April 13, 2022

How many amps do I need?

For starters, Level 2 charging is a homeowner’s best choice, without a doubt. Level 1 charging happens on a standard 110-volt wall outlet. All Level 2 EV chargers function with more powerful 240-volt outlets, and the charger brands have options for 32-amp, 40-amp, and 48-amp chargers, among others, which connect to these more powerful “dryer” outlets.

Now we evaluate speed of charge and supply of electrical current to your home, both very important factors when choosing the best Level 2 EV charging option.

Speed: How fast will you charge?

All Level 2 chargers use 240-volt outlets, so charging time varies depending on the charger’s amperage.

Before selecting a Level 2 charger, make sure to check your vehicle’s technical sheet for the amount of kilowatts the vehicle’s onboard charger can accept. You should then divide that number by 240 to know what amperage your charger should have:

I(A) = (P(kW) * 1000) / V(V)

For example, for a Ford Mach-e, max AC rate is 11.5kW. 

I(A) = (11.5kW * 1000) / 240V = 48 amps

Most Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) can accept 16-32 amps, while most electric vehicles can accept 32 - 48+ amps. All else equal, the more amperage flowing into the vehicle, the faster the charge time. However, we do not recommend installing a charger with more amps than your vehicle can accept. 

Supply: How much room is in your electrical panel?

Many homes pull either 60, 100 or 200 amps of current. The Level 2 EV charger will usually need 30-50 amps, which would be fine if it is the only appliance plugged in, however other appliances need amps too. Further, the National Electrical Code requires an electrical circuit to be rated for 25% greater amperage than your charger’s output. For example, if you want to buy a 40-amp Level 2 charger, you’ll need a circuit breaker that’s rated for at least 50 amps.

Your panel will also need to have enough physical space for the charger. Circuit breakers will need to be available for the charger. A certified electrician will be able to tell if there is enough space.

So, how much does it cost to install a Level 2 charger in a home? Get quotes on Lectrium’s platform, for free. Or check out our previous blog post on costs for installations.

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