EV Charging Tips Archives » Ivy Charging Network

7 etiquette tips for EV drivers

Welcome to the electrifying world of electric vehicles (EVs)! As the popularity of EVs continues to grow, creating a positive public charging environment has never been more important. In this blog, we’ll offer you some valuable tips that will help you help us (and the entire EV community) make every charging experience a great one. 

  1. Dispose of garbage properly.

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Driving electric is a significant step towards creating a sustainable future. However, to truly align with this goal it is crucial for EV drivers to refrain from littering and instead use designated garbage bins or bags. Quick tip: keep a garbage bag in your EV in case there is no available garbage bin near the public chargers you visit. It is important to keep all charging spaces tidy and litter free. 

  1. Charge and go

Always remember that EV charging stations are not resting areas. Be mindful of your fellow EV drivers’ needs and avoid occupying charging spots unnecessarily once your vehicle is fully charged. By doing so, you enable others to access the charging stations promptly and help reduce waiting times. Ivy has a lot of members that need to charge up their rides. 

  1. Keep cables tidy

After charging, take a moment to neatly coil the cable and place it back in its designated holder. (Don’t be tripping). This small act not only ensures readiness for the next user, but also enhances safety and convenience for all. 

  1. Report malfunctioning chargers

If you encounter a charging station that is experiencing issues, notify the charging station operator right away. At Ivy, we encourage customers to contact our 24/7 support team by emailing support@ivycharge.com or calling 1-800-301-1950.  Reporting these issues ensures that necessary repairs are made promptly, and the charging station can be brought back to optimal working condition.  

  1. Park properly

When using public charging stations, it is important to park properly to ensure that everyone can access the charging points conveniently. Always park your EV within the designated charging spaces and avoid blocking other charging stations, even if they are not in use. Additionally, only park in our charging spots if you’re actively charging your EV (or if you don’t even drive electric). 

  1. Plan your journey ahead of time

Before getting on the road, take a moment to plan your trip efficiently by checking out the availability of charging stations along your route. Familiarize yourself with charging station locations and charging speeds. Download any necessary charging apps such as PlugShare for locations. At Ivy, we recommend all drivers download our mobile app, Ivy Charging Network 2.0, so they can see the real-time charger status. Efficient trip planning not only benefits you by optimizing your travel time, but also helps reduce congestion at charging stations, making the overall charging experience more pleasant for everyone. 

  1. Help other EV drivers out

The EV world is an exciting and rapidly evolving industry, which means there are many new drivers on the road who might not be fully familiar with EV charging yet. If you find yourself with some extra time, consider lending a helping hand to fellow EV drivers. Offering them valuable tips, assisting them in the charging process, or showing them which apps to use for locating charging stations can go a long way in making their EV journey smooth. 

Embracing EV charging etiquette is not just a matter of convenience but a collective effort to shape a cleaner, friendlier, and more sustainable future for all. By following these valuable tips and practices, we can create a positive charging environment that benefits every EV driver and contributes to the growth of the electric vehicle community.  Let’s charge with kindness and drive towards a cleaner and more sustainable world, one electric kilometre at a time. Happy charging! 

How can I get a level 2 charger at home? 

Are you ready to take the next step in your electric vehicle journey? With a level 2 electric vehicle charger, you’ll experience hassle-free charging as you power your ride from the comfort of your home. How can you get a level 2 charger? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps of getting a level 2 charger installed at home and offer tips and resources to make the process as simple as possible. We’ll have you charging in no time!

Understanding different levels of EV charging

Before jumping into the first step towards a faster and more convenient charging experience for your EV, it is important to understand the electrifying world of EV charging. There are 3 different levels of charging you need to understand as a current or soon-to-be EV driver:

Level 1 EV chargers (AC charging)

Level 1 chargers typically deliver 3-8 km of range per hour of charging and it is the s-l-o-w-e-s-t way to charge. Every plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle can be charged on Level 1 by plugging into a standard 120V AC plug (i.e. a common household plug).

Level 2 EV chargers (AC charging)

Level 2 chargers typically deliver 6-120 km of range per hour (10 times faster than Level 1) and are the most commonly used at home or the workplace. They require a 240V AC plug, which is usually a standard plug for a stove.

Level 3 EV chargers (DC charging)

Level 3 (L3) chargers are the fastest chargers available delivering up to 160 km of range in just 20-30 minutes. These chargers are typically found at public charging stations along highways or major routes. The voltage is much higher than level 1 and 2 (L2) charging, which is why you don’t see level 3 chargers ever installed in homes. They are the perfect option for long-distance travel road trips or quick top-ups when you’re on the go. Try to plan ahead for your trips by looking up L3 and L2 chargers using the Ivy app or PlugShare.

Important factors to consider when buying a level 2 EV charger for your home

Now that we’ve got the EV charging basics out of the way, let’s dive into specs that will help you choose the perfect level 2 EV home charger. There are a number of factors you need to consider before making your big purchase decision and adding the right charger to your home. Let’s explore these factors below:

Important factor regarding your electric vehicle

Type of connector 

There are several types of connectors for level 2 chargers available including the J1772 and Tesla connectors (NACS). It is important to choose a charger that is compatible with your EV’s connector type (check your EV’s user manual) to ensure that you can plug in and charge. Some chargers also offer multiple connector types, making them more versatile and suitable for use with multiple EV makes and models.

Important factors for your home 

Length of the cable

EV home chargers come with cables that are different lengths and it is important to find out which one is most suitable for your home and electric vehicle. Make sure you measure the distance from your charging port to your electric vehicle’s parking spot and choose a cable that’s long enough to comfortably reach. This way you’ll avoid the hassle of having to move your car around or rearrange your space just to be able to power your EV.

Suitable for indoor or outdoor use

Before choosing a home charger, make sure it is suitable for the location that you’re planning to have it installed. If you’re planning on having it installed outside, ensure that it is compact, waterproof, and able to withstand all types of weather conditions. Certain chargers are built for certain climates. If you live in Ontario and are planning to install your charger outside, take a look at Ivy Home. It is built in Ontario for Ontario’s weather conditions and is made to withstand temperatures as low as -30°C. Happy charging, rain, shine, or snow!

Plug-in vs hardwired 

EV home chargers are either plug-in or hardwired, which is an important factor to consider before making your purchase. Do you plan on staying in the same home for the next 10 years and only charging at this location? Or are you thinking of moving next year and would like to charge at different locations like a cottage? If you’re leaning towards the second option, a plug-in charger is the better option for you.

Important factors for your personal preferences

Amperage level

Amperage level determines how fast your electric vehicle will charge. If you have a high amperage level, you’ll be able to charge your EV faster and get back on the road in no time. But if you have a low amperage level, you’ll have to wait longer for a full charge.

A common amperage level for level 2 home charging units is between 16 and 50 amps. To understand how different amperage levels impact the speed of charge, we’d like to share some examples of common amperage levels and speeds below:

  • 45-48 kilometers per hour at 40 amperage
  • 35-40 kilometers per hour at 32 amperage
  • 24-28 kilometers per hour at 24 amperage
  • 16-19 kilometers per hour at 16 amperage

Depending on the distance of your trips and how often you drive your electric vehicle, you may need to rely on public charging as well. Some electric vehicle home charging solutions offer discounted rates to charge on their public network. Exploring options that provide home charging and public charging may be a good idea if you’re spending lots of time on the road!

Smart EV chargers

When choosing an electric vehicle home charger, you have the option of choosing a smart charger as well. Smart chargers are connected to a mobile app and allow you to remotely start and schedule a charge as well as check your consumption. Does this sound interesting to you? Then add “Smart EV chargers” to your checklist of what an ideal home charging solution looks like for you.

Important factor in the installation process

Permits for the EV charger installation

The installation of a home charger for your electric vehicle will likely require an electrical permit. This permit ensures that the installation is done in compliance with local electrical codes and regulations. The requirements may vary depending on your local municipality, so it is best to check with your local permit office to determine the specific requirements.

In Ontario, you need to get a permit from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) before starting the installation. You can learn more here. If you decide to work with a licensed contractor, you don’t have to worry about permits as they will take care of this for you.

What’s the cost of installing a level 2 EV charger at home?

The cost of installing an electric vehicle home charger can vary depending on multiple factors such as the type of charger you choose, the location of your electrical panel, and any necessary upgrades to your home’s electrical system.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from 500 to $1,500 for the charger itself, and another $500 to $2,000 for the installation. Finding the right home charging solution can be overwhelming but worry not, there are many options available on the market. You can find suitable home charging solutions within this price range here.


Still have more questions? Below you’ll find the answers to some common questions.

Can I install an EV charger by myself?

Electrical changes in your home can be dangerous to attempt without the required knowledge and tools. It is recommended that you work with a professional, ESA-certified installer to get your home charger set up. Some charging solutions include an ESA-certified installation so you don’t have to worry about finding someone to get your charger set up.

What if my panel is full or I do not have the electrical capacity to add a charger?

If your panel is unable to handle the new charging load, or the space to add a new 2-pole breaker, a certified installer will need to upgrade your panel to provide additional capacity.

Can I plug my EV into a regular electrical outlet?

We highly recommend you always refer to the charging instructions provided by your vehicle manufacturer. EVs may come with a charging cable suitable for a regular electrical outlet, however, this may only provide you with speeds of up to 1.3 – 2.4 kW (5 – 8 km/hour).

Do I need a permit for installing an EV charger?

Adding a 240V electrical appliance—like an EV charging station—can require a permit from your local jurisdiction. Depending on where you live, permitting processes can vary. We recommend checking with your local permit office to determine the specific requirements.

With summer well underway, we have some tips for driving an EV this season!

1. Get some shade

No one likes getting in a warm vehicle, so park your EV in the shade whenever possible.

2. Cool off ahead of time

While air conditioning doesn’t affect range as much, you can still use the precondition feature to cool off your cabin before heading out. Be sure to precondition your EV when it is plugged into a charging source

3. Use regenerative braking

EVs have regenerative braking to help recharge the battery, so you can use this feature to help extend your range. Depending on your EV model, there are options to manage regenerative braking on your dashboard screen

4. Get to know (and take care of) your EV

Every EV model is different from its features to the overall range, so it’s important to get to know and understand your vehicle. The ‘eco mode’ is a feature most EVs have and can help reduce the amount of battery you use while driving.

If you’ve traveled this season already, take a look at any potential items you can clear out to help reduce the overall weight. Even if it’s minimal change, it will help!

Remember to always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle too. Happy driving this season!

Troubleshooting at Ivy Chargers

Having an issue at an Ivy charger? Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  1. Chargers can timeout if they are plugged in without an initiated charge. Try returning the connector to its holster and initiating a new charge before plugging in again.
  2. Some vehicles will not accept a charge if any power is being used by your vehicle; make sure the vehicle is turned off and anything like radio, GPS, or lights are off as well.
  3. The connector needs to be completely inserted to initiate a charge; check for any debris that may be blocking the connection and firmly push in the plug.
  4. Here are a few other steps that could help you Charge & Go:
    • Lock your vehicle’s doors and roll up the windows
    • Turn off or adjust your vehicle’s charging timer
    • Confirm you have credits in your Ivy account
    • Double check the station ID and port type

Please give us a call at 1-800-301-1950 if charging still won’t start!

Fast Charging 101: What is DC Fast/Level 3?

The majority of EV charging happens at home, but for those days when you’re on the road and need a fast charge there are DC Fast Chargers, commonly called Level 3 chargers. Level 3 charging stations are like gas station replacements for electric cars that typically charge a battery from empty to 80% in 30–45 minutes or less.

Most Level 3 charging stations, including Ivy, are pay-per-use and bill by the minute and can charge 100 km of range in approximately 20 minutes or less.

DC Fast chargers have 3 different plug standards.

  • SAE-Combo (also called Combined Charging System or CCS) is used by most North American and European manufacturers.
  • Many Asian manufacturers use the CHAdeMO standard. Ivy includes both of these standards on each charger.
  • Tesla uses a proprietary standard that only Tesla vehicles can use. While Ivy stations do not use this standard, most Tesla vehicles can use Ivy chargers via an optional adapter sold by Tesla.

Ivy will be Ontario’s most expansive network of DC Fast Chargers. Find one near you and try it out soon by downloading the Ivy App on the Apple App Store and Google Play.