Everything you need to know before installing an EV charging station at home
Getting a new electric vehicle soon? The first thing you need to do is choose your charging station.
Even though this might seem like a simple step, it is a critical one. There are more and more charging stations available on the market so it’s important to find the one that meets your needs while bearing in mind the characteristics of your parking spot.
Not all charging stations are created the same and one size does not fit all, especially keeping in mind your type of home. For instance, charging stations installed in a multi-unit residential building must comply with certain regulations.
Moreover, if you plan on installing a charging station indoors, you need to make sure your parking spot is big enough. On the other hand, an outdoor charging station does not need a garage but it does need to be able to withstand our harsh winters and requires longer cables.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing and installing an EV home charging station.
What to keep in mind before installing your charging station
Even before you purchase your charging station, you need to do a bit of homework. It’s important to plan the installation and the location of your charging station before the work begins or you might end up with problems down the line. Furthermore, you need to consider both your current and future charging needs.
Check your electrical installation
Before work begins, you should check your electrical panel and take note of the state and capacity of your home’s electrical system. If necessary, we’ll help you update your panel before your charging station is installed. For instance, a level 2 charging station requires a 240-volt outlet, meaning you might have to adjust your electrical system.
As for level 1 charging stations, which often come with the vehicle purchased, they are not designed to sustain full charges – 12 to 16 hours – every day. The cable might cause an overload which will damage the charging equipment. You therefore need to consider how you will be using your vehicle when choosing an EV charging station.
The right power output
Before installing an EV charging station, you need to find out what kind of power output you want. For charging your vehicle at home, charging stations with a power output of 2.2 kW to 22 kW are generally recommended. To help you in the process, ask yourself the following:
- What kind of electric vehicle do you have?
- How will you use it?
- How much time do you want to spend charging?
The higher the output, the less time it will take for the vehicle to charge. However, some models come with charging limits which will slow down the process. For instance, a vehicle with a charging limit of 11 kW will charge at 11 kW even if the charging station you have can go up to 22 kW.
Choosing the right location
Picking the location of your charging station is obviously an important step. Consider the following:
- Is your charging station indoors or outdoors?
- Does it require cables, enclosures, and additional accessories (pedestal or mount)?
An outdoor charging station normally needs cables, an enclosure, and accessories that can endure harsh weather. Not all charging stations are designed to withstand Quebec’s frigid winter climate.
Furthermore, your charging station will need to be placed in a location where the cable can reach the vehicle. Or you’ll need a longer cable. HydroSolution’s experts will provide key support throughout the process.
Preparing for your installation
Regulations in force in Quebec regarding EV charging stations vary depending on the type of housing. Whether you are an owner or a tenant of a multi-unit residential building or a single-family dwelling, you’ll need to find out the specific rules that apply to your situation if you’re thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle.
Who is footing the bill? How much does it cost? Is it more cost-efficient to purchase as a group or individually? Are there governmental subsidies available? These are all questions that those in a multi-unit building must consider.
Purchasing a charging station can be expensive but financial assistance is available from the government. The amount of these rebates vary based on the type of dwelling. This is another factor to bear in mind.
A charging station in a multi-unit building
Sales of condominiums have increased by 16% in Montreal in 2021. You might be among those who have to deal with a co-ownership situation when installing a charging station. In most situations, the owner of the charging station is the one who decides to bear the costs of installing and using their charging station by placing it near their electricity meter.
That means the owner must identify the other stakeholders involved and submit a written request to the other co-owners. You cannot install a charging station without consulting your condo syndic.
In some buildings, installing a charging station accessible to all co-owners is the option preferred. Level 2 charging stations are a popular solution because they take up little space and offer a higher power output. Every multi-unit residential building is different so you need to check the rules of yours.
Installing a charging station as a tenant
If you are a tenant in a multi-unit residential building, the same rules apply but you will first have to ask the owner of your unit for permission before submitting your request.
Installing a charging station in a single-family dwelling
If you own a single-family dwelling, you only need to check your electrical system. You can then begin the process of installing your EV charging station.
Call upon specialized installation technicians
According to Quebec’s Construction Code, a residential charging station must be installed by an electrician who has a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).
Get your electrical system assessed
There are significant benefits that come with calling upon specialists for an EV charging station. Because using the charging station requires a lot of power, you need to make sure your system is up to the task and secure. Any work carried out by electricians is generally covered by a guarantee. And charging stations sold by HydroSolution are also covered by a guarantee, as are the parts and labour. Getting professionals involves means avoiding any unpleasant surprises and problems!
H3 HydroSolution only hires electricians who are members of the RBQ and CMEQ
Our expert advisors will work with you throughout the process and will leave nothing up to chance. Moreover, any work required to install the charging station must be carried out by specialized electricians. That’s why HydroSolution only hires electricians who are members of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ). Our goal is to provide you with services that meet the highest standards of quality.