Time for Your Own Charging Station for Your Electric Car?

Tesla’s new Model X SUV raises the bar for the electric vehicle (EV). Powerful, roberts electric teslaquiet, safety-first design, exotic falcon-wing doors and rear seats that sit on pedestals, allowing under-seat storage. This SUV tows 5,000 pounds, has a range of 250 miles and can be yours for $132K. Tesla is taking reservations right now for delivery some time in the latter part of 2016. You can reserve your Model X with a $5K deposit.

We’ve come a long way

Just a few years ago, charging stations were a novelty, available only in the most upscale neighborhoods. Over the last few years, they’ve sprung up in even remote locations. The sleek Tesla sedan no longer turns heads, and a strong economy means that affluent motorists will likely be queuing up to purchase the Model X. As more people are purchasing clean, quiet, energy-efficient EVs, they are making it even more efficient by installing their own charging stations. Think about the luxury of never having to wait in line at the gas station again; of being able to plug your car in at night in the privacy of your own home and letting it charge while you sleep.

Thinking about installing your own charging station?

If you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer, you can install your own charging station, but it requires some basic knowledge, an electrical permit and an inspection. Electric vehicles have two levels of charging equipment for residential consumers.

  1. Level 1 uses a 120V portable cord set, generally used for short commutes or in emergency situations.
  2. Level 2 charging uses 240V, for overnight charging and is 2-5x times faster than Level 1 charging (depending on your vehicle). A Level 2 charger can be mounted to a wall in your home or may be available in a freestanding pedestal configuration.

You will need to determine which charging station best fits your needs, where you’re going to park your electric vehicle and know where your vehicle’s charge port is located. You want to consider the cord length of the charging station to make sure that the cord will reach the vehicle’s charge port when you plug it in. Also consider any hindrances so the cord will not become a tripping hazard.

The electric panel will need to have space for a 240 volt 40A 2-Pole circuit breaker and enough capacity to handle the added load of the charging station. If your panel does not have space or capacity, you may need to upgrade the service or add an additional subpanel to create space and capacity.

An electrical permit is required for charging station installation

Before you can start work, you will need an electrical permit from your local city government. They may require a line drawing, load calculations and product spec sheets to issue the permit.

  1. Install the circuit breaker into the panel and route wire or conduit from the electrical panel to the charging station location.
  2. Some areas require that a disconnect switch be mounted within line of site of the charging station.
  3. The charging station is mounted on the wall to the stud or to a masonry wall surface using wall anchors.
  4. The wires are connected to the charging station, or alternatively, to a plug can be used with some models for indoor use.
  5. Once the charging station has been connected, the circuit breaker can be turned ON.
  6. Installing a charging station mounted on a pedestal will require the additional work of trenching to the pedestal location and creating a concrete base to mount the pedestal to the ground.

Once the installation is complete, you will need to schedule a review with your local electrical inspector to verify that your charging station meets the local codes.

Not a Do-It-Yourselfer? Call Roberts Electric and let us install this for you! 510.834.6161.

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