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5 Things to Know About Installing an EV Charger at Home

Things to know to install your EV Charger

Looking to buy an EV? You’re not alone — about 4 in 10 Americans are interested in getting behind the wheel of a more sustainable vehicle. But before you do, there’s an important piece of infrastructure to think about: a home EV charger and how to successfully install it.

While you can rely on public charging stations for the juice you need on the go, the best way to make sure you’re ready for the road is to keep your battery topped up at home. Here are a few essential things to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to install a home EV charging station.

Home EV Charging Stations: Essentials for Installation

1. Choose Your EV Charger Power Source

Most EV drivers connect their level 2 charging stations to their household electrical system to draw power from the local grid. The main drawback with this approach is that it’s likely to cause your monthly power bills to increase. However, it’s a reliable way to charge your EV at any time of the day or night, so if you need your EV juiced up and ready to go at a moment’s notice, this is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re looking into EV ownership as a way to reduce your environmental impact, solar charging is a great alternative. If you don’t already have a home solar power system, hire a solar power installation specialist to mount a panel on the roof or an exterior wall close to where you plan to install your charger. For nighttime charging, consider getting a battery installed for easy power storage.

2. The Location You Choose For Your EV Charger Is Everything

There’s no limit to where you can install your EV charger, but certain locations will make a lot more practical and money sense than others. If you plan to run your charger off your local power grid, choose a spot close to the nearest 240v outlet. These are the larger three- or four-prong outlets that typically provide power for larger appliances like washing machines and dryers.

If you’re thinking of using solar power to charge your EV, make sure you’re mounting your charger close to a solar panel or a spot on the exterior of your home near the planned placement.

Regardless of the power source, you’ll want to choose an area close to where you normally park your car. While you can use an extension cord to plug in an EV, this could pose a tripping hazard, and most extension cords aren’t designed to carry the higher currents required for EV charging.

3. Consider Your EV Charger Connectivity

Wi-Fi is an optional feature when it comes to EV charging, but it’s an increasingly popular choice for home-level 2 charger users. Wi-Fi, or 4G connectivity, is necessary to access and make the most of smart features in many newer chargers. Plus, it can make charging much more convenient if you can monitor power levels while relaxing or doing chores around the house.

However, unless you have a particularly strong Wi-Fi signal at home, you may need to install a signal booster or other connection-amplifying device to ensure you can stay connected. It might cost a little extra, but the ease of managing your home charging setup from a phone or other mobile device could be worth it.

4. Check the Load

An EV charger will function like an extra appliance on your wiring, but it could draw more power than other appliances, which could overload the system. Before installing a grid-powered charger, calculate the current load of your appliances and electronics. Then, you can decide whether a charger will risk overloading.

While you can do this yourself, it’s easier and more accurate when you work with a licensed electrician. That way, they can give you an estimate on any wiring upgrades you may need before you schedule installation.

5. Apply for Incentives

One of the great things about getting an EV these days is the range of federal, state, and local incentives you can access to ease the burden on your wallet. The federal EV charger tax credit, for example, brought in under the Inflation Reduction Act, gives homeowners a 30% tax credit for up to $1,000 to offset the cost of equipment and installation.

Plus, if you choose to power your home charging setup with solar power, you could also qualify for a tax credit of 30% up to $1,200 when you install solar panels. That way, you can power your car and take advantage of two generous tax breaks in a single year.

On top of that, a variety of EV charging rebates and tax incentives are available in 37 states. Combine that with your federal incentives, and your EV charging station can pay for itself that much more quickly.

Final Thoughts

Here’s what it boils down to — if you’re looking to get behind the wheel of an EV, you’ll be glad you took the time to invest in a home charging setup. Just make sure you keep the points discussed here in mind, work with a qualified installation technician, and don’t forget to take advantage of every credit and benefit you can find to get greener on the road for less.

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By evee Life Contributor

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