Charging

How do I charge my EV?
Level 1 - Level 1 (120v) is the slowest way to charge your EV and can take days. In most cases, you will add 5-9 km of range per hour if you are plugged directly into a standard wall outlet or less if you are using an extension cord.

Level 2 - Level 2 (240v) is the sweet spot for most EV owners because you can charge your car from 0-100% overnight. The actual charge rate will depend on your EV and charging solution, but with a low battery, you should be adding approximately 40 km of range per hour. This is an ideal solution for overnight charging and top ups while running errands.

Level 3 - Level 3 (480v) is the fastest way to charge your EV and will usually take 45-90 minutes from 0-100%. Level 3 charging is the ideal solution for road trips and long distance travel, but not for frequent use because it will degrade your battery faster over time.

Home Charging - For most EV owners, nearly all of your charging will be done at home, so it is important to have the right solution for your needs. The majority of EV owners choose to install a Level 2 charging solution at home for 2 reasons: (1) a Level 1 solution is not adequate and (2) peace of mind. Although some drivers can survive with a Level 1 charging solution - your needs can fluctuate based on infrequent or unscheduled events.

Public Charging - The only time most EV owners need to use public charging is if they have a vehicle with limited range or they are driving outside of their home area. We do not recommend relying on public charging exclusively because you will constantly be thinking about where and when your next charging session will be, it is usually more expensive than installing home charging over the long run and it will take up a significant amount of your time.

To view a live map of all public charging stations and their current status, download the Plugshare app on your smartphone:
www.plugshare.com
How much does it cost to charge an EV?
The average EV owner spends $0.75-1.50 per day charging at home with an electricity cost of $0.10 /kWh. If you are using public charging stations, sometimes you will pay for the parking stall, sometimes you will pay for the electricity consumption and sometimes it's totally free. In general, the cost for public charging is somewhere between what you would spend charging at home and the cost of gasoline.

Installation

How much does it cost to install home EV charging?
Most house/townhouse projects in Canada cost between $750-$2500 for the electrical work (permit, labour and materials, not including a charging station). All projects are different and pricing generally varies based on the electrical capacity, permit cost, labour cost, circuit size, run length, charging solution and other unique needs (drywall, trenching, concrete work, etc.).
How long does it take to install home EV charging?
Most projects take between 2-4 hours to complete, but bigger projects can take longer.
Do I need a permit to install home EV charging?
Yes. There are a handful of good reasons to get a permit when doing electrical work:

1) You risk injury or death if the work is performed incorrectly.
2) It is required by law and you will be fined if your municipality becomes aware that you did not pull a permit.
3) Your house insurance may not cover any claims resulting from unlicensed electrical work.
4) You are liable for worker safety on your property.
5) You may not have any legal recourse if anything goes wrong.
How can I install home EV charging if my electrical panel is full?
If you do not have enough capacity to add EV charging - you have 3 options:

1) Remove power - disconnect circuits that you no longer need.
2) Add power - upgrade your electrical service.
3) Share power - install an energy management system.
How much power is required to charge my EV?
Most EV owners add a 40A (240v) dedicated circuit, which will provide a full charge overnight. You can add a larger circuit if you have additional capacity available and (1) your EV is capable of charging faster or (2) you want to share more power between multiple vehicles. We do not recommend adding a circuit less than 20A (240v) because it is usually not worth the cost.
How do I select the right electrician?
There is a much bigger variance in charging expertise, price, quality, customer service and availability among electricians than most people realize. The only way to hire the right electrician and guarantee a competitive price is to get multiple estimates, but juggling contractors is uncoordinated, time-consuming and stressful.

Abstract Energy streamlines the selection process by defining the requirements for your project and then inviting local, pre-qualified electricians to compete for the electrical work online. You select the winner based on reputation, timing and price.

Charging Stations

What is a charging station?
A charging station is a fixture that enables you to charge an EV with 240v power.
Do I need a charging station to charge my EV?
No. You can use either a charging cable or a charging station. All Tesla vehicles come with a 240v mobile connector cable, but you need to purchase a 240v adapter separately (NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 14-30 are the most common). Some other EVs come with a 240v charging cable and some come with a 120v charging cable. Many EV owners prefer a charging station because it provides a nicer home charging experience, a faster charge rate (if applicable), smartphone control (if applicable) and other more advanced features. Charging stations are often subsidized with local rebates and incentives.
Do all charging stations work with all EVs?
No. For Level 2 charging, there are two common plug types - Tesla and J1772. Tesla stations can only plug into a Tesla. J1772 stations can plug into all EVs, including Tesla vehicles with a J1772 adapter. For Level 3 fast charging, the most common plug types are Tesla, CCS Combo and CHAdeMO, but not all EVs can accept all plug types. Tesla owners require an adapter to charge at CHAdeMO stations and there is no Tesla adapter currently available for CCS Combo.
How much does a charging station cost?
Most good quality home charging stations are priced between $600-$1300 + tax.
What is a networked charging station?
Networked charging stations connect to the internet over WIFI or cellular networks, and provide advanced features such as smartphone control, schedule charging, consumption data and power sharing.
What is power sharing?
Power sharing enables multiple charging stations on the same circuit to share electricity. If one EV is charging it will receive 100% of the power, but if multiple EVs are charging they will share the power.
How do I select the right charging station?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a charging station including the plug type (Tesla or J1772), connection type (hardwire or plug), cable length, purchase price, design, network access, power sharing functionality, durability and warranty.

Let us know the details of your project and we will recommend the right charging station for your needs free of charge. If you purchase a charging station from us, you will get the best available price because we offer a price-match guarantee with Amazon.ca and other retailers and we offer free shipping in Canada.
Can I bring my charging station with me if I move?
Yes. We recommend installing a 240v receptacle and purchasing a charging station with a plug. This will help you avoid paying for an electrician if your charging station requires replacement or if you are moving. If you choose a charging station that will output more than 40A, you will need to hardwire the charging station to your panel to receive a higher charge rate. If your charging station does not come with a plug, any charging savvy electrician can wire a plug into your charging station.

Energy Management

What is an energy management system?
An energy management system is a smart device that enables you to add EV charging, hot tubs and other 240v circuits if your electrical panel does not have enough capacity to support additional loads.
How do energy management systems work?
Some devices power one load at a time. These products automatically switch between a primary load and a secondary load. Whenever the primary load is not being used, the secondary load will be active. For example, your EV can be charging whenever your electric range is not being used.

Other devices share power between two loads at the same time. If one EV is charging it will receive 100% of the power, but if multiple EVs are charging they will share the power. These products are especially useful if you want to charge a Tesla EV and a non-Tesla EV at the same time.
How much does an energy management system cost?
Energy management products typically cost between $750-$1500. In most situations, the cost of installing an energy management system is less than half the cost of upgrading your electrical service.
Is it better to install an energy management system or upgrade my electrical service?
Over 90% of our customers choose to install an energy management system instead of upgrading their electrical service because it is easier, faster and cheaper. Upgrading your electrical service can take several weeks because in some situations, it requires coordination between you, an electrician, the utility company and your municipality. If you anticipate the need for additional capacity in the future for EV charging, a hot tub, A/C, a rental suite or any other reason, upgrading your electrical service may be the best option for you. If you do not anticipate the need for additional capacity in the future, we recommend opting for an energy management system instead.
Does my municipality allow energy management systems?
For detached houses, we have not seen or heard of any issues with any municipality. For townhomes, it's a bit trickier because each unit shares electricity with a group of other units. In some cases it is possible to add an energy management system, in some cases it is not possible without costly infrastructure upgrades. Contact us to discuss your project and we can usually come up with a custom solution that enables you to add EV charging, even if you do not have the capacity available.