Charging your electric vehicle at home
Depending on the type of vehicle and the voltage of your outlet, you can use your home’s electricity to charge your plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle (EV). Charging stations designed for home use are available and provide a faster charge than a wall outlet.
Important: check your owner’s manual for details on how to charge your vehicle at home, and consult a qualified electrician to ensure you can do so safely.
Factors to consider for EV charging at a detached home:
- How much current (amps) will your EV use when charging?
- What’s your existing electrical service panel capacity (e.g. 100 amp, 200 amp, etc.)?
- Is there a 240-volt circuit already installed and available for use, and if not, is there room in the panel for a new 240 V double-pole circuit breaker?
- Will the charging station be direct-wired or plugged in using a 240-volt receptacle?
- How much will it cost you to change your home’s wiring?
Note: if you want to install a 400-amp service panel, this is an uncommon upgrade that will be classified as an electrical service extension and you may need to pay for the extension.
Three levels of EV charging
As you would expect, the more power a charging station provides, the faster it can charge your EV. There are three levels:
- Level 1: regular outlet, best used when you can park your car for several hours
- Level 2: commonly installed at homes and businesses for faster charging than level 1
- Direct current fast charging (DCFC): fastest charge, great for charging on long road trips. Much costlier to install and maintain. Find DCFC public electric vehicle charging stations in BC.
Comparing level 1 and level 2 charging at home
|Level 1: 120-volt||Level 2: 240-volt|
|Outlet||EVs can typically be charged using a standard 120-volt outlet.||Many EV owners opt for a 240-volt service because it’s a faster charging option. A dedicated 240-volt household electrical circuit is the same type of circuit used by your dryer or oven.|
|Installation||All plug-in electric cars currently sold come with an adapter to connect your EV to a 120-volt household outlet.|
You’ll need to purchase and install an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) control that connects to your EV.
Consult a qualified electrician to install a level 2 charging station at your home.
|Standard charging time|
Plug-in hybrid: 6 to 8 hours
Battery electric: 11 to 16 hours
Plug-in hybrid: 3 to 4 hours
Battery electric: 6 to 8 hours
FortisBC electricity customers* may be eligible for a rebate of up to $700 on purchasing and installing a Level 2 EV charging station at a single-family home, duplex, townhouse or row home with its own garage. Learn more.
*Includes Grand Forks, Penticton, Summerland and Nelson Hydro.
We’re here to help
If you have questions about installing an EV charging station at your home, please contact EV@fortisbc.com.