EV charging at home – is your home EV ready?

Last updated on 18 May, 2023
If you’re considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), here’s a few key considerations to prepare your home, so your EV will always be charged up and ready to go when you are.

With a funding commitment by State and Federal governments to install 700 additional fast charging locations across the country (Electric Vehicles Council, State of Electric Vehicles - March 2022 report) (the “report”), EVs are quickly becoming a popular alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles.

The report also shows that between 2020 and 2021 alone, Australia’s EV sales tripled from 6,900 to 20,655, in part thanks to government initiatives aimed at encouraging the move towards low or zero-emission vehicles.

Some potential EV buyers are still hesitant to make the transition, mostly because of the availability and accessibility of charging stations, as many homes are not yet EV ready.

In this post, we’ll unpack how adding an EV to your life and your home doesn’t need to be complicated, including the steps involved to adapt your home for EV charging.

Unlike petrol and diesel cars, you can top up your vehicle’s energy supply at home. Charging your EV at home can be the cheapest and most convenient way to power your vehicle, providing you have off-street parking.

You can charge your EV overnight while you sleep by drawing power from your home and using a cable to supply it to your vehicle.

There can be challenges to charging your EV at home, for example, if you’re a tenant or you don’t have access to a garage. Other solutions you can explore include installing a charging station in a common area of your apartment complex or arranging to charge your EV at work. There are also free charging stations available.

If you own your home, and you have access to a garage or outdoor space, it can be relatively easy to make your home EV ready. EVs are built with charging units that are compatible with a standard 240V power cable, so you could plug in to your current sockets at home, although this might take a long time to reach full charge.

If you want a faster solution, you can have your own fast charging station installed with the help of a licensed electrician. These are commonly known as a Wallbox and will need to comply with all the relevant Australian Standards and carry the RCM ‘tick’ mark.

Below are some key steps that will help you prepare your home to be EV ready.

The first step is to speak to an Australian licenced electrician who will help you assess the best position for your charger and will safely perform your home Wallbox installation.

Ideally your home EV charger should be installed in a safe and secure spot, either within your garage or outside your home. The location should allow wall space for the charger to be mounted and to be clear of obstructions around it.

Depending on the EV you choose, the charging port could be located on either side, or at the front or rear of the vehicle. Once you know where the port is, consider how you would typically park your EV at home. If you usually reverse park, this will affect where you choose to place your charger. It’s important to discuss your preference with your electrician.

Make sure that the installation area receives WiFi. EV chargers use WiFi to communicate with a smartphone app to notify you when your car needs charging.

As most EV chargers are weatherproof and can be as light as 3 kilograms, it’s not essential to have a roof over the area you plan to charge your vehicle.

You’ll need to make sure that your home has a suitable power supply.

Check the type of connection you need and whether your home can handle the charging load. This is important as it determines how quickly you can charge an EV. Typically, homes with three-phase power supply will give you faster EV charging.

You can check whether your home is on a single-phase or three-phase power supply by looking at your switchboard to see what the width of the main switch is. If it’s one ‘pole’ wide, this means your home is on a single-phase power supply. If the main switch is three ‘poles’ wide and looks like a triple switch, that means your home has a three-phase power supply.

If your home already has solar panels installed, you may be wondering whether you can charge your EV for free.

Depending on the capacity of your solar panels, it’s possible to charge most EVs for free during the daytime - but check with your own energy provider to understand any limitations you may have. Adding a home battery also lets you store energy sourced from your solar panels to use overnight.

If solar energy isn’t an option at your home, you can check with your power company about ways to charge your car with renewable energy, such as through a green energy plan or carbon offsetting.

As with any other vehicle or electrical equipment around your home, EVs require safety considerations, including fire safety.

It’s important to always follow the manufacturer’s EV charging guidelines and to engage a licensed electrician for any installation and repairs to home charging stations.

The cost of installing a home charging station varies depending on your situation, but you can expect to pay around $1,000 to $3,000 to be ready for EV charging at home.

If you’re building a new home or moving into a new build, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure your home is ready for EV charging from the start. This includes making sure you have a dedicated charging space that is easily accessible and safe when designing your home.

Pre-wiring your home during the construction phase to make sure that you have the necessary infrastructure in place for your home charging station is also a good idea, and will help avoid the costs of adding these features later on.

Apart from the convenience of at home charging, owning an EV can also save you money in the long run.

While the upfront cost of an EV may be currently more than most petrol cars, the ongoing costs of fuel, energy and maintenance are generally considerably lower. You’ll also be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and help to reduce your impact on the future of our planet.

Home charging is a practical and convenient option for EV owners, and it’s relatively easy to make your home EV ready with the right setup. Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, there are solutions available that will allow you to charge your EV at home.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

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