Right Charging Station for charging your EV at home?
Electric vehicles provide plenty of advantages over internal combustion (ICE) engine powered cars – quick acceleration, quiet ride and low gravity center give a very special driving experience that you wouldn’t be able to get from any other ICE car. However, to fully enjoy your EV driving experience you have to manage your range anxiety. Limited battery capacity and slow (min 1-2hour) charging time may create additional stress on your daily commutes. One of the best ways to overcome this anxiety is to charge your car at home. Alternative is to use public chargers which will cost both time and additional money. So the question is, how do new electric car owners choose the right home charging station?
Before starting any consideration, one should answer following questions:
- What is available energy capacity at your home grid? Do you have one or three phase power supply?
- Determine if you need professional installation or maybe you can use regular (already installed) CEE plug
- Do you have shared or dedicated circuit available?
- What is onboard charger capacity on your EV?
- Determine budget and features required for your charging station
So let’ start point by point…
What is available energy capacity at your home grid? Do you have one or three phase power supply?
To determine maximum charging speed possible at home one should consider three limiting factors: available energy supply at your home grid, onboard charger capacity your EV has and is it one or three phase electricity supply line. Only after you answer these questions you can choose right charging station.
Another option is that you buy 22kW AC charger which will provide maximum charging speed whatever your power supply or car intake limitations are.
Determine if you need professional installation or maybe you can use regular (already installed) CEE socket
Maybe you have CEE standard three phase socket (16×3) available in your garage. If yes, great news – you can choose to buy 11kW charging station with CEE plug preinstalled for you. Which means you only need to unpack station, hang it on your wall and plug it to CEE socket. This way you will avoid a need to order electric installer service. In some countries where electrical services are expensive it may cost from 400 to 800eur to install wallbox station at home.
Do you have shared or dedicated circuit available?
In case you have to share EV charging circuit with other appliances, you risk blowing your fuses every time you turn your appliances on. To avoid that you have two options:
- Using f.e. 3,7kW charging station which at maximum load would not compromise your supply line. It is recommended to keep your circuit line with 20-30% free capacity (such capacity should be vacant after you sum up maximum load from all connected appliances)
- If 3,7kW is not enough or even with such load you compromise your circuit capacity you may need to use charging station with dynamic load management system. For such purpose we have some stations on our offering capable of such functionality…
What is onboard charger capacity on your EV?
Firstly, you have to look at kW intake of your electric vehicle. For example, the Nissan Leaf has one phase 6.6-kW onboard charger. Tesla model S cars are equipped with an 11.5or 22kW onboard EV charger. To take advantage of the fastest possible rate for charging these vehicles, you need a home charging station with sufficient amperage to produce those kilowatt supply level. This is based on the properties of electricity: volts multiplied by amps equals kilowatts. There are technical aspects to consider but here are a few basic that you need to know:
- The Nissan Leaf’s 6.6-kilowatt charger needs one phase 32-amp EV charger, which can add about 42 km of range during one hour.
- The Tesla Model S’s 11.5-kilowatt charger needs a 16-amp three phase EV charger, which can add about 58 km of range during one hour. Whereas for 22kW AC charging you will need 32-amp three phase EV charger.
There’s no problem if you buy charging equipment with more capability than the limit of your EV. That is because the charging station and vehicle can reduce the power to its limit. Thus, it’s not a bad idea to future-proof your garage by buying 22kW AC station so you have the freedom to upgrade to an electric car with faster charging.
It’s also important to consider the amperage of your home’s electrical panel. The circuit needs to be 20-30% higher than the charging station being used. In other words, to get the full benefit of a 32-amp charging—and ensure safety—you will need a 40-amp circuit.
Adjusting amperage can be tricky for amateurs but there are some stations f.e. ENSTO HOME ONE, which allow amp control simply with App connected via Bluetooth.
Determine budget and features required for your charging station
Choosing a station can be tricky, its not just a brand or features you need to choose. So when you have all above questions answered you have better understanding of your own needs. Now you can determine:
– weather you need one or three phase EV charger?
– are you going to order installation service or you can use CEE plug instead?
– do you need a dynamic load balancing feature?
– maybe ‘Peak shaving’ feature would save you some money (f.e. eliminating charging hours at home when electricity is more expensive i.e. evening tariff)?
– do you need to share your station with family, neighbours or colleagues at work? If yes, you should consider authentication function (RFID or via APP)
– do you need charger with internet connection? If yes, is LAN or Wifi connection enough or 3/4G is preferable?
– would you like to have access to charging session stats via station owners web dashboard? This would help you f.e. split the bill with your neighbour.
When you answer all above questions, you can choose right charging station. We can offer home stations from 6 different suppliers, 10+ different models, 300+ custom modification. If you are in doubt, please write us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you choose right model for your needs!