When shopping for a home charger, you will see there are many options available – much more than in years past which is a great thing!
First, you will need to determine if you need Level 1 or 2. Level 1 chargers are typically included with your EV, but aftermarket chargers can be found online. These can plug into a regular 120v household outlet, but is the slowest speed of charging.
If you need a Level 2 (240v) charger, first consult a licensed electrical contractor. They will help review your current electrical panel capacity and recommend a maximum size of circuit you can install. A common “size” of Level 2 charger is 30amps, while some manufacturers are starting to offer 50 and 60 amp or more. For most EV drivers, a 30amp charger is more than enough for day-to-day driving.
If your panel cannot support another breaker, or is close to exceeding the safe output, a licensed electrician can provide some options. Most Level 2 chargers available today can be configured to draw fewer amps, or have the capability to monitor the panel and reduce their output if the panel is close to its maximum. In extreme cases you may need to upgrade your electrical service and panel. This is becoming less common as EV chargers get “smarter” and the industry innovates to avoid this need.