The Ulimate Guide to Charging your Electric Vehicle at Home
So you’ve finally got the electric vehicle you had your eyes on!
Now comes the big question - how are you going to keep it charged?
While there are electric vehicle chargers available at some shopping centres and service stations unfortunately, public EV chargers aren’t that accessible in Australia yet.
Furthermore, depending on where you are, and what you have to do that day, you might not always want to hang around and wait for your car to charge in a public place.
Therefore, the obvious option is - charge it at home!
But is it as simple as that? Can you just plug your car into an existing powerpoint in your home and be done?
In theory, yes - but also… no.
Confused? Here’s a quick explanation:
Can I charge my EV using an average domestic power point?
It is possible to charge your electric vehicle by plugging your charging cord into an average home powerpoint.
But it is going to take a long time - almost 2 full days if the battery is flat and you want it fully charged.
This is why charging your electric vehicle using an average home power point is often referred to as ‘trickle charging’.
Here’s why it takes so long to charge:
The average home power point is a 10-amp socket which will provide around 2.0 kilowatts (kW) of power.
The kW offered from your charging source is equivalent to the kilometers you’ll get from every 10 minutes of charging. Therefore, 2.0 kW will give you around 2 kms worth of power for every 10 minutes you charge.
Therefore, while you definitely can charge your electric vehicle using an existing power point in your home, it will take more time and require more planning to ensure your car has enough charge to drive when you need it.
If you are planning on charging your ev using an existing domestic power point it is also important to have your switchboard and wiring checked prior to plugging it in to ensure it can handle the electricity requirements and won’t trip your power.
You should also use a powerpoint that is on its own safety switch protected circuit to reduce the risk of overloading, power outages and other electrical issues.
All that said…
Is it worth getting a dedicated EV charger installed in your home?
While not required, we would definitely recommend it!
A dedicated electric vehicle charger will reduce your car's recharge time and therefore make planning your daily life and trips much easier.
It can also provide peace of mind as all electric vehicle chargers must be installed by a professional electrician. This means your electricity system has been checked and you know that it can safely meet the power requirements of your car.
But there are so many types of electric vehicle chargers on the market. How do you figure out which one is right for you?
How to pick the EV charger for your needs…
Despite what you may think, there are many different types of EV chargers to choose from. They vary in many aspects including price, speed of charging and energy requirements.
Here is a breakdown of the different things to consider when purchasing an EV charger for your home:
How quickly your charger will refill the battery in your EV can vary dramatically between different models.
The speed at which your EV can be charged is all down to the kW the charger allows through.
As previously mentioned, the average domestic power point will allow 2.0 kW equating to approximately 2 kilometers of charge per 10 minutes plugged in.
In comparison, most basic EV charger models will offer around 7kW, more than 3 times the charge in the same period of time.
Furthermore, if you have three phase power in your property (most commonly found in commercial properties or buildings with higher than average energy requirements) you can get an EV charger that will power your car at a maximum of 22kW.
Meaning your EV can be fully charged from flat in a couple of hours.
As indicated above, it is important to choose an EV charger that is aligned with your properties current access to power.
Basic 7kW EV chargers generally require 32 amps and can run on your average single phase domestic power system.
However, your switchboard and current wiring will have to be checked to ensure they can handle the voltage that is required to charge your EV.
You will also need a dedicated, safety switch protected circuit for the charger to prevent overloading, power outages and other potential electrical hazards.
That said, if you are yearning for that faster 22kW charging speed, you can always get your home's power system upgraded to three phase power (most domestic residences have single phase power).
Contact us for a quote on upgrading your home to three phase power today!
Here are some examples of common ev chargers with different charging speeds:
7kW Chargers (Single Phase Power Requirement)
ABB Terra Wallbox - 7.4 kW charging Speed
Circontrol Wallbox eNext - 7.4 kW charging speed
EO Mini Pro 2 - 7.2 kW charging speed
JET Charge ChargeMate - 7kW charging speed
Myenergi Zappi - 7kW charging speed
Wallbox Pulsar Plus - 7.4kW charging speed
22kW Chargers (Three Phase Power Requirement)
Victron EV Charging Station - 22kW charging speed
Fronius Wattpilot - 22kW charging speed
Zappi 22kW 3 Phase Car Charger - 22kW charging speed
Tesla Wall Connector - 22kW charging speed
All electric vehicle chargers need to be installed by a professional electrician.
While it is super annoying, electric vehicles are a lot like mobile phones in that different models require different connectors for charging.
The most common plug type for EV charging is the ‘Type 2’ connector, however, Tesla has their own plug type, as do a lot of Japanese manufactured EVs.
Most EVs will only come with one cable - the one that works when plugged into your average domestic power point (and charges your car at a glacial pace).
This is why it is important to get your own EV charger installed at home.
What about when it comes to public chargers you may ask? Well, as you have probably seen around there are specialised public chargers like the Tesla chargers, and many that will plug easily into a ‘Type 2’ plug.
However, if you are having an issue with fitting public chargers into your ev’s plug you can purchase adaptors online.
How to save money when you are charging your EV at home
With petrol prices skyrocketing at the moment, you will already be making significant savings using an electric vehicle.
However, there are a few things you can do to maximise the savings possible when charging your electric vehicle.
Charging during off peak hours will guarantee you the cheapest charging cost. In Victoria this tends to be between the hours of 10pm and 7pm.
If you have rooftop solar the best option is to charge your EV during the day (while the sun is out and the panels are generating energy).
You can even install a home EV charger with solar optimisation features to reduce your costs further.
Where should I get my EV charger installed?
The best place to get an EV charger installed is in a carport or garage.
However, if you don’t have a covered space to install your EV charger, that is fine as EV chargers are weatherproof.
It is important to consider how you park your car when deciding where the charger should be
Troubleshooting Common EV Charger Issues
While EV chargers are generally considered quite easy to use, like all technology, they can have their sticky points.
Here is how to avoid common EV charger issues:
- Ensure you are using the correct EV charger for your cars requirements.
Level 1 and level 2 chargers which use wall chargers work across all ev chargers except teslas.
- Make sure the connector is fully plugged into the EV charging port.
You should hear a click sound to indicate that it is connected properly and charging will commence. There is nothing more annoying than thinking your car has been charging and getting in a finding that it hasn't and you will not be able to get to your destination.
- EV chargers often need a little more elbow grease than you might think to be disconnected from your car.
Before stressing that the charger is stuck try to give it a strong tug and it should come out.
- Do your research and use the correct charger for your desired charging speed.
Some EV chargers are faster than others so it is important to know how long it is going to take for your car to charge with the model you are using so you are never caught out without enough power to reach your destination.
- Plan your trips in advance.
Unfortunately, there are not many public EV charging stations in Australia yet. This means you will need to plan ahead either by ensuring your car have been charged enough at home to last for your whole trip or mapping out your journey to include stops at reliable EV charging points (it is important suss out these charging points ahead of time as unfortunately there are a lot of out of order public charging points in Australia and you don’t want to be caught out).
Talk to one of our professional electricians about getting your EV charger installed today!
While it is not necessary to get an EV charger installed at your home, it will make your life a lot easier!
As electric vehicles require large amounts of power for charging, all home EV charging points must be installed by a licensed electrician.
This also helps to ensure you will not end up overloading your electrical system and everything will work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here at 181 Electrical, our number one goal is customer satisfaction. We aim to achieve this through clear and consistent communication.
This way our customers are always aware of what is happening, the reason the work needs to be completed and the cost, prior to work commencing.
So what are you waiting for? Call us on 0403 734 299 or click the link below to book a quote!