May is National Electrical Safety Month. This year the Electrical Safety Foundation Institute (ESFI) has selected, “Electrification: E-Mobility,” as the topic for the 2023 safety campaign. The campaign explains how the rapid advancements made to emerging technology, most notably electric vehicles, require further electrification and safe, efficient devices that can support this increased energy demand. So this month, we wanted to take a closer look at EV chargers.
There are 3 basic types of chargers available:
- Level 1: 120v. This requires a standard home outlet but takes the longest amount of time to charge. It will charge approximately 3-5 miles of range per hour.
- Level 2: 240v. This requires an EV charger installation. This will charge your vehicle faster at approximately 10-20 miles of range per hour.
- Level 3: This is available at businesses or in commercial settings only. You will usually have an 80% charge in 20-30 minutes.
What other items do I need to consider?
First, make sure you have enough space for an EV charger and make sure you have adequate GFCI protection to avoid electric shocks. Most reputable units will come with GFCI protection built in. Your charger and charging cords should be certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NTRL) and all EV charger installations and site assessments should only be completed by qualified electricians who have been trained and are insured to complete electrical work.
Use and maintenance
Here are a few maintenance and use tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation Institute:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging electric vehicles.
- Be sure to properly store charging cables to avoid damage, which could lead to electric shocks and fires.
- Cover EV charging stations to avoid water damage.
- Make sure EV chargers are properly maintained. Avoid vehicle contact with chargers and never use a charger with damage.
It is very important that you have a qualified electrician ensure your home or business has the right electrical capacity for EV charging. Your current electrical system many not be able to handle this additional load so before installing any type of EV charger you should see if any other electrical upgrades need to be completed fist. Also, never use extension cords when charging an electric vehicle. This is a fire and shock hazard.