With petrol prices rising and the whole climate change debate raging, many people are upgrading to electric cars. Great for the environment, potentially cheaper to maintain, they seem like a great idea.
The only problem – charging at home. Read on to learn why.
Why are electric cars better for the environment?
So before we get into charging, let’s tick off the big one here – Electric Vehicles emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their lifetime when compared to Petrol or Diesel cars. That’s even after taking into account the manufacturing process. If you want to be green without giving up your ability to drive, an electric vehicle is a great choice.
Charging Your Electric Vehicle
There are generally three main ways to charge your car, with different levels of speed.
Level 1 – Socket Charging
This is the most basic way to charge your car. You can connect your car charging cable to any power socket.
Simple enough, right?
Well, the downside is that it’s super slow. It can take over a day to get yourself a decent level of charge!
For example, most Tesla’s will be able to replenish about 10kms every hour charging this way. That means it would take you around 36 hours (or 3 days) to give yourself 360kms of driving distance.
But hey, its easy and uses the existing sockets – so there’s no work to be done.
Level 2 – Wall Charging
Some car manufacturers will give you (or let you buy) a charging kit that can be installed at home. These can charge a car a lot quicker, usually within 5-8 hours.
You can also find these sometimes at shopping centre car parks, hotels, resorts, restaurants, and many other places.
The problem here is that these wall chargers need to be installed, which adds a cost. And then often, many homes can’t handle the extra load needed to power these things – so they end up needing a power upgrade (we’ve done a huge number of these in the past few months).
But overall, this is what you want if you have an electric car. You park it in the garage, connect it, and let it charge fully overnight (most places also recommend topping up during the day too).
Level 3 – Fast Charging Station
Finding an official fast charging station is the fastest way to charge your car. It can potentially get your car to about 80% charge in as little as 20-30 minutes (depending on the car).
They work by connecting directly to your battery (and avoiding your cars onboard charger).
While this is awesome, they’re not super common. And if you don’t have one near your home, it’s not likely to be a reliable way to charge your car.
Tips for Charging at Home
Getting a wall charger installed at home is the best move for most people. So here are a few things to consider:
Positioning of the Charger
You need to be really certain on where you’re going to place the charger. Do you drive your car into forwards into the garage or reverse in? Once the charger is installed, you’ll need to always go the same way (if you want to be able to charge).
Peak vs Off Peak Charging
After 10pm your power supply moves to off-peak, becoming a lot cheaper. That’s the ideal time to be charging your electric vehicle.
One thing that we’ve been doing a lot of lately is installing timers alongside the wall charger. We can set it so the charger only starts once off peak energy supply is active.
Will you need to upgrade your power
Many homes can only support a power supply of 80 amps, and their general usage already puts them close to that. Trying to add a wall charger would overload them.
In those cases, they will need to upgrade their power supply.
If you’re thinking about installing a wall charger for your electric vehicle – whether it’s a Telsa, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, or one of the few other electric vehicles we have in Australia – we hope you’re careful about making sure you’ll be able to get it done right.
And of course, if you need help installing a wall charger for your electric vehicle, we invite you to contact the best electricians in Sydney for a free quote (yes, I think that highly of our business).