EV Charging Station Installer and EVSE Guide
So you are thinking of purchasing, or have purchased, an EV (Electric Vehicle)?
That’s Great!! We love the convenience of plugging in our car and walking away to return in the morning to a “fully” charged vehicle. Below is our guide to help you to live a headache-free and safe life with an electric vehicle at home (or work).
“The battery pack is the new gas tank, and the kilowatt-hour is the new gallon.”–Technology Connections
This article will cover the following:
- What is an EV charger?
- EV Charging Stations: EVSE Types & Plugs
- Mobile Charger / Mobile Connector
- EV Chargers / Wall Connector
- NACS (North American Charging Standard)
- J1772 (& CCS when fast charging)
- EV Charging Station Speeds
- Best place to install your home EV Charger
- The Cost Of Installing An EV Charger
- The Cost of DIY
What is an EV Charger?
In short, it is a conduit to get your home’s (AC) electricity into the vehicle, where the vehicle’s “onboard charger” will convert it to DC and store that energy in the batteries.
There are two types of “fuel” that can be used in electric cars: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The power from the grid is always AC, but batteries – like the one in your EV – can only store DC power. That’s why most electronic devices have a converter built into their plug; every time you charge a device like your mobile phone, the plug converts AC to DC power.
What is an EVSE (EV Charging Station)?
The technical term for an EV charging station is EVSE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. Some consider EVSEs to be a “slightly smart power cord” as the conversion from AC to DC and battery management is handled by the vehicle itself. These types of “EVSEs” can be mounted to a wall or plugged in when needed, like using a mobile charger.
AC Charging an EV (EVSE Destination Charger)
Every EV has an “onboard charger,” a converter that changes your home’s AC power into DC power that can be stored in the vehicle’s batteries. This is the most common way of charging electric vehicles. These are perfect for homes and charging overnight.
DC Charging an EV (Non-Home Charging/Fast Charging)
DC chargers are larger and faster than AC chargers. They provide power directly to the car’s battery. This means that the onboard charger doesn’t need to convert the power, making DC charging much faster, and why these types of charging stations are often used only during long trips by most EV owners.
Note: This DC to-DC charging is not discussed in detail in this article, as this article focuses on “Home” AC vehicle charging using an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), more commonly known as an EV charger.
EV Charging Stations: EVSE Types & Plugs
Mobile Charger / Mobile Connector
It’s a mobile EVSE that some EV owners take in their vehicles in an emergency. Several of these mobile connectors can charge the vehicle using 110-120v or 220-240v, depending on what plug they choose.
EV Wall Charger / Wall Connector
These are wired into the building’s electrical service using 220-240v. The user can increase/reduce the charging speeds depending on the model.
There are three plugs for charging your EV in the United States. Yet, only two dominant players. However, all have available converters for sale.
NACS (North American Charging Standard) Designed by Tesla
NOTE: Tesla, Aptera, Ford, GM, Rivian, Volvo/Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Fisker, Honda/Acura, Jaguar, Hyundai/KIA, BMW and related brands, Toyota, Subaru, Lucid, and VW Group have adopted NACS in North America.
Tesla’s proprietary connector (now called the North American Charging Standard) “Wall Connector” charger is excellent for home or office use. Tesla’s “Wall Connectors” is WiFi enabled and can bill the vehicle’s associated credit card on file when charging. Tesla also offers a “Universal Wall Connector” version that uses the Tesla App for billing non-Tesla vehicles yet still has the same form factor and works with J1772 and NACS vehicles.
J1772 (or CCS when DC Fast Charging)
The Nissan Leaf is the only vehicle to use this charging standard in the US, and production of it is ending in 2025.
EV Charging Station Speeds
Level 1 (AC charging)
The Level 1 charging station, often called a “booster,” is the most basic of the three types. These chargers use standard household electricity, usually 110-120 volt AC, and connect to a normal, grounded wall socket using a regular three-prong plug.
For every hour of charging, expect a four to six-mile increase in battery range for a Level 1 charger. It can take 35 to 50 hours to fully recharge an EV with a 200+ miles battery pack using level 1 charging.
Level 2 (AC charging)
Level 2 EVSEs use 240-volt circuits. For this reason, we highly recommend hiring an electrician who specializes and is certified in installing EV chargers, like Koehler Electric.
A Level 2 charging station can quickly charge an EV battery in a fraction of the time it takes with a Level 1 charging station, making it ideal for BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). For example, a Tesla Model Y (the World’s Best-Selling Car) charging capacity of 300+ miles of range may be recharged in ten hours or less.
Level 3 (DC Fast Charging)
The third electric vehicle charging station type is Level 3, used primarily during long trips. These would be Tesla Superchargers, Electrify America, EVgo, etc., and are typically only used for eight to 15 minutes to get up to 80% to 90% state of charge, depending on the vehicle.
Best place to install your home EV Charger
We can help you choose the best place to install your EV charging station. We’ve installed EVSEs in garages, outdoors, businesses, parking garages, etc.
The Cost Of Installing An EV Charger
BEV owners prefer level 2 charging for its increased charging speeds at home, ensuring that their vehicle is fully charged (or charged to the recommended state of charge) each morning.
One Time Fee
Buying the EVSE unit (typically $200 to $400) and hiring a certified electrician (starting at $800 and up) for installation is a one-time fee that will be used daily. It’s known to improve your home/business resale value, as electric vehicles are the future!
Certified Tesla Installer
Koehler Electric is a Quad Cities-certified Tesla installer (see Tesla’s Website) and can install EV chargers for whatever EV you purchase.
“Don’t let your brother in law who read a book one time, install [an electric charging station]”-Sandy Munro (of Munro Live & Lean Design)