are the prerequisites for installing a Level 2 Charging Station in your home?

While the prerequisites for a Level 2 installation are not overly complex or challenging, you should address the items listed below to ensure the quality and safety of your home or building. Read this guide to EV charging.

As high voltage is involved, installing an EV charger is not a do-it-yourself project. Therefore, you should enlist the services of a certified installer to perform the installation and resolve any unforeseen difficulties.

Specific installation requirements include:

40-100-amp, 240-volt electrical service —Your new charger will need a 40-100 amp, 240-volt dedicated electrical circuit to operate. Your home may already have this level of service if you have a clothes dryer or other appliance that runs on it. But in most cases, the outlet is in use or isn’t in a good location for EV charging.

Electrical panel upgrades —Your new charger may need a new or upgraded electrical panel to handle the increased load. Your electrical panel must have the existing capacity to supply the new charging load as well as the space to add a new 2-pole breaker. Optionally, a loads shedding system can allocate charging to those times when the electrical load is minimal. Your certified installer can guide you on the options available.

Direct connection vs. installation of a NEMA 14-50 outlet —The actual link of your charger to an electrical source requires a straightforward hardwired installation or the addition of a new NEMA 14-50 outlet. Read hardwired installation vs. NEMA 14-50 outlets for more details on the merits of the two approaches.

Hardwired installations provide a more stable connection to prevent nuisance tripping and do not require the addition of a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), so they are the best option. If you want to use a NEMA 14-50 outlet with a plug-in charger be aware that many local electrical codes now require GCFI protection of NEMA 14-50 outlets in homes. This new requirement complicates charger installations since most charging stations already include GFCI protection. Adding a second GCFI to the mix can cause conflicts and inadvertent tripping of breakers. Your qualified electrician can provide more information and help you select the best connection method for you.

Load shedding systems (optional) —Load shedding systems for EVs is another option. Using Smart sensing technology, these systems will activate charging only when the loads are minimal. These systems can leverage your existing panel capacity and eliminate the risk of panel overload.

Level 2 charging station installation made easy

Qmerit simplifies home charging installation for EV drivers across the U.S. and Canada. The Qmerit Certified Installer Network has installed over 150,000 Level 2 charging stations nationwide and is ready to help you with white-glove service. Get started today by providing information about your home and a few photos to receive an upfront pricing estimate.

Lowry Stoops President, Qmerit Network

Installing EV charger with 100 amp electrical panel.

In ON Energy now we getting a lot of EV charger installation requests from people who have a 100 amp service in their homes. In case you have a 200 amps service, you can easily run a 60 or 50 amp circuit to the NEMA 14-50 plug or EV wall connector. Even if your EV requires a 32 amp outlet always price out getting bigger wire than you need, it may add a tiny amount to the price, but in future you may get a second car or different EV, which will need more amps. Even if you decided to go for one of the cheaper options with slower charging, like the NEMA 6-20, you should better run a bigger cable to it, and later able to convert it 50 or 60 amp charger. Later if you upgrade your electrical panel, you won’t need to rewire the circuit to get minimum charging time. Let’s see what options you have.

Option A: Charging at Level One

The average car is driven only 50-80 km/day. The Level One charger (which comes with electric car) plugs into a dedicated standard house plug, and can charge EV at 12 amps/1.4 kW. This means it will deliver around 60 kilometers in an 8-hour overnight charging time. Most people will have their car at home for more than 8 hours a day. So generally speaking, with this very slow charging, you can still survive. On some days you may drive more, and you won’t be able recharge your EV fully, but as long as you don’t keep doing long drives days 3-4 days in a row, you will make it back home.

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Option B. Change dryer or stove to a gas one.

Most houses have a 30 amp circuit for a dryer. It can be easily to switched to a natural gas dryer, also it is cheaper to use it anytime of the day. They cost a little more, but they cost less to run, and as such they can save money in the long run. You will need to get a natural gas line at your laundry room. The price for adding natural gas line depends how far is gas pipes from dryer. You might be able even sell your old dryer on KIJIJI.

This way you will remove 30 amps of from the load from your house, and now you can add a minimum 32 amp ( 7.6 kW) EV charger. Electricians can run a line from where your electric dryer plug is (was) to where your car is, this way you can also save some money.

Option C: Electric Vehicle Energy Management System

The Electrical Code requires that your panel be able to handle everything being turned on at once( with some exemptions) — dryer, oven, air conditioner and car charger — in reality is you never have everything turned on at once. There is a device called the DCC-9,10,12 which goes in your electrical panel and it will shut off power to the charger when panel load reaching maximum capacity. Sadly, it costs around 1,500. But still sometimes it can be much cheaper than service upgrade.

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There can be a lot of other reasons to increase the service amperage in your house. It gives you room for future expansion you might do in the house, for example more EV cars, air conditioning, a hot tub and other things.

In ON Energy we have a team of professional and licensed electricians who will help you with your EV charger installation and if needed electrical panel upgrade. We provide free estimate and serving all GTA.

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