I'm going to talk about my experience installing my own EVSE. If you're not a handy person, this article may not be for you. But, if you have installed an electrical outlet in your home, or wired up a new stove, you might consider the install-it-yourself route.
For those who are not sure, EVSE is an acronym for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. The actual charger is in your vehicle when you purchase it. The EVSE is like an electrical outlet except that it has a cord and the receptacle is in the electric vehicle. The EVSE also has some smarts in it. It is able to communicate with the vehicle and the vehicle can turn it on or off. The EVSE also has a built in GFCI or ground fault current interrupter. This protects you if the cord gets wet or cut by detecting any short to ground and stopping the flow of current before it can harm you.
A Level 2 EVSE provides 240 volts to your vehicle. The more current that the EVSE can supply to your vehicle the faster it will charge. That is, provided the vehicle's charger can handle the power. In my case, my Leaf has a 6.6 kW charger. A watt is volts times amps. 6600 watts divided by 240 volts is 27.5 amps or nominally 30 amps. That's the maximum current that my Leaf will be able to draw from a level 2 EVSE. The supply circuit for the EVSE needs to have a fuse or a circuit breaker that is larger than the amount of current used. If the circuit was fused at 30 amps the fuse or breaker would likely be tripping all the time. I used a 40 amp circuit as required by the EVSE installation manual. This is the same as the circuit used for a typical stove.
I decided to mount my EVSE outdoors on the side of my house. Inside the garage would have been easier but it just wouldn't work with my parking arrangements. I purchased some stove wire and a 40 amp circuit breaker from my local big box hardware store. I also purchased some grey plastic conduit, a pull elbow and some miscellaneous clamps and stuff to protect the cable outdoors. I spent about $200 on wiring components.
But WAIT! You need a permit from your local electrical authority before you start the work. In Ontario the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) provides the permits and inspections. A home owner can take out a permit provided they are the one to do the work. I called up ESA and with my credit card at hand, secured the necessary permits for just under $80 including the inspection. Now I was ready to install the equipment.
It took me about half a day to run the wire, install the circuit breaker, install the outdoor conduit and mount and wire the EVSE. With that all done I called ESA to arrange the inspection. It was a 3 or 4 day wait for the inspection and ESA provided either a morning or afternoon time slot. The inspector arrived, looked at the installation and my fuse panel and was gone in about 15 minutes. It was pretty painless. He applied an approval sticker to my fuse panel and the paperwork arrived a few days later in the mail.
In total it took about two weeks start to finish. The downside is the Ontario rebate will only cover the EVSE. It won't cover the wire and other components I purchased since I didn't use a contractor for the installation. However, I figure that since the rebate is only half of what you spend I probably came out even or a bit ahead as I'm guessing the contractor's time would have been at least $200.