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Electric Vehicle Chargers: Driveway vs. Garage Installation

As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, many Ontario homeowners are considering installing EV chargers at home. One of the primary decisions you’ll face is whether to install the charger in your driveway or your garage.


This guide will help you understand the differences, the installation process, and how Ontario bylaws impact your decision. Additionally, we’ll discuss the cost savings and benefits of home charging, with an emphasis on securing comprehensive protection for your ride.


Driveway vs. Garage: Which is Right for You? 


Driveway Installation


  • Accessibility: Installing an EV charger in your driveway is convenient if you don’t have a garage or prefer not to park inside. It provides easy access and can accommodate multiple vehicles. 


  • Weather Protection: Chargers in the driveway are exposed to the elements, so ensure your chosen charger is weather-resistant and rated for outdoor use. 


  • Safety Considerations: Driveway installations might require additional safety measures, such as protective covers or bollards, to prevent accidental damage. 



Garage Installation


  • Security: A garage installation offers better protection against theft and vandalism. It also shields your charger from harsh weather, potentially extending its lifespan. 


  • Convenience: Charging your EV in the garage keeps the setup tidy and can make it easier to charge overnight or during inclement weather. 


  • Space Limitations: Ensure your garage has sufficient space and proper ventilation for safe and effective charger installation. 



DIY vs. Professional Installation 


DIY Installation


  • Feasibility: While some EV chargers are designed for DIY installation, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of electrical systems and local regulations. 


  • Safety Risks: Improper installation can lead to serious safety hazards, including electrical fires or damage to your vehicle. 


  • Permits: Even for DIY projects, you must obtain the necessary permits and inspections to comply with Ontario’s electrical codes. 



Professional Installation


  • Licensed Electricians: Hiring a licensed electrician ensures the installation meets all safety standards and local bylaws. They will handle permits and inspections, ensuring compliance with Ontario regulations. 


  • Peace of Mind: Professional installation reduces the risk of potential issues and ensures your charger operates efficiently and safely.


  • Cost Considerations: While professional installation may be more expensive upfront, it can save you money in the long run by avoiding potential repairs and hazards. 



Ontario Bylaws and Regulations 


In Ontario, EV charger installations must comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. This includes obtaining the proper permits, having the installation inspected, and ensuring all electrical work is done by a licensed electrician if not performing a DIY installation. Local municipalities may have additional requirements, so it’s essential to check with your local government for any specific bylaws or restrictions. 



Cost Savings and Benefits of Home Charging 


Cost Savings 


  • Electricity vs. Fuel: Charging an EV at home is significantly cheaper than refueling with gasoline. On average, EV owners save hundreds of dollars annually on fuel costs. 


  • Time Savings: Home charging eliminates trips to public charging stations, saving you time and providing the convenience of waking up to a fully charged vehicle. 


  • Potential Incentives: Ontario residents may be eligible for rebates and incentives for installing home EV chargers, further reducing the overall cost. 



Benefits of Home Charging


  • Convenience: Home charging offers unmatched convenience, allowing you to charge your vehicle overnight and have it ready each morning. 


  • Energy Management: Some home chargers come with smart features that let you schedule charging during off-peak hours, reducing electricity costs. 


  • Increased Home Value: Installing a home EV charger can increase the value of your property, appealing to future buyers who own electric vehicles. 




Installing an EV charger at home, whether in your driveway or garage, offers significant cost savings and convenience. While DIY installation is an option, professional installation ensures compliance with Ontario bylaws and safety standards. To maximize your benefits as an EV owner, consider exploring our custom insurance program for protection that’s tailored to your needs AND earns you additional savings. 


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