Having an EV means a change in lifestyle. Instead of leaving the house and “stopping for gas” on the way, you have to make sure you’re “gassed-up” before getting too far down the road. Having a fast-charging station at home that’s been installed safely, properly, and up to electrical code by a professional is critical. ABC’s licensed and certified electricians have got you covered on EV in the Austin area.
What’s the Difference in Level 1 and Level 2 Charging?
Using a Level 1 charger is the simplest way to power up in your garage – it plugs into a normal 110-volt wall outlet. The downside? Filling your battery can take a while. Most Level 1 charger plug-ins get about 4-5 miles of driving in from each hour of charge, and how long a full recharge can take is dependent on the battery size of your EV. If you regularly run your battery down to single digits of battery life, a Level 1 charging station probably won’t cut it. On the other hand, if you mostly travel short distances and have significant time between driving trips, a Level 1 charger may fit your lifestyle.
A Level 2 charger allows you to get on the road faster and be fully charged. 240-volt chargers should be professionally installed and have a current of up to 32 Amps. Depending on the model of EV you own and how frequently you drive it, it’s possible to fill up about five times faster than with a Level 1 charger. If you drive long distances all the time, don’t have access to a high-powered charger near your destination or don’t want to wait so many hours before you get moving again, a Level 2 charger is the right choice for you and can be installed either hardwired or portable.
A portable Level 2 charger option is good if you need flexibility in your charging options or aren’t ready to permanently install one at home. The charger delivers charging at about three times the speed of a Level 1 station, and you can take it on the road with you as needed. The outlet you plug this portable charger into will need the necessary voltage and correct NEMA Configuration to take full advantage of this equipment.
What Sets ABC’s Installation Services Apart from Others?
At ABC, all our electricians are licensed and work under the direction of a Master Electrician. Same as with any electrical service in another part of your home, our electricians know local code requirements for a charger installation. Additionally, they’re equipped with most all parts, pieces or equipment that allows them to know a charger is functioning properly when installed. Plus, our electricians will obtain necessary permits and manage any inspection of the completed installation by city or county inspectors.
How Does the Estimate Process & Installation Work?
Depending on your garage configuration, we offer a standard one-day installation service with prior site visit for assessment and to address any questions you may have. If you choose ABC for the installation project, we’ll handle the permit process, gather the necessary supplies, and arrange a convenient day for you to give us access to the installation area to complete the work. All you need to do is speak with one of our Customer Service Representatives who will ask you a few questions and get your initial site visit scheduled.
Can You Install Any Brand of Charger for Any Vehicle?
Of course! From a Tesla to a Chevy, to a Nissan, we have the expertise to install any brand of car or equipment needed.
What Decisions Will I Need to Make for a Fast Charger?
Not a lot, but some are key. First, you need to decide where you want the charger. If your garage is the preferred place, we can help you select what wall and exactly how it can be best configured.
Additionally, you’ll need to decide if the charger is going to be hardwired into your home or if you’re going to use a portable charger that works just as well, but can be unplugged and taken with you. Remember, both the plug at your home and any place you may take your portable charger need to be 240-volt plugs — just like your clothes dryer — and will require a licensed electrician to have connected them into the main electrical panel of your home.
Are Electrical Permits Required?
Permits depend on the rules of your municipality. At the time of your initial site visit, our electrician can let you know about the permit requirements of your installation. Additionally, if you’re seeking rebates from your utility provider, they can sometimes require a post-install inspection (depending on the utility company’s internal requirements). We will help coordinate the inspection process if required. Please be sure and communicate to us on the initial visit if you will be seeking a rebate from your utility.
What Does a Standard 240-Volt Installation Include?
- Permit will be pulled (fees may apply)
- Proper 240-volt receptacle (plug)
- 20 or 40 ampere, 240-volt circuit breaker installed in existing utility panel
- 50 feet or less of connecting wire from utility panel to the EV charger or 240-volt receptacle where your EV charger will be connected (or plugged in if using portable charger)
- The EV charger or 240-volt receptacle will be fully tested and verified as operational
- Customer will be advised on operation and troubleshooting
Is there anything I need to do to prepare my house for the installation?
It’s important to know that the average house has around 120 or 125 amps of power coming into it, and each amperage requirement for a car charger is 50 amps. Many times, special arrangements need to be made in order to get enough power coming into your house to add the charging stations into your home’s power needs.
How Do I Get Started?
It’s as simple as calling our office or filling out an estimate request. We’ll schedule your site visit and estimate preparation and get things moving forward quickly!