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EV Charging - the basics for your business

15 May 2020

Think of charging your EV like charging your smartphone

The first thing to note about EV charging is that you don’t ‘fuel’ your vehicle in the same way as an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

When you drive a petrol car, you’ll typically run it down until the fuel light goes on, then look around for the cheapest fuel; not difficult in these COVID-19 times!

With an EV, you’ll charge at home, work, the shops and the gym. Anywhere that has a power point is your ‘petrol station’. In fact, most EV drivers never let their battery state of charge (SoC) go below 50%, so they always have plenty of electrons in the tank.

The best analogy is thinking of it like your smartphone. You plug it in whenever and wherever there’s access to power and your phone rarely gets down to a very low charge.

Always be charging your EV at Level 1, 2 or 3

Level 1 EV charging (slowest)

The most common way to charge is using what’s known as Level 1 charging. This is also known as AC charging and is the easiest and most freely available way to get a top up. 

While convenient, it’s also the slowest way to charge your EV and can take anywhere from 4 to 40 hours, depending on which car you have and the type of equipment you’re using. While it’s slow, it’s also the best way to protect your lithium ion battery pack which may degrade over time if continuously charged very quickly.

Most EV drivers charge up at home - usually overnight – which is the best and simplest charging routine to get into to avoid range anxiety (the fear of running out of power).

Types of Level 1 chargers:

Using a charging cable, you can plug into a 10 or 15amp household powerpoint.

Typical cost:

You’ll usually get a charging cable with your EV, or a new one will cost under $500. For a full charge you can expect to pay less than $10 on your electricity bill. Much cheaper than petrol!

Level 2 EV charging (faster)

The next step up. A Level 2 charger can be installed in your garage or on your driveway to provide a faster and more efficient charge.

You can install a 7kW or 22kW charger, however the charge rate depends on EV you drive, and will usually take anywhere between 4 to 8 hours to give you a full battery.

There are a wide range of Level 2 chargers on the market for both home and commercial use, including one that connects to an onsite solar system and only uses your self-generated renewable energy.

Types of Level 2 chargers:

Myenergi Zappi solar-connect 7 or 22kW charger is great for home use. The ChargeAmps AURA charger for commercial use, providing usage, power and cost data. For a locally made product, the AURIGA is a pedestal unit with inbuilt security light and a 10amp plug for e-bike charging, that comes as a portable option.

Typical cost:

The Zappi costs around $1300 for the hardware, plus installation by a qualified electrician. Attractive and robust, the AURA is approximately $4650 for the unit, plus installation. The made-in-Melbourne AURIGA retails from $2900 plus installation.

Level 3 EV charging (fastest)

Also known as fast or DC charging, this is the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle. 

Level 3 chargers convert AC power to DC within the charging station itself, meaning it can quickly and efficiently feed power directly into the battery. Depending on the type of EV, you can typically charge a battery from 0% to 80% in under 30 minutes.

DC charging is a great option for highway stops, but if you want drivers to stop and spend their time and money at your location, a Level 2 charger is a more cost effective solution.

Types of Level 3 chargers:

Queensland-built Tritium DC chargers are among the best in the world, exported to 30 countries. There are a range of fixed DC options from companies like ABB or Kempower, as well as portable DC charging units.

Typical cost:

Cost depends on the size of DC charger installed, from 50kW right up to 350kW, which range from $50,000 to $1,000,000 respectively. There is often supporting infrastructure required to power a DC fast charger, which makes the faster options (above 50kW) more expensive to install.

What type of EV charging do we recommend for your business?

To offer affordable and effective EV charging at your business location, we recommend a mix of AC 7kW and DC 50kW chargers as the most appealing to EV drivers.

For automotive workshops, the 7kW AURIGA is a portable EV charging unit that can be easily used to charge up an EV following servicing, then neatly stowed away when not in use. 

If you’d like to know more about EV charging for your business, please get in touch!

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