Is your home EV ready?

Charging station

Electrical contractor, EV charging point installer and EV owner Bryce Gaton looks at what you need to know to assess the potential hidden installation costs and practical considerations in preparing your home for an EV.

AFFORDABLE electric vehicles (EVs) with a range of 300+ kilometres are about to hit the showrooms (see Table 1). If this is going to be your year to make the shift to electric transport, then now is the time to assess your home’s electrics and prepare for the installation of an EV charging point, commonly called an EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment).

Here are four steps to help you prepare:

  1. Assess your home’s electrics for its capacity to deliver the fastest possible charging time.
  2. Choose your EVSE charging mode and current.
  3. Decide where to position the EVSE.
  4. Choose which EVSE to buy.

Assessing your home’s electrics

At one end of the spectrum, you might just need a 15 A socket outlet, with cost starting around $400 installed. At the other end, you might require a complete switchboard and supply upgrade, and full home rewiring. Costs for this can be $10,000 or more, and of course it will also entail time (possibly many months) to get the work done.

It boils down to what speed of charging you want/need and how much electrical energy your current household wiring can deliver.

First, let’s look at what the current and coming crop of EVs need if you intend to charge them as fast as you can at home. Table 2 lists the AC charging needs for all the EVs available now or coming soon to Australia.

From Table 2, we can work out what additional load (in amps) the EV will add to the household use. The next step is to assess the existing wiring, incoming supply and switchboard in your home to gauge if it is likely to be able to supply this load.

To assess your home’s electrical wiring and switchboard capacity to supply an EVSE, begin with the following checklist (of course, you will still need your installing electrician to check this via a full inspection before installation).

  1. Is your home less than 20 years old or has it been fully rewired in the last 20 years?
  2. Does your switchboard have at least one spare slot?
  3. Do you have three-phase power?

Read the full article in ReNew 143.

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