Electricity & Charging Requirements
Vehicle charging is a significant part of an electric vehicle purchase. It is important to know how charging works and whether your home will require upgrades to your electrical wiring in order to charge your vehicle.
Charging electric vehicles
AC Level 1 (120V/15A)
This charging level provides charging through a 120-volt alternating-current plug. The Level 1 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is portable and does not require installation of charging equipment. On one end of the cord is a standard three-prong household plug and on the other end is a connector, which plugs into the vehicle.
This charging level is ideal for charging at home, and usually does not require you to make changes to your electric panel or home wiring.
Depending on the vehicle and size of the battery, level 1 charging can take 8 to 20 hours to fully recharge from zero charge.
AC Level 2 (240V/30-70A)
This charging level offers charging through a 240-volt alternating-current plug and requires installation of home charging equipment. However, this charging level can recharge an electric vehicle in 4 to 5 five hours – significantly faster than AC Level 1 charging.
Charging an electric vehicle using 240 volts is similar to adding an appliance such as a clothes washer or dryer, resulting in a greater electrical draw. This might require upgrading your electrical service. The cost to upgrade service depends on the type of upgrades and the make and model of the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment installed.
DC Fast Charging
This charging level delivers the fastest charging rate and can recharge a battery electric vehicle in less than 30 minutes. This option is available for commercial use and can enable charging along heavy traffic corridors and at public stations.
|Charging Type||Voltage||Time to Charge|
|Battery electric vehicle||Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle|
|Level 1||120 volts||12 to 20 hours||8 to 10 hours|
|Level 2||240 volts||4 to 7 hours||3 to 5 hours|
|DC Fast Charging||480 volts||10 to 30 minutes||5 to 20 minutes|
Note: Charging time may vary depending on vehicle make and model, battery size and state of charge.
Electrical upgrades may be necessary for home charging
Depending on the charging option, an upgrade to your home’s electrical system may be required. We can help guide you through this process.
Step 1: Check with the auto manufacturer or dealer on vehicle charging requirements.
Step 2: Determine if the vehicle you intend to purchase requires an upgrade to your home's electrical panel and wiring.
Step 3: Contact a licensed electrician for consultation on your home's electrical needs and upgrades. Permits also may be required. See guidelines and specifications for upgrades.
Vehicle charging equipment installation costs can vary greatly depending on the configuration of your home's electrical circuits, local code requirements and the type of equipment installed. Permits may be required prior to installation or construction. The local building and safety department should be consulted to determine specific requirements. If an electrical contractor is hired to perform the work, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate permits are obtained.
Step 4: If your electrician requires upgrades to your utility service, please contact Pacific Power toll free at 1-888-221-7070 and request the service upgrade. If upgrades are needed to the infrastructure serving your home or neighborhood, we will make the necessary upgrades as quickly and efficiently as possible. If permits or inspections are required, you will be responsible for ensuring the work is in compliance with all federal, state and local codes.