600 Northgate Pkwy. Ste D, Wheeling, IL 60090  
Mon – Fri: 7AM - 4PM
600 Northgate Pkwy. Ste D, Wheeling, IL 60090  
Mon – Fri: 7AM - 4PM
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21 Feb, 2022
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Can My Electrical Panel Support Electric Car Charger?

You are considering buying, or you have already purchased, an electrical vehicle, but now you are unsure about installing electric car chargers and whether your home can support one. Well, let’s break down some of the main information here to help you understand the important factors determining when a panel can support electric car charging stations.

Faster charging? More power needed!

This might seem kind of obvious, but it is important to understand that faster-charging speed will require more from your tesla home charger. Here we see a chart with the charge rate and the amperage needed for your tesla home charging station: 

So, the fastest charge rate, for a model 3 for example, is 44 miles per hour and requires a draw of 48 amps, which can be high, but luckily our electrician can help you with a charge setting that will work for your house’s electrical panel and for your car. 

I Want my Electric Car to Charge as Quickly as Possible!

Though of course, it sounds ideal to have the fastest possible charge rate, any electrician will tell you, it is not really necessary and usually not ideal. At a maximum charge rate your tesla wall charger will get you around 44 miles an hour, meaning in 7 hours you will be fully charged for 300 miles, which is clearly quite a bit longer than most daily commutes. 

The main things to consider here are when you will charge your car, how long you will have to charge it, and how many miles you really need per day. 

So first, it is likely that you will use your electric car chargers overnight, just like 98% of other people, meaning you have anywhere from 7-12 hours, especially if you plug your electric car in right after work. 

Secondly, how many miles a day do you actually drive? The average person drives about 37 miles a day, a bit far off from 300, so you can safely have a slower charge rate for your tesla with no problems! If you even drive, say, 100 miles a day, you can set your charging stations to just 30amps and be ready to go in just 4.5 hours (using tesla model 3 as an example). 

If you have a low electrical service, make sure you really consider how many miles a day you drive before you call in an electrical company for a service upgrade. 

Will My Electrical Service Support an EV Charger?

If you want to have an idea of your needs before calling in the electrical contractors for a tesla wall charger installation, and a potential service upgrade, you can look at these key points. 

If your electrical service is 100 amps, and all of your appliances are electric, you will have a hard time with installing electric car chargers. 

However, If you have a 100 amp electrical service and some of your appliances are gas powered (the stove and water heater for example) you should be able to accommodate a tesla home charger, though it is unlikely your electrical company will be able to help you set up the maximum charge rate. 

Now, if you have 200 amp electrical service, your electrician will have very little problems setting up your charging stations, unless you have a really big house with a lot of appliances and multiple air conditioners. 

To be sure what your electrical panel can handle, the electrical company will perform an electrical load calculation to see how many amps are already in use, and how much you have to spare – therefore determining the setting for your tesla home charger. The calculation will use your square footage and take into account all your appliances, but be aware that the calculation also uses “demand factors” meaning it assumes that you will never be using every single appliance at once. 

What Happens if My Electrical Service Will Not Support The Tesla Home Charging Station?

If the electrician determines your service will not support electric car charging stations you have two choices: 

The electrical company can upgrade your electrical service

You can install an energy management system 

If you live in a single-family home with 100 amp service, getting an electrician to upgrade you to 200 amps is your best option. This gives you so much more flexibility with your appliances and your tesla wall charger installation will be a piece of cake. Also, this upgrade will greatly increase the value of your home, helping you if you plan to sell later. 

On the other hand, if you are in a single-family home with a 200 amp service, or a condo with a 100 amp service, and it is not sufficient for electric car chargers, then your electrical company can install an energy management system. This works by measuring the load being drawn by the electrical panel and it will shut off your car charging station if the load exceeds 70%. Once the load drops back down it will automatically turn back on. It is a great solution!

Questions, concerns, or need some advice? 

Feel free to contact our team of expert electrical contractors for help. We would be happy to resolve any doubts you may have about electrical car chargers for your home!

 

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