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Do You Need 200 Amp Service for an EV Charger?

In Many Cases, Upgrading to 200 Amp Service Will Be Necessary

As electric vehicles have continued to sweep through Canada, more and more homeowners have taken steps toward EV ownership. This includes making plans to install home EV chargers in order to make charging as affordable and convenient as possible. However, the power demands may be too much for some homes, and we’ve increasingly been asked: Do you need 200 amp service for an EV charger?

At TCA Electric, we’ve been at the forefront of the EV movement since the beginning, and we’ve provided countless EV charging solutions for homeowners throughout Vancouver. Here’s what you need to know about service upgrades and adding a charger to your home.

Do You Need 200 Amp Service for EV Charger?

While workarounds are possible, it’s usually necessary to have at least 200 amps of service in order to install an EV charger in your home. Older electrical panels typically only have 100 amps, and this amount of power is unlikely to be enough to support a new EV charger all on its own. Even without an EV charger, 100 amp panels have been falling behind for years now, as the number of electrical devices and appliances used in the home continues to increase. 

Workarounds for 100 Amp Panels

We’ve previously covered a few options that homeowners may have outside of upgrading to 200 amp service for an EV charger. A load management unit can sometimes be used—this device will monitor the amount of power your home is using and automatically cut power to the device it’s connected to if your home’s usage reaches a certain point (usually 80% of your electrical panel’s capacity). This would mean you could charge your EV during periods of lower power usage.

Another option is a load miser, which enables two devices that demand high amounts of electricity to share power. A traditional example is hooking up a load miser to your dryer or electric oven along with your EV charger, so that only one device would use power at any given time. 

A 200 Amp Panel Is Better in the Long Term

While there are workarounds that enable you to install an EV charger with a 100 amp panel, upgrading to a 200 amp panel generally makes more sense in the long run. Sure, a load miser may solve the problem for now, but you’ll run into the same issue again if you want to install another electrical device or new appliance.

Meanwhile, there’s still the question of whether 100 amps is enough to meet today’s power demands. Oftentimes, the answer is “no” or “yes, but not for much longer.” Household power demands have continued to increase year over year, and smaller electrical panels struggle to keep up.

Finally, as 100 amp panels have fallen out of favour, they’ve also become less common. A 100 amp panel is more likely to be an older model, and older electrical panels are more prone to problems or failure. In other words, upgrading to a 200 amp panel makes sense for many more reasons than just to make room for an EV charger. 

Related post: Why Upgrade an Electric Meter and Panel to 200-Amp Service?

TCA Electric Can Pair Your Service Upgrade and EV Charger Installation

As Vancouver’s leading EV charging experts, we frequently get questions from homeowners looking to install a new home EV charger here at TCA Electric. The question of whether you need 200 amp service for an EV charger is one of the most common, and after speaking with the homeowner about their unique situation, the answer is very often “yes, you’ll need to upgrade your service.”

Luckily, with so much experience in both of these residential electrical services, our licensed and qualified electricians have the process of upgrading your service and installing a home EV charger down to a science. When you pair both of these services together, you can often save money by reducing the overall labour required.

If you’re interested in joining the EV revolution, TCA Electric is ready to take you there! Contact us today to get started.

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