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Navigating Electric Vehicle Charger Quotes: Why Price Isn't Everything

As the world moves towards sustainability and eco-friendly solutions, electric vehicles (EVs) have surged in popularity. With this rise, the need for reliable and efficient electric vehicle chargers has become paramount. However, when it comes to installing an EV charger, one may encounter a wide range of quotes from electricians, and we know this can be confusing.

While it might be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, there are crucial factors to consider beyond price alone. Read on to see what could result in the differences in quotes (and why picking the lowest quote may not be the best).

In the following article, we hope to equip you with questions to ask the next time you get multiple EV charger quotes before choosing an installer.

Quality vs. Cost: The Dilemma

When seeking quotes for an electric vehicle charger installation, it's not uncommon to encounter significant disparities in pricing. At first glance, opting for the lowest bid might seem like a prudent financial decision. However, it's essential to delve deeper into what influences these price variations.

1. Licensing and Credentials

One of the primary reasons for the fluctuation in quotes is the difference in the skill and qualifications of the electricians. Licensed electricians undergo rigorous training and certification processes to ensure they possess the necessary expertise to handle complex electrical tasks safely. Conversely, unlicensed electricians may offer cheaper rates but lack the proper training and credentials, putting your safety and the integrity of the installation at risk. Remember that a Business License and an Electrical License are two very different licenses, and it's important to clarify which one (they should have both) the installer has if they say they're "licensed."

EV charger installed with Gloudeman Electric van in background

An unlicensed electrician may not know that not all EV chargers come with built in GFI protection, or how to calculate amperage need (a 50 amp charger doesn't only need a 50 amp circuit, but needs a 60 amp circuit because of something called "continuous load").

Question to ask: Do you have an electrical license and can I see it or have the number?

2. Material Quality

Another factor that can affect the pricing is the quality of materials used in the installation. Copper wiring is the industry standard for electrical work due to its superior conductivity and durability. However, some less scrupulous installers may opt for cheaper alternatives like aluminum wiring to cut costs. While this might initially reduce the quote, aluminum wiring is less efficient and cannot handle as high amperage as copper, potentially leading to performance issues and safety hazards in the long run.

Question to ask: What kind of wire do you plan to run (copper or aluminum) and will you be providing GFI protection?

Electrician Andrew Gloudeman working on wiring

3. Skill and Expertise

The complexity of EV charger installations requires a certain level of skill and expertise. Electricians with more experience and specialized knowledge in this area may command higher rates, but their proficiency can ensure a smooth and reliable installation process. Conversely, inexperienced or less skilled electricians may offer lower quotes but could make errors that compromise the functionality and safety of the charger.

Question to ask: How many years of experience does the technician who will actually be doing the work have? Has he/she done a lot of EV charger installations?

4. Contractor Liability Insurance

Contractor liability insurance is another critical aspect to consider when evaluating quotes for EV charger installations. Licensed and reputable electricians typically carry liability insurance to protect both themselves and their clients in the event of accidents, property damage, or injuries during the installation process. While this insurance provides essential coverage and peace of mind, it also contributes to the overall cost of the installation. Electricians who prioritize safety and professionalism by investing in liability insurance may have slightly higher quotes, but this additional expense reflects their commitment to protecting you and your property throughout the installation process. Ultimately, the added protection offered by contractor liability insurance is well worth the investment, safeguarding you from potential liabilities and ensuring a smooth and worry-free installation experience.

Question to ask: Does your company carry liability insurance?

Why Cheaper Isn't Always Better: A Cautionary Tale

At Gloudeman Electric, we recently encountered a situation that illustrates the potential risks of prioritizing cost over quality. We were called to a customer's house to inspect an electric vehicle charger installation carried out by another company. Upon examination, we discovered that the installer had used aluminum wiring instead of copper, unbeknownst to the customer. This shortcut not only compromised the performance of the charger but also posed significant safety concerns.

Conclusion: Prioritizing Quality and Safety

When it comes to electric vehicle charger installations, prioritizing quality and safety should always take precedence. While opting for the cheapest quote may seem appealing initially, it can lead to subpar results and potentially hazardous situations down the line.

The most important thing is to make an informed decision. Ask the questions, get the info, and choose the best installer for you. Does that happen to be the least expensive one? Well, that's good luck! But, it may not work out that way. Our goal here is to educate and give people the best shot at getting both great value and great quality, and to feel confident in their electrical choices.

At Gloudeman Electric, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and ensuring that every installation meets the highest standards of quality and safety. When you choose us for your EV charger installation needs, you can rest assured that you're investing in reliability, efficiency, and peace of mind for years to come.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.

Andrew Gloudeman & Team

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