Charging your electric car at home
Charging your electric car at home or workplace is readily feasible.
Most electric vehicles have a charging unit inbuilt. Check with the vehicle maker for charging options available. This article about charging your electric car at home gives some indication of how many kilometres you can drive.
Typical electric vehicles have some form of inbuilt charger. You can plug into a 15 amp outlet socket. You save money, however, via an economy tariff for off peak charging overnight. To be on that tariff, however, you must have a dedicated EV charging point: a standard power point isn’t permitted. This is because that’s otherwise a cheap source for other purposes!
Have an electrical contractor set up a dedicated electric charging point.You are also likely to need a meter for the car charging tariff.
Charging your electric car at home – set-up cost
Set-up cost varies. A very rough estimate is about $1,750 for the charging circuit wiring. Plus $100 – $150 for a standard electrical power point. An electric vehicle charging unit costs up to $500. A for a more advanced unit costs about $2500. A local licensed electrical contractor can advise.
Some electric car dealers include a home charging assessment price and/or a consultation with a licensed electrical contractor as part of the car’s purchase price.
Charging your electric car at home – energy usage
If used for typical commuting (e.g. 40-50 km a day), re-charging needs 2.5-5 kilowatt/hours. One kilowatt hour is that which many refer to as ‘one unit’. That currently typical is shown below.
Type Maximum charge (kW) km (per hour of charging)
BMW i3 7.4 25
Chevy Spark EV 3.3 11
Fiat 500e 6.6 22
Ford Focus Electric 6.6 22
Kia Soul EV 6.6 22
Mercedes B-Class Electric 10 29
Mitsubishi i-MieEV 3.3 11
Nissan Leaf 3.3 – 6.6 11 – 22
Smart Electric Drive 3.3 11
Tesla Models S & X 10 -20 29-58
Charging is readily done overnight. Excess solar captured during the day can be sold to the electricity supplier. It is then bought back at off-peak rates. Most of Australia’s electricity suppliers charge 25 30 cents per kilowatt/hour for off-peak use. Some, however, offer better prices on a contract basis. It also often possible to obtain a better rate. You can often do this by obtaining a quote a rival supplier. If it is lower, seek that same price (or lower) from your existing supplier. You are likely to be offered a really low price for (say) a two-year contract.
Charging primarily from home solar
Charging from home solar and/or business solar is totally feasible. It has the added benefit of no CO2 emissions.(See Electric vehicles –solar charging at home).
By and large, a 6-6.6 kW solar system will be needed. This is the largest right now (mid 2020) that qualifies for rebates (and usually grid-connect systems). Solar however is now so cheap that it is worth seeking quotes for a dedicated solar car charging system. It is readily feasible to charge an electric or hybrid car from your home and/or business solar system This further reduces cost.
Charging from public outlets
An ever-increasing range of service station fast and super-fast chargers charge at rates as high as 135 kW. They readily recharge an EV battery in about 30 minutes. Owners use these mostly long drives. They rely on routine charging at home and whilst at work. Electric car vendors usually offer offer such charging..
While not yet adequate in many areas, there are fast charging facilities around Australia. These including right across the Nullabor. See: Charge Stations in Australia (https://myelectriccar.com.au/charge-stations-in-australia) or ChargePoint. Prices vary.
Many existing home grid-connect solar systems have excess capacity outside peak periods. Solar energy fed in during the day can be re-drawn during off-peak periods. This charges an electric car cheaply because many grid networks have excess capacity outside peak periods. Routine such charging extends battery life. All dislike ongoing deep discharges.
It is already totally feasible to charge cars from home and office solar. It is being done by many owners right now.