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Many EV drivers have chargers installed at home, to keep their vehicle’s battery charged overnight and ready to go in the morning. If you are thinking about having a charging station installed, there are two main characteristics you will need to keep an eye out for: the charger’s level and NEMA rating.

EV chargers are categorized into three levels: Level 1 chargers (AC 120V), Level 2 (AC 240V), and Level 3 (DC 480V). The type of charger you can have installed at home will either be Level 1 or 2; if you live in a cold climate, Level 2 chargers are not just faster, but they are also able to maintain battery temperature when the car is plugged in but not in use. This means when you do turn on the car, the battery has to make less effort to warm up to the correct temperature.

NEMA (“National Electric Manufacturers Association”) sets standards for companies that produce electrical items; a NEMA rating for a home EV charging station tells you which environmental conditions it can safely be used in. A NEMA 4-rated charger will have extensive protection from the elements (such as snow and ice) and function normally between -22oF and 122oF (-30o to 50o Celsius), but may not work properly in extreme temperatures outside of this range. This makes NEMA 4-rated chargers the most suitable type for EV owners living in cold environments.

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