Here you can find the answer to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding aspects of electric vehicle charging at home.

 

Is it possible to charge my electric car at home?

Yes! In fact, most electric car owners have an individual car charger at home, making this their main electric car charging point.

Normally, electric vehicles sit in your garage for a couple of hours a day and during the night; therefore, it is very convenient to have an electric charger directly in your own parking or garage so that you can charge your car at all times while you’re at home. This way, you will always have your car ready for when needed.

 

Do I need to increase the contracted power of my electrical installation, or is the existing one enough?

It depends on the charging point you want to install in your home. First, you should know that your electric car should be considered the same as any other device you have at home that consumes electricity (just a bit more powerful and fun!). Therefore, it should not be necessary to change the contracted power at home. If the contracted power is 3 kW, you can install a variable current charger that fits the power of the electric system, and your electric car will be charged slowly. But if you want to install a faster charging point (up to 22 kW), it will be necessary to increase the contract power.

 

Should I apply for a permit or approval to the network operator?

It depends. In this case we must assess the situation of the electric grid and the power of the charging station you want to install.

 

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

The charging rate depends on two factors: the power of the charging stations and the maximum power that the electric car accepts for its charge. If both values differ, will dominate the smaller of the two will dominate.

For example:

  • The charging station is of 7.4 kW and the car allows a maximum charging power of 3.7 kW. The charge will occur at 3.7 kW.
  • The charging station is of 3.7 kW and the car allows a maximum charging power of 7.4 kW. The charge will occur at 3.7 kW.

A full charge at a power of 3.7 kW is performed in about 5 or 6 hours, depending on the capacity of the car battery. For a full charge at 7.4 kW, 2 to 3 hours are approximately required. Anyway, in a normal day to day use, your car won’t need to stay connected for so long, since depending on the number of kilometres it does per day, the battery will not exhaust completely. We can nowadays estimated that an electric car must be between 1 and 2 hours charging per day.

  

How much energy does the charge of an electric car consume?

An electric car consumes much less than you might imagine. Consumption (in kWh) depends on the size of the car battery. Vehicles with higher capacity batteries have more kilometres of autonomy and, of course, require more energy to be fully charged. On average, electric cars on the market have batteries with a capacity ranging between 16 kWh and 24 kWh, with a range in kilometres between 110 and 160 km, after a full charge.

For example:

An electric vehicle with a battery of 16 kWh, may have an autonomy of 110 kilometres. It would take 4 hours to fully charge this battery, at a rate of 3.7 kW. The 16 kWh needed to charge the car, would add up directly to the conventional consumption of your home.

An important parameter to understand consumption is the ratio km/kWh (kilometres per kilowatt hour), which can be compared with the ratio m/l (kilometres per litre of gasoline), and indicates the power consumption of a vehicle. The average consumption of an electric car on the market is around 6 at 8 km/kWh, which also depends on the driver’s driving style.

 

Can I charge my car with a standard electrical outlet?

Yes, but only occasionally and paying close attention. The most common power outlets are not designed and built to process high power values for many consecutive hours. The electric car becomes the most important "apparatus" of the house and, as such, requires special care and safety. Specially, since the car charge occurs mainly at night in the garage, under no supervision and unattended. Therefore, we must take all necessary precautions in order to have a safe charging point in our home.

For this reason, we recommend the installation of a industrial CEE plug that is much more robust and secure than a normal Schuko (any electrician can mount it, at a relatively low cost).

 

Can I use my photovoltaic system to charge the electric car?

The answer is yes. You can charge your electric car with the contribution of a photovoltaic system, which will make mobility with your electric car even more affordable. To get the most benefit, it is advisable to match the charging time of your car with the most productive hours of your photovoltaic system; which take place usually during the middle of the day.