One of the best places to install an EV charger is in your garage, combining security, convenience, and protection from the elements.
This article will navigate and guide you through the process of installing an EV charger in your garage. We will explore factors to consider, different types of chargers, the installation process, safety measures, and whether or not you should install the charger inside or outside the garage.
Should I install an EV charger outside or in a garage?
Deciding whether to install an EV charger outside or in a garage depends really comes down to your personal preferences and the set-up of your garage. The main factors you need to consider are:
- Convenience and accessibility
Installing a charger in your garage offers the convenience of charging your EV in a protected and easily accessible location. You can park your vehicle overnight and start each day with a full or partially-charged battery. This is particularly advantageous during inclement weather conditions when an outdoor charger may be less accessible.
A garage provides added security for your EV and the charging equipment. It helps safeguard against theft, vandalism, or damage from external elements.
- Protection from the elements
An indoor garage shields your vehicle and charging equipment from extreme temperatures, rain, snow, and other environmental factors. This can help prolong the life of your charging equipment and ensure consistent performance.
- Space availability
How much space is there in your garage? Assess the layout, size, and existing electrical infrastructure in your garage to determine if it can accommodate an EV charger without causing inconvenience or obstructing other storage.
- Electrical infrastructure
Evaluate the electrical capacity of your garage. Ensure it can handle the additional load required for EV charging. An electrician can assess your electrical panel and make any necessary upgrades or additions to support the charger installation.
- Cost considerations
Installing an EV charger in your garage typically requires professional electrical work, which may involve upfront costs for equipment, permits, and installation. Assess your budget and compare it with the potential cost of installing an outdoor charger to make an informed decision.
- Building regulations: If you live in a community or your property has a homeowners association, verify if there are any specific rules or regulations regarding the installation of EV chargers in garages or outdoor areas.
The decision to install an EV charger outside or in a garage depends on your own circumstances, preferences, and the feasibility of the installation. Go through all of the factors mentioned above, consult with an EV installer, and choose the best option for your needs and budget.
Can I run an EV charger under a garage door?
You can trail a charging cable from an EV charger in your garage under the garage door to charge your car.
If you plan to keep a cable running through the garage door for long periods of time or overnight you should consider installing the unit outside of your garage. There are several reasons why it’s not a great long-term solution to run under the door:
- Safety hazard
Running a cable under a garage door can pose safety risks. The cable could get damaged or crushed when the door opens or closes, leading to potential electrical faults, fire hazards, or tripping hazards.
- Door operation
Trailing a cable under the garage door can interfere with the smooth operation of the door. It may cause the door to become misaligned or jammed.
- Weather exposure
Exposing the charging cable to outdoor elements when the door is open or partially closed can lead to damage from rain, snow, or extreme temperatures. This can affect the longevity and safety of the charging equipment.
- A target for thieves
If the cable is visible from the street it’s an obvious sign that your garage is unlocked.
Where to install an EV charger in a garage?
When you are considering the best position in the garage to install the EV charger, think about the following factors:
- Is it close to the consumer unit?
Install the charger as close as possible to the electrical consumer unit to minimize the length and complexity of the cable run between the charger and the electricity panel.
Choose a location that provides easy access for connecting and disconnecting the charger to your EV. Ensure there is ample space around the charger for manoeuvring and that it is easily reachable without obstruction.
Make sure there is sufficient clearance around the charger to ensure proper ventilation and cooling, as chargers generate some heat during operation. Adequate clearance also allows for maintenance and inspection of the unit.
- Wall mount or pedestal? Decide whether you prefer a wall-mounted charger or a freestanding pedestal. Wall-mounted chargers are typically more compact and can save space in the garage, while pedestals provide flexibility in terms of positioning and may offer additional storage features.
- Cable management
Plan for proper cable management to avoid clutter and tripping hazards. Consider options like cable hangers, conduits, or cable management systems to keep the charging cable organized and out of the way when not in use.
- Safety considerations
Install the charger away from potential sources of moisture or water, such as leaky pipes or areas prone to flooding. Ensure the charger is installed at an appropriate height to prevent accidental damage or contact with water.
- Do you have adequate power?
If you are planning to install a fast 22kW charger you may need to install 3-phase power.
Do I need permission to install an EV charger in my garage?
If you own your own home you will not need permission to install an EV charger in your garage, providing the installation meets the standard EV charger installation requirements.
If you do not own your own home you will likely need permission before carrying out any modifications on your garage.
Before beginning the installation process, check with your landlord or homeowners association to seek permission for installing an EV charger. This is especially important if you plan on making any changes to your electrical system or making any structural alterations to the garage.
In most cases, you will not need planning permission in the UK when installing a wall-mounted electrical outlet for recharging electric vehicles.
Planning an EV charger garage installation
Evaluate your garage space to determine the most suitable location for the charger. Consider factors such as proximity to the electrical panel, accessibility for connecting and disconnecting the charger, clearance for ventilation and maintenance, and cable management to minimise clutter and tripping hazards.
Discuss the work with a qualified EV charger installation specialist. They will review your garage’s electrical capacity and suitability. If necessary, they can upgrade your electrical panel or make any required modifications to meet safety and code requirements.
Work closely with the electrician to select the appropriate charging equipment and understand the installation process. They will ensure proper wiring and grounding for the EV charger.
Consider any additional features you may need, such as Wi-Fi connectivity for monitoring and managing charging sessions via smart charger integration.
The final word on installing an EV charger in a garage
Installing an EV charger in your garage is a practical and convenient solution for stepping away from the granny charger and installing a permanent home charger. It offers benefits such as accessibility, security, protection from the elements, and efficient charging. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully navigate the installation process.
Start by assessing your charging needs, understanding your electrical capacity, and selecting the right charger for your vehicle. Plan the installation carefully, considering factors like proximity to the electrical panel, accessibility, clearance, and cable management. Engage a qualified EV charger installation specialist to ensure compliance with UK electrical safety standards.
Be sure to maintain your charger, including cleaning, inspection, and cable management, to ensure the longevity of the unit. Stay informed about software updates provided by the manufacturer, and consider periodic professional inspections to address any potential issues proactively.
Remember, each installation may have unique requirements, so speak to the professionals for personalised guidance. With careful planning, professional assistance, and ongoing maintenance, your garage can become a reliable and efficient charging station for your electric vehicle!
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John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.