Electric cars are huge all over the world with Australia growing exponentially. One question many researching electric vehicles or on the cusp of buying wonder - will I need to upgrade my home power supply in order to charge my new electric vehicle? The short answer is no - you shouldn't have to upgrade your power supply to charge your vehicle. Its often just like added an additional appliance to your home. Here we answer a few more specific questions around home power supply and charging electric vehicles.
How do I tell what sort of power supply I currently have?
Homes will generally either be built with a single-phase electricity supply or a three-phase electricity supply. Most older homes will be built with a single phase power supply, with some new builds now being built with three phase supply. To work out which type of electricity supply your home has, go to your switch board check the width of the main switch on the switchboard. The single-phase switches are one ‘pole’ wide and three-phase switches are three ‘poles’ wide and look like a triple switch.
What is the difference between single phase and three phase for electric vehicle charging?
A home with single phase power will allow you to charge most EVs overnight at 7 kWh, which works out to be about 40 kilometres of range per hour. A home with three-phase electricity can support faster car charging - something like 22 kWh, or 120 kilometres of range per hour. Of course your car and battery will influence the charge rate. See our article ' how long will it take to charge my electric vehicle'
Does an EV charger need a dedicated circuit?
The rules that apply to installation of an electric vehicle charger in your home are the AS/NZS 3000:2018 – Electrical Installations “Wiring Rules”. Among other mandated rules it states that 'each charger outlet must be its own dedicated circuit.' If you are yet to install a car charger this does not preclude you from using a regular power point, it means when you commission a point specifically for EV charging, the electrician must ensure it has its own circuit in the meter board.
Do I need to upgrade my home power supply for home EV charging?
EV chargers are compatible with your home electricity supply and you can set an appropriate EV charger for your home to match your current electrical set-up. Your EV charger will get a dedicated circuit from your electricity switchboard. It doesn't matter if you currently have three phase or single phase power, either will allow you a faster charge than your regular power point charge. A skilled electrician will asses how many circuits are in use in your home and make a recommendation as to how much power your new EV circuit should use.
How do I tell how much electrical capacity I have for an EV charger?
When you're looking at installing electric vehicle charger or any appliance in your home one of the things an electrician will look at is how much capacity you have available for the new appliance. That means, if all your appliances were running at once, could your home handle that much electricity? The majority of homes these days will have either A60-100 amp (ampere) maximum capacity which is protected by a service fuse. The electrician will look at lights, aircon, ovens, and other infrastructure that's already connected, and use your total ampere less those figures to work out how much 'headroom' you have and therefore how many amperes you can run an electric vehicle charger at.
Does my EV charger need an isolation switch?
The AS/NZS 3000:2018 – “Wiring Rules” for EV Charging Stations does not mandate an isolation switch, but considers it good practice if you are installing a 'plug' rather than an 'appliance' (i.e. an EV charger).
Can any electrician install an electric vehicle charger?
Technically, any qualified electrician who is licensed in the state is authorised to legally install an EV home charging point, however it would be wise to ask questions around how many installations and different scenarios they have installed EV chargers in.
How do you install an electric car charging station at home?
Work out the distance from your electricity meter to where you want the charger, take photos of your meter box so we can see how much headroom you have available and what type of power supply you have, take a photo where you'd like the charger fixed to the wall, send it all over to us and Bright Spark Power should be able to quote you over email. If you're happy, you can switch your electricity supply and book a time for your EV charger installation and have faster home charging in a few hours.
Bright Spark Power are installing EV Chargers all over New South Wales. Contact Bright Spark Power and get a customised quotation for EV charger installation at your property.
Call or email Bright Spark Power to start a conversation about electric vehicle charging at home or work. No matter where you are in your journey to owning an electric vehicle, we can help you navigate what is possible for your personal EV-charging. Call 1300 010 277 weekdays or email firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.