Charging an electric vehicle at home

How to set up charging at your single family home

If you're like the vast majority of electric vehicle owners, you'll do the bulk of your charging at home. You can charge your vehicle with your home's standard 120-volt outlet (Level 1), and all plug-in electric cars currently sold come with an adapter to connect your EV to a 120 Volt household outlet.

Many EV owners opt for a faster charging option, a 240-volt service. It requires the purchase and installation of an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) control that connects to your EV. This uses a dedicated 240-volt household electrical circuit, the same used by your dryer or oven.

An electrician should be consulted to determine what's required to install a Level 2 charging station at your home. BC Hydro has identified qualified electricians who have successfully completed training specific to electric vehicles and charging station infrastructure. Find a qualified electrician via our Alliance referral form.

Learn about new incentives for the installation of charging stations in B.C.

Electrical supply issues to consider

Are you part of a condo development or strata? See our page on setting up charging stations at apartments, condominiums and strata developments.

How much will it cost? The price of a Level 2 charger designed for a single user can range from $400 to $4,000, depending on factors including the complexity of building modifications required to provide a connection between the charger and the electrical panel.

Charging times: Level 1 vs. Level 2

Level 1    
Standard outlet: 120 V Charging time  
A Level 1 charge simply requires a standard 120-volt outlet. The power demand is comparable to a 1,500-watt air conditioner. Plug-in hybrid: 6 to 8 hours
Battery electric: 11 to 16 hours

Level 2
Charging station: 240 V Charging time  
A Level 2 charge can be done using a 240-volt charging station installed outside your home or in your garage. The power demand is comparable to a stove or clothes dryer. Plug-in hybrid: 3 to 4 hours
Battery electric: 6 to 8 hours

Other things to consider

  • How much current (Amps) will your EV use when charging.
  • Existing electrical service panel capacity (100Amp, 200Amp, etc.)
  • Special considerations for a 400-amp service panel. This is an uncommon upgrade that doesn't qualify as normal load growth and will be classed as a customer driven extension.
  • Is there a 240-volt circuit already installed and available for use?
  • Is there room in the panel for a new 240V double-pole circuit breaker.
  • Will the charging station (EVSE) be direct wired or plugged in using a 240V receptacle.
  • If changes are required with your premises wiring, you'll be responsible for those costs. There are no upgrade costs.