When you buy an electric car in Ontario you are creating more green jobs and doing something to make a change. Here is some basic Electric Vehicle Charger information.

More and more car manufacturers are making electric cars including Tesla, Audi, Toyota, BMW, Jaguar, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo. The change from gas to electric vehicles, referred to as EV (Electric Vehicles), is happening faster than most people think. The overall costs of owning an EV is soon likely to drop below that of conventional gas powered vehicles, at which point electric and hybrid cars may rapidly become the car of choice for an increasing number of new car buyers.

The first mass produced electric car, the Toyota Prius in 2003, was originally a battery/gas hybrid car that was not a true “plug-in” EV. Instead, its electric battery was recharged when the driver stepped on the brakes or the car was coasting downhill. Since then, manufacturers have come up with both hybrid and fully electric plug in vehicles, also known as PEVs.

Home Charging Solutions: Level 1 & Level 2

Level 1 Chargers

Level 1 charging happens when you charge an electric vehicle (EV) using the charger included with the car. These chargers can be plugged with one end into any standard 120V outlet, with the other end being plugged directly into the car. Standard charging rates are about 200 kilometers in 20 hours.

When you use a Level 1 charger, it is important that it is on its own dedicated electrical circuit. This means no other devices should be plugged into the same outlet on the same circuit breaker. For enhanced safety, the outlet should also be of an industrial type.

There is one drawback with a Level 1 charger. It can take up to 12 hours to fully charge some vehicles using 120 Volt standard house power. Depending on which vehicle you own, you’ll get from 5 – 8 kilometers for every hour you charge your car with a standard 120 Volt receptacle. If you only drive short distances and never completely deplete your battery this may be okay for you. Every night you will need to plug in your car to give it enough charge to get through the following day.

Level 2 Chargers

Tesla Wall Connector electrician Toronto, Ontario by MDC Electric

There is another option for those who want and need to get the battery of their electric vehicle fully charged in a shorter amount of time.

Level 2 chargers are commonly sold separately from the vehicle, although they’re often purchased at the same time. These chargers require a more complicated setup, as they are hard wired or plugged into a 240V outlet which allows charging 3 to 7 times faster than Level 1 depending on the electric car and the charger.

A Level 2 charger, depending on the charger and the vehicle, can charge a typical EV in about 4 – 6 hours. A Level 2 charger is larger than the Level 1 charger and is typically mounted on the wall of your garage or exterior close to the parking location of the EV. An electrical extends from the Level 2 charger and plugs into a port in the EV. You can think of it as your own mini gas station in your garage, except you are using electricity to fill your car rather than gasoline.

The chart below gives you a breakdown of the speed of charge you can expect a Level 2 EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) to provide for the vehicles listed. The chart is figured by the driving kilometers added for every hour of charge.

ModelMax ChargeKM Added Per Hour100% Electric or PHEV
Audi A3 e-tron3.3 kW18PHEV
BMW i37.4 kW40100% Electric / REx
Cadillac ELR3.3 kW18PHEV
Chevy Spark EV3.3 kW18100% Electric
Chevy Volt3.3 kW18PHEV
Fiat 500e6.6 kW35.5100% Electric
Ford C-Max Energi3.3 kW18PHEV
Ford Fusion Energi3.3 kW18PHEV
Ford Focus Electric6.6 kW35.5100% Electric
Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid6.6 kW35.5PHEV
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid3.3 kW18PHEV
Kia Soul EV6.6 kW35.5100% Electric
Mercedes B-Class Electric10 kW47100% Electric
Mercedes S550 Plug-in Hybrid3.3 kW18PHEV
Mercedes C350 Plug-in Hybrid3.3 kW18PHEV
Mitsubishi i-MiEV3.3 kW18100% Electric
Nissan LEAF3.3 kW / 6.6 kW18 / 35.5100% Electric
Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid3.6 kW / 7.2 kW19 / 39PHEV
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid3 kW16PHEV
Smart Electric Drive3.3 kW18100% Electric
Tesla Model X7.7 kW /11.5 kW37 / 56100% Electric
Tesla Model S7.7 kW /11.5 kW44 / 66100% Electric
Tesla Model Y7.7 kW /11.5 kW47 / 71100% Electric
Tesla Model 37.7 kW /11.5 kW47 / 71100% Electric

A Level 2 charger needs to be installed by a Certified Electrical Contractor familiar with EV chargers and the continuous loads they supply. The Level 2 charger requires 240 volts, which is not the typical outlet in a home garage. Your Electrical Contractor will need to determine whether or not your existing electrical panel can handle the new circuit. If not, you will need an electrical panel upgrade or EVEMS (Electric Vehicle Energy Management System) installed to accommodate the added load that the Level 2 charger will supply to the EV. During this consult, you will be given an estimate for the electric vehicle charger installation and we can discuss the best placement for the charger.

Electric Vehicle Charger Installation

MDC Electric specializes in EV charger installations. We’ve installed hundreds of chargers for all types of vehicles including Tesla, Audi, Toyota, BMW, Jaguar, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo. We’ve also worked with all types of EV charger brands including Tesla, ChargePoint, Grizzl-E, Flo, and ClipperCreek.

Each job is different depending on the status of the electrical panel, distance from point of charge, finished or unfinished areas etc. Give us a call or send us an email and we’d be happy to provide an estimate for you.