At-home charging stations are a must after purchasing an electric vehicle, especially considering the Canadian winters. Plug the EV in for charge at night and it should be completely charged when you wake up the next day. However, you can’t track how efficiently the charging happens or when’s the best time to charge. These issues can be easily solved by installing a smart at-home EV charger like the FLO Home™ X5 – Smart EV Charging Station.
It has a certified operating temperature range of -40°C to 50°C and can be placed indoors or outdoors. You can pair it with the FLO App to schedule your charge, track energy rates and usage, and manage users.
Here are 5 benefits of installation a smart at-home EV charging station:
1. Faster charging
A smart EV charger maximises the charging power under safe limits. This ensures that your electric vehicle is charged faster. It is also safer compared to a regular charger since the unit will automatically test the current and the connection before beginning the charging process. It can also stop charging if there’s a problem.
2. Optimise energy use
Using the FLO App, you can monitor usage, electricity consumption, and how often your EV needs charging. This information can help you optimise the time you want to charge, how long you need to charge to get to a desired level, and how to charge. If you have solar panels installed to use for EV charging, which is commonly seen across EV owners, you can optimise that too. During winters, you might have to rely on traditional electricity. Using the app, you can switch the energy source.
3. Schedule charging sessions
In Ontario, you are charged different rates depending on what time you use electricity. To save money while charging your EV, you can use the app to schedule charging sessions. Plug the car to charge and it won’t start charging until your scheduled time. You can read more about electricity rates here.
4. Easier to troubleshoot issues
Your EV not charging properly? Just run a diagnosis on your app and you’ll get a report on the problem. Send it over to your electrician and they’ll get the issue fixed as soon as possible. This takes guesswork out of the process and helps reach the solution quicker. If the issue is more completed, the charger company will run an in-depth diagnosis and repair or replace any faulty parts.
5. Monitor electricity consumption
With a smart at-home level 2 EV charger, you can monitor precisely the amount of electricity your EV needs. This will help avoid disputes among your tenants on energy consumption and utility division. Eventually, the charger will optimise itself to balance electricity supply and demand and lower your bills.
Wieser Electric is an official partner with FLO and can help you install the FLO Home™ X5 – Smart EV Charging Station in Kingston and surrounding cities. Give us a call and one of our technicians will stop by to assess your property’s requirements for the installation and provide an upfront quote as well. Please reach out to us today.
While owning an electric vehicle in Canada has several perks, one major disadvantage is the amount of time it takes to charge the car. With winters starting soon, going to a public electric car charging station in Kingston, Ontario for a couple hours seems like a big hassle. Instead, you can install an EV charging station at your home, whether it’s a condo or a house in Kingston and surrounding areas. You can keep the car for charging overnight, so when you’re ready to leave for work, it’s fully charged.
Here are 5 benefits of installing an EV charging station at home:
1. Your car is safer at home
Risks attached to charging your car at a public facility are greater than at home. It takes an EV a couple hours to fully charge and you can leave it there while running errands. Even then, there are chances it can get vandalised, stolen, or damaged by snow, lightning, hailstorm, or flood.
Depending on your requirement, a Level 2 EV charger should cost you anywhere between $1000-$1400 plus electrician fees. This is a one-time investment and omits the need to pay at a public charge, which costs you $2.50 per charge. You also save time and energy needed to drive up to the public charging station.
3. Extends the battery life of your car
Studies have found that regularly using a Level 3 fast charger can shorten the battery life of your car. Even Tesla recommends limiting the charging speed if you regularly use a supercharger. When you charge using an at-home Level 2 charger, it charges your car using AC power, which is converted to DC charge by the on-board charger and sent to the battery. At a supercharger, the battery directly gets DC charge power, which can cause overcharging.
4. Very convenient
With an at-home electric car charger, you charge your car during downtime. It’s as simple as plugging in your smartphone for charging. Electricity costs lower during night time, so you can save some extra money there as well.
5. Increases your property’s value and attracts buyers
Whenever you choose to sell your property or rent it out, an already installed EV charger is a major bonus. Many Canadians are switching to electric cars and by installing a charger today, you are investing for better returns on your property value in the future. Eventually, EV chargers are going to become a basic amenity.
With technological advancements and more brands manufacturing EVs, prices have gone down consistently. EVs have had problems in the past ranging from electrocution risks for first responders to thermal runaway. But there’s nothing to worry about now. Electric vehicles are safer than they’re ever been. With their rising popularity, it’s obvious that they are safer than gas-powered vehicles.
What makes EVs safer than gas-powered vehicles?
When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tested the Tesla Model 3 for crashworthiness tests. It scored the highest any sedan ever has for roof-crush protection. Audi e-Tron and Volvo XC40 Recharge also received high ratings. Coming to the question, gas-powered vehicles have an internal combustion engine that uses fuel, making them inherently dangerous. EV battery packs are combustible too but nowhere close to a combustion engine.
Electric vehicles also don’t have a front-mounted engine, which only means they are sturdier and will protect you better in a crash. Lastly, EVs have a low center of gravity, which means they won’t rollover easily.
Do EVs have any safety issues?
No car is perfect, whether electric or gas-powered. One common issue that all EVs face is thermal runaway, a chain reaction set off by the battery when it starts burning. During an unfortunate accident, the Rimac Concept One lit on fire and authorities reported the car would keep lighting on fire for weeks after the crash. Bigger automakers like Volvo are working on a technology to elevate this issue. On the other hand, fire departments and emergency medical personnel have teamed up with Tesla and Volvo to develop best practices for handling EV accidents.
Are there any safety advances in electric vehicles?
There are free things that make EVs way safer than gas-powered vehicles.
They don’t produce carbon monoxide, a byproduct of fuel combustion. It is a harmful gas and in elevated amounts it can cause breathing problems, chest pain, drowsiness, and dizziness among others.
Lithium-ion batteries replace the internal combustion engine of traditional vehicles, making them a safer choice. They also have a protective cooling shroud filled with coolant that prevents short circuit or external damage.
No oil change every 5,000 km, no fixing broken down parts. EVs only have 20 moving parts compared to over 2,000 moving parts in a traditional car.
Heavier than gas-fueled cars
The principal rechargeable energy storage system in EVs is heavier than a gas-powered internal combustion engine. During a collision between two cars, the heavier one gets less deceleration. As an EV owner, you put the occupants at a lower risk.
Best EVs for Canadian roads
When purchasing an EV, look for a car with all-electric driving range, low fuel consumption equivalent, and within your budget. A healthy budget would be $35,000 as most EVs cost over that. If fuel efficiency is important to you, Tesla Model 3 Mid Range, Tesla Model Y Long Range, and Hyundai Kona Electric are good choices. EVs with the best driving range include Tesla Model X, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and Tesla Model Y.
With sales of EVs growing quickly, you might have wondered how much does charging an EV cost when compared to the ever-rising gas prices. Other than being fuel efficient, electric vehicles are also 70% greener than gas-powered cars, require less maintenance, and are more responsive and faster. In Ontario, EV car owners can get a licence plate, which allows you to drive in provincial high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, even if it’s only you in the car.
How far can EVs go on one charge?
Most EVs today last up to 120 to 200 kilometres on a single charge. Hybrids and long range EVs can go up to 500 kilometres. The driving range is lower in winters because electricity is directed towards heating. EVs work better during traffic hours as the battery doesn’t use energy when stopped, unlike gas-powered cars.
How much does charging an EV cost in Ontario?
When it comes to Ontario Hydro, you could be charged three different rates depending on your time of use. During off-peak hours on weekdays between 7 pm – 7 am, you’ll be charged ¢8.2/kWh. Mid-peak hours cost ¢11.3/kWh and on-peak hours cost ¢17/kWh. Check the table here for exact timings during summers and winters.
Where can I charge my EV in Ontario?
To charge at home, you’ll need to install either a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. The Level 1 or 110 volts takes eight to 20 hours to fully charge the car and add around 8 km range per hour of charging. The Level 2 or 240-volt system is a lot faster and can completely charge your battery-powered car in four to eight hours and add roughly 35 km range per hour of charging. Keeping the Ontario Hydro rates in mind, you can charge the car during off-peak hours and save more money.
Most public EV charging stations are Level 3 or Direct Current, which are the fastest chargers currently and only need 20 to 30 minutes for a full charge and adds approximately 250 km range per hour of charging.
Is charging an EV at home safe?
Electric vehicles are completely safe to charge at home. It’s just like charging any other electronics or appliances at home. However, make sure you follow these precautions:
Charge your EV only with the charger provided by the manufacturer
Don’t modify the charger equipment, use only whatever is provided
Don’t use household adapters between the socket outlet and electric supply equipment
Are EVs environmentally safe?
While EVs don’t emit gases when you’re driving, they still contribute to pollution. That depends on how the electricity you’re using was generated. The key is finding electricity that’s generated using clean fuel. Electric car batteries also last longer. They lose only 1-2% functionality every year and would last 10 to 20 years until they need to be replaced.
Always keep your car’s battery charged up to 60 to 80% as depleting it to zero will damage it faster. Avoid fast charging regularly as that can also deplete the battery faster.
Does your AFCI breaker keep tripping? There are so many reasons that could be happening! The AFCI breaker isn’t installed properly or is old and needs to be replaced.
AFCI breaker installation is super easy and takes less than 2 hours. It is an absolute must in every household since it is a protective device that disconnects the damaged circuit from the main electric system to avoid the system from heating up and getting burnt.
Tools you need to install an AFCI Breaker
1. AFCI breaker that matches the amperage of the circuit (usually between 15 or 20 amps)
Here’s how to install an AFCI breaker in just 5 easy steps:
1. Switch off the main circuit breaker
To install the breaker, you’ll have to first switch off the main circuit breaker. Remember, this will turn off your entire house’s electricity, so do it during daytime and when it’s not too hot or cold.
Every main circuit has multiple AFCI breakers, usually one for each room of the house. Find the ones that you want to replace.
2. Take off the panel cover
Before you touch any of the AFCI circuits, make sure to use a circuit tester to ensure that the power is off. The installation process is pretty simple and doesn’t lead to any accident but for your own safety, wear insulated boots.
Unscrew the panel cover and set it aside along with all the screws. You’ll need them again while reinstalling the main circuit.
3. Take out the old circuit breaker
Find the circuit breaker you want to replace and pull it out firmly. Sometimes you might have to pull at an angle. Make sure to not touch any other part of the circuit because there might be some residual power in it.
Once you pull it out, take your screwdriver to remove the black circuit wire. Your next step is to disconnect the white neutral wire from the circuit and neutral bus bar on the main panel.
4. Connect the new breaker
Before you connect the new AFCI breaker Canada, ensure it’s switched off. Start by connecting the white pigtail wire to the neutral bus bar of the panel and then screw it tightly.
Now connect the white neutral circuit wire to the LOAD NEUTRAL (circuit breaker terminal lug). The last connection is the black hot wire to the main circuit’s lug called the LOAD POWER.
5. Install the new AFCI breaker
Place the new breaker in place just like pulled out in step 2 (in the opposite direction). You’ll hear a snap when the installation is successful. Screw the panel cover back and turn on the main circuit followed by the AFCI breaker. Test it using the circuit tester button (switch should be off).
After getting a successful reading, reset the breaker using the flip switch. Now that it’s set to ON, your job is done.
It’s important to purchase an AFCI breaker that is Ontario code compliant. If you’re looking for an AFCI breaker installation Kingston contact David at Wieser Electric! We also offer a number of other home improvement services. You can read more about them here.