Installing a level 2 EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) in your home is a great decision. Not only will it make your EV ownership experience that much better, but it will likely add value to your home in the coming years. Level 2 EVSEs perform the basic function of pumping as much juice into your vehicle as possible with your home electrical service. They act as the conduit between your car and the grid, serving up both power and convenience at home.
There are some things to consider though when you’re looking to have your EVSE installed that can affect both the installation cost and your overall happiness when using it.
It’s all about placement
Placement is a big one. Where you decide to put your level 2 charger will determine how you enjoy using it and how much installation is going to cost. Let’s start with the basics; inside or out. There are pros and cons to installing your EVSE inside and outside. Depending on your situation, you might not have a choice (ie. you don’t have a garage). But, assuming you do have a garage, you have a choice to make.
Think about where you usually park. You might park inside a good chunk of the time, but there are also instances where you are forced to park in the driveway. Maybe your garage is occupied by a third vehicle during the winter, or motorcycles in the summer. Maybe you like to refurbish furniture or something that takes up your indoor parking space. In that case, you might want to install your EVSE inside regardless, but have something like UNDOR to give you the flexibility to charge in your driveway when needed.
If you typically park outside and have a decent location on the side or front of your house, you may want to install your EVSE on the outside of your home. More on that a little later.
Think about where you panel is located. The further away from the electrical panel, the more cable will be required for the installation. Take it from my experience, that stuff isn’t cheap, and running long distances can add up quick. Try to find a happy medium between convenient placement and proximity to your electrical panel. Many homes in Canada and the USA have electrical panels either in the basement or in the garage itself. Some newer homes even have rough in locations in the garage for EV chargers.
Think about security in your area. Some neighbourhoods are safer than others. You might not be comfortable leaving your expensive EVSE outside 24/7, and an indoor installation is non-negotiable. Totally understandable. You don’t want your neighbour getting free chargers while your at work, or worse, someone running off with your new level 2 wall box.
Generally, we recommend indoor installations when possible.
Installing your EVSE in your garage generally makes sense. It’s typically closest to the panel, sometimes right beside it if you’re lucky. It’s protected from theft, misuse, and vandalism. And if you park in your garage, even only some of the time, it’s right where you want it. If you don’t park in your garage, but still want to have your EVSE inside, that’s exactly why we created UNDOR. Check it out 😉
Not to say that installing outdoors is bad, you’ll just want to consider some other things in addition to placement…
- Should you get a WIFI enabled charger so you can control when the charger is active and who can use it?
- Should you hardwire the charger to make theft more challenging?
- Make sure the EVSE is weather proof and will stand up to the abuse
- Make sure the cable is long enough from your mounting point to where you park in the driveway
- If you have to install it within sight of the street, is it going to look out of place or ruin your curb appeal?
We hope that helps you make your decision on where to install your level 2 EV charger at home. There are some things to consider for sure, but in the end, you’ll be so happy you made the investment.
Until next time,