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FeaturesYour Guide to Home Charging for EV Owners in Canada

Your Guide to Home Charging for EV Owners in Canada


Introduction to EV Charging

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a rapidly growing in numbers on the Canadian new car market, providing an efficient alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. One key difference between EVs and traditional vehicles is how they’re powered. Obviously, instead of visiting a petrol station, you can charge your EV at home, at work, or at a public charging station.

Webasto TurboConnect and TurboDX 2.0 EV Chargers | Photo: Webasto

Charging levels for EVs come in three main types: Level 1, which uses a standard household outlet; Level 2, which requires a 240-volt outlet similar to what a clothes dryer might use; and Level 3 or DC Fast Charging, typically found at commercial charging stations due to their high-power demand. Here, we’ll focus on Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, the most common solutions for home charging.


Home Charging Options

Home charging offers a highly convenient and cost-effective way to keep your EV‘s battery topped up. Level 1 charging uses a standard household outlet, so no special installation is required, but it does take longer to fully charge your EV’s battery. Nearly all new EVs are delivered with a portable Level 1 charger. On the other hand, Level 2 charging is much faster but requires a special 240-volt outlet and charging equipment that, in many cases, will need to be installed by a professional electrician.

Over the coming months and years, we intend to test and review as many home chargers as possible. Our stories will be published and link back to this guide. Click on the “electric vehicle charging” tag to find them all.


Installation Process

Installing a Level 2 charger at home often involves upgrading your home’s electrical system, and this work should always be performed by a licensed electrician to ensure it’s safe and up to code. The exact cost and complexity of the installation will depend on your home’s existing electrical system and the distance from the electrical panel to where you plan to install the charger.

Webasto Go Portable Charger | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Costs

The cost of home charging an EV can vary based on several factors, including the cost of the charging equipment, installation costs, and your local utility rates. However, even with these costs considered, charging an EV at home is typically much cheaper than fueling a gasoline-powered vehicle. Portable Level 1 and Level 2 (or combinations of both), and wall-mounted Level 2 chargers vary between $400 and $1,500 approximately before installation.


Smart Chargers

Smart chargers are an innovation in EV charging technology and will eventually become the norm. They can be integrated with your home’s energy management system, allowing you to schedule charging during off-peak hours or when renewable energy is most available, further reducing charging costs and environmental impact. Even so, most EVs offer the possibility to program a charging schedule in order to benefit as much as possible from off-peak rates overnight.


Utility Rates

To further lower the cost of charging an EV at home, some utility companies offer special rates for EV charging during off-peak hours. Contact your local utility provider to see if these rates are available in your area and to learn how to qualify.


Charging Times

Charging times can vary depending on the battery capacity of your vehicle and the power level of the charger. Level 1 chargers can take anywhere from 10 to 40 hours to fully charge a typical EV, while Level 2 chargers can do the job in 4 to 8 hours.

 

Electrify Canada home charger | Photo: Electrify Canada

Government Incentives

Recognizing the environmental benefits of EVs, the Canadian government offers several incentives to make EV ownership more affordable. These incentives can help offset the cost of the charging equipment and installation. Check the official government websites, both federal and provincial, to learn more about these incentives and how to apply.


Best EV Chargers

There are many EV chargers on the market in Canada with newer models added on a regular basis. When choosing one, consider factors such as price, power level, smart features, ease of use, and customer reviews.

Some popular and highly rated models include the ChargePoint Home Flex, FLO Home X5, and the Webasto Turbo DX.

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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