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Complete guide to choose the best home EV charger for your electric car

Updated: May 23

Electric car in the center and in the background a gasoline car and an electric car facing each other.

























Introduction

 

The advent of the electric car (EV) marks a decisive turning point in our approach to mobility and environmental protection. From early experimental models to today's high-performance vehicles, EVs have come a long way, promising to revolutionize the way we drive.


However, to fully exploit the potential of EVs, it is essential to have access to reliable and efficient charging solutions. Home charging , in particular, plays a crucial role in EV adoption, providing users with the convenience and flexibility to integrate these vehicles into their daily lives. Choosing the right residential EV charger therefore becomes an important decision for any EV owner, directly influencing the charging experience and, by extension, general satisfaction with their electric vehicle.


EV chargers are separated into 3 types . Types 1 and 2 are those suitable for home use while type 3 is made for public spaces. The amperage is also important since charging will be faster when the amperage is higher. It is therefore recommended to take a 30A+ charger . Subsequently, the installation of an EV charger at home must be done by an electrician and they may have to make modifications to the electrical network of the house so that it it is suitable for a charging station. It is through these factors, among many others, that we can best choose the home EV charger that is suited to our needs.


This guide therefore aims to navigate through the considerations of purchasing a charger, providing a comprehensive overview on selecting the residential charging station that will best meet your expectations.



Understand the different types of EV chargers


Electric car that recharges on a residential electrical terminal.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations fall into three main levels, each offering distinct charging speeds and installation requirements. This diversity allows EV owners to choose a charging solution tailored to their specific needs, but it also requires a thorough understanding of the characteristics of each level that is offered in this guide.


Level 1 : Level 1 charging is the most accessible option, using a standard 120-volt electrical outlet . Although this solution is convenient, as it requires no additional equipment, the recharge time is relatively slow, sometimes requiring up to 24 hours for a full recharge. However, for EV owners who travel short distances on a daily basis and can afford to charge their vehicle overnight, this option may be sufficient.


Level 2 : Level 2 chargers, operating on 240 volt power , are the most popular choice for residential installations. They offer an ideal compromise between charging speed and installation cost. Typically, a Level 2 charger can recharge an EV in a few hours ( 4-8 hours ), making this type of EV charger particularly suited to the needs of regular users. Installing a Level 2 terminal often requires modifications to the electrical circuit at home, and it is strongly recommended that this task be carried out by a qualified electrician to ensure safety and ensure compliance with local standards.


Fast Charging (Level 3) : Fast EV chargers, or Level 3, use even more powerful power to significantly reduce charging times, often allowing an EV to be recharged to 80% in less than an hour . However, due to their high cost and specific technical requirements, these terminals are installed in public or commercial places and are not suitable for residential use.


In addition to these levels, continued innovations in EV charging are paving the way for new solutions, such as wireless or inductive charging, that could transform the home charging experience in the future.



Factors to consider before purchasing


Choosing the ideal home EV charger for your electric vehicle requires careful consideration of several key factors, which go beyond simple compatibility with your vehicle. This includes considering your home's electrical infrastructure, your EV's charging specifications, the intended location for installing the station, and other practical and regulatory considerations.


Electrical capacity assessment : Before installing a Level 2 or higher charging station, it is crucial to ensure that your home's electrical installation can handle the additional load. Using the service of a professional electrician can determine if upgrades are necessary to safely accommodate your chosen charging station.


Anticipating future needs : When considering installing an EV charger, it is wise to also think about your future EV needs. For example, the possible acquisition of a second EV or the evolution of charging technologies could influence the type of terminal you choose today.


Legal and regulatory considerations : Depending on where you live, specific regulations may apply to the installation of the charger. It is important to inquire about these requirements with local authorities and ensure that the installation will comply.


By considering these factors, as well as the specifics of your lifestyle and vehicle, you will be better able to choose a charger that not only meets your current needs but is also ready to adapt to most future developments in the EV market.



Important home EV charger features to look for


Different types of charging stations











When choosing a home EV charger for your electric vehicle, there are several essential features to consider to ensure the station will meet your charging needs, while providing convenience and safety.


Charging power and charging time : Power, measured in kilowatts (kW), determines how quickly the station can charge your electric car. A typical Level 2 charger offers power ranging from 3.7 kW to 22 kW or 30A to 50A, allowing most vehicles to be fully charged in 4 to 8 hours. Consider your driving habits and how often you will need to charge your vehicle to choose a charger with the right power.


Smart connectivity and features : Modern chargers often incorporate smart features, such as the ability to connect to your home Wi-Fi network to offer remote monitoring and management of charging via a mobile app . These features may include scheduling charging during off-peak hours to take advantage of discounted electric rates, monitoring charging status in real time, and receiving notifications when charging is complete.


Safety and certifications : Safety is a crucial aspect when choosing an EV charger. Look for products that are certified by recognized standards, ensuring that the terminal has been tested to meet strict electrical safety standards. Built-in safety features, like surge and short circuit protection, are also important in protecting your vehicle and home. We recommend that you choose a terminal with certification against corrosion of type NEMA 3R and above.



Comparison of popular models


With a rapidly expanding market across North America and Quebec, choosing among the many brands and models of charging stations can seem like a daunting task. Here's a closer look at a few popular options, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed purchase.



Pulsar Plus charging station
  • Pulsar Plus 48A EV charger: Known for its high charging power and advanced connected features , this model is ideal for EV owners looking to minimize charging time. However, its slightly higher cost can be a limiting factor for certain budgets.


Price: $999







Flo G5 charging station
  • G5 EV charger: Offers excellent value for money, with simple installation and adequate charging power for daily use. Although it may lack some advanced features, its reliability and affordability make it a popular choice.


Price: $699







  • EV 480 EV charger: Leviton's EV 480 provides a compromise between the two previous options with both connectivity , power with 48 amps and also ease of installation but lower resistance than the Pulsar Plus which explains the difference in price.


Price: $899






Installation and maintenance

Man using charging station in front of his house.














Installing and maintaining your home EV charger are key steps to ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your home charging solution. Here are some considerations and tips to guide you.


Facility:


  • Choice of installer: The installation of a charging station, particularly for Level 2 and higher models, should ideally be entrusted to a certified professional . Look for installers who have specific experience installing EV chargers and are familiar with local regulations.

  • Permits and Regulations: Before installation, it is essential to check the permit requirements in your area. Some locations require inspections before and after installation to ensure compliance with building and electrical safety codes.

  • Installation planning: Discuss with your installer the ideal location for your charger, considering both ease of access for your vehicle and technical constraints, such as distance from your electrical panel.


Interview:


  • Regular Checks: Although EV chargers require little maintenance, it is advisable to carry out periodic checks. Visually inspect the charging cable and terminal for signs of wear or damage. Test security features regularly to ensure they are working properly.

  • Cleaning: Keep the terminal clean by dusting it regularly and cleaning accessible surfaces with a soft, dry cloth. Avoid the use of harsh chemicals or direct water jets, which could damage electrical components.

  • Software updates: For connected EV chargers, stay alert for software updates provided by the manufacturer. These updates can improve the functionality, security, and efficiency of your terminal.



Conclusion


The switch to electric vehicles represents a significant step towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility. The selection of an home EV charger adapted to your needs is a crucial component of this transition, influencing not only your daily life but also your ecological impact.


By carefully considering the guide on different types of chargers, considering key factors before purchasing, and evaluating important features, you can choose a charging solution that not only meets your current needs but is also ready to adapt to future developments in the electric car market.


Professional installation and regular maintenance will ensure your EV charger performs optimally, providing safety and reliability for years to come.





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