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EV Charger Levels
EV Charger Levels

Electrical

EV Charger Levels

Here on the Northern Beaches of New South Wales, Australia, like the rest of the country, electric vehicle usage is on the rise. Once you’ve purchased your EV, you’ll need to have an EV home charging system installed in your garage or driveway to power up your vehicle. What types of EV chargers are available and who is best to install them? The simplest and easiest response to that question is to locate and call a well-qualified electrician to help install your EV charging station.

While consumers are eager to switch to EVs at their homes, there are many broader questions to be answered, such as what type of EV you own, what range you will need, the different types of chargers versus the charging levels, and the installation of an EV charging station.

Electricians are the most qualified to install your EV chargers. In fact, Australian law is now requiring that licensed electrical contractors install all permanently wired electrical equipment.

But let’s look at the variety of EV chargers—from Level 1-3—on the market and understand two key pieces of terminology. Charging levels—from 1 to 3—are the power at which you can charge your electric vehicle. Charging types are the physical plug connector type that plugs into your electric vehicle.

Level 1 EV charging-portable EVSE is usually found in a standalone family home in which your EV is plugged into the same electricity outlet as your computer or phone. It provides 10-15 Amp single phase through a specialized cable provided by the EV manufacturer. A Level 1 charge will provide between 10 and 20km of range per hour but it will not fully recharge a typical EV overnight. Level 1 will work best if used for smaller battery sizes and is recommended if you drive under 4000km a year.

For a faster charge and additional range, a Level 2 charger is the way to go. Here, a qualified electrician will connect your EV to an electrical network via a plug and specific socket and a dedicated circuit. It is typically found in homes and apartment complexes as a dedicated AC EV charger providing up to 7kW or 32Amp single phase. Homeowners who require range and a fully-charged vehicle adopt a Level 2 because it provides up to 40km of range per hour plugged in all the way up to 19.2 kilowatts (KM as well as top up average daily vehicle use in one hour or deliver a fully-charged EV overnight. Working at higher voltage and at higher amperage provides Level 2 with much quicker speed but it also necessitates more robust wiring and equipment to hold the heat it generates from the extra electrons.

Finally, there are Level 3 chargers that are extremely fast but not recommended for homeowners. That’s because a Level 3’s installation requires a lot of service and panel upgrades. This type of dedicated DC fast charger EV provides power levels from 25kW to 350kW (40-500 Amp, three phase). It will add up to 150km of range per hour plugged in up to fully recharging an EV in 10-15 minutes.

Now is the time to be thinking of your EV usage and learning about how to have your EV charger installed at your home. Recently, the Australian Government announced its goal of getting 1.7 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 and adding 50,000 charging stations in homes across Australia.

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