Installing An Electric-Car Charging Station: This Old House Shows You How


For most owners of battery-electric cars, some form of home charging is a must.

Having a charging station at home ensures there will always be a readily available place to plug in.

And surveys of owners have shown that home charging is often all that is needed for routine driving, with public charging stations rarely or never used by some plug-in drivers.

DON'T MISS: Electric Car Charging: The Basics You Need To Know

That just leaves the matter of actually installing a home charging station.

And now the well-known home-improvement show This Old House has tackled the job, with a new video that shows exactly how it is done.

You can see a preview of the episode above. The full episode is available on the show's website.

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Limited Edition

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Limited Edition

Enlarge Photo

The installation was done for the driver of a Volkswagen e-Golf, who lives in a house that was split into three units.

The car is parked in a driveway next to the building, so the charging station--a 240-volt Level 2 unit from Clipper Creek--was mounted outside to one of the house's walls.

Installing the station involved running an 8-gauge, dual-conductor wire between the mounting point and the circuit breaker for the owner's unit.

ALSO SEE: In CA, Renters Can Now Install Electric-Car Charging Stations (Aug 2014)

An individual breaker was added for the station, and a service switch was installed at the station itself to provide a cutoff point from the house's electrical system.

It all appears fairly straightforward in the video. After the wire was run and the connections were made, the VW was plugged in and began to charge immediately.

There are quite a few different Level 2 charging stations available for home installation these days. Some can even be purchased from hardware chains like Home Depot.

Volkswagen e-Golf - 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Volkswagen e-Golf - 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Enlarge Photo

But if you live in anything other than your own house, actually getting permission to install a charging station can still be difficult.

Electric-car drivers living in condos sometimes have to contend with suspicious home-owner associations, which may fear the cost of electricity or maintenance will be passed on by one electric-car driver to other residents.

MORE: Home Owner Associations & Electric Cars: How To Make It Work (Advice From A Pro) (Feb 2014)

The situation for renters can also be somewhat ambiguous.

California now requires property owners to allow the installation of charging stations by renters, but in other states, electric car-owning tenants do not have the same legal leverage.

[hat tip: Chris Neff]

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