AV Connect

Home charging and Installation FAQ

Installing a home charging station can seem like a big task, but with the right information and a knowledgeable certified electrician, the process can be made easy and hassle free. These are some of the typical questions on home charging stations and installation.

1. Will any charging station work in my garage?

a. Electric Vehicles have three levels of Charging Equipment.

b. Level 1 uses a 120V portable cord set. This is generally used for short commutes or in emergency situations.

c. Level 2 charging uses 240V. This is used to charge overnight and is two to five times faster than Level 1 charging (depending on your vehicle). A Level 2 charger can be mounted to a wall in your home or may be available in a free standing pedestal configuration.

d. Level 3 DC Quick Charging requires industrial level power and is available only in commercial type applications. This is not currently available for your home.

2. What installation configurations are available for my Level 2 charging station?

AeroVironment EVSE-RS provides Level 2 charging (208-240VAC - 30A output) for your home use. The EVSE-RS can be mounted to a wall or in a garage, carport, or outside. A pedestal kit is also available for mounting the charging station if a suitable wall is unavailable. Check the enclosure rating of your charger to determine if the charging station is certified for in-door-only or out-door installation.

3. How is a charging station installed?

a. First, determine which charging station best fits your needs and life style. The charging matrix (make this a link to the matrix PDF) will help to explain the differences between products.

b. Next, you need to do an assessment of the installation. You will need to decide where you are going to park your electric vehicle and know where your vehicle’s charge port is located. You want to consider the cord length of the Charging Station to make sure that the cord will reach the vehicle’s charge port when you plug it in. Also, consider any hindrances so the cord will not become a tripping hazard.

c.The electric panel will need to have space for a 240 volt 40A 2-Pole circuit breaker and enough capacity to handle the added load of the Charging Station. If your panel does not have space or capacity, you may need to upgrade the service or add an additional sub panel to create space and capacity.

d. Before the installer can start work, the installer will need an electrical permit from your local municipality. The municipality may require a line drawing, load calculations and product spec sheets to issue the permit for your installation.

e. The installer will install the circuit breaker into the panel and route wire or conduit from the electrical panel to the Charging Station location. Some areas require that a disconnect switch be mounted within line of site of the charging station. The Charging Station is mounted on the wall to the stud or to a masonry wall surface using wall anchors. The wires are connected to the Charging Station, or alternatively, to a plug can be used with some models for indoor use. Once the Charging Station has been connected, the circuit breaker can be turned ON.

f. Installing a Charging Station mounted on a pedestal will require the additional work of trenching to the pedestal location and creating a concrete base to mount the pedestal to the ground.

g. AeroVironment installers will use a tool to test the Charging Station after the installation is complete to ensure that the charging station is functioning properly and you will be able to charge your electric vehicle once the installer leaves.

h. The local electrical inspector will review the installation to verify that it meets the local codes after the installation is complete.

4. Can I install my own charging station?

In some areas, you can install your own electrical equipment. Make sure you check with your local municipality. However, working with electrical power is dangerous. You will need to be knowledgeable of the NEC code, local codes, and have the skill set to install the equipment and necessary infrastructure. It can also require the creation of load calculations and site plans in order to obtain a permit for your installation. It is strongly recommended that you use a licensed electrician for your installation.

5. Why is it important to use a licensed electrician?

Using a licensed electrician is important for safety, cost, and peace of mind. A licensed electrical contractor has passed the requirements set by the state to deliver electrical services. They are familiar with local code and safety requirements and ensure that they are qualified to carry out quality work. Using a licensed electrical contractor for your assessment is also important and can save hundreds of dollars. The expertise of an electrician can provide you with the most cost effective solution and avoid unnecessary work.

6. Is installation expensive?

The cost of installation of Charging Stations will vary based upon the scope of work involved. Electrical permits also vary wildly in cost from city to city. Generally, the following rules will help control the cost of the installation:

1. Keep the circuit length short: Look for the closest location to the electrical panel to place the Charging Station.

2. Run the wire in exposed conduit, not hidden in the dry wall. When adding a circuit, it will not require the added expense of cutting holes or patching and painting of dry wall.

3. Avoid trenching through concrete or asphalt. Look to run through dirt if trenching is required.

4. Panel is full? See if you can get by with adding twin or tandem circuit breakers or a sub panel before upgrading the service.

7. How do I find a licensed electrician that is knowledgeable about EV charging stations?

AeroVironment has a nationwide network of licensed electrical contractors that have been trained and certified to provide EV Charging Station installations. AV’s contractors have been hand selected based upon their prior work and audited to ensure the quality of their work. AV’s electrical contractors can test the Charging Station with a vehicle simulator tool before they leave, ensuring that your station will function with your EV. You can contact AV for your installation services at 1-888-833-2148 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

8. Who offers installation services

Only licensed electrical contractors can perform professional electrical installation services for your Charging Station installation.

9. Is it less expensive to install a plug-in Charging Station versus hard wiring a Charging Station?

Not necessarily. Most residences do not have an acceptable plug for 240V/40A in the garage and will require an electrician to run a new circuit to the garage. The new circuit will require the addition of a plug.