Different Ways We Can Charge Electric Cars

by | Sep 2, 2022

Solar powered electric car charger
The growing popularity of electric vehicles within Australia has resulted in a corresponding focus on the availability of charging options. From a residential solar powered electric car charger to public charging stations, there are plenty of options to keep your EV topped up. And the ways Australians can charge their electric vehicle is only growing.

Types of electric cars

Before we can talk about the different ways to charge EVs, we need to quickly touch on the cars themselves. Just like diesel and petrol-powered cars, not all electric vehicles are the same.

EVs can be broadly divided into three main categories:

  • Hybrid: Has both an internal combustion engine and an electric engine powered by a small battery. The battery is charged using energy captured while braking.
  • Plug-in Hybrid: Operates similarly to regular hybrid EVs but can be charged by plugging it into an energy source.
  • Battery: Features a larger battery in order to run completely on electricity.
  • Except hybrid models, electric cars need to be manually plugged in and charged, usually either at home or at a public charging station. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no standard plug type across all EVs, which can affect what public charging options you can utilise.

    Home Charging

    There is something quite appealing about being able to plug in your car to charge when you get home, ready for your next busy day. The good news is that the Level 1 charge cable provided with your EV is compatible with the standard 10A power points at home. However, this provides the slowest charge and is dependent on having access to a power point.

    While Level 1 chargers offer convenience and portability, they are only rated up to 2.4kW. For larger EV battery capacities or individuals who drive a lot, a dedicated EV charger is recommended. Also known as wallbox chargers, these Level 2 units are rated to approximately 7.2kW and provide a much faster charge. The installation of a Level 2 electric car battery charger must be undertaken by a qualified and trained professional.

    Solar-powered charging

    If you have solar panels or a solar battery, you effectively have a solar electric car charger which can lower your household electricity bills. A solar-powered electric car charger can be the perfect solution for keeping your EV topped up but it does have limitations. Namely, individuals who use their EV during the day won’t be able to take advantage of collected sunlight. A solar battery can potentially offset this but the additional expense may not be immediately worth it.

    Consult with the experienced team of assessors and CEC-accredited installers at Solar System to explore your solar electric car charger options.

    Public Charging

    Whether you’re on the go or don’t have reliable access to home charging, a public charging station can get you to your destination. Public stations are generally Level 3 chargers, delivering high-voltage direct current electricity. This provides a faster charge time in order to get EVs back on the road as quickly as possible.

    According to CHOICE, an estimated 2500 public charging stations are spread across Australia, with the number steadily increasing. Many of these stations are owned and managed by separate companies. As a result, this may require you to have an account with numerous providers in order to access a particular electric car battery charger. This will be affected by your local area, destination, and the type of EV you own. For example, Tesla charging stations are generally restricted to Tesla vehicles.

    To check for your closest public charging stations and pricing Transport for NSW provides a handy online charging map.

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