Can I Install an EV Charger in My Car?
Can I install an EV charger at home? This may seem like a silly question to many, but if you are going to be charging your electric vehicle then it is absolutely essential. A dead battery has nothing to do with a recharging problem. It can happen to anyone when you leave your car parked for too long or fail to check your battery. In this article I will explain why it is important to always keep your electric vehicle charged and what to look for to ensure your investment is protected.
If you are unsure about whether an electrician can help you, then ask around. Find out from family, friends and colleagues who have access to qualified electricalians. Check the yellow pages to find someone close to you. Most electricians charge by the hour or by the job. Find out how long it usually takes them to complete a job. When you are looking for an electrician, ask them for a rough idea of how long the installation should take.
If you live in the UK, don’t attempt to install your own electrician. It is illegal and dangerous to operate a generator under the influence of alcohol. An electrician must be licensed by the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation. Make sure that the license holder is a properly trained electrician and carries out quality work. A good electrician will have a list of references from his clients.
Before contacting the electrician, try to find out how long the charge will take. How long does it typically take to charge an electric vehicle? The typical answer is ‘about an hour’. But this will vary depending on the type of battery used, the condition of the battery and the age of the electric system. Your electrician should be able to give you an exact figure.
If your electrician doesn’t have a definite estimate for you, then stick to the cheaper estimate. This doesn’t mean you have to accept poor quality; just stick to what you know you can afford. Don’t be tempted to spend more than you have to, as the extra costs will quickly add up.
After you have the electrician’s number, go and have a look at his work. Are his techniques easy to use and consistent? Do all his suggestions make sense? Is he knowledgeable about the products he suggests? There’s nothing worse than a faulty electric system, and it can put a huge hole in your pocket.
Once you have decided on the power source and the type of batteries to use, ask him if he’ll install a charging system for free. Some charging systems are available for free with purchase of a new car – check the manufacturers’ websites. Otherwise, many local electricians offer their services on a “cost-per-hour” basis. This means you only pay for the time you use the charger, and you can decide how long you want to charge your car. You don’t even need to pay for the installation cost.
As an extra measure to prevent overcharging, set up your electrician’s charging system somewhere where there’s a power shortage. Ideally, this should be somewhere where your car spends most of its time – in your garage. It could also be in your caravans shed. You don’t want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, only to find that when you try and start your car the next morning there’s absolutely no power.
Before you start wiring your charger, disconnect the original electric supply to your car’s battery. Take any wires with you so that you can easily re-connect them later. Leave the car on a level surface, away from any electric outlets. Unplug the battery to avoid any shock factors.
Take your new electric car charger and unplug the original supply to your car, setting it up on the rear side of the car where it can face upwards. Then hook up the wires to the new cable and hook up the car to the charger. Power up the car and see if it charges up – if so, good job!
It’s actually pretty easy to install. The process only takes about an hour for a fully charged car – and you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver, an adaptor, a meter and a power drill. You might want to use a better quality power drill though, as you’re going to be working with a small metal case that could damage your car paint job