Huglo team
January 8, 2024

Demystifying EV Charging in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

Demystifying EV Charging in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

In Australia, EV chargers come in different types and charging levels, aligned with Australian standards. The primary types are:

AC Chargers (Single-Phase and Three-Phase): AC chargers are categorized into single-phase and three-phase chargers. If you have a single-phase connection at home, you will need a single-phase charger. For a three-phase connected home, you have the choice of either a single-phase or three-phase charger. Single phase devices will charge at ~7kW (7 kilowatts) whereas three phase chargers can charge at up to 22kW (kilowatts). However, your EV may only be able to charge at a lower rate than this,usually around 11 kW (11 kilowatts). This is because of the onboard AC inverter constraints of your EV.

DC Fast Chargers: These chargers are designed for rapid charging and are commonly found at highway rest areas and specific EV charging stations. They can provide a significant charge in a short amount of time as they use Direct Current to charge the battery (as opposed to Alternating Current (AC) which is at your home).

If you seeking to add an EV charger at home, we are primarily concerned with AC EV chargers.

Components of a Home EV Charger:

A new EV charging point requires a dedicated circuit in your electricity switchboard as this is a large load and will need a dedicated circuit breaker (RCBO). As such, only a qualified electrician who is licensed in your state can install an EV home charging point.

Charging Unit: This is the main device that you plug into your EV. It connects to your vehicle's charging port.

Cable and Connector: The cable attaches the charging unit to your EV, and the connector (usually Type 1 or Type 2 in Australia) isthe plug that goes into your EV's charging inlet.

Wall-Mounted or Portable: Home chargers can be wall-mounted for permanent installation or portable, which you can plug into a dedicated power outlet.


Types of EV Chargers

EV chargers can also be ‘smart’ or ‘plug and charge’. If you already have a solar system, the simplest way to use your excess generation tocharge your EV via a OCPP compatible EV charger. You will also need to check your current inverter is compatible, brands such as Sungrow or SolarEdge.

OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) is a communication protocol used to remotely manage EV chargers. It allows for real-time monitoring and control of charging stations and enables the integration of charging stations with other systems, such as energy management (solar) system.

You can view the EV Chargers that Huglo stocks here.  


The Charging Process:

Power Supply: The charger is connected to your home's power supply, which typically runs on alternating current (AC).

Plug-In: You plug the charger's connector into your EV's charging inlet, making sure it's securely connected.

Authentication (if applicable): Some home chargers have built-in authentication features. For instance, you might need to use a smartphone app, a key fob, or an RFID card to start charging. If your chargerdoesn't require authentication, it will start automatically.

Communication: The charger communicates with your EV to establish the appropriate charging rate and ensure safe and efficient charging. This communication includes determining the voltage and currentlevels suitable for your EV's battery.

Charging: Once communication is established and thesettings are configured, the charger begins delivering electrical power to your EV's battery. It converts AC power from your home's supply into the DC power needed by your vehicle's battery.

Charging Time: The time it takes to charge your EVdepends on several factors, including the charger's power output, your EV's battery capacity, and the remaining charge level. Home chargers vary in power output, typically ranging from 3kW to 22kW.

Monitoring: Most home chargers have display screens or connect to smartphone apps that allow you to monitor the charging progress.You can check the state of charge and charging time remaining.

Charging Complete: Once your EV's battery reaches thedesired charge level or you decide to stop charging, you can safely unplug the charger from your vehicle.

Typical Charge Time for an EV

Typical EV Charging times
Typical time is takes to charge a Tesla 70kWh battery

It's important to note that home EV chargers are designed with safety features to prevent overcharging and to ensure that the charger automatically stops once the battery reaches its capacity. This helps protectyour EV's battery and ensures safe charging practices.

In summary, home EV chargers make it convenient to charge your electric vehicle at home. They convert AC power from your household supply into the DC power your EV's battery needs. With the right charger and appropriate electrical connections, you can ensure your EV is ready for yourdaily commute or longer journeys, all while contributing to a more sustainable mode of transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have three-phase power, do I need a three-phase EV charger?

In short no. A three-phase EV charger is rated to charge atup to 22kW per hour, as opposed to a single-phase charger which can charge at around 7kW per hour. The constraint for three-phase chargers is likely to be the electric vehicle as the onboard inverter can usually only convert up 11kWh.

Q: Can I use a standard household outlet for EV chargingat home in Australia?

A: Yes, you can use a Level 1 charger with a standard 240V household outlet for slow, overnight charging. Dedicated single-phase or three-phase charging requires an electrician to install a dedicated outlet withthe appropriate circuit breakers to ensure the circuit is not overloaded.

Q: How long does it take to charge an EV in Australia?

A: Charging times vary based on the charger type, your EV's battery capacity, and the standard voltage. Three-phase chargers offer faster charging times compared to single-phase. See the above table for typicall time it takes to charge an EV.

Q: Can I overcharge my EV according to Australian standards?

A: No, modern EVs in Australia are equipped with safety features to prevent overcharging. The charging process stops automatically once the battery reaches capacity.

Q: Are public charging stations easy to find in Australia?

A: Yes, public charging stations are increasingly accessible and can be located through smartphone apps and websites specifically designed for Australia.

Q: Is it safe to charge my EV in the rain or extreme weather in Australia?

A: EV chargers in Australia are built to withstand various weather conditions, ensuring safe charging even in wet or extreme weather conditions.

Q: What does OCPP mean?

A: OCPP stands for Open Charge Point Protocol. It's an application protocol for communication between Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations and a central management system, often known as a charging station network. This protocol allows EV charging points from different manufacturers to operate with your solar inverter. This allows you to charge your EV from excess solar generation only, rather than exporting to the electrical grid.

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