Most EV’s currently available, for the everyday commute or school run, just leaving your car connected to the charger when you get home every night, just like your mobile phone, will do the job.
So why all the fuss about range anxiety and range limitations – we honestly don’t know. But if you need more charging options, you have four broad choices.
Firstly, keep you charge cable with your car, you never know when you might need a top up.
Use your Home Charger every night to fill up for the next day. If you’re lucky enough to have a charge station at your office, that makes sense to charge during the day.
Or, for that longer trip you can top up at a Public Charging Station, provided by a number of operators and growing fast.
Many EV’s come with portable, Plug-In Cable (to a normal Home Power Outlet), like a mobile phone called a Type 2 Cable. If it doesn’t, you can buy one for a few hundred dollars, it will be handy to keep with the car to top up at Aunties if you need to get home on a Sunday afternoon!
This cable be fatter than a normal power extension cable, with a normal plug on one end and a plug that connects, that looks like the picture on the other end. If you really want to know, the Plug that goes into your car is called a Type 2 or Mennekes.
The Type 2 plug is the common standard for AC (Alternating Current) for Australia EV’s. Different from the USA, more similar to Europe and Asia.
Plug it into the wall socket (which is AC), turn the power on, then plug it into your EV -Charging. Your car screen or App will give you all the progress data you need. On any home or garage power outlets, this is OK as it’s working at about 10 amps. Normal home outlets can handle up to about 16 amps so it’s going to be ok, as long as you don’t have the fridge and a hairdryer on at the same time!
This will give you around 12km driving per hour of charging in your typical EV – or around 30 hours to fully charge. Looking at it another way, this will give you around 3-4% of total battery capacity per hour. Yes, 3.3 x 30 = 100%. Totally impractical for everyday use, but as I said at the outset, great for casual use or emergency top up.
You might also see charging cables that have a Type 2 plug on both ends. These are designed for Public (paid or free) Charging Stations that do not provide a cable, only a socket – yes, such things exist.
This is where it starts to make sense. You’ve been charging your phone every night for the last 15 year, now it’s time to charge your car at home overnight.
It works like this.
You get home at the end of your day, you plug your car in and you wake up in the morning fully charged for the day, good night’s sleep, no range anxiety. Charging is usually set to start about 10 pm, (the start of off-peak power pricing) and will automatically switch off when it’s reached your prescribed limit. Not usually to 100%, most brands recommend 80% max. charging for daily use. All set to go when you wake up in the morning.
Charging during off-peak power times means electricity will be around a quarter the price of peak time. That makes sense to run an really EV cheaply.
Permanently installed, the Home Charging kit is a “smart” Charger Unit and Cable with Type 2 plug – like in the picture. Often its wirelessly connected to your car App for remote monitoring. This unit could be in your garage, or carport (they are waterproof) and runs off your house power, maybe with some upgrade, installed by an Electrician.
It gives you even faster charging, more power in a quicker time. This requires an upgraded home power supply to provide a 3 phase power circuit, cabling and 3 Phase Charger Unit. Great for home charging if need a quick boost during the day time.
Many brands supply their own (like Tesla), and in most cases it’s the best option. Other brands have arrangements with third party suppliers like: Jet Charge, EVSE Australia, Chargers Direct or Evolution Australia. Contact AmazingEV and have a chat about the best option for you.
Unless you go on an intercity trip, you may never need a Public Charging Station. A good Home Charging set up will do for 95% of your life.
But when you need them, it is good to know they are there and so far, from my experience, the Tesla Supercharger network is the best. Why you ask, again and again, simple; Reliable, easy to use, quick and handy.
Yes, like all charger networks in Australia, we would like more, but that is coming.
For now, rock up to the Tesla SuperCharger, plug in and start charging. Payment via your Tesla App, progress via the App and by “talking” to your car, still the fastest charging around. Enough to convince you to buy a Tesla!
Australia has other EV Charger Networks developing, from the self-proclaimed largest, ChargeFox to the fast expanding EVIE. Both require their own App and separate payment facility and provide a variety of charging speeds.
Other “one off” chargers are being installed around various City venues, but this is still a bit hit and miss. Online, one of the main discussion points with EV adoption is the reliability of EV chargers. I am not entering into this debate but the provision of safe and reliable EV Charging services around city and country Australia is critical for the future or EV’s.
For Employees, who in many cases arrive in the morning then leave again at night, it makes perfect sense – charge your EV during the day at work!
Employers are starting to see that offering workers and customers EV Charging Bays is a sign they are listening and responding.
For Customers, having an EV parking bay is an impressive statement.
Similar to the EV structure that might be installed in a Strata Apartment block, charging solutions for a Work place will encompass a number of Charger Bay Units, plus a Power Control Unit to control the power to each Charger.
It usually requires a bit more than just installing several Home Style Charger Units, as power supply control equipment is required to manage them all working together. Fortunately, most offices, factories and commercial building already have provisioned for high demand electricity so the jump to add an EV Charging Network is a little easier. And depending on the business owner, the cost of charging may be subsidised or free, if you’re lucky.