How to Install a Level 2 Charger

Stuart Cummings, a Colorado EV owner, shared some tips with us about installing a Level 2 charger in your home. While Stuart has also installed a Level 2 charger on his own, we’ll be covering the basics of how to install a charger with the help of an electrician. 

Step 1: Know Your Car 

Firstly, you’ll need to determine how much power your car pulls or draws, in watts. This may depend on how many hours of charge you need, how big your car’s battery is, and if you’ll be upgrading to an electric car that may need more amperage in the future. This number will determine the size of the circuit breaker panel you’ll need to charge your car.

Step 2: Pick Your Charger

Secondly, you’ll need to choose what charger to buy based on the power your car needs, as determined from Step 1. Stuart recommends connecting with the EV community to find a charger that suits your needs. Ask your neighbors, friends, fellow EV owners, or talk to a coach who can help. You can also take a look at the list of Level 2 charger manufacturers we have on our website. Then, read reviews and compare prices and sizes. Make sure to do some research because each charger may have its own special features, such as settings to allow you to de-rate the charger if it doesn’t need the full rate of power or built-in cord hangers. Stuart has a Bosch and EVo charger, both of which have different features. 

You’ll also need to decide where to place your charger depending on where the vehicle’s charger port is located. Do you want it at the front of your garage or the back? Placing it closest to the garage door may be helpful to enable charging inside and outdoors. If you don’t want to worry about placement or configuration, consider purchasing a longer charging cord that will reach the charging port no matter how you park. If you prefer charging outside, there’s no need to worry about charging in the rain or snow. Every electric car has a safety delay once it starts getting power and when you pick up the charger, the voltage is so minuscule and doesn’t even get passed into the car until it plugs in, so there is no risk of electrocution. More about charging in the rain here.

Stuart's Bolt EV charging in his driveway, with the charging cord snaking underneath his garage door.

Step 3: Find an Electrician 

Once you have your charger, you can start looking for an electrician. Similarly to the charger selection process, it’s a good idea to speak with friends, neighbors, EV owners, or a coach to get a recommendation. Ask the electrician for a cost and time estimate to install the charger. Money-saving tip: If you live in a high-priced area, look outside your city for electricians that may have lower rates!

Step 4: Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

Don’t forget about the Federal Alt-Fuel Infrastructure (Charger) Tax Credit! You can get $1000 for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 charger until December 31, 2021. For more information, reference the Alternative Fuels Data center site.