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In the rapidly evolving landscape of electric vehicles (EVs), the importance of efficient charging infrastructure cannot be overstated. Level 2 EV chargers have emerged as a popular choice for both residential and commercial use, offering faster charging times compared to standard Level 1 chargers. If you’re considering installing a Level 2 EV charger, here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure a smooth and informed process.

1. Work with a Licensed Electrician

Installing a Level 2 EV charger involves electrical work and should be carried out by a licensed and experienced electrician. Professional installation ensures compliance with safety regulations, proper wiring, and efficient operation of the charging station. Additionally, licensed electricians will facilitate the permitting and inspection process, which is required by most jurisdictions for residential charger installation.

Need help finding a licensed electrician?  Emporia can help!

2. Choose the Right Location for your level 2 EV Charger

Selecting an optimal location for your Level 2 charger is key. Consider factors such as proximity to your electrical panel, convenience of access, and protection from the elements. Additionally, think about future expansion for ensuring flexibility for additional charging stations if needed. The location you choose may be the #1 factoring the price of installation. The farther from the electrical panel, the more wiring is required to install your charger, plus it may mean more work for your licensed electrician if they have to run wire through additional walls or need to do custom work like trenching or conduit bends to complete your installation.

Want to know how location can impact installation costs? Click here to learn more.

3. What Goes in to the Installation of a Level 2 EV Charger?

In most cases, installation is more than just mounting your charger and plugging it in. Level 2 chargers cannot be plugged into your typical wall outlet. A licensed electrician will install your charger in one of two ways: by hardwiring your charger to your electrical panel or by installing a special NEMA outlet that you can plug your charger into. One benefit of hardwiring is it can give you a higher rate of charging if you have capacity in your panel. A NEMA 14-50 outlet, which is a larger outlet that can handle more power that the standard 120-volt outlet and is commonly used for electric dryers and ovens, may cost more to install but allows for portability of your level 2 EV Charger. If you move, you can simply unplug your charger and take it with you!

4. What Does Level 2 EV Charger Installation Cost?

Unfortunately, there is no set price for installing a level2 EV charger. The price will vary byproject, and there are a number of factors that can influence the cost: 

  • What state you live in
  • Where you want to have your charger installed (i.e. how far from yourelectrical panel)
  • Cost of permitting and inspection
  • Available capacity and space in your electrical panel
  • Any custom work that must be done (e.g. trenching, sub-panel installation)

The cost of installation, including permits and inspection, will generally range between $850 – $2,000 depending on the combination of factors above, but in some rare situations the cost may be higher.

Want to know what installation in your home would cost? Emporia can help! Click here to get a quick estimate and a no-obligation quote from a licensed electrician.

5. Main Panel Upgrades & Load Management

Level 2 chargers require a higher power supply than regular house hold outlets. It’s essential to assess your existing electrical system’s capacity and make any necessary upgrades to accommodate the increased load. Often times, and especially in older homes or homes that contain a lot of high voltage appliances (e.g. electric dryer, hot tub, air conditioning), there is not enough capacity or space in the existing electrical panel to accommodate a level 2 EV charger. Homeowners in this situation must choose between a main panel upgrade and load management.

Main panel upgrades increase the capacity of your electrical panel so it can take on a higher load. Main panel upgrades typically cost between $2,000 and $4,000 and may take a few months to complete because of required coordination with the utility companies.

Alternatively, load management devices can be used to safely increase the number of appliances wired into your electrical panel without the risk of overloading and causing an outage. They achieve this by automatically throttling your EV charger’s energy output based on the remaining available capacity (in amps) in your electric panel. This ensures that you are operating within the safe limits set within your electrical panel. The best part? Load management devices can cost as low as $200 and generally require less than 30 minutes of a licensed electrician’s time.

Interested in load management and avoiding a costly main panel upgrade? Click here for more information.

In summary:

As electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, the installation of Level 2 EV chargers becomes an increasingly relevant consideration. By working with a licensed professional, choosing the right location, and evaluating your electrical system, you can embark on a smooth and informed journey toward efficient and convenient electric vehicle charging. Stay plugged in to the future of transportation with a Level 2 EV charger that meets your needs and aligns with sustainable living.

See why people allover the country choose Emporia as their EV Charging and Installation Solution!

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