Finding the Right Charging Station

So you bought your first electric vehicle and you still need to buy a charging station for your home, but you have no idea where to start. You may be asking what’s the difference between a charger and charging station. We’ll tackle that in a future post and focus on helping you find the right charging station for your vehicle. 

Knowing some of the key concerns while shopping for a charging station will allow you to hit the ground running and find the best fit for you.

The two main criteria you should look for in a charger is the level of charging and amperage. Ask yourself the following questions:

What type of station do I need? An initial understanding of what type of station you will need begins with considering the level of charging you need. Currently there are two levels of charging available; Level 1 and Level 2. The majority of vehicles today are sold with a Level 1 cord set as a secondary means of charging, but are primarily charged using a Level 2 charging station. A level 1 cord set charges at 110V and may be used if the vehicle is designed to receive a low power charge. A major determination should be whether the charging station will be able to fully charge your car overnight or faster. 

What is level 2 charging? Level 2 charging refers to the voltage (240) that the electric vehicle charging station uses. Level 2 charging stations come in a variety of amperages typically ranging from 16 to 40 amps. The stations will charge your vehicle faster than Level 1 but there is a limit. Some vehicles have a maximum amperage they’ll accept, which leads us to selecting the correct amperage for your vehicle. 

What amperage can my vehicle take? Another important consideration is amperage. Amperage is the level of electric current at which your vehicle charges. Electric vehicles cannot accept a charge in excess of what they are capable of receiving.  Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the max charge in amps of your vehicle and find a charging station that supports that current. 

What amperage station do I need? Now that you know the level of charge your vehicle can take, the goal now is to match your charge station amperage with the max amperage of vehicle. For example, if your vehicle can take a max of 16 amps, then purchasing a 40-amp station is more than your vehicle needs.  

This leads us to future proofing.  Purchasing a higher amperage station will support your next EV and save costs down the road. 

How much electrical capacity do I have?  Now that you know what kind of charging station you need, find out if your home has the electrical capacity for a 240-volt breaker. If you are unsure it is best to reach out to an electrician.

Where should I install my charging station? Wherever you like. Bosch charging stations are rated for both indoor and outdoor use allowing you to install your charger as long as a 240-volt power source is available. An important consideration is that the further your charging station is away from your nearest electrical service panel, the greater your installation cost will be. 

What features should I considering when buying a charger? Bosch charging stations are available with a variety of add on options such as network connectivity, plug in or hard wire power options, cable length and heavy or light duty.

How much does a charger cost? Depending on the charger you’re looking for, Bosch has a variety of residential Level 2 charging stations starting as low as $449.

Once you find your charging station, contact an experienced electrician using our electrician map. Check back later for tips, best practices and what to ask when you have a station installed.