More than 80% of electric car charging takes place at home because this is the most convenient method to do so. However, there are different ways one can charge an electric car at home depending on the type of charger, the time available, and the car itself.
The main two types of chargers used at home are your regular home socket and a dedicated wall box charger. A regular home socket is the most convenient one, but it can sometimes take up to 24h to completely charge up a large electric car battery. As such, these are mostly recommended for small EV batteries or emergencies.
A wall box charger is a much better option as it offers faster charging times, is way more convenient and safe, but it does cost more money. Choosing between these two is the main question when it comes to charging your EV from the comfort of your home.
Be sure to talk to your dealer before opting for any option as it is paramount to make sure that you are using the right technology as there are already some major differences between certain electric car s on the market.
Regular home socket charging – Easy but slow
The most obvious way one can charge an electric car at home is to use a regular home socket as most electric cars these days come with slow chargers which can be connected directly onto the home socket. However, most sockets are capable of delivering 3-5kW at most. This means that EVs with large batteries would take almost a whole day to fully charge.
These forms of charging are mostly referred to as “emergency only” which means that you should not use these if you have a different, more advanced option. One of the main points of concern is obviously safety as some plugs are unable to deliver consistent power for such a long period of time.
This means that theoretically, these can malfunction which could cause serious issues such as fire or damage to your battery. It’s worth saying that modern-day EVs do come with advanced software solutions which are designed to closely monitor the charging experience in order to make the entire process as safe as possible.
Wallbox charger – Faster and more convenient
electric car batteries are slowly but surely increasing in size which means that home socket charging is becoming obsolete due to time inefficiency. As such, most manufacturers recommend that you install a dedicated wall box charger that connects directly to your domestic electricity supply.
These wall box chargers differ in price quite substantially as some of them are faster and smarter than others. Either way, the concept is to install one of these onto your wall which enables you to charge the car however you see fit.
As previously stated, some wall box chargers can charge more rapidly than others and a 7kW charger is a bare minimum you ought to consider. Installing a wall box charger costs anywhere between $500 and $1000 depending on the brand and model.
The good thing is that many countries around the world are offering all sorts of governments grants for technology associated with electric car use. For example, in the UK, you are eligible for a government grant that covers 75% of your wall box charger installation and purchase costs.
Charging on the go – Risky but time-efficient
If you street park your EV, or you simply don’t want to charge your electric car at home, you can do so either at your workplace or on the road. Many companies worldwide offer dedicated electric car parking, and if you are employed at any of these, you should use them whenever you can, especially if they are free of charge.
Be that as it may, it is still the most time-efficient to use rapid chargers which are commonly located near busy highways and cities. If you own a Tesla, it’s best to rely on Tesla superchargers, but other companies such as ChargePoint, ABB Ionity, and many others also offer rapid charging.
If you are one of those people, you should never let your battery percentage drop under 40% as it can sometimes be a bit tricky to measure your range if you don’t charge your car at home. The electric car lifestyle is not as convenient nor easy as it may seem, but if you follow all the charging necessities, you should be able to make the most of it.
What is a wall box smart charger?
A smart wall box charger is equipped with either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth in order to always communicate with your phone. This enables you a wide variety of special features such as remotely charging your car at times when the charging rate is the cheapest or setting the charge to an exact percentage and point in time.
By opting for such a charger, you can optimize the way you charge your battery to maximize the battery’s lifespan. It’s essential to look for government smart wall box charger grants as these can sometimes be the preferred course of action for many grant types out there.
What wattage wall charger should I go for?
The answer to this question depends on your home wiring and your onboard car charging adaptor. In most instances, a 3kW charger is the slowest of them all and should be avoided if you can opt for a more powerful charger. For a point of reference, a 3kW charger will charge the Audi e-Tron only after 24 hours of continuous charge.
However, most wall box chargers are set at 7kW which is two times faster than 3kW chargers which means that it takes around 12 hours to charge the Audi e-Tron with a 7kW charger.
What is the fastest way to charge an electric car at home?
If you want to maximize your charging speeds, you need to have access to a three-phase connection system which means that you might need to upgrade your domestic wiring. A three-phase connection system is usually rated at around 22kW which is more than plenty to charge a 40kWh Nissan Leaf in a little over two hours.
To find out if you have access to a three-phase connection, be sure to call your qualified electrical engineer to assess your domestic wiring.