Understand charger levels and features
With lots of manufacturers and models to choose from, there are a number of options to consider. Whatever you decide, only select a charger that is safety certified, and consider having it installed by an electrician who has a Red Seal certification.
Electric vehicles (EVs) require a connection to an electrical system to charge. There are three different methods.
The 3 levels of chargers
Home EV charger features
Wondering which EV charger type is right for you? Consider the EV charger features below to make sure your selected model will accommodate your vehicle(s), the space and your preferences.
Features related to your vehicle(s)
Most EVs have the "J plug" (J1772) which is used for home and level 2 charging. For fast charging, there are two plugs: the “CCS” used by most manufacturers including BMW, General Motors and Volkswagen, and the "CHAdeMO" used by Mitsubishi and Nissan. Tesla has a proprietary plug, but can use the “J plug” or "CHAdeMO" with adapters.
Single or dual port
Charging stations designed for multi-EV use in common areas have two plugs that can be used at the same time.
Features related to your space
Cords are available in a range of lengths, the most common being 5 metres (16 feet) and 7.6 metres (25 feet). Shorter cables are easier to store but longer cables provide flexibility in the event drivers need to park further from the charger.
Indoor or outdoor
Many chargers are designed to function inside or outside, but not all are. If your charging station needs to be outside, make sure the model you choose is rated to work in the rain, snow, and cold temperatures.
Portable or permanent
Some chargers only need to plug into an outlet while others are designed to be installed on a wall.
Features related to your preferences
Level 2 chargers are available in models that deliver between 15- and 80-Amps. The higher the amperage the faster the charging.
Some chargers will connect to the internet so drivers can start, stop, and monitor charging with a smartphone.
Smart EV chargers
Smart EV chargers ensure the most efficient charging by automatically adjusting the amount of electricity being sent to an EV based on timing and load factors. Some smart EV charging stations can also provide you with data on your usage.
Buying your charger
Ready to start shopping? An electrician can help you choose a specific model that will meet your needs.
Funded by B.C.'s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources – and administered by BC Hydro and Fortis BC – rebates are available to make it more affordable for individuals, organizations, and buildings to add Level 2 charging.
Available rebates include:
Things you need to know about your electrical service
- How much current (amperage) will the EV need to charge?
- What is the capacity of your existing electrical service panel (e.g., 100-Amp, 200-Amp, etc.)? Note that a 400-Amp service panel is considered an "uncommon upgrade". Learn more about electrical service extensions.
- Is there a 240-volt circuit installed and available to be used?
- Is there room in the electrical service panel for a new 240-volt circuit breaker (it must be double-pole)?
- Where will the charging station be installed?
Hiring a certified electrician to install your EV charger will make the whole process much easier. They'll explain what you'll need to get started and how to get everything approved. We can help you find a certified electrician.