A pair of EV chargers are connected to two electric vehicles.

How to Choose an EV Charger for Residential or Commercial Properties

As electric vehicle sales continue to set new records, so does the demand for EV charger solutions.

In 2021, electric car sales doubled to 6.6 million vehicles sold worldwide. With sales on track to surpass 8 million in 2022, consumers are now purchasing more EVs each week than in the entire year of 2012.

Electric vehicles — and their required EV charging infrastructure — are also gaining favour within governments in the form of rebates and legislation.

For example, the Ontario Building Code now requires all new single-family homes to include an electrical rough-in for EV chargers. As well, the province requires most new structures that include underground parking to equip at least 20 per cent of spaces with an EV charger solution. The remaining parking spaces must be designed to accommodate future installation of EV charging systems.

The Government of Canada has also passed legislations mandating the sale of electric vehicles. By 2035, all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sold in Canada will be required to generate zero emissions.

To improve the charging infrastructure for EVs, Canada has established the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). The initiative will provide $680 million by 2027 to address the lack of charging stations in Canada — one of the key barriers to EV adoption.

With zero emission vehicle popularity and regulations expanding, EV Charger availability will begin to dictate where we shop, work, live and play. As property owners contemplate their ideal EV charging solution, it’s important to understand the various options available.

Level 1 EV charger

EV owners are provided with a Level 1 charger at the time of purchase. The charger plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet and delivers about 1.3 kW to 2.4 kW to the vehicle, which is the equivalent of about 8 km of range per hour. A Level 1 charger is the slowest charging option available, and requires between 11 and 20 hours to fully charge an EV.  

Level 2 EV charger

A Level 2 EV charger delivers 3 kW to 19 kW to the vehicle, the equivalent of more than 50 km of range per hour. Using a Level 2 charger, an EV will typically reach its full charge within three to eight hours.

A 240-volt outlet, which is commonly used by clothes dryers and ovens, is required to power a Level 2 charger.

Level 3 DC Fast Charger

Level 3 chargers, also known as DC Fast Chargers, are generally found in public settings, such as malls and office buildings.

A Fast Charger delivers between 50 and 350 kW to the vehicle, the equivalent of up to 480 km of range per hour of charge time. To achieve its rapid charge time, a Level 3 charger requires a direct connection to an electrical system.

While Level 1 and Level 2 chargers use Alternating Current (AC) power, a Level 3 charger utilizes Direct Current (DC) electricity.

Tesla Supercharger

To charge its EVs, Tesla developed its propriety Supercharger, which delivers between 72 to 250 kW, which translates to a rate of 24 km per minute of charging. It is not possible to use a Supercharger to charge a non-Tesla EV, as the vehicle requires authentication before electricity is allowed to flow.

Level 4 Megacharger

EV chargers continue to evolve as the transportation sector adapts the new technology. For example, Level 4, or Megachargers, are in development to accommodate the needs of heavy-duty transport trucks.

A megawatt charging standard is in development as well as chargers capable of providing more than 1 MW of electricity.

EV Charger compatibility

Depending on the manufacturer of the EV, several charger connectors are available. Most EVs utilize a J Plug (J1772) for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. To use a Fast Charger, a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector is the standard in North America. However, a handful of Japanese EV models require a CHAdeMO connector.

Tesla vehicles use a proprietary connector for all three levels of charging. J Plug adapters are available for Tesla vehicles.

Black & McDonald’s in-house EV installation & Maintenance teams, along with our Energy & Sustainability experts, can you help determine the ideal EV charger solution for your property. As well, our team has proven success in securing federal and provincial incentives for EV charger installation. To learn more about our EV charger installation capabilities, contact EVsolutions@blackandmcdonald.com.