The world has ushered-in a new era of transportation, and as the performance and range of electric cars grows, we are seeing more manufacturers produce them, and ultimately more of them on the road. The downside to owning an EV is that it’s not always simple to fully recharge them from home. Fortunately, CM Electrical Qld has the knowledge and experience to provide you with the right solution that’s suitable for your home and your charging needs.
There are three levels of EV chargers, but before you choose your charger type, it is critical to first ascertain the power that is available to the property in which you’ll be installing the charger. In Queensland, the state’s power grid was designed and built before homes started installing accessories that draw large amounts of power such as Air Conditioning units, induction stoves, instantaneous hot water systems, and pool heating systems to name a few. In response to the ever-increasing demands on the electrical infrastructure, Energex has placed limits on the amount of power available to certain suburbs and streets.
It is worth keeping in mind that not all property types in Queensland will have the capacity to install a wall charger due to power supply limitations. As the number of EV’s on the road increases, the number of properties allowed to have wall chargers will be less and less over time. Applying the rules of ‘supply & demand’, having an EV charger in your property will be a significant value-adding feature in years to come. Should your property require a power upgrade to install a wall charger, this investment will return dividends come time to sell.
Our team can provide you with the services to determine what power you have available to you, and once we have that information we can install any type of EV charger, whether you’re installing a charger at your house, your business or industrial property. We have installed a variety of various EV chargers to suit models from top companies including Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Mitsubishi.
This is the most basic charger that usually comes standard with an electric vehicle to provide around 2.4kW of charging power. They literally plug into any of your home’s regular 10 Amp power points – the same as any other appliance in the home (phone chargers, toasters, etc). Whist these chargers are convenient, they only offer what’s referred to as ‘trickle charging’, meaning a slow charge that can take up to 48hrs to fully charge the vehicle. These are more suited for hybrid vehicles, or EV’s that are only driven a few times a week.
There’s a small improvement available to the Level 1 chargers (that CM Electrical Qld like to call Level 1.5), and that is to install a power point with a 50% increase in power delivery to around 3.5kW. The installation of a dedicated 15 Amp power outlet is quite often the best option available to homes that do not have the available power supply to install a Level 2 charger.
Level 2 chargers are dedicated wall boxes, or HPWC’s (High Power Wall Connectors) that provide a faster rate of charging to your EV. As there are 2 different types of power supply in the world – Single Phase and 3 Phase – we’ve broken the charger descriptions down, because while they may look the same their performance and installation requirements are very different.
Level 2.0 chargers greatly improve the charging power from 10 Amps up to 32 Amps – or around 7kW. These chargers reduce charging times considerably, with the majority of EV’s being able to go from completely flat to fully charged in under 12hrs. However – as mentioned above – to install a 32 Amp charger you must first determine if your home or business has the power supply available. In our experience, 95% of homes do not have the available power to install these chargers, and an upgrade to the property’s power supply is required.
It is also important to note that in Queensland, the power supply authority (Energex) stipulates that Single Phase EV chargers over 20 Amps can only be connected via an economy or controlled tariff, where the charging unit can only charge your EV during off-peak times – or a maximum of around 18hrs per day.
If you want 24/7 charging available to your property, your only option is to install a 3 Phase charger, which may mean upgrading your property power supply to 3 Phase.
Level 2.5 increases your charging power from around 7kW to a considerable 22kW, meaning that 10 minutes of charging can yield up to 22km of travel, or 130km in just 1 hour. As noted above, unlike Single Phase chargers this charging capability is available 24/7. If your property has more than one EV, this could be the ideal solution for you.
These chargers are strictly public DC chargers – or what’s commonly referred to as ‘Superchargers’. These chargers are essential in making EVs viable for driving long distances with minimal charging times. Charging capacity ranges from 50kW on a rapid charger up to 350kW on an ultra-rapid unit. At the lower end, this method will add up to 150km of range per hour plugged in; at the upper end, this method can recharge some electric vehicles from zero to 80% in under 30 minutes. Due to the huge power requirements of these charging stations, significant infrastructure upgrades are necessary, with close coordination with local government offices and power authorities.