Electric Car Chargers: Don’t Get Burned by a Bargain

Imagine a world where we fuel up on snacks at the station instead of costly gasoline. In 2021, that reality is closer than ever.

From the Tesla Model S to the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, major manufacturers create exciting vehicles powered by electricity.

New to the world of Electric Vehicles (EV) or Hybrids? Our car charger installation pros at JSR Electrical have a few handy pointers to get you on the road in a flash and avoid any of the potholes along the way!

Types of Home Chargers – Level 1 & Level 2

A Tesla car is plugged into the wall of a garage, with a car charger installed by a JSR electrician.

When it comes to powering up a new electric car in your own garage, there are two types of chargers in use:

Level 1:
  • 120-volt, 20-amp circuit
  • uses a standard wall plug for charging
  • 17-25 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery
Level 2:
  • 240-volt, 40-amp circuit
  • uses a more powerful charging plug, like a home appliance
  • 4-5 hours to fully charge an EV with a 100-mile battery

JSR Electrician Pro Tip
A Level 2 charger installed at home is the best choice for convenience and charging speed.

A Strong Current Fuels Electric Cars

EVs do not operate primarily on highly flammable gasoline, so we see fewer safety warnings when at the pump ­– especially if that pump is the wall socket in your garage.

A lack of big red signs doesn’t mean the vehicle is free of safety considerations.

The current that serves as EV “fuel” is powerful and makes electrical safety an important part of the ownership process.

Are All Car Chargers Created Equal?

Much like the rest of North Texas, the Amazon delivery truck stops at our house so often we should invite them to the next family reunion.

However, bargain shopping for an off-brand car charging station may cause you more harm than good.

Think of Amazon and Ebay as a big online flea market – product information is left up to the individual sellers, buyer beware.

Many of the home charging stations for sale on these sites are not certified as safe for use by third-party testing laboratories, or for use in North America.

Note: Some car manufacturers sell their chargers through a website like Amazon. Verify the seller and the product are car maker approved before making a purchase.

What Is a Third-Party Testing Laboratory?

In the United States, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) is the most widely known independent testing laboratory.

UL tests new products and technologies for safety before marketing them to the public.

Why Care What Underwriters Laboratories Thinks About a Car Charger?

If you look at the major appliances in your home, each one will have a United Laboratories logo verifying the model is safe for use.

Level 1 & 2 car chargers, similar to home appliances, should be tested before installing.

UL 2594 is the safety standard for electric-car charging stations sold in North America.

If a car charger has been verified to meet the guidelines in UL 2594, you can be confident you are purchasing a product that is safe to install in your home and to use on your vehicle without causing damage.

Home and car insurance companies may restrict the type of car charger approved for coverage.

What car-charger brands do you recommend I buy for my new electric vehicle?

As electricians, we want to install the best and safest product to keep your vehicle running in top condition for years to come.

We recommend our customers purchase the Level 2 charger specifically made to work with your vehicle.

Maybe you are the proud owner of a new Ford Mustang Mach-E. Choosing the Ford Connected Charge Station not only gives you piece-of-mind, but maximizes special features unique to the Mach-E, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®.

Purchasing the matching charger means:

  • the charger has been verified to meet UL 2594
  • is safe to use without causing damage to your home or car
  • designed to work with the unique set up of your EV
  • verified as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and not an inferior/dangerous knockoff

JSR Electrician Pro-Tip
Still looking for a new Electric Vehicle? Many manufacturers allow you to add the Level 2 charger to your purchase financing.

Installing a Charging Station

Car makers always recommend you only use a registered, licensed electrician for Level 2 charging stations. They understand that electrical work on your home and property is best handled by the pros, to prevent costly damage.

Few easy steps to install a new Level 2 charging station:

1. Scout out your home or garage for the most convenient location to charge the vehicle. Note if this will be indoors or outdoors for your installation.  

2. Identify the charger designed for your make and model.

3. Purchase the charger and have it shipped to your home or pick up from the dealership.

4. Contact a licensed, registered electrician and make an installation appointment.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Level 2 Car Charging Station at My Home?

As expected, prices vary depending on both location and the electrician you choose.

While we can’t tell you what everyone charges, we can tell you what our customers can expect:

  • JSR Electrical is locally owned in the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex region
  • Our experienced electricians install chargers quickly and safely.
  • We offer all our customers free estimates and $0 service fees, with no hidden or unexpected charges at the end.
  • Level 2 car charger installation with one of our pros starts at $407.

If you are in the DFW area and would like a quote from JSR Electric on charger installs, you can find out more information here:  Electric Car Chargers  or contact us via the website: Contact JSR Electrical

JSR Electrician Pro-Tip
Check with your local utility provider to see if you qualify for discounts on your energy costs after purchasing a charging station. Depending on your manufacturer, there may be money back in your pocket for installing a qualifying charger at your home!

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