Have you considered what the impact of this purchase means for your home electrical system? You might be under the impression that you need to rewire your entire house to accommodate this purchase. But, the truth is, you might not need to.
Keep reading to determine whether you have to rewire your house when you buy an electric car.
And, what the pros and cons of rewiring your house to allow for home electric car charging might be.
Do you have to rewire a house for an electric car?
An electric car can be charged at any house 110-volt outlet, so it is not necessary to rewire an entire house when you buy an electric car. However, plugging an electric car into a traditional household outlet is not the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle.
And, might not be the best solution for someone that plans to drive their electric vehicle every day of the week.
When compared to a dedicated charger or a traditional EV charger, a traditional household outlet could take two or three times as long.
If you are interested in charging your electric vehicle quickly on a regular basis, you may want to install a home charging station or EV charging station. But, if you do that, you may need to make some home modifications including rewiring your home.
Do you need to upgrade the main panels to charge an electric car?
If your home doesn’t have the capacity to handle an EV charger, you might need to upgrade your home’s main electricity panels.
Whether you need to upgrade your home’s main panels to charge an electric car will depend on your home’s current electrical system.
Most electric cars require at least an 80-amp breaker.
You’ll need to check your home’s electrical system to see if it can handle that additional load. If your home’s electrical system cannot handle the additional load, you may need to upgrade your home’s main electrical panels.
Electrical upgrades can be made quickly by a professional electrician or dedicated contractor.
If upgrading your main panel on your own, you’ll want to seek the advice of a professional to ensure you’re making the right changes.
Do you need to upgrade the main panel for FAST charging?
The fastest way to charge an electric vehicle is to install a traditional EV charger in your home’s garage.
An EV charger will require at least a 200-amp panel to be installed.
With a 200-amp panel, you probably won’t need to upgrade your home’s electrical system.
However, if you have a 200-amp panel and your home is already nearing its electrical capacity, you may need to improve the electrical system to prevent overloads and to get the most benefits from the EV charger, including fast charging.
In this situation, it might be more cost-efficient to rewire the main panel to provide more electric capacity for your entire household. Doing this will allow you to accommodate future draws on your home’s electrical system.
How much power is needed to charge electric cars?
An electric car doesn’t need as much power to charge completely as you may think.
Most electric vehicles need less power to charge than the average home’s furnace, and just a bit more than a water heater.
If using a 240-volt Level 2 electric car charger, the battery will draw about 7,200 watts, or less. A typical furnace uses about 10,000 watts of power and a home’s water heater uses about 4,500 watts of power.
However, it is important to realize that the speed in which an electric car charges is largely dependent on the type of charger and voltage used in the charging process.
Do car chargers require special wires to the main panel?
Whether your vehicle will need special wires to the main panel to charge will depend on what the existing electrical wiring set-up is. Consulting with your electricity provider will help you quickly determine whether your home can accommodate the extra load.
The first thing you’ll need to determine is whether your current electrical system can withstand an extra current requirement. If you install the EV charger and your home can’t withstand the requirement, you could cause damage to the electric car and your home.
If you aren’t sure whether you have enough electricity load left, you’ll need to look for a dedicated circuit of up to 40 amps.
If you have an unused 40-amp circuit available, you should be okay.
But, be sure to check that you have additional 40-amp circuit breakers available in case you add to your electrical load in the future.
Homes with up to 200 amps of service should have no problem accommodating the extra current requirement.
If you need to add an extra breaker to the electrical panel, you’ll need to pick a plug near the charger and then determine how the new wiring will be run. To make wiring easy, use an external wire management system or run the wiring through the cavity walls.
When running the new wiring make sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations to prevent any fire hazards or damage to the home’s electrical system.
If you are building a new home, inquire with your contractor to determine if you can have an electrical car charger or power source installed.
Whether you already own an electric car or are thinking of adding a new one in the future, it’s a great investment and could be a great selling point in the future.
Adding additional electrical circuit breakers during the construction phase also ensures you have plenty of electricity available for future additions to your home.
Can you charge a car with any power outlet?
An electric vehicle can be plugged into any traditional 110-volt outlet.
Being able to charge an electrical vehicle with any 110-volt outlet is convenient and helps ensure you will always be able to find a place to charge your car, even when you are away from home.
The downside to charging your vehicle with a household outlet is it takes much longer to charge when compared to a traditional electric car charger. If you are planning to charge your vehicle using a 110-volt outlet, you might not want to plan on driving the vehicle every day of the week.
Now you know you don’t technically have to rewire your whole house when you buy an electric car. However, if you want to charge your vehicle quickly, you should consider it.
Doing this might include some upfront costs, but it will save you time and money in the future.
If you have any questions, it’s always best to consult with a professional electrician and your local power company as well.
Working with professionals will allow you to preserve the energy in your home and not risk frying any appliances while also ensuring your electric vehicle is always ready to go when you need it.