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Ten FAQs for Installing an EV Charger

Ten FAQs for Installing an EV Charger

Installing an EV Charger at home makes a lot of sense. When you drive an electric vehicle (EV), it is a hassle having to rely on public charging stations or a regular wall socket at home (too slow!). 


But what does the installation process involve, exactly? For installing an EV charger in Calgary, read our answers to the top 10 frequently asked questions about installing an EV charger.


  1. What’s the process of installing an EV Charger?
  • Get a Quote. 
  • Confirm Location. 
  • Choose Charger Type. 
  • Make a Decision about Charger/Receptacle. 


  1. What is the difference between Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 charging?
  • Level 1 is a small 15-amp charger and is usually included with the purchase of your vehicle. 
  • Level 2 is a 40-amp charger that requires a 50-amp circuit
  • Level 3, also commonly known as DC fast charging, charges through a 480V DC plug. A higher amperage allows for more current to flow faster to your EV and significantly reduce your charging wait times.


  1. How much does it cost to buy and install an EV charger?

Costs vary depending on your specific set up. For an attached garage, the EV charger installation cost will start at about $700 if your panel is in the garage, plus the cost of the charger itself.   If your panel isn’t in your garage, or the garage is detached or doesn’t have power this will increase the cost of the install. 


  1. Can I install my own EV charger?

We’d advise against it. As with all things electrical, it is best (and usually required by law) to have a trained expert handling installation. In addition to a number of potential costly mistakes you could make, installing the charger yourself could void the manufacturer’s warranty.

  1. Are all EV plugs the same?

Most plugs (or nozzles) which are inserted into EV vehicles are the same. All EVs sold in North America use the same standard Level 2 charging plug called a SAE J1772 (IEC Type 1), also known as a J plug.  There are also connectors used only by Telsa. These types of connectors are used on Level 2 and Level 3 Supercharger Tesla charging stations and are compatible with Telsa vehicles only.


  1. How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
  • Stage 1- takes about 16 hours
  • Stage 2 –  the most popular residential system, takes about 6-8 hours for a full charge, which will give you approximately 300-500 kilometres of driving range.
  • Stage 3 – can charge up your batteries to 80% in as little as 30 minutes.


  1. How long do EV chargers last?

Like all electrical equipment, they don’t last forever. Currently, their lifespan is projected to be 20-30 years.


  1. What are some common issues that I can have with my EV charger?

If the load calculation for the house isn’t done correctly, you may find that you continuously trip your main breaker. This is not only annoying but dangerous.  The load calculation is based upon the number of large electrical appliances you could possibly have run at once as well as the square footage of your home.


  1. Does my EV Charger need annual maintenance?

In general, very minimal maintenance is required.   The charging cord should be stored securely so it is not damaged. Any accessible EVSE parts should be checked periodically for wear and tear, and the overall system should be kept clean. 


  1. What EV charger do you recommend?

 Everyone and every vehicle has different needs.  We recommend that you start with your dealer and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make a list of questions so you don’t forget anything. We recommend you call a certified electrician to give you a quote before you purchase your EV charger and make sure you fully understand your needs, and limitations of your specific setup before you make a purchase. Understanding your needs and options will help ensure you make the right choices.


If you have any questions or would like a quote to install an EV charger in your home, call Panel Upgrade Experts, one of Tesla’s longest running installers in Calgary at 403-774-7460 or via email

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