Upgrading Your Garage for an Electric Car

The automotive industry has changed drastically in the past two years. Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain fragility and oil prices have made it difficult for car owners. Gas-powered cars are not only pricey to purchase, but they’re also expensive to maintain. If you’re considering an upgrade to an electric or hybrid vehicle, here’s what you should know about transforming your garage. 


Why Go Electric 


Electric cars can be an obvious choice for many. The top reasons people go electric include:


  • You can get great lease deals or tax credits for purchase 

  • You save on fuel and maintenance costs

  • You have the option to drive solo in the carpool lane

  • You get higher performance with electric than gas-powered vehicles

  • You help cut greenhouse gasses and protect the environment 


Preparing Your Garage for an Electric Vehicle 


You may be looking forward to fuel savings when you purchase or lease an electric vehicle. Instead of heading to the gas station when your fuel tank hits ‘E,’ you’ll need to find an Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) station. Due to the popularity of electric cars, EVC stations are popping up around the country. The number of EVSE chargers in Canada is over 15,000. 


However, many of these stations are affiliated with hotels or businesses that offer the service to guests or employees only. If you want to guarantee yourself a charging station, you must install your own charging station in your garage. Here are the steps.


  1. Understand how charging works 


You’re not buying a “charger” for your vehicle as the charger is already buried inside your vehicle. This charger takes the AC source and converts it to DC so your car’s battery can be charged. You’ll need to purchase a wall-mounted box with the cord and plug called the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) that supplies the electricity for this process.  


  1. Choose a home charging station 


You now know you need an EVSE to charge your vehicle but not all these charging stations are created equally. There are two options, and you’ll want to select one based on your driving needs. 


  • Option 1: 120-volt/12-amp outlet

  • Option 2: 240-volt/20-40-amp outlet 


The crux of your decision comes down to how often you drive your electric vehicle. Option 2 will use more power in half the time. If you’re constantly on the move, then Option 2 will charge your car faster. However, it will also cost more money. If you’re perfectly fine with charging your car in your garage overnight, then Option 1 will save you money. It uses an outlet with less power during off-peak hours (while taking more time). 


  1. Hire an expert to install your station 


Don’t attempt to install your charging station on your own. Your charger will likely need to share a circuit with other appliances, and this can burden your home’s existing wiring. Your electrician can do the following: 


  • Determine the correct placement of the station depending on where you park your car

  • Do a complete load calculation of existing circuits 

  • Calculate an accurate quote based on the scope of work 


Depending on where you live, there may be permits and inspections you need for this installation. Let your electrician know in advance when you need this service done, so they can help you bring everything up to code. 


  1. Upgrade other garage features 


Don’t stop there. Electric car batteries need to be kept in a certain environment for proper maintenance. Consider climate control in your garage with insulation, heating and cooling units, and other advanced features. If you partner with a garage specialist, they can help install your electric car charging station while upgrading the interior to ensure the environment is suitable. 


Final Thoughts


Are you looking to transform your garage and make it a home for your electric car?

Garage Masters is here to help!