Electric vehicles are
increasingly popular, and many EV owners enjoy the fact that they don’t have to
hit the gas station every week to stay on the road. These cars still need fuel,
however, and that means that access to a charging station is very important.
While there are adapters available that let you charge an EV using a standard
outlet, the charge takes a significant amount of time because the adapters
provide current at the lowest level that the cars are able to accept.
Because of this, an increasing
number of EV owners are installing their own charging stations in their homes.
This allows for a much faster charge, getting them back on the road sooner and
making it much easier to top off a charge in between trips to town. If you own
an electric vehicle or are even considering one for the future, it’s important
that you understand the potential benefits of a home charging station to
determine if one is right for you and your home.
Home Charging Basics
Unlike the standard
outlet adapter that you would use to charge your EV from existing electrical
receptacles, a home charging station contains a specialized charging cable and
the technology that’s needed to perform a quick charge of your vehicle. Depending
on the vehicle you have, the charging station may have a generic EV connector
on the charging cable or might have a specialty connector designed for a
specific make or model of vehicle. When choosing a charging unit, it’s
important to consult your vehicle’s documentation to find a unit that will
charge at the highest possible speed for your EV.
In most cases, home
charging units are installed in the garage and connected to the home’s
electrical wiring. This allows you to park your car, plug it in, and have it
ready to go without worrying about weather or other issues that might affect
your charging connection. For homeowners who don’t have a garage or who have
other vehicles or items within their garage space, charging units connected to
the side of the home are also somewhat common.
popular option for homeowners with electric vehicles is to set up a
solar-powered charging station by installing solar panels and batteries that
connect to the charging unit directly. This keeps the EV from running up the
electric bill while still ensuring that there’s plenty of juice available to
top off your car when the charge is running low. Even homeowners with no other
solar equipment on the home sometimes opt for this sort of charging, installing
the solar panels on the garage roof and mounting the solar battery units on an
interior wall of the garage.
This can also be a
good starting point if you are interested in cutting down your overall
dependence on the electrical grid and shifting to solar. Once you set up a
solar system to power the EV charging unit, it can be expanded to provide
additional power to the house as well. When doing this, it’s typically best to
set up separate home batteries to ensure that your home and EV aren’t competing
against each other for power.
Charging Station Installation
In order to make sure
that a home charging station is properly installed so that it won’t damage your
home or your vehicle, it’s important that you bring in professional help to get
the unit connected to power and set up. This is especially true if you plan on
using solar energy to power the charging station, since the solar system will
also need to be set up and connected to the charging station. Finding an
electrician who’s experienced with charging station installation can make a big
difference in getting a unit installed quickly and correctly.