As the electric and hybrid car industry in Alberta continues to grow, car chargers are becoming more and more common. In Calgary alone, there are approximately 175 electric charging stations. With government incentives encouraging more and more drivers to make the switch, many people are asking if it’s worth it to have a charger installed in their own home or office. In this week’s article, we are going to take a look at how Albertans can power their cars at home and what exactly that looks like.
Types of Electric Car Chargers
While most electric car chargers require professional installation, these units are not all created the same. In fact, there are three distinct levels of chargers. Each one requires a specific voltage and amperage output, resulting in differing charge times. It’s important to note, however, that these times are approximate and that newer batteries will typically charge faster.
- Level 1 Electric Vehicle Charger. These chargers may be plugged into any grounded 120-volt, 15-amp home or workplace outlet. Charge time can take anywhere between 8 to 20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. The lower electrical requirement means there is no special installation, which can be desirable. However, the long charge time makes these a less popular choice for home installation.
- Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger. The next level up requires over twice as much power to run. At a minimum, they need a 240-volt, 30 amp outlet, similar to a laundry dryer. The extra power means they may fully charge a vehicle in 4 to 6 hours. This relatively brief charging time makes them a popular choice for households and offices. Understandably, they must be installed by a licensed electrician.
- Level 3 Electric Vehicle Charger. At this time, the most powerful charging stations are referred to as level three. These units use double the voltage requirements again for a minimum of a 480-volt DC circuit. They speed up the charging time exponentially, charging up an electric vehicle’s battery in just 30 minutes to an hour. The electrical requirements are much too large for residential applications, however, this charger is the go-to for road-side charging stations.
Electric car chargers allow drivers to take control of their “fuel” consumption and refill on their terms. Imagine simply plugging in at night and only having to use roadside stations on big road trips. If you live in the Okotoks area and want to invest in your own electric car charger, our experts at Westridge Electric can help set you up! Give us a call today to get started.