If you’re thinking about investing in an Electric Vehicle, know in advance that about 80 percent of all charging happens at an EV driver’s home. That makes it all the more important to familiarize yourself with these key tips (and to read your owner’s manual closely!) so you can enjoy your new vehicle as much as possible.

1. There are three types of home charging The higher the charging level (1-3) the faster your EV charges. Level 1 involves plugging the vehicle into any standard 12-volt outlet. Level 2 is a common, initial upgrade involving a 240V outlet to charge between three and seven times faster. Level 3 includes either DC Faster Charging or (Tesla) Supercharging, and they’re a rarity at residences.

2. Start by choosing the right charging cable The purchase of a new EV will often come with a public charging cable, but new EV owners will typically install a home charging point. The right cable is a necessity, and it’s important to consider beforehand how long and what rating that cable needs to be. Notably, some vehicles will need a certain length – the standard is 7.5 meters, a 10-meter isn’t uncommon, and a 5-meter is routine for easier storage.

3. Location, Location, Location In addition to considering cable length, bear in mind your EV likes shade. Heat (and hot weather, for that matter) have a negative impact on battery life. Make sure your charging (and storage) setup will keep your vehicle away from direct sunlight, under cover if possible, and cool. Be sure the EV’s charging station is out of the elements as well – don’t let water enter the unit!

4. Get expert help from the get-go Before you make your purchase, consult with a qualified electrician for your charging install. Ensure you’re purchasing the appropriate charging device from a recognized source. Your technician will want to install a new, dedicated circuit for your charging device, and it may require an upgrade to your home’s existing wiring in order to function with the new EV equipment. It’s also recommended the technician install a residual current device to cut the power if a fault is detected.

5. Charge your EV correctly First and foremost, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging your EV. Don’t overcharge your EV or let it go flat – the batteries work best between 30 and 90 percent of capacity. Never use a multiplug adapter or extension cord in your charge setup. Maintain your charging station and have it inspected periodically – be on the lookout for excessive wear and potential shock hazards. Keep all device components out of the reach of children.

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