Here’s what you need to know before you purchase an electric car charging station

A young woman smiling while charging her EV

If you own an electric car, you likely appreciate having access to public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on a road trip. But if you use your car to commute, installing an electric car charging station at home might prove to be a convenient option to consider. It might even help you save time and money if you normally pay to use public charging stations.

What is an EV charging station?

Most electronic devices in your home require a 120-volt outlet, but this voltage is not enough to charge an EV quickly, depending on the size of its battery. Instead, most electric car charging stations use a 240-volt system which is often required for clothes dryers or electric stoves.

When shopping for a 240v EV charging station, you’ll likely see two main types: wall-mounted and pedestal-mounted.

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

It depends on the amperage of the charging station you choose. Many home charging stations require 15 amps to deliver 3.6 kilowatts of power, meaning that an electric vehicle with a 350 km range will require about 16 hours to fully charge! A better option would be a 30 amp charging station, which can help cut the charging time in half. There are even 40 amp charging stations that can deliver 9.6 kilowatts of power to help reduce the charging time even more.

How much does a home electric car charging station cost?

Prices vary, depending on the model. You can usually find models between $600 and $1,300 that come with different features or options. Make sure to look for a unit certified by a recognized accreditation agency. The Ontario Electrical Safety Authority provides an extensive list of approved accreditations, for example, but make sure to check what is required in your province.

Installation could cost an additional $400 to $1,100 depending on how much work is required; it could be more if you need to upgrade your electrical panel, so consider getting a quote from a certified electrician before you buy the station.

Some provincial governments offer rebates when purchasing a home charging station. Dealerships, manufacturers or even some municipalities may offer promotions on the purchase or installation of a home charging station. Don’t forget to keep your receipts, as you will need to provide proof of eligible expenses to take advantage of any rebates.

Can I install the EV charging station myself?

Like all appliances, an electric car charging station could be dangerous if not installed properly. Some provinces have laws, such as in Ontario or Quebec, requiring all electrical work to be carried out by a licensed contractor.

In many cases, the contractor will need to pass a 240-volt circuit into your garage. They can also check if your current electrical panel has enough capacity to support the electric car charging station’s amperage, or if you need to replace your panel.

If you live in a condo or apartment, you will need to seek permission from the owner of the building before purchasing or installing an EV charging station.

If you’d like to read more about home-based charging, head over to our article 6 things to consider before buying a charging station for an electric vehicle.

Are insurance rates for electric cars different from gas powered cars?

Electric car insurance is similar to a conventional gas vehicle. You can insure it for collision, theft or vandalism, like you would any other vehicle. There are many levels of coverage available, so it’s best to talk to an agent before you buy or lease a electric vehicle, to explore what is right for you.

This information and the opinions expressed in this blog are written by Capital-Image Inc., conducted on behalf of Allstate Canada. This blog has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.