Many Calgary residents are switching to electric vehicles, otherwise known as EVs—and for good reason! EVs have lower operating costs, are energy efficient, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
If you’re going to make the switch to an EV or Tesla, we not only recommend having a reliable outdoor EV charger for your home (a Level 2 charger is our top choice), but also adding an EV charger enclosure. An enclosure will protect your EV charger from any outdoor elements, plus it’s more aesthetically pleasing for your home.
Our 4-Star Electric experts provide essential electric vehicle services like charger installation and maintenance. Check out our easy breakdown below of why and how to create an outdoor EV charger enclosure for your home.
The Value of Having an EV Charger at Home
Before we dive into how to protect your EV charger with an enclosure, here are a few reasons why having an outdoor EV charger at home is a must in the first place:
- Convenience: Having an at-home EV charger allows you to charge your vehicle whenever you’re home, eliminating the need to visit public charging stations regularly. It’s a guaranteed spot that will always be open when you need it and can be charged overnight, ready for wherever your EV takes you each morning.
- Cost Savings: Home charging is more cost-effective than public charging, especially if you’re charging during off-peak electricity rates. Over time, this can save you a significant amount of money compared to relying solely on public charging areas.
- Time Savings: Charging at home saves you time from traveling to a charging station. Plus, once you’re at the station you can’t leave again for a while, so plugging in your EV at home when you’re not using it allows you to do other things before you’re ready to leave again.
Enclosing your EV charger protects your investment by offering it shelter from the elements, making it secure, private, and out of public sightlines, keeping equipment tidy and inaccessible to little family members, and adding an aesthetic element.
Choosing The Right Location
One of the biggest decisions to make when installing your outdoor EV charger enclosure is to decide on the right location. Consider these three factors when choosing your location:
- Accessibility: Both the EV charger and enclosure should be installed in a location that’s easily accessible for your vehicle. While the garage sounds like a no-brainer, you may want to consider somewhere further away from the house so that you have less interference with kids, pets, and other household items that may be stored in the garage.
- Safety: Similar to accessibility, your outdoor EV charger should pose minimal safety risks, meaning it’s far away from water (including areas prone to flooding or extreme weather conditions), people, and pets. This will prevent any tripping hazards as well. You should also make sure both the electrical and enclosure installation complies with local codes and regulations.
- Convenience: Finally, consider a location that aligns with your daily routine and is the most convenient place to charge your EV with the least amount of disruptions.
Another thing to consider for your outdoor EV charger enclosure is the material you want to use. The enclosure should be constructed from materials that can withstand outdoor elements such as rain, snow, and sunlight. Stainless steel or weather-resistant plastics are common choices.
You also want to make sure your enclosure is durable and secure. It should be robust enough to protect the charging equipment inside from tampering or theft. You can also add a durable lock to contribute to the overall security.
Designing the Enclosure
The next step is to consider the design of the enclosure for your outdoor EV charger. You’ll want something user-friendly with easy access to the charging port and cable. Consider features like cable management systems and illuminated indicators for easy operation.
The design should also complement the surroundings and architecture of your home. You want something aesthetically pleasing that won’t stick out like a sore thumb outside your home.
Once you’re ready to install your EV charger enclosure, you should read up on any electrical requirements, mounting instructions, and safety precautions first. You want to ensure the proper grounding and electrical connections are in place before building the enclosure around the EV charger. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation or hire a professional.
Hiring a certified electrician, like one of our experts, is the best way to ensure you’re in compliance with local electrical codes. We can provide advice on the optimal placement outside your home and set up your enclosure to fit your needs. We’ll safely install the enclosure so that you and your home are protected.
Making Your Charging Experience As Convenient As Possible
If you’re going to install an outdoor EV charger and enclosure, be sure to do it safely and efficiently. By enclosing your EV charger, you’re adding an extra layer of protection and convenience to your home—and the best way to get the job done is to hire one of our experts at 4-Star Electric.
We can perform electrical inspections to assess your EV charging station and help install an enclosure. Contact us today to learn more and book an appointment. For more details, browse our most frequently asked questions about outdoor EV chargers and enclosures below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor EV Chargers & Enclosures
Do I Need a Home Charger For My EV?
If you’re using your EV on a daily or even weekly basis, it’s vital to have a reliable power source at home. It’s the best way to ensure your car can get you from point A to point B and the added investment is well worth your peace of mind.
Can My Home’s Electrical System Handle EV Charging?
Most modern homes can support Level 1 charging without any issues. However, Level 2 charging (our recommendation) might require some inspection and possible upgrades. Here’s how you can find out:
- Calculate your home’s current electrical demands. If your system is already close to its capacity, an upgrade might be necessary.
- Consider the charger’s voltage and the vehicle’s max charging rate. Some EVs come with onboard chargers that restrict the charging speed, even if the wall unit can deliver more power.
- When in doubt, consult with a professional. 4-Star Electric can provide an assessment to ensure your system is ready or guide you through necessary upgrades.
Can I Install My Own EV charger?
Any installation for a Level 2 (or higher) EV charger should only be done by a certified electrician—for the safety of you and your home, and to protect your electric vehicle.
Where Should I Put My EV Charger and Enclosure?
It totally depends on your home setup, but we recommend somewhere outside the home. Garage EV charger installations require more work and are usually a bit more complex, but whatever is the most convenient for you and your electric vehicle.