How to Install EV Charger at Home - A Comprehensive Guide — Lectron EV Skip to content
How to Install EV Charger at Home - A Comprehensive Guide

How to Install EV Charger at Home - A Comprehensive Guide

Before Tesla started the trend of not including electric vehicle (EV) chargers with their units, automakers used to give out complimentary Level 1 chargers as a standard accessory. While these trickle chargers didn't offer much power-wise, they showed new and prospective electric car owners the convenience of home charging.

According to insights from J.D. Power, approximately 60% of EV owners who rely on Level 1 chargers are considering upgrading to a Level 2 charger for electric vehicles in their homes. If you're among those contemplating this upgrade, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about installing a home EV charging station, from understanding the costs involved to selecting the right equipment and tackling the installation process.

Why You Need An EV Charging Station at Home

Having an electric vehicle charging station at home offers significant advantages that can enhance your EV ownership experience. Unlike relying solely on public charging stations or slower Level 1 chargers, having a dedicated Level 2 EV charger installed allows you to replenish overnight or whenever it's parked without leaving your doorstep.

Home charging is also typically cheaper than using public charging stations, especially if you're on a time-of-use electricity plan where rates are lower during off-peak hours. However, one of the most significant yet ignored benefits of having an electric vehicle charger installed is its potential to increase the resale value of your home, as EV infrastructure becomes more desirable for future homebuyers.

Should You Hardwire or Install a 240-volt Outlet?

Level 2 EV chargers come in two versions: portable and hardwired. Portable chargers can be directly plugged into a 240-volt wall outlet, while the hardwired ones need to be connected to your home's electrical panel.

When deciding between hardwiring an EV charger or installing a 240-volt outlet (such as a NEMA 14-50), several factors come into play that can influence your decision:

  1. Portability: Installing a 240-volt outlet allows for more portability if you plan to move your EV charger or use the outlet for other high-power devices like welders or heaters.

  2. Flexibility: A 240-volt outlet provides the flexibility to easily swap out EV chargers or upgrade in the future without needing to reconfigure wiring, which can be more cost-effective in the long run.

  3. Nuisance Tripping: Some local electrical codes require ground-fault circuit-interrupting (GFCI) breakers for 240-volt outlets, which can cause nuisance tripping when combined with an EV charger's built-in GFCI protection.

  4. Safety Considerations: Hardwiring can eliminate the risk of overheating or loosening electrical connections that might occur with a plug-in installation over time.

  5. Installation Costs: Hardwiring typically requires less initial setup compared to installing a 240-volt outlet, especially if your electrical panel is located nearby.

Ultimately, the choice between hardwiring and installing a 240-volt outlet depends on your specific needs, local electrical codes, and future plans for your EV charging setup. Each option offers its own set of advantages and considerations, so it's essential to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Home EV Charger?

Qmerit, a leading provider of EV charging solutions, estimates that Americans need around $1,150 to $2,750 to have a charging station installed. This estimate covers the cost of the charger itself, which ranges from $350 to $750, and installation expenses, typically between $800 and $2,000. The final cost varies based on factors such as local labor rates, the charger's power specifications, distance from the electrical panel, and the complexity of the charging station installation, including necessary permits.

Some homeowners may receive higher quotes, even exceeding $5,000 or $10,000 in certain cases. This is largely due to factors like outdated electrical panels requiring upgrades to accommodate a new 240-volt circuit. Upgrading to a larger breaker panel can significantly increase project expenses.

Assessing Your Home's Electrical System

The electrical panel, also known as the breaker box or distribution board, distributes electricity throughout your home via circuit breakers. It's essential for ensuring safe and reliable power distribution to appliances, including a home charging station.

Check the amperage capacity of your electrical panel. Most modern EV chargers require a dedicated 240-volt circuit with specific amperage ratings (typically 40 to 50 amps). Determine if your panel has available space for an additional circuit breaker of sufficient capacity without exceeding its total load capacity. If your current panel cannot accommodate the required amperage or lacks space for a new breaker, upgrading to a larger panel may be needed.

Selecting the Right EV Charger

When choosing an EV charger for home installation, it's crucial to consider several key features that align with your needs and ensure safe, efficient charging. Here are important factors to look for:

  1. Cord Length: Opt for a charger with a cord that's at least 20 feet long. This provides flexibility, allowing you to reach vehicles parked in various spots in your garage or driveway. It also future-proofs your setup for potential changes in vehicle charging port locations.

  2. Certification: Look for chargers certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Intertek (ETL). These certifications ensure that the charger meets stringent safety standards, reducing the risk of malfunctions that could lead to costly repairs or safety hazards.

  3. Wi-Fi Connectivity: While not essential for all users, Wi-Fi-enabled chargers such as the Lectron V-Box Pro offer benefits like energy monitoring, cost calculation, and remote control via smartphone apps. This is particularly useful for users on time-of-use utility plans, allowing them to schedule charging during off-peak hours for cost savings.

  4. Power Output: Consider the power output of the charger, measured in kilowatts (kW). The optimal power output depends on your vehicle's charging capabilities and your daily usage patterns. More power enables faster charging, but excessive power may not be necessary unless you have multiple electric cars or specific rapid-charging needs. Additionally, frequent high-powered charging, particularly at DC fast chargers, can have negative effects on your car's battery.

Installation Process

Before beginning the installation of your home EV charger, it's crucial to properly prepare. This includes assessing the installation site, gathering the necessary tools and materials, and adhering to safety precautions to ensure a smooth and secure home ev charger setup.

Choosing the right location for your EV charger is essential. Consider the proximity to your electrical panel and parking area to minimize the distance for wiring. If you're installing it on your garage wall, ensure convenient access for charging your vehicle.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

While there are charging stations designed for DIY installation such as the Lectron V-Box Pro, getting help from a qualified electrician is still your best choice, especially if you're not comfortable working with electricity. Should you choose to hire a professional installer, look for a licensed electrician with experience in EV charger installations. Check for certifications and reviews to ensure they are qualified and reliable.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Mounting the Charger

    Securely mount the electric vehicle charger by attaching the mounting bracket directly to a stud on the garage wall. This ensures stability and safety for the unit. For outdoor installations, consider weatherproofing measures to protect the charger from the elements.

  2. Electrical Wiring

    For a proper installation, run the appropriate electrical cable from the main panel to the charger location. Use 8 AWG cable for 32 A or 40 A service, ensuring the cable is either hidden within walls and ceilings or contained within metal or PVC conduit if exposed. For 48 A service, use thicker 6 AWG cable.

  3. Connecting to the Electrical Panel

    Install a double circuit breaker configuration in two adjacent open slots of your electric service panel. Once the breakers are in place, turn them to the OFF position. Then, connect the wiring to the new 240 V circuit breaker, ensuring all connections are secure and compliant with electrical codes.

  4. Configuration and Testing

    After the physical installation, configure the charger settings according to the manufacturer's instructions. Plug the wall station into the 240 V outlet, turn on the double circuit breakers, and perform initial tests to ensure the unit functions correctly. This includes checking for proper power delivery and ensuring there are no faults or errors.

Final Setup and First Use

  • Activating the Charger

    Activate your EV charger by following the manufacturer's setup procedures, which may include registering the charger with the manufacturer for warranty and support services.

  • First Charging Session

    Conduct your first charging session by plugging in your EV and monitoring the process. Check for proper charging speed and listen for any unusual noises. Ensure that the charger operates smoothly and efficiently.

  • Setting Up Smart Features

    If your charger comes with smart features, set them up through the associated smartphone app. These features can include scheduling, usage monitoring, and remote operation, providing added convenience and efficiency.

Final Thoughts

With electric vehicles taking over the streets, having a reliable home charging station becomes increasingly important. Upgrading to a Level 2 charger offers significant benefits for most drivers, including faster charging times and the convenience of waking up to a fully charged vehicle every day. While the initial investment may seem substantial, the long-term savings and efficiency gains make it worthwhile.


  • Is it worth installing a level 2 charger at home?

    Yes, installing a Level 2 charger for electric car at home is worth it for faster charging times and greater convenience. It can fully charge your EV overnight, making it ideal for daily use.

  • Can I install an EV charger myself?

    Yes, you can install an EV charger yourself if you have the necessary electrical knowledge and tools. However, hiring a professional ensures safety and compliance with local codes.

  • Can a local electrician install an EV charger?

    Yes, a local electrician can install an EV charger if they are licensed and experienced in EV charger installations. Verify their qualifications and check for relevant certifications.

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