Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

KES offers complete installation of electric vehicle charging stations for all brands of electric cars to our current National Electrical Code Standard. We are also a preferred installer with Tesla and have completed all trainings.

Will my home support my new electric vehicle charging station?

Most homeowners are pretty confused by this subject. Simply, electric vehicle chargers draw quite a bit of power (amperage) so it requires an existing electrical service that is large enough to support it.
    Electricians determine whether your existing electrical service can support your charger by doing what is called an electrical load calculation. It takes into account the square footage of your house plus all of your electric appliances such as garbage disposal, dishwasher, electric range, electric dryer, fixed microwave, a/c, electric heat, etc. Now our National Electric Code assumes that ALL electric appliances would NOT run simultaneously, so we are allowed to derate the total amperage we come up with after adding all those up. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  What is the chance you would have the burners turned on on your electric range while baking  something in your oven, washing and drying your clothes, running your garbage disposal with all your lights on in the home at the same time.  It is VERY unlikely a homeowner would be running everything simultaneously.
      This is why our electrical code allows us to derate most of the loads in a home. Some loads cannot be derated. Those are primarily A/C loads, electric heat loads AND electric vehicle chargers. All of these are considered continuous loads and have a 1 to 1 factor on load calculations. A Tesla charging station for example can be set to run at a continuous 48amps to charge the car at the fastest rate possible. As an example, if you currently have a 100amp electrical service, the remainder of your load calculation would have to be less than 52amps to use this charger at its top setting.
        Without boring you with the actual calculation as it can be a little confusing, MOST medium and smaller homes with an existing 200amp service will be FINE adding an electric vehicle charger. If your home has a 100amp service (or smaller) it’s unlikely the charger will work, unless you have NO heavy existing electrical loads.

          If you are questioning whether your existing electrical service will support your charger, please email us a photo of your panel, with a list of your electric appliance loads and house square footage. We will be happy to do the calculation for you.

          I am unable to upgrade my electrical service! Am I stuck?

          Maybe, maybe not. You can always plug your car into a standard outlet if in a pinch, but yes the charging will be very slow. Charging stations like the Tesla charger can be turned DOWN to a lower amperage setting which may fit within your existing electrical service.  This will of course slow the charging speed down, but is a good option if a service upgrade can’t be done right away.  In these situations we recommend installing wiring that can support the full amperage load but fusing it at the lower amount. This way if you upgrade the service down the road you can change the setting on the charger to the higher one and not have to redo the installation!

            As an example, a Tesla 3 long range plugged into a standard outlet will charge at 3 miles per hour. The same car using their wall charger at the 60amp (48amp continuous) setting will charge at 44 miles per hour.

            Do you need an electrical service upgrade?

            You have come to the right place! We install new electrical services on homes all the time. We also offer an industry leading warranty on our electrical service upgrades which is 5 YEARS! If your car charger installation involves a service upgrade as well, we have you covered. Check out the Service Upgrade section on this website for more information. 

              NEMA What?

              Another common question from customers, “Can I use a NEMA something plug and charge my car that way?” With some cars YES, you can get an adapter to connect your car to NEMA 14-30 or NEMA 14-50 receptacle. The 30 stands for 30amp and the 50 stands for 50amp, which is the rating of each receptacle. Tesla for example use to include the NEMA receptacle adapter with their cars but has moved away from providing these. Those receptacles relied on a pressure connection (like any normal outlet) and as they were used more and more (plugged in, unplugged) the connection would break down leading to receptacle failure. Tesla recommends that if you were using a a NEMA adapter to leave the adapter plugged in all the time then plug the other end into the car when needing a charge. A work around, but not a long term solution. This is a big reason why we recommend wired charging station options over using a NEMA adapter. Tesla, Clipper Creek, ChargePoint as well as others have excellent products. 

                Please let us know if you need help choosing a charger for your vehicle or if you are not sure whether your existing electrical service can support your new electric vehicle charger. We are here to help!