car plugged in for charging

Electric Vehicle Charging Systems

Thinking of Getting a Charger for Your Electric Vehicle?

Electric vehicles have different levels and types of charging that use different voltages (Volts) and amperages (Amps) to run. There are three levels of charging for electric vehicles. Typically, level 1 and level 2 are used for at-home charging. The following is an overview of the different levels:

  • Level 1: This is a charge that uses a standard 120 Volt household outlet. It’s the slowest speed of charging for an electric vehicle.
  • Level 2: Level 2 charging stations have about the same requirements as a large household appliance like a stove or dryer (240 Volts/ 30 Amps).
    Level 2 offers a faster charging time than level 1.
  • Level 3: Level 3 charging stations are designed for commercial use and are not suitable for home installation. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Look for a certification mark

An EV charging system must carry the official mark or label of a recognized certification or evaluation agency. Before an electrical product or piece of electrical equipment is used, sold, displayed or advertised for sale in Ontario, it needs to be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency. This indicates that the product has been independently assessed for safety. 

Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor

In Ontario, if you’re hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, by law, it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor with an ECRA/ESA electrical contracting licence.

Ensure you have the appropriate electrical panel

Electric vehicles can use a lot of power so it’s important to make sure that your electrical panel can handle the extra load. If your home requires an electrical panel upgrade, you will need to contact your local utility. A licensed electrical contractor can assist you to determine what needs to be done.  

File a Notification of Work (i.e Permit)

You must file a notification of work with ESA before starting the installation. The person doing the installation must file the notification of work. 

If you hired a Licensed Electrical Contractor, they will file a notification of work with ESA for the installation, and will provide you with a Certificate of Acceptance once the work has been completed and accepted as compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Ask for a copy for your records. 


Also see

In this episode, Trevor Tremblay, Technical Advisor at Electrical Safety Authority, provides advice on how to safely install EV charging stations from start to finish.