As sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid/electric vehicles (HEVs) increase every year, purchasers will demand greater accessibility to charging stations. Of course, the most convenient place to recharge is at home, but not all household electrical services will be able to handle the demand. Homeowners will need to consider their available power for private charging and what it means for their vehicle. For example, new EV/HEV vehicle purchases might include an adaptor for a standard 120V household current, but that won’t likely provide enough power to fully charge a car battery overnight.
For faster charging, homeowners would need a dedicated 240V circuit, similar to the ones used by a standard electric clothes-dryer. Quicker, more powerful chargers, such as the type found at public recharging stations, are not currently viable for households. If a 240V circuit is accessible, check local building codes and by-laws for acceptable installations. A fully enclosed garage with access to metered power is likely to meet these requirements, but always check first. Remember, even if the purchase of an electric vehicle is not in your immediate plans, a vehicle charger will be an added feature when it’s time to sell your home.