Electricity can be a hazard. If you need to do any wiring or want to install a permanent charging station on a wall, keep yourself and your family safe by getting a certified electrician to do the work. Consider working with an electrician who has completed the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training program.
You may not need an electrician if:
- You are using a Level 1 charger plugged into an existing outlet.
- You already have an existing 240-volt outlet and are using a portable Level 2 charger that does not require installation.
If you do not work with an electrician you will need to apply for any necessary permits and coordinate inspections on your own.
When in doubt, consult a professional.
Find a qualified electrician through our Alliance of Energy Professionals.
5 questions to ask your electrician about installing an EV charger
A certified electrician has the knowledge and expertise to install your EV charging station properly. They can also help you understand what needs to be done. Here are some questions you can ask.
1. How much electricity do I need?
An electrician will help you to understand what kind of charger will meet your needs based on your specific EV model, how frequently you use it, and how quickly you want to be able to charge at home.
2. Do I need to upgrade my BC Hydro electrical service?
An electrician will look at your electrical panel(s) and determine what your existing electrical load is. Based on what kind of charger you want to use and how many electrical appliances are in your home, you may or may not need to upgrade your electrical service to 200- or 400-Amp.
3. Will my electrical panel accommodate a new circuit for the EV charger?
A dedicated circuit in the panel is required for an EV charger. If you don't have sufficient space in your existing panel you may need to have a sub-panel installed.
4. How will you get electricity to my EV charger?
Where you'd like to locate your EV charger is a factor, but most often you'll be charging at or near your house where there are already circuits and plugs installed, so there may not be a need for extensive wiring.
5. Will this work require an electrical permit?
Not all electrical work or installations require permits and inspections. Confirm with your municipality or Technical Safety BC to determine what is required.
3 questions your electrician may ask you
Answers to these questions will help your electrician identify the EV charging solution that is best for you.
- How often will you drive your EV? Every day? Multiple trips in a day?
- How far will you drive on a regular basis?
- Will you be charging your EV anywhere else? Like at work?
Things to watch for after installation
Pay careful attention to your charging cable at all times, whether it's stored with your charger, or connected to your vehicle.
Always avoid getting it wet or placing it anywhere it can be stepped on or tripped over. Both of these pose serious safety hazards and can also affect your charger's performance.
If you think there's a problem with your charger, consult with a certified electrician immediately.
- EV chargers have safety precautions built in, and will notify you if there's a problem. Read your owner's manual so you understand what these notifications look like, and what they mean.
- If you notice that your vehicle doesn't seem to be charging as fully or as fast as you expect, there may be a problem with the charger or the connection port. Consult with your electrician.
Tracking your electricity use
You'll no doubt want to keep track of how much electricity your EV charger is using. Just log in to your BC Hydro account to view your detailed consumption with our easy-to-use tracking tools.