A charging station for your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle?

A charging station for your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle?

Are you looking to buy an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle? Here are some tips about home charging stations in Quebec.

To install one or not?

You need to know how long it will take to charge the battery of the car you want in order to decide if you should install a home charging station.

Charging time could take anywhere from 12 minutes to approximately 8 hours.

Two factors can affect charging time:

  1. Charging station power source. It runs anywhere from 120 to 400 volts.
  2. Battery capacity. The longer it spends in electric mode, the longer the charging time could take.

Choosing your charging station

If you think you will be charging your car at home most of the time, installing a home charging station is something to consider instead of having to use the Electric Circuit public network of charging stations or FLO network charging stations.

You can choose from among 3 voltage options:

  • 120-volt standard power outlet
  • 240-volt charging station
  • 400-volt charging station

120-volt standard power outlet

You simply plug the cord that came with the car into a standard power outlet to charge.

Charging time is longer as the voltage is lower. It could even take up to 20 hours for 100% electric models.

Electricity consumption is about what it would take to power a 1,400-watt air conditioner.

240-volt charging station

Installed outside the house or in the garage, a 240-volt charging station saves time!

It is estimated that the charging time for an electric vehicle is 5-7 times faster if it is plugged into a 240-volt station. As for a plug-in hybrid, charging time is 3 times faster than a standard power outlet.

This is therefore the perfect solution for drivers who intend to make the most of their green car.

Similar to a Level 2 charging station in the Electric Circuit, these stations use as much power as a 40-gallon hot water heater.

400-volt fast-charge station

Charging time takes minutes with a 400-volt charging station.

Only electric vehicles fitted with a CHAdeMO or Combo socket can charge at a 400-volt fast-charge station.

Not all plug-in hybrid vehicles are compatible.

How much does it cost to install a charging station?

It all depends on the type of charging station you pick, but it generally costs around $2,000.

The Québec government offers a rebate of up to $600 if you want to have a 240-volt charging station installed at home.

You must meet two conditions in order to benefit from the government program:

  • Installation of the charging station must be done by a licensed electrician.
  • You need to either own or lease a vehicle and provide its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Are you not sure it is worth the cost? Your charging station will quickly pay for itself. Indeed, it costs 30% less to charge an electric or plug-in hybrid at home than using the public network of charging stations.

And don’t forget about fuel savings! It is 6 times cheaper to run on electricity than on gas.

Leave it in the hands of a master electrician

Don’t wing it by trying to install a charging station yourself! Only an electrician is up to the task.

They will begin the process by first checking that your electrical panel has enough capacity to accommodate a 240 or 400-volt charge. It can easily overload with numerous appliances such as a hot tub, water heater and heat pump.

Therefore, replacing the electrical panel is something… to think about.