Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I determine which EV Charger will charge my car the fastest?
A: Three key elements determine how fast an EV battery will charge: (1) Battery size and storage, which differs by EV, (2) power acceptance rate, which differs by EV, and (3) EV charging station maximum power delivery rating, which varies by EV charger. To determine how fast an EV charger will charge a given electric car, here are the basic rules to consider: (1) If the charging station offers less power than the vehicle's maximum acceptance rate, the charging station would be the limiting factor in determining the charge time. (2) If the vehicle's acceptance rate is lower than the charging station's maximum output rate, then the vehicle will be the limiting factor. (3) To determine your estimated total charge time, you would take your vehicle battery pack rating and divide it by whichever number is lower, the vehicle's acceptance rate, or the station's output rate.
Q: Do I need an electrician to install an EV charger?
A: We recommend that you have a qualified electrician install your EV charger because there are certain electrical requirements for the product itself, wiring size requirements, and local electrical codes that an electrician will have knowledge of, which ensures that the charging station will be installed properly and safely. A qualified electrician can also assess the home’s current electrical infrastructure and advise you if there's any additional work necessary (for example, an electrical panel upgrade in an older home). Most homes will have capacity available, and the work will merely be wiring the station to a dedicated circuit in the case of a hardwired charger or installing an appropriate and safe receptacle/outlet in the case of a plug-in charger.
Q: What is the difference between UL and ETL ratings and why is it important?
A:UL and ETL are both considered Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). NRTLs provide independent safety and quality certifications for electrical appliances. UL develops the testing standards and tests to them, ETL tests to UL standards. Products with UL or ETL listings are recognized as safer than units without these listings. Make sure the logos of one of these testing laboratories are shown directly on the product you purchase to ensure its safety. An inspector sign-off on a permitted installation in line with the National Electric Code requires that the EV charger be NRTL listed (in the US that is either with ETL or UL).
Q: Will using an EV charger with a higher output current rating than my EV can accept damage my vehicle?
A: No, using a higher amperage EV charger will pose no harm to the vehicle. EV chargers are a pass through, electrical safety appliances. The EV is in complete control of the charge and will only take the power it can accept and no more. The actual charging takes place on the vehicle. Our units will supply AC power to the vehicle and the vehicles onboard charger will convert the AC power to DC power and charge the vehicle’s batteries. For example: A Chevy Volt can take in 3.3kW for charging and the HCS-50 EV Charger can deliver up to 9.6kW. When an HCS-50 EV Charger is plugged into the Volt the station will “tell” the Volt how much power is available through the charger's communication system. From that point the vehicle will take over, activate the charger and accept the power it wants, up to the limit established by the EV charger. Some of our customers purchase EV chargers that offer a higher power level than their current vehicle can accept, which allows them to future proof their installation in anticipation of purchasing a vehicle that could accept more power.
Q: Will your EV charger work with my EV’s onboard timer?
A: Yes, Enphase EV Chargers provide pass-through electricity and will not supply power to the EV unless the vehicle is requesting a charge. The vehicle is in complete control of the charge and if a timer is set within the vehicle the EV charger, even if plugged into the car, will not supply power to the vehicle until the vehicle requests a charge at the scheduled time. (Note: Our HCS products do not currently work with the charging timers of the Nissan Leaf 2023 and Mercedes-Benz EQS 2022-2023.)
Q: How much energy does an EV charger use when it’s not charging an EV?
A: Enphase products consume very minimal power when not in use. We call this "standby power," and the draw on the HCS EV Charger for standby power is approximately 2 watts.
Q: Can I charge my EV when it’s raining or snowing outside?
A: Yes, the charging head on Enphase EV chargers are designed to drain water and the inlet on your vehicle is designed to drain water as well. Once the charging head is connected into your vehicle’s inlet, a water-tight seal will be formed.