kevin capps
kevin capps
Jun 13, 2022 3 min read

How to Build an Electric Car Friendly Home

How to Build an Electric Car Friendly HomeElectric cars have been gaining in popularity for several years. Breaking dependence from petroleum, reducing your carbon footprint, and lower maintenance costs are just a few reasons for this. Even with charging stations being installed in many public places, like parking lots and parallel parking zones, most electric car owners prefer to charge their vehicles at home. What does it take to charge an electric car at home safely in your own garage?

Electric Car Charging Basics

To start, let’s cover the standard electric car outlet requirements to charge an electric vehicle (EV). An at-home EV charging station will typically require a 240V/40A dedicated circuit. This voltage is comparable to the power used for larger appliances like a clothes dryer and will provide your EV 10-20 miles of driving per hour of charging. 

Currently, three levels of EV charging systems are available:

  • Level 1: 120V at 20 amps and a dedicated circuit breaker. Provides about 5 miles per hour of charge.
  • Level 2: 240V at 40-100 amps (most compare this level to powering a clothes dryer). Provides anywhere from 20-60 miles per hour of charge. 
  • Level 3 (Used in commercial charging stations): 480V. Provides 50-200 miles in 20 minutes. 

More directly, although an EV could get a full charge overnight through a 20 amp unit, having the convenience of getting a full charge in a much shorter amount of time would be worth the investment. Level 2, then, is the preferred choice, even with the increase in cost and physical requirements, like a larger dedicated circuit breaker. 

How Does This Affect the Whole Home Electrical Load?

During a remodel or when building a custom home, it’s a good idea to plan your electric capacity for two EVs rather than one. Chances are, with every home having an average of two cars, it’s likely that in a few years, you will really need that additional charging station. Given this, you should speak with your custom builder about increasing your electric service by 200 amps.  

The Bottom Line

It’s commonly known that electric cars are the more environmentally sound choice when it comes to personal vehicles. This has led to financial incentives set by both our federal and state governments to nudge more drivers to get behind an electric wheel ahead of the California 2035 ban on gas-operated vehicle sales.

The Southern California Edison rebate program, for example, is part of an effort to incentivize the purchase or lease of a pre-owned EV. Other incentives come by way of tax credits or utility reimbursements. To learn more about the federal tax credits as well as those by state, visit the Enel X website, an EV charging station provider. As for utility reimbursements, you will need to contact your utility provider directly. 

Where to Install Your Charging Station?

Of course, your electrician or the electrician contracted by your home builder will handle the installation of your electric car charging station. This is simply to give you an idea of the considerations required to place your charging station. Note that an EV will most likely have a charging port on the front of the vehicle. 

For an interior space: 

  • Assess available space for the car and the equipment. Ensure no doors, overhead or standard, will obstruct the charger use. 
  • Be sure that the charging station won’t obstruct the car from entering the garage. Ideally, the charging mount will be at the back wall of the garage, where passing won’t be an issue. 
  • The wall-mount height for the connector should be between 36” and 48” from the ground. 
  • The placement should also be such that the cord will not cross a walking path when in use.

For an exterior space: 

  • Consider the placement of available parking spaces.
  • Proper lighting outside is key to avoid tripping on the cord or improper use. 
  • The wall-mount height for the connector should be between 36” and 48” from the ground. 
  • The placement should also be such that the cord will not cross a walking path when in use.
  • Install a curb or wheel stop to protect the charging station from accidental bumps.

Charging Station

Charging with Smart Technology

Smart technology around the home is becoming the norm and an EV charging station is no exception. Plug your EV in and monitor its charge from your smart device. Use voice control technology to make monitoring and controlling your charger even easier. Some chargers also come with the ability to turn off the charger when your car is fully charged. 

You can even have your charger only in use when the rates of electricity are at their lowest. A charging station can be set up to participate in utility demand response programs, as mentioned above. If charging two cars on one station is the setup that works best for your home, some charging stations can compare and monitor the energy load balance between the vehicles.

Working with Your Custom Home Builder 

Whether you’re looking to build a custom luxury home or remodel the home you’re already in, invest in the future with electric car charging stations. Ask your custom home builder how to make setting up for charging at home easily. K.C. Customs is a custom home builder and luxury remodeler that is at the front of designs that are both remarkable and functional. Contact K.C. Customs and schedule a consultation to discuss how to bring your new or existing home into the future.





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