More electric vehicles are popping up on the roads today as consumers decide to ditch their gas-guzzling cars for a ride they can simply plug in each night.
Driving an electric vehicle is only half the process in saving gas, however. You also need a place to plug it in every night. That means you need to install — or have someone help you install — an electric vehicle charging station in your garage.
There are a few things to keep in mind before going out and buying a do-it-yourself charging station kit, including:
- How much power does your car require to fully charge?
- How big is your garage and where is the best spot to install your charging station?
- Is this something you can really do on your own, or do you need the help of a professional electrician?
Whatever the case, here are some easy steps to follow when installing your electric charging station in your garage.
Determine the amount of power needed
Off the bat, it’s a safe bet that you’ll need at least a 220/240 volt outlet. This should ensure more than enough power to give your EV the amount of juice it needs every night for the morning’s commute.
Most new electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf require a 240-volt home charging dock. And more importantly, if you buy one of these new vehicles, they will come with a branded charging station that you can pay for and even have professionally installed, leaving the guessing game out of the whole process.
Make EV charging look good in your garage
Charging stations don’t have to be an eyesore for your garage. In fact, you can make them look really fun and attractive.
One idea that I’ve seen before is making the charging station look like an old-time gas station pump. Because you essentially are “filling up” your car (thankfully not with gas!) it makes total sense and is fun for your friends and family to look at.
Most charging stations are quite sleek and can look great in any garage.
What if I want to do this on my own?
If you’re confident enough in your handy-man skills, you might choose to forgo on a professional installing your charging station. Just remember that if you’re not a trained electrician or have ample experience in working with electricity, it’s highly recommend you pay someone to install your charging station.
There are kits out there, however, that run anywhere from $900 to $1,500 on average. There’s even a video that the U.S. Department of Energy put out to help in your do-it-yourself efforts, although it’s certainly not geared toward amateurs.
These kits will include instructions, but we cannot express enough how important it is to have some kind of electrical expertise when making this decision. You don’t want to zap yourself and cause injury.
The bottom line
Building your own car charging station is a very technical task that shouldn’t be considered a simple weekend project. In fact, it’s dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Most car dealerships that sell electric cars know reputable contractors that will install your charging station for anywhere from $1,200 to $2,200. Some dealerships may even throw in a deal that includes free installation of a car charging station.
If you’re interested in an electric vehicle, you’re doing a great thing for this world by limiting the amount of emissions in the world, but make sure to have a solid plan in place on installing your electric car charging station in your garage.
About the Author
Sarah Bolt works and writes for Steel Line Garage Doors and hopes to see an electric vehicle charging station in every garage one day.