Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers: A Comprehensive Guide

Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers: A Comprehensive Guide


In a world rapidly transitioning towards sustainable energy solutions, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a pivotal player in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Every year, we have multiple requests for EV charger installation, as part of larger renovation projects we do in Toronto and Caledon.  To educate ourselves, we tested various EV charging options based on a mid-sized EV with a 75 KW battery pack.  Following is a quick rundown of the most popular options.

In conclusion, the right charger for you depends on size of your EV and your driving habits.


Level 1 Charger (120V AC):

Level 1 chargers use a standard household 120V electrical plug outlet.  These chargers are slow, and some articles suggest they can provide up to 8 km of range per hour of charging time.  Our test found we could only get about 4km to 5 km per hour of charging.

Level 1 chargers are great if you drive 50km or less per day, or if you have access to a charger elsewhere (ie: at your workplace).


Level 2 Charger (240V AC):

Level 2 chargers are a significant step up in terms of charging speed.  Level 2 chargers have different charging speeds, depending on the capacity of the electrical circuit.

Level 2 chargers require a dedicated 240V outlet, similar to what an electric stove or dryer uses.  They will generally require a 200 AMP electrical service and panel, which is an upgrade for many homes.


Level 2: 24 AMP / 6 KW

The basic Level 2 charger is a 30 AMP circuit, which will deliver approximately 6 KW per hour of charging time, which equates to about 30 km driving range.  A 12 hour charge would add 360 km of range, and take many EVs from 10% to 100% battery overnight.


Level 2: 48 AMP / 11.5 KW

A higher capacity 48 AMP Level 2 charger will deliver charging in the range of 11.5 KW per hour.  This provides nearly 70 KWs in 6 hours of charge time, or 60 km of range per hour of charge time.

The higher capacity is excellent for a quick top up if you come home for an hour or two.  For example, you come home after work and top up before driving your child to their hockey game on the other side of the city, or going out for the evening.

Higher capacity charging will also be a must for some of the larger battery pack sizes that are being installed in pickup trucks and luxury vehicles.  Some of these batteries have a capacity in excess of 100 KW, and even a larger charger will take most of the night to charge from zero to 100%.


Installation Considerations

Level 1 chargers use a standard electrical outlet and no additional work is needed.

Level 2 chargers generally require a 200 AMP electrical service and panel, which many homes do not have.  A service upgrade may be required, or alternatively and Electric Load Management Device can switch between EV charging and home appliance use.

Consider installing the EV charger near the garage door, so that if you are parked in the driveway, you can put the cord outside and charge.  This is also useful if you have guests visiting that need to top up their EV battery.

Using a licensed electrician is recommended.  If you decide to DIY, please obtain an electrical permit and have the work inspected.



Cost of a Level 2 charger will depend on the size of the charger.  A 48 AMP charger will be more costly, primarily due to the thicker and more expensive wire.  Distance from the charger to the electrical panel is a factor – the longer the distance, the more wire, the higher the cost.  If the wire has to pass through a finished space, there may be additional repair costs.  And of course, upgrading to a 200 AMP panel is another cost consideration.  Budget range – $1,200 to $5,000.


Planning For Your EV charger

If you’re renovating your home or building new, plan for an EV charger.  At minimum, consider installing an electrical conduit from the electrical panel to the garage, so that wire can be fished through to install a charger.

If you’re installing new electrical service, or need to upgrade your electrical panel, consider installing a 200 AMP service and panel.  This way, you are ready for a future EV and EV charger.


How We Can Help

Inspire Homes designs and builds home additions and major renovations in Toronto, Mississauga, Caledon and surrounding areas.  We take a whole home approach to planning a renovation, including looking at future needs such as energy use, of which electric vehicles are a significant portion.

Contact Us to discuss your project.