A guide to charging your electric vehicle

Last updated on 5 December, 2023
Electric vehicles (EVs) are continuing to grow in popularity among Australian drivers, with some well-known vehicle manufacturers even announcing they will be going all-in on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the coming years. In their Electric Vehicle Outlook 2022 report, Bloomberg NEF also predicts that by 2050, EVs will account for 88% of passenger vehicle sales – all with no further incentives to make the switch to electric.

With EVs providing a popular alternative to petrol and diesel cars, the role of battery technology and charging capacity is becoming increasingly important.

In this article, we discuss what you need to know about EV charging and battery technology.

One of the most significant considerations for potential EV owners is of course charging time.
This depends on the type of charger used, the size of your EV’s battery, and the maximum charge rate that the vehicle can accept. A standard electric car (70kWh battery) would, on average, require around 10 hours to become fully charged from empty using a 7kWh charging point.
There are fast charging options, known as DC fast charging, that can charge an EV battery to about 80% of its capacity within 30 minutes.

To prolong the lifespan of your EV battery, it’s often recommended to charge it to 80% and avoid letting it fall below 20% charge. Unless you drive long distances every day, one charge should last you a few days of general driving time.

Always check the specifications with your EV manufacturer.

This will depend on the electricity rates, the battery size of your electric vehicle and the charging speed.

In Australia, charging an EV at your home can cost between $0.15 and $0.30 per kWh, offering a cheaper alternative to the running costs for traditional petrol-powered vehicles. Plus, if you have solar panels, this can reduce the cost of EV charging even more.

A faster alternative, DC fast charging provides the quickest charging times for electric vehicles, and costs approximately $0.40 to $0.70 per kWh.

Lithium-ion batteries, which are used in many common electronics, such as smartphones and laptops, remain the most common type of EV battery and provide solid driving range.

The range of an EV depends on a few factors, including the size of the battery your vehicle uses, and the driving conditions.

The Electric Vehicle Council myth busters show that:

  • In Australia, current EVs have an average minimum battery range between 130km and 160km.
  • The average Australian driver travels 38 km per day, meaning that your EV could last you up to 4 days before needing to be recharged.
Many EV manufacturers guarantee their EV batteries for eight years or 160,000 km. There is also some evidence to suggest that EV batteries can last up to between 15 to 20 years within the car and, as technology continues to evolve lifespan will also extend.

If the worst case scenario happens and your EV runs out of charge mid-trip, much like a petrol vehicle it will need to be towed to the nearest charging outlet. It’s a good idea to make sure that you have suitable roadside assistance that covers you in this situation.

Given the range of EV batteries, the convenience of at-home charging, and the increasing availability of charging outlets around Australia, this is quickly becoming less of a risk factor for EV owners.

If you have solar panels in your home, you may be able to charge your EV using solar energy. Other renewable energy options, such as wind turbines and hydroelectric power, can all be used to generate electricity for EVs.

Weather conditions such as rain, snow and high temperatures shouldn’t impact EV battery charging, as charging stations are designed to operate in all weather conditions. However, it’s worth noting that more extreme weather conditions, specifically very high and very low temperatures, will have a negative impact on driving range, with colder climates having a much larger impact.

EVs are becoming increasingly popular as people seek to replace traditional petrol and diesel engines with a cleaner alternative. Charging an EV is easy and affordable, and the latest innovations in EV battery technology is increasing the efficiency and range of these vehicles.

When buying an EV, remember to research the type of battery, charging options and range before making your final decision.

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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