what size breaker for ev charger



Electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits and cost savings. As more people embrace EVs, the demand for electric vehicle chargers is also on the rise. However, when installing an EV charger, one important consideration is the size of the breaker needed to ensure safe and efficient charging. In this article, we will delve into the factors to consider when determining the appropriate breaker size for your EV charger, ensuring a smooth charging experience without any electrical problems or safety hazards.

Factors Influencing Breaker Size Selection:

The choice of breaker size for an EV charger depends on various factors, including the charging capacity, voltage, and electrical panel capacity. Here, we will explore each of these factors in more detail.

Charging Capacity:

The charging capacity of an EV charger is typically measured in kilowatts (kW) and determines how quickly the vehicle's battery can be charged. The higher the charging capacity, the faster the charging time. When determining the breaker size, it is crucial to consider the charging capacity of the EV charger and match it with the electrical panel's capacity.


The voltage requirement of an EV charger is another essential factor in determining the appropriate breaker size. Most EV chargers operate at either 120 volts (V) or 240V. Charging at 120V is slower than charging at 240V, as the latter provides greater power to charge the vehicle's battery. The breaker size will vary depending on the voltage requirement of the EV charger and should meet the necessary electrical codes and regulations.

Electrical Panel Capacity:

The electrical panel's capacity refers to the amount of electricity it can safely handle. It is crucial to ensure that the breaker's capacity aligns with the electrical panel's maximum capacity. If the breaker's size exceeds the panel's maximum capacity, it can lead to overloaded circuits, tripping breakers, or even overheating, posing safety risks. Consulting an electrician to assess the electrical panel's capacity beforehand is highly recommended to avoid any potential issues.

Determining the Breaker Size:

Now that we have explored the key factors influencing breaker size selection, let's dive deeper into determining the specific breaker size for your EV charger installation.

Step 1: Check the EV Charger's Specifications:

Before proceeding with breaker size determination, carefully review the EV charger's specifications provided by the manufacturer. The specifications will include information about the charger's charging capacity, voltage requirement, and any specific recommendations regarding breaker size. Following the manufacturer's guidelines is crucial to ensure compliance with safety standards and warranty requirements.

Step 2: Calculate the Charging Capacity:

Once you have determined the charging capacity of the EV charger, you need to convert it to kilowatts (kW) to facilitate the breaker size calculation. To do this, divide the charging capacity (in watts) by 1000. For example, if the EV charger has a charging capacity of 7200 watts, the calculation would be as follows: 7200 (W) / 1000 = 7.2kW.

Step 3: Determine the Current Requirement:


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