What is an EV charging station?
An electric vehicle charging station is equipment that connects an electric vehicle (EV) to a source of electricity to recharge electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Some charging stations have advanced features such as connection to PV systems, smart metering, cellular capability and network connectivity.
How do EV chargers work?
There are three different EV charging levels 1, 2 and 3.
Level 1 charging refers to plugging the cable that came with an electric car into a standard household outlet. Charging via a domestic socket is the slowest way to charge an electric car, as they only deliver up to 2.3 kW (10 A) which equates to 4 to 5 miles of range per hour.
Level 2 charging refers to using a charging station that is either placed on a wall, pole, or stands on the ground to charge your EV. Level 2 chargers are the most common for residential and commercial locations such as offices. Depending on the power output and the vehicle type, charging on a Level 2 charging station is roughly 5 to 15 times faster than charging via a regular socket or level 1 as above. As an example, charging for an hour with an 11 kW charger delivers about 37 miles of range.
Level 3 charging delivers more power, faster, making them ideal for service stations. They are very rare and not generally required for domestic applications. Level 3 stations provide up to 350 kW of power, and by doing so, can charge an EV in about 15 minutes to an hour.
What are the benefits of EV chargers?
The biggest benefit is the ability to charge your car at home, instead of a commercial charging station. This reduces the cost by at least 50%. If it is connected to Solar PV, you are able to charge your car for free during the day, as long as the sun is shining. It can also significantly reduce the time it takes to fully charge your vehicle.
What are the pros and cons of EV chargers?
- Faster charging
- Cheaper charging
- More convenient
- Pointless if you don’t already own an electric vehicle
- Your friends / neighbours will likely ask to use it regularly