Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger Installation

Level 1 Chargers


The Level 1 charger is a fairly basic EV charger that usually comes with the electric or hybrid car and can be plugged into a standard 120 volt electrical outlet in your garage.

When you use a Level 1 charger, it is important that it is on its own dedicated electrical circuit. This means no other devices should be plugged into the same outlet on the same circuit breaker. For enhanced safety, the outlet should also be a GFCI type receptacle to guard against electric shock.

There is one drawback with a Level 1 charger. It can take up to 12 hours to fully charge some vehicles using 120 Volt standard house power. Depending on which vehicle you own, you’ll get from 3 – 5 miles for every hour you charge your car with a standard 120 Volt receptacle. If you only drive short distances and never completely deplete your battery this may be okay for you. Every night you will need to plug in your car to give it enough charge to get through the following day.

Level 2 Chargers

There is another option for those who want and need to get the battery of their electric vehicle fully charged in a shorter amount of time. A Level 2 charger, depending on the charger and the vehicle, can charge a typical EV car in about 4 – 6 hours. A Level 2 charger is bigger than the Level 1 charger and is typically mounted on the wall of your garage or an outside wall near where the EV car is parked. An electrical cord comes from the Level 2 charger and plugs into a port in the EV car. You can think of it as your own mini gas station in your garage, except you are using electricity to fill your car rather than gasoline.

The chart below gives you a nice breakdown of the speed of charge you can expect a Level 2 EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) to provide for the vehicles listed. The chart is figured by the driving miles added for every hour of charge.

A Level 2 charger will need to be installed by an electrician familiar with EV chargers. The Level 2 charger requires 240 volts, which is not the typical outlet in a home or garage. An electrician will need to determine whether or not your existing electric panel can handle the new circuit. If not, you will need an electrical panel upgrade before the Level 2 charger can be installed. During this consult, you will be given a quote for the electric vehicle charger installation and you can discuss the best placement for the charger.