Smart technology: Electric vehicle chargers

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Save big on fuel costs

Illustration of an electric vehicle charger

Avoid the gas pump and charge your vehicle at home

Electric Vehicle Chargers, more commonly known as EV Chargers or Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations, deliver energy to both all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. There are two types of chargers are available for home use:

  • Level 1 chargers, which use a standard 120 V wall outlet and provide 3 to 8 km of range per hour of charging time. Level 1 chargers can take 8 to 16 hours for a full charge.
  • Level 2 chargers, which require a 240 V wall outlet (like those used for clothes dryers and electric stoves) and provide 16 to 80 km of range per hour of charging time. They require 4 to 6 hours to fully charge, depending on the battery size.

What to look for

  • Install an ENERGY STAR® certified model which use 40% less energy when not actively charging a vehicle – which is typically 85% of the time.
  • Consider a unit with Wi-Fi technology to allow for remote power monitoring.
  • If you do not park your EV in a garage, you'll need a charger rated for outdoor use.

Things to consider

  • Charging at home, and at night, is the least expensive way to charge your electric vehicle.
  • Level 2 chargers require a permit from an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and should be installed by a licensed electrician.
  • If your main breaker is under 150 amps, installing a Level 2 charger will require your home's electrical services to be upgraded.
  • Level 1 chargers are better suited for owners who drive, on average, less than 50 km a day.
  • Before plugging in a Level 1 charge, make sure the outlet is in good condition and does not supply any other outlets.
  • When ordering your charger, make sure the charging cable is long enough.

Average cost

$1,700 to $4,000+, including installation.

Source: Natural Resources Canada

You may be eligible for a federal government incentive of up to $5,000 when you purchase an electric vehicle. Visit the Government of Canada's website for full details.

Financial help available for EV chargers