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The Ultimate Guide to Unearthing Your Perfect EV Home Charging
Unit

Whether you are a newly equipped EV owner, looking for a quality charging solution to simply rid yourself of the inadequate TLC cable that came with your vehicle, or rather an inquisitive individual on the quest to gathering all the essential information about EV home charging units before making your purchase, you have stumbled on to the correct locale. The following buying guide will chaperon you in making an informed and knowledgeable evaluation to select the right EV home charging unit that not only meets your charging needs, but also desires.

Why Every EV Owner Should Own a Home Charging Unit ?

It is without a doubt that EV Powerhouse endorses the use of home charging units as safe and reliable to use, and as a permanent and primary method of charging your EV. However, with the increasing availability of public Level 3, DC Fast chargers and Ultra-fast chargers readily found at petrol stations, shopping centres and other public venues, as well as the TLC lead that is issued with the car at the time of purchase, EV owners question whether splurging on their own personal home charging unit is worth the investment, and the simple answer is yes, it most certainly is. 

This is because firstly, the TCL (Trickle Charge Lead) primarily supplied with the vehicle at the time of sale, is mainly used in PHEV Hybrid (Electric/Petrol) run vehicles and is not designed nor are they capable of fully charging the battery overnight. Regarding the use of public DC Fast chargers and Ultra-fast chargers, the following factors should be taken into consideration:

Battery care: EV Powerhouse does not recommend DC Fast chargers and Ultra-fast chargers as a primary method of charging your EV as research has shown that the use of these chargers in the long run negatively impacts the longevity and durability of the EV battery. 

Cost: The costs associated with using these chargers (based on time or kw usage) although usually reasonable for a one-time charge, will eventually over time add up and prove to be quite expensive. 

Convenience: An at-home, personal use EV charging unit is no doubt the most convenient way to charge an EV. It gives clients the freedom to choose when they charge and how long they charge, all in the comfort of their own homes.  

Where To Begin: The First Steps

So now that you are convinced that the purchase of a home charging unit is a worthwhile investment and a sensible decision, it must be noted that there are primarily two factors that must be comprehended before beginning your search for the home charging unit of your dreams. These are inclusive of the onsite pre-requisites of your home as well as understanding what features you require in the home charging unit itself.

The on-site pre-requisites of your home: 

First things first! 

Deciphering through all the technical jargon, this section of our buying guide will assist you in understanding the importance of THE EV, THE PROPERTY, and THE CHARGING UNIT itself, to collaborate and work in unison together, for safe and effective charging to take place.

 

THE EV: What is an On Board Controller and why does it matter?

Every EV has an On Board Controller (OBC). It is an interface that manages the communication between your EV and the charging unit. EV batteries require DC to charge, so if you are using an AC charger (primarily the standard Level 1 or Level 2 residential charging unit), you’ll need a converter or regulator between the charging socket and the battery – this is primarily what the OBC does! It serves as a regulator, receiving the AC charge from the charging unit, and converting it to DC voltage (needed by the EV’s battery) at the required level. 

Considering the role that the OBC plays in the EV, when purchasing a charging unit you will need to consider how much charging times really matter to you. To assess this better, understanding the interplay between the maximum charge rate that an EV is able to consume (based on the EV’s OBC) and the maximum output the charging unit can supply, is beneficial to your understanding of charging times. If your EV has an OBC charge rate of 7kw and you are using a 22kw charging unit, your EV will not charge any faster than 7kw. Equally if your vehicle has an OBC of 10kw (therefore able to consume a maximum charge rate of 10kw), however you are using a 7kw ChargePoint – your EV will charge at 7kw regardless. So in this instance, it is recommended that you choose a charging unit that corresponds to your property’s power capacity.

Other factors to consider when assessing charging times include

🔋 Battery capacity: The larger the capacity of the battery, the longer it will take to charge. This also applies to the level of depletion of the battery (eg. an empty battery will take longer to fully charge than a half-full battery).

State of Charge: It is recommended to keep your EV battery charging status between 20-80% full. When charging outside of this range, it is known to cause charging to slow down.

THE PROPERTY: Is your property 1-phase or 3-phase?

Having an awareness of the electrical capacity of your property is crucial when choosing a charging unit. Most residential households are equipped with single phase (1-phase) switchboards, and commercial buildings are usually equipped with 3-phase switchboards. However, this is not always the case, and there is no harm in double checking. There is no point purchasing a charging unit that does not complement the electrical capacity of your property. Doing so is hazardous to both the electrical system of the property as well as the charging unit itself. 

There are several ways to finding out the electrical capacity of your property’s switchboard. One of the easiest ways, is by simply checking your properties switchboard. A single-phase switchboard ultimately has the main switch lever (one pole wide). A 3-phase switchboard has 3 main switch levers (3 poles wide and looks like a triple switch). Other ways of checking whether your property is 1-phase or 3-phase is by checking in and calling your utility company, or asking an electrician to come out and have a look.

THE CHARGING UNIT: Residential charging units Level 1 & Level 2

Residential charging units currently come as either Level 1 or Level 2 charging units. The primary difference between the two is their rate of charge and in turn, the speed in which they can charge your EV. 

This is basic home charging where you plug the car into a standard 240-volt socket. While convenient, it is the slowest method, offering about 2.3kW of power through a normal 10-amp socket. Although they are generally used as portable charging units, it is recommended that a distinct charging point be Installed by a professional electrician in each of the locations (eg. home, and a secondary address) they are to be used, to meet the electrical supply needed for optimal use (and cater for the amp model chosen). Due to their slower rate of charge (in comparison to level 2 charging units), they do not have the capacity to fully charge your EV overnight and are not recommended for everyday use, however their portability makes them an excellent solution for frequent travellers who need to top up on the go, workers who need a quick top up while at work, and as a secondary charger. EV powerhouse stocks a range of high-end, portable charging units, to check out our full range of portable charging units, follow the following link: [LINK HERE]. NOTE: If it is not possible to install a distinct charging point by a professional electrician in each of the locations, and a standard house plug is to be used, EV Powerhouse also has a range of TCL leads (10amp) which may interest you – these leads do not need any additional wiring or installation by an electrician. To check out our range of TCL leads follow the following link: [LINK HERE].

Level 2 charging units on the other hand, are predominantly hardwired units which need to be installed by a certified electrician. Depending on the kw power chosen at time of purchase (7kw, 11kw, 22kw) they are capable of omitting a voltage of up to 240 volts, classing them as a long term, fast, reliable, everyday solution for fully charging your EV in as little as 4 hours – overnight. There are many variations of Level 2 charging units to choose from, each with an array of features (solar powered, SMART, touch screen, etc.). EV powerhouse stocks a range of high-quality, Level 2 charging units, to check out our full range of Level 2 charging units, follow the following link: [LINK HERE]. 

KEY POINTS to take away from this section of our guide:

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Choose a charging unit (7kw, 22kw,etc.) that corresponds with your property’s power supply (1-phase or 3-phase) rather than your EV’s OBC. Eg. If your property has a 1-phase power supply, it is recommended that you purchase a 7kw charging unit (even though your EV’s OBC may have a larger capacity (eg.10kw), because even if you choose a more powerful charging unit it is still limited by the property’s power supply.

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Although level 1 portable charging units are a great secondary charger, if you are looking for an everyday, long-term, reliable charging solution purchase a level 2 charging unit.

EV powerhouse stocks a range of high-quality, Level 2 charging units, to check out our full range of Level 2 charging units, follow the following link: [ LINK HERE].

Understanding what features you require in the home charging unit:

Charging units vary in terms of power, brand, features, cable length, aesthetic presentation, and the way a client intends to use it. So when it comes to choosing a home charging unit most people feel overwhelmed and inundated with all the differences between them, for this reason it is imperative to take a moment and really think about, the indoor or outdoor setting it will be used (ease of access, the type of aesthetic look you like (tethered or untethered), which necessities and features you need from this charger, the importance of charging times to you, and if the possibility of making revenue off housemates interests you (if applicable to your living arrangement). 

Below are a few key questions to ask yourself as well as recommendations from us at EV Powerhouse to help guide you in the right direction. 

Will it be in an indoor (garaged) or outdoor charging unit?

When deciding on a location to install your charging unit, keep in mind that if your switchboard and the chosen location of your charging unit are in close proximity of each other (eg. the switchboard is located in the garage, and you also intend to install your charger in the garage, or the switchboard is located in the driveway outdoor, and you also intend to install your charger in the driveway outdoors) there will be less cabling work to be done by the electrician. However, if this is not the situation (eg. the switchboard is located inside the property, and you intend to install your charger in the driveway) you will need to discuss cabling solutions with the certified electrician installing the charger (eg. perhaps the cabling could run through the ceiling or underneath the house). 

It has also been found that when charging an EV outside, colder external temperatures make the charging process slightly longer as electricity flow is reduced in cold weather. However, this consequence is more apparent through the use of Rapid chargers, and due to the generally warm Australian climate this isn’t an issue we are greatly affected by.

If you are planning on parking your EV outside it is worth noting that the charging unit chosen should be deemed weatherproof and hold a high IP rating, to protect the charging unit from the natural external elements (rain, hail, sun damage, dust). 

What is an IP rating? Currently IP ratings are made up of two numbers (eg. IP67). The first number (in this example, the 6) is indictive of how well protected the unit is from debris and solids (eg. dust), the second number (in this example, the 7) is indictive of how well protected the unit is from moisture and liquids (eg. rainwater). 

EV Powerhouse prides itself on the quality of its products and have made sure that all charging units supplied by us, have high IP ratings and are sturdy enough to be labelled as weather resistant and safe to be installed and use in both indoor and outdoor settings. 

Tethered Charging Unit !

As the name suggests a tethered charger has the charging unit itself as well as the 5m cable bound together as one unit (EV powerhouse does not supply tethered units with cabling less than 5m as we believe in providing our clients with ease of access and practicality no matter which way they park the EV). It is imperative to note that the majority of tethered charging units supplied by EV Powerhouse are Level 2 charging units (although we do also supply Level 3) making them the ideal charging unit for home use.

The downside to purchasing a tethered unit is that the user is responsible for winding the cable back up and stowing it away neatly as to avoid the risk of driving over it and potentially damaging it. On this note however, EV Powerhouse has you covered as we supply a range of cable holders and reels to make cable storage that little bit easier. To check out our range of cable storage solutions and accessories follow the following link: [LINK HERE].

Another downside is that if the tethered charging unit is to be used in conjunction with an older make of EV that requires a Type 1 cable, an adapter will need to be purchased in order for the Type 1 cable to be able to connect to the Type 2 cable bound to the charging unit.

Untethered (socket based) Charging Unit !

Known as the ‘universal’ charging unit, an untethered (socket-based) charging unit is primarily a Type 2 charging unit with the ability to accommodate a range of exchangeable EV cables (Type 1 to Type 2 or Type 2 to Type 2). This charging unit is particularly excellent in households that house both type 1 and type 2 EVs as it can cater to both types, ridding you of the expense of purchasing multiple charging units to accommodate each EV. Often the cable that you will plug into the untethered charging unit is provided with your EV, however not all EV manufacturers supply these at the time of sale and they will need to be purchased separately. For ease of access and practicality EV Powerhouse goes one step further by shelving varying cable lengths (5m, 7m and 10m) to choose from when purchasing an untethered charging unit. Cables 5 meters or greater in length are highly recommended to charge the vehicle, no matter how it is parked. Follow the following link to view our cable product range: [LINK HERE]

Another benefit of having an untethered (socket-based) charging unit is that as there are no cables on display in turn the charger itself is more aesthetically pleasing as it not only takes up less space but there are no dangling cables to worry about. On this note, however, a minor inconvenience with these units is that it is the user’s responsibility to plug in/ unplug the cables and store them accordingly at each charging session. To check out our range of cable storage solutions and accessories follow the following link: [LINK HERE].

Conventional Charging Units: Dubbed as the ‘Dumb’ Charger

Conventional Charging units (Dumb chargers) do not connect to an app and are primarily the ‘plug and play’ variation of charging units (adaptable to Level 1 and Level 2 charging sockets). They are just as capable of charging an EV as fast as a Smart charging unit and are suitable for clients who are looking for a simple solution to charge their EV without all the bells and whistles. However, it is imperative to note that they do possess limitations. 

Dumb chargers do not compliment the energy needs of your EV in that, as long as they are plugged in they will continuously charge until the EV battery is full. This serves as problematic because in adhering to best practice, and for optimal use of the EV battery, a battery should remain between 20 – 80% charged at any given time, where smart charging units can be set to charge to a certain percentage, Dumb chargers cannot.  Another limitation of ‘Dumb charging units’ is their inability to view real-time charging data and be programmed to charge for a certain period for example during off peak hours, in turn being more costly than it has to be. 

What’s all the Commotion Surrounding Smart Charging Units?
Comprehending the advantages of Smart charging units in comparison to the conventional (also known as ‘dumb) charging units, is vital when deciding to purchase an EV charging unit.

Just as the name implies a Smart Charging Unit is branded as a ‘smarter’ way to charge your EV, in comparison to the conventional charging units, they are not only able to be controlled using your smart device (phone, laptop, etc), but are also equipped with a variety of functions which enable them to be:

Just when you thought that EV charging units could not possibly get any more environmentally sustainable along comes the ‘Smart charger’. The foremost and most notably differential feature between a Smart charging unit and a conventional one, is that through the use of an app, a Smart charging unit not only allows the user to manually schedule charging sessions to off-peak usage times, but to also adjust and regulate the current (voltage/amperage) being ejected. In turn, further bringing down one’s carbon off-set and electricity consumption (by up to 30%), and putting even more money back in to your pocket.

A remarkable feature of Smart charging units is the ability to set up ‘Load Balancing’. Through the use of the app, you are able to distribute your homes energy capacity amongst the EV charging unit and other appliances in your home. The two main advantages of using the ‘Load Balancing’ feature is its ability to protect your home from a power-trip episode, and also protect your pocket from surcharges on your next power bill from your energy provider (for exceeding your homes maximum energy consumption). When you are nearing your maximum energy consumption, the charger will automatically reduce its energy expenditure during a charging session (and may even halt it altogether) until adequate energy levels become available. In turn preventing you from exceeding your homes maximum energy consumption, protecting your home and your pocket.

Another feature which makes Smart chargers unique is that some Smart charging units are multi-user friendly and allow you to set up a pin code for each individual user for the purpose of not only accessibility, but also history tracking and usage monitoring. This data can then be used to calculate the cost of each individual’s energy usage, and in turn users are able to pay for their energy consumption from any location at any time, through the app, making charging roommates or guests a breeze.

Although some conventional charging units do display an inbuilt screen, the functions of this screen are limited and are primarily used to display the charging status, voltage/amperage used, power consumption, battery percentage, and session length. In comparison, the Smart charging unit enables you to not only access all these monitoring qualities, but also enables you to adjust the current (voltage/amperage) being ejected, track the charging history and use of the charging unit itself, as well as stop and start the charging process, all remotely using an app downloadable to your smart device.

Smart charging units are secured with an ‘onboard intelligence’ feature, meaning that if the WIFI internet connection is disturbed (eg. power outage or connectivity blackspots in your garage), through the use of Bluetooth or 4G connectivity the charging unit is able to resume functioning (without the need for WIFI).

What features and amenities do you want from the charger itself?
Are you looking for a charging unit that embodies simplicity and practicality? Perhaps you are looking for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly charging unit.Or maybe you appreciate the finer, more technologically advanced things in life and are looking for a more modern charging unit! Whatever you fancy below are our most recommended chargers:
The Home Design Charger
Our Plug & Play home charging unit is one of the most reliable and interchangeable charging systems, with the convenience to be set up at home, work or even a standard car park. This unit comes as a tethered unit or as a socket based unit. It also comes equipped with a real-time 4.3” screen display which allows the user to monitor a series of performances (inclusive of: the charging voltage, charging amperage, charging time, charging status, faults, and charging power, power consumption, battery percentage, and session length) all in real-time. For additional information on this particular charger please check out the product page by clicking on the following link
Simplicity & practicality
Pulsar Plus – Solar
Wallbox Pulsar Plus is our smallest yet most powerful smart electric vehicle charger. It is available with a variety of charging cables and power supplies, making it suitable to charge any electric vehicle. It has the ability to connect to the myWallbox app through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing users to take advantage of a full range of smart charging functions. What makes this charging unit stand out from the other variations in this product range is that it is Solar Optimised. For additional information on this particular charger please check out the product page by clicking on the following link:
Solar powered
The Smart Mini EV Charger
This charger not only has the ability to be controlled from a mobile application but also holds the ability to set a time period for charging as well as give the user the flexibility to choose the charging current. It is able to record the usage history of each charging session (duration of charge as well as electrical usage consumption). Its sleek inbuilt LED display panel allows the user to monitor the operating status of the charging cycle (ready to charge, charging, stop, start, error). It must be noted that access to WIFI is required for this type of charger. This charger is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. For additional information on this particular charger please check out the product page by clicking on the following link
SMART connectivity
Pulsar Plus
Wallbox Pulsar Plus is our smallest yet most powerful smart electric vehicle charger. It is available with a variety of charging cables and power supplies, making it suitable to charge any electric vehicle. It has the ability to connect to the myWallbox app through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing users to take advantage of a full range of smart charging functions. For additional information on this particular charger please check out the product page by clicking on the following link:
Modern indulgence
Wallbox Commander 2
Although the Wallbox Commander 2 is able to be used both at home or in a commercial setting. Due to its several connectivity options, and ability to use a variety of charging cables and power supplies, it has the ability to charge any EV. An exquisite feature of the Wallbox Commander 2 is that it has the ability to charge multiple EVs at once, while giving the client the power to choose who is able to access the charger with the use of password protection, RFID cards, or the mywallbox app. Through the myWallbox platform clients are able to take advantage of a full range of smart charging functions, including but not limited to controlling multiple chargers and users from one portal, access energy management solutions, and benefit from the integrated payment system. For additional information on this particular charger please check out the product page by clicking on the following link:
SMART connectivity
Other Frequently asked questions to take into consideration when looking to purchase an EV charging unit :

Thankfully all EV Powerhouse Type 2 charging units (both portable or fixed) are compatible with all EV vehicle manufacturers. For added peace of mind also note that most EV vehicles are supplied with additional adapters (making EV vehicles even more versatile).

Charging units vary in terms of power, cable length, aesthetic presentation, and the way a client intends to use it (everyday use, personal use, back up charging unit, for use in multiple locations, etc). To help aid clients in choosing which charging unit is most suitable for their EV vehicle, feel free to use the EV Powerhouse Search & Find tool, or alternatively contact EV powerhouse through our Contact Us page, and our team of experts would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right charging unit for your vehicle.

When installed correctly and used properly, EV Powerhouse charging units are quality products that need little to no maintenance. In the event of malfunction or damage all parts of EV Powerhouse charging units are replaceable. EV Powerhouse charging units with built-in online connectivity functions allow our expert team and clients to remotely diagnose and repair the unit. An important feature to equip our clients with extra protection in the event of a glitch in the charging unit being used.

Charging unit outputAverage Kilometres / per hour of charge
3.6kw charging unit25kms/hour
7.2kw charging unit50kms/hour
11kw charging unit75kms/hour
22kw charging unit150kms/hour

This question has a number of factors to take into consideration to give a precise answer, but in the most average of situations in which the house has a 1-phase power supply, the following charging units would be capable to omit:

We Are Here to Help!

Our EV Powerhouse experts pride themselves on assisting our clients meet their personal, business, and commercial needs. If you would like more information on our product range, installation, or have other enquiries, feel free to CONTACT US.
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