Frequently Asked Questions
Electric Vehicle Chargers
Q. What are the Electrical Requirements for EV Chargers?
A. Standard level 2 EV charging station is wired into a dedicated 208-240V AC, 40Amp circuit at 60 Hz. Most homes run on a 100Amp circuit. Before anything is installed, a licensed electrician will be completing an assessment on your home to ensure you have adequate capacity.
Q. Can I install the charger in my home myself?
A. It is recommended that a licensed electrician professionally install home EV charging stations. Performing any electrical changes in your home can be dangerous to attempt yourself.
Q. Are the chargers required to be installed indoors and how much room is required?
A. No, the installation of chargers can be done indoors or outdoors, depending on what is ideally suited for your situation. The units are the size of a shoebox and require a small electrical connection box beside them.
Q: What happens if the charger gets wet?
A: All chargers are rated for IP65, meaning they are suited for our climate, both indoors and outdoors.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Q. Does charging use more electricity?
A. Yes, any charging of an electric vehicle at home will consume more electricity. The difference between using a level one and level two charger is the speed at which you can charge.
Q. Is there a best time to charge?
A. Yes, if you are on time-of-use electricity pricing, the best time to charge is at off peak rates. Your car will allow you to program the best time to start charging when you are connected. For more information on electricity rates, please click HERE.
Q: How much does it cost to charge my electric vehicle?
A: The cost to change your electric vehicle is based upon the total charge time and in what time-of-use bracket you are charging in. For example, an EV with a 64kWh battery would cost just over 5 dollars to charge at the current off-peak prices.
Q. How long will it take to charge my EV?
A. There are a few factors to determine this, but generally the size of the battery in the electric vehicle(kWh) divided by the level 2 charger rate of charge (7kW on average) will provide you with an estimate. Your EV battery management system will also affect the rate of charge. Therefore a 64 kWh battery would take 9 hours to charge in an ideal situation from empty. Please be aware the battery management system, will determine how fast and at what rate your vehicle will charge at and your vehicle information centre will give a more accurate charge time.
Q: How much electricity will the charging station use to charge my vehicle?
A: This will depend on the battery size of your vehicle, but you would add the size of the battery and how many times you plan to charge it each month for an estimated consumption increase per month. For example, if you charged the same 64kWh battery from 80% empty each week your use would be, 204 kWh per billing cycle.
Q. I would like to charge faster, can I get a faster charger?
A. This is determined based upon the current size and load on your electrical panel. If you wish to go beyond the contractor’s recommended installation, upgrades to your service and electrical panel will be required by a licensed professional.
Q: Are there any safety risks with installing a charger at my home?
A: We always recommend a profession installation of the charger, keep the unit free of any obstacles and use the storage receptacle for the plug when not in use. The unit is certified for operation in Canada and all precautions are in place for a safe installation.
Q: How many vehicles can be charged off the same charger at the same time?
A: Each charger will come with one vehicle charging plug.
Q: How do EVs perform in colder climates?
A: Concern regarding the effects of colder climates can be alleviated through studies that show the loss in range can very greatly depending on the vehicle and how the manufacturer has equipped it to work in cold climates. The most detailed study is through the Norwegian Automotive Association that tested 20 Electric Vehicles for winter range. On average, the studies showed a 20% average loss in range. There are many ways in which loss of range can be reduced, including plugging in your EV at home. Even when not charging, your vehicle and battery will be pre warmed and ready to drive in the morning, reducing the draw on your battery and loss of range.
PUC EV Charger Rental Program
Q. How does the rental program work?
A. Customers pay a monthly fee of $35, this includes the unit, lifetime warranty, and an installation credit. Installation is not included in the rental.
Q. Why is installation a separate fee?
A. We have applied a portion of the installation in the rental but with so many unknowns for installation we could not have a “standard” cost.
Q: What is the warranty on the charger? If it breaks down or malfunctions, what happens? How long will it take to repair?
A: The charger is fully warrantied during rental. If there is an issue for any reason, we will come to your home and replace the unit at no charge within a reasonable timeframe. We do request that you keep the charger free and clear of any obstacles and ensure the charge plug is put back in the holder when not in use to avoid damage.
Q. I can have contractor B install for much cheaper, can I use them?
A. We have competitively asked for pricing from contractors that adhere to PUC Services guidelines for safety and quality of work. We do this to ensure installation is professionally completed, we can warranty the unit and installation. Therefore, to maintain warranty for the unit we are only allowing our contractor of choice to complete the installation.
Q: Can I purchase a charger instead? What is the cost?
A: Yes, you are free to purchase the unit from PUC Services, but you will not be able to take advantage of the warranty offered through us and you will need to arrange for installation.
Q: What is the compatibility?
A: Our chargers follow SAE J1772 standard which is the level 2 charging standard for all vehicles in North America except for Tesla. With adapters, however, you charge a Tesla on the level 2 chargers our program offers.
Q: What is the turnaround time for installation?
A: Our goal is to have the charger installed before you have your electric vehicle. In situations that you have already taken delivery of your electric vehicle, our goal is within 7 days.
Q: What are the details of the rental agreement? Is there a cancellation fee? How much notice do I need to provide?
A: The rental agreement is open ended, and you can cancel at any time. If there is an outstanding installation cost, this must be resolved at the time of cancellation.
Q: What happens if I move?
A: If you choose to move then you must either cancel the rental agreement and settle any outstanding payments or have an agreement in place for the new occupant to assume responsibility for nay rental agreement and outstanding balance.
Q: Are these bidirectional chargers?
A: Technically the units are bidirectional, but this feature has not been activated. As with most emerging technology we must ensure system safety and reliability, since there is no current ESA code or measures in place to prevent back feeding into the grid in the event of an outage, we cannot ensure the safety of our staff. As we work to develop these protections, we can start supporting customers that wish to power their homes in this manner.
Q: Can I program my charger to only charge during certain hours? Is there a timer feature?
A: We recommend the use of the vehicle software. Typically, there is a charge for third party software where the software for your vehicle comes with ownership. Also, in the event of a difference between the vehicle software and third-party software the electric vehicle will always take precedence.
Q: I’m interested. What are the next steps?
A: You can reach out to PUC Services via phone or email. We will take you information, discuss the process for installation, payment options and answer any further questions.