As drivers look to reduce their carbon footprint and dump the gas pump, Canadian roadways have seen increasing numbers of electric vehicles over the past several years. Even so, many drivers have found that relying on networks of charging stations to charge their electric vehicle isn’t always convenient. Here at TCA Electric, we’re often asked about residential electric vehicle charging solutions to solve this problem. Home charging stations make the experience of owning an electric vehicle even better, as drivers can leave their car to charge overnight. So after covering the FLO charger and the Tesla home charger in previous blog posts, today we’re introducing one more EV charging solution for drivers in Canada: the ChargePoint Home.
Who is ChargePoint?
When it comes to EV charging, ChargePoint is among the major players to know. ChargePoint describes their EV charging network as “the world’s largest and most open”—and with more than 110,000 charging locations around the world and 77 million charges delivered, it’s hard to argue with them. Based in California, ChargePoint has strong coverage of North America, with ChargePoint Canada locations concentrated in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. ChargePoint’s large network lets them offer a high degree of convenience to electric vehicle drivers, and they’re also the preferred network of many major businesses. Additionally, their chargers are compatible with just about every electric vehicle on the market (including Tesla models, via an adapter).
What is ChargePoint Home?
ChargePoint’s flagship home charger is the ChargePoint Home Flex, a 240-volt Level 2 charger that can be adjusted to suit your home and individual needs. The ChargePoint Home Flex works with just about every common electric vehicle on the roadways of Canada, bringing the high compatibility of the ChargePoint network to your home.
The ChargePoint Home Flex can deliver higher or lower amounts of charging power depending on your needs and the capabilities of your home’s electrical systems. In other words, if you don’t want to upgrade your service to 200 amps or higher, you can leave the ChargePoint Home set at a more manageable level for your home—and increase the amperage if you choose to upgrade in the future. The ChargePoint Home Flex is also a smart charger, meaning you can control it from your mobile device via an app. This lets you schedule charging, get reminders, and track your charging expenses remotely.
How do I install a ChargePoint in my home?
For homeowners, the first step in installing a ChargePoint Home is simple: hire a licensed and certified electrician for the job. While some simple electrical projects can safely be done DIY, installing an EV charger is not one of them. This is especially true of hardwired installations, as the process involves working directly with your breaker panel. This carries a severe risk of injury for an amateur electrician, while mistakes could also cause damage to your home’s electrical systems. Installing a NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 outlet should also be done by a professional.
Depending on the amperage you would like your charger to output, the first step may be to upgrade your service from 100 to 200 amps. Additionally, those with a suite may need to look into adding a demand charge controller. For a hardwired installation, an electrician will first remove the NEMA plug (as this will not be needed) and run 240 volts from your electrical panel to the preferred charging location. The cable between the breaker and your charger will be secured and insulated where necessary, and the ChargePoint Home will be mounted. For non-hardwired installations, your electrician will install a NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 outlet near your charging location and mount the charger. This outlet will require a dedicated 40A or 50A circuit, so smaller panels may need to be upgraded before installing.
Where should I have my ChargePoint Home installed?
As with any home EV charging station, the ChargePoint Home Flex should be installed as close to your typical parking spot as possible. This is often inside your garage or carport, though some choose to install an EV charger just outside their garage in order to charge from their driveway. The ChargePoint Home Flex can either be hardwired—that is, connected directly to your electrical panel—or it can be plugged in using a NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 plug. For outdoor installation, the safest installation method is typically hardwiring, though using a weatherproof 6-50 or 14-50 receptacle is also an option.
How much is a ChargePoint Home installation?
The ChargePoint Home Flex is available for about $1,000 to $1,100 CAD. This is before installation costs, which can vary substantially depending on the age of your home’s electrical systems, whether other upgrades must first be installed (such as a service upgrade), and the location of your charging point relative to your electrical panel. Installation can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000—but with so much variability, it’s best to get an estimate from a professional electrician before making any final decisions.
Choosing the right electrician to install your charger
In searching for the right ‘electrician near me’ to install your ChargePoint Home, there are several important factors to consider. As with hiring an electrician for any electrical project, you should consult online reviews and ratings and make sure each candidate is properly licensed and insured. With EV chargers, however, it’s especially important to consider each electrician’s experience installing electric vehicle charging stations. EV charging technology is shifting rapidly, with new chargers and electric vehicles constantly hitting the market. This makes it crucial that your electrician has experience working with a variety of EV chargers and has stayed up to date on the latest EV charging solutions.
TCA Electric Installs ChargePoint Home!
Here at TCA Electric, we strive to do our part in helping home and business owners make their driving experience a little greener. That’s why we install the most popular EV charging stations in Canada, including the ChargePoint Home and many other devices. We’re the EV charging experts, and our experienced team is standing by to help you get the most out of your electric vehicle. Contact TCA today for your EV charging needs!