Charging your electric vehicle

Vehicle charging is an important part of an electric car purchase. It is important to know how charging works and whether your home will require upgrades for your charging station.

AC Level 1 (120V/15A)

A typical outlet (120 volt) provides a Level 1 charge. 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.

Depending on the vehicle and size of the battery, level 1 charging can take 8 to 12 hours for a full charge.

AC Level 2 (240V/30-70A)

This level offers charging through a 240-volt AC plug and requires installation of home charging equipment, allowing you to recharge an EV in 3 to 6 hours.

Charging an electric vehicle using 240 volts is similar to adding an appliance such as a clothes 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 charging station you plan to install.

DC Fast Charging

These charging stations can recharge an EV in 20-40 minutes. This option is available for workplace charging, along traffic corridors and at public stations. There are different types of connectors for charging: CHAdeMO, SAE J1772 or Tesla Supercharger.

Charging Type Voltage Time to Charge
(Battery EV)
Time to Charge
(Plug-in Hybrid EV)
Level 1 120 volts 8 to 15 hours 6 to 10 hours
Level 2 240 volts 3 to 6 hours 1 to 4 hours
DC Fast Charging 480 volts 20 to 40 minutes 5 to 15 minutes

Note: Charging time may vary based 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 the next tab for guidelines and specifications.)

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 us 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.

Oregon Smart Guide on EV Home Charging

Guidelines and specifications for electric vehicle charging home upgrades

  Level 1 Level 2
Is an upgrade necessary? Uses a typical 120-volt household outlet so upgrades to your home's electrical panel may not be necessary. Charge requires 240 volts so this will likely require upgrades to your home's electrical panel and the addition of a new circuit similar to one for an air conditioner or electric dryer. Contact a licensed electrician to provide a cost estimate and perform the work.
National Electric Code requirements
  • 20-amp single-pole breaker
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter
  • Protected wall-mounted receptacle for 120-volt charging
  • 40-amp, two-pole breaker is required.
  • Charging equipment should be wired permanently to the electrical supply circuit.
  • Equipment may vary in design but must meet specifications set forth in the NEC. These specifications include equipment that is listed and labeled, ground fault protection, diagnostic capability to prohibit charging from taking place when the batteries or the vehicle is damaged or an unsafe condition exists; and an interlock that de-energizes the charging cable when the vehicle is disconnected from the charging equipment, or if excessive strain is placed on the cable/cord.