Having one EV charger for one EV seems like a fair deal, especially if it is installed in your home. You can use it according to your convenience without having to share it with anyone.
However, with the rise in the popularity of EVs, there is a substantial increase in the number of EVs on the road with many individuals already a part of a multi-EV household.
So, what if you have more than one electric vehicle? Will you need two charge points or will one be enough? Although many people will make do with a single EV charger, there are a few points to consider when deciding what is best for you.
Individuals with more than one electric vehicle often assume that they would need more than one home EV charger. There is no definite solution for this since it depends on your unique situation and needs.
Depending on the type of EV charger you have and how long it takes to charge your car, it may be possible for you to charge multiple EVs with a single EV charger.
In other cases, you may need to install an additional charger or make use of something known as a dual EV charger.
Read on to find out what a dual EV charger is, the difference between it and regular EV chargers, its typical costs, and whether you need one or not:
If you want to charge multiple EVs at the same time, there are a few options for you to consider. They include:
While there are some benefits of installing two EV charge points, with the main one being the ability to charge two EVs at a time, it also means that the vehicles are charged at different rates with one charger taking precedence over the other.
It is not always the case though, since some chargers have the ability to share the load, meaning that they can communicate with each other if two EVs are plugged in at the same time.
In such cases, the two EV chargers will split the available power supply so that both the electric cars can be charged at the same rate, which will be around 3 to 3.6kW each, considering that is half of the most commonly used 7.4kW charging rate.
This could be a good option if you don’t mind the EVs charging a little slower and often leave them overnight for a full charge. At around 3kW, the charger would add over 10 miles of range per hour, which is adequate if left on overnight to charge.
Alternatively, you could use a three-pin plug to charge your car since most EVs come with a three-pin plug adapter to be used in homes.
While it is doable, it is not recommended and must only be used as a backup option. It is extremely slow and it is best to avoid using it too regularly.
Using it once in a while is okay, such as when you need to charge two EVs simultaneously, where you plug in one EV into a 7kW home charger and the other one into a three-in domestic socket.
Some dedicated EV chargers offer dual charging, which means that you can plug in two vehicles at the same time and charge them simultaneously using a dual socket.
Although pricier than a single EV charger, it is a better option in terms of the space it takes up and the money you can save by not spending on two single EV chargers.
If you already have a single EV charger installed, you can perhaps sell it and opt for a dual EV charger to meet your requirements.
A dual charger can charge two electric vehicles at a time in one circuit and it automatically splits the power between the two vehicles. In addition to that, it is equipped with long cables that can easily reach both cars.
EV chargers are available at different speeds and are divided into three broad categories: slow, fast, and rapid.
Slow chargers have a power output between 2.3kW and 6kW, although the most common ones are rated at 3.6kW.
The charge times vary depending on the charging output and the EV being charged, with a 3kW unit taking around 6 to 12 hours for a full charge.
Fast chargers are typically rated between 7kW and 22kW and charge at least twice as fast as slow chargers. Most dedicated EV chargers have this kind of output, with several homes in the UK also having an 11kW output.
Charging times vary depending on the vehicle and the charging unit, with a 7kW charger easily charging a 40kWh battery in around 4 to 6 hours, and a 22kW charger doing the same in 1 to 2 hours.
Rapid chargers are the fastest way to recharge your EV, with the most common AC ones rated at 43 kW and DC ones rated at 50 kW.
They are most commonly found at motorway services and in locations close to the main route where people usually need a quick recharge to be back on their way.
By installing a faster charger with a charging output of around 22kW, although you’ll be able to charge one vehicle at a time, the faster charging speed will give you more flexibility and allow you to charge your EVs quickly.
There are, however, certain criteria that need to be met when installing a faster 22kW EV charger at home, and not every home in the UK is compatible with them.
To fully benefit from 22kW three-phase EV charging, you will need a three-phase incoming power supply to your home, a 22kW enabled EV charger and cable, a certified engineer to carry out the installation, and an EV that is compatible with fast charging.
Since most homes in the UK have a single-phase power supply that provides up to 7kW to charge up an EV, they are unable to support fast charging of around 22kW.
Using a public charger is also a great option if you need to occasionally charge two electric cars at a time. If it is a one-off thing, it wouldn’t make much sense to invest in a second EV charger or get a dual system.
With over 35,000 public EV chargers across a variety of locations, you can easily find one near you. A good chunk of these public EV chargers are rapid chargers that charge an EV from almost empty to full in hardly 30 to 45 minutes.
If using a public EV charging station is not an option, you can plug in one EV earlier, as soon as you get the chance, and then swap it with the other before you go to sleep. This way, you will have both the EVs ready when you wake up.
Of course, this is not the ideal solution for all multiple EV households since most cars are not at home during the day and are all usually charged overnight.
The average cost of installing an EV charger in your home is around £800. This can vary depending on several factors such as:
While this may seem like a lot, if you consider the long-term savings and the difference EVs make on the environment, it all seems worth it in the end.
Dual EV chargers cost more than regular EV chargers and you need to determine if you really need to charge two EVs at the same time.
If you rarely need it, it is best to opt for a single charge point. But if you need it more often than not, say around 80 to 90% time, it may be wise to consider options such as a dual EV charger or a faster 22kW EV charger.
When compared to a 7kW standard EV charger installation, the cost of fitting a 22kW charger is usually higher since it involves more material and labour.
The additional amount depends on the specific job but you can expect to pay an additional £700 to £900 on top of the installation.
The good news is that, to encourage the use of electric cars in the country, the UK government has launched initiatives and grants that help you cut down the upfront installation costs of the EV chargers.
Under the Government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), you can receive a grant of up to 75% of the EV charger’s cost, with a cap set at £350 per installation.
To benefit from the grant, you must:
To install a dual EV charger, or any EV charger for that matter, you must always hire a certified and experienced professional to do the job for you.
Although it might prove to be more expensive in the short term, it will save you from future troubles and will make sure the installation is safe and complies with all the regulations.
In addition to that, if not installed properly, you also risk losing the warranty that comes with EV chargers, which is something you would not want to do.
Location is also key and must be chosen very carefully. Home EV chargers are usually installed either on the exterior wall in the driveway or on the interior wall inside the garage.
These are safe and convenient locations to install the charger because not only do they make it easy to connect to the mains electricity but are also close to where your car is usually parked.
If you do not have a driveway or garage, installing an EV charger may be trickier and a bit more complicated. You may need longer cables that could run the risk of stretching over the pavement and turning into a tripping hazard.
Finding a safe place to install your EV charge point is a crucial part of the installation process, which is why it is extremely important to discuss all the options with your professional installer.
Out of all the options, you need to see which one works for you and benefits you the most. For some, a dual EV charger would be a perfect choice, while others may benefit more from an additional single EV charger or a faster one.
When choosing the best EV charger for your multiple EV household, there are a few points you need to consider:
How fast you want to charge your EVs will determine the type of EV charger best for your needs. This will depend on your EV’s range, your average commute, and your driving style.
If you tend to leave your EVs on charge overnight, it would make more sense to opt for slow chargers. On the other hand, if you have less time on your hands and want to charge your cars in the least possible time, go for the faster options.
Not all properties receive the same amount of power supply, with some receiving more than the others, and vice versa.
To install a faster 22kW three-phase EV charger, you will have to make sure that your property’s power supply is adequate to accommodate the system.
Since most homes in the UK have a single-phase power supply, as opposed to a three-phase supply, they cannot accommodate faster EV chargers.
While it may seem like the best option to go for 22kW charging, it is important to take into consideration that the majority of EVs in the market at the moment are not compatible with 22kW charging.
There is something called an on-board charger (OBC) inside an EV that determines the maximum rate of power the car can accept. Currently, this varies between 3.6kW, 7kW, and in some cases, 11kW.
So, for instance, if you have a 22kW three-phase charger, but an EV that can accept only 3.6kW, the maximum rate of power the car will be able to accept will be only 3.6kW.
Depending on their functions, different EV chargers come at different price points, with the slower ones costing less than the faster and more advanced ones.
You must look at an EV charger as an investment rather than a cost since you’ll be using it for years to come, which is why you must get a system that not only offers convenience but also safety and cost savings.
Go for smart EV chargers that have passed the relevant safety checks and are backed up by a warranty. Not only will they make EV charging incredibly smooth and easy but also help you save money in terms of energy consumption.
Whether you choose a dual EV charger, an additional EV charger, or a fast 22kW EV charger, make your decision based on how it can help you save both money and energy in the long run.
There are various chargers currently in the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your needs.
We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.
We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our charge points come with a 3-year warranty. We offer all kinds of different options to choose from, such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units with different types of chargers and charging speeds.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for our expert opinion and professional services!
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