With the rising popularity of electric cars in Canada, more and more people are purchasing them, and wondering about how to charge them safely from home.
Here are some of the basics:
Level 1. Using a standard household 120V outlet:
You can charge your car using a standard household 120 Volt outlet, but this is the slowest method. Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation says it results in about 8 km of range for every hour of charging. Electric vehicles come with a portable cord-set, allowing you to safely recharge at home or on the road from any standard outlet.
Level 2 Charging Station:
Many electric car owner opt to install a Level 2 Charging Station at home, as it charges faster than Level 1.
A Charging Station uses a 240V system, like what’s used by a clothes dryer or stove. The Ministry of Transportation says these chargers offer approximately 35 km of range for each hour of charging.
Requirements: Under Ontario law, to install a charger at home, you must hire a licensed electrical contractor. The contractor can advise you if your home needs an electrical panel upgrade to handle the requirements of the charger.
A notification of the installation is required with Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority before the installation. Ask your licensed contractor to file this before the work.
To find a Licensed Electrical Contractor: The Electrical Safety Authority has a search tool to find a licensed electrical contractor near you, at https://findacontractor.esasafe.com
Certificate of Acceptance: When the work is completed, ask your contractor for the Certificate of Acceptance, which shows that your installation has been compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Your home insurer may want a copy of it, and it’s good to keep for your records.
More information: The Electrical Safety Authority has a customer-service line, to answer questions about requirements for electric vehicle chargers and other home electricity issues, at 1-877-372-7233.