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EV Chargers: A 2024 comprehensive guide.

Picking the right EV Charger is vital to make sure you get the most out of your EV. We will cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision and get the best charging point for your situation. 

The first thing to know is that EV charging is currently classified in three different levels. Each level is an indication of the speed at which you can charge.

Level 1 Charging (Slow)

Level one charging is basically just plugging into a normal powerpoint, designed to simply plug into your wall like any other appliances. There is absolutely nothing wrong with charging like this, it just has a very very slow charge rate as you can’t pull much power out of a normal socket. 

Level 1 is normally reserved for PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) and convenience. Think, oh no I am on holiday and need a change kind of situations. You don’t want to rely on a Level 1 if you have  bought yourself an EV because it’s going to be a long time between drives. 

The charge rate of these is usually around 1.8kW - 2.4kW and can take up to around 20 hours to take an average EV from zero to 100% state of charge.

Level 2 Charging (Medium)

Now we are starting to get some power! Level 2’s are still connected to your mains as per normal (just like a Level 1) but you charge them from a wall box/physical EV as opposed to a normal powerpoint. 

The benefits of this are vast. 

Depending on which Level 2 Charger you install, you get a lot more control over when to charge and how to charge. This can be very valuable to maximise your charging when your electricity rates are cheap or your solar system is pumping for example.

The charge rate on a Level 2 Charger is the real winner. Charger dependent, they can go up to 22kW of charge (yes, 10 times a level 1!) so that means you can charge your EV from zero to hero overnight and for regular commuters top it up very easily. 

Level 2 Chargers are the most common for at home applications as they are cost effective, provide great rates of charge, amazing flexibility and control and look great. If you have just got yourself an EV or want to upgrade your home charging, a Level 2 is often the best bet.

Level 3 Charging (Fast)

Level 3 charging is the most complex, most expensive and also has the highest charging rates. These are the super fast chargers you see around town and at petrol stations (Charging stations 😉) as they upgrade their facilities. 

The coolest part is their incredible charge rates. Depending on your EV, these can give you a full charge in 20 minutes to an hour. 

For residential applications, installing a level 3 charger would probably be some significant over capitalising. A ballpark figure to install one of these is $50 - $100k. Plus, you then need the electrical infrastructure to support it so it all gets too hard and too expensive. 

For a commercial application, a public charging station though, these are the pick of the bunch due to their incredibly high charge rates. 

In summary, if you own an EV and want to install a charger at your home, get a Level 2. Level 1 will be slow and annoying, Level 3 is the equivalent of some pretty cool holidays and a world class Level 2 like we sell at Green will give you everything you need and more. 

Now you know everything about Charger Levels, the next thing to conquer is connectors.

What Is An EV Connector?

Electric vehicle charging connectors are the plugs that connect into the charging socket of your car for when you want to plug in and suck up some of that good stuff. There are a handful of options based on the make of the EV and where it was manufactured. No doubt they will slowly consolidate as EV uptake continues to increase.

At Green, we only sell the best chargers with the world's best applications to back them up.

The two high level categories of connectors are AC or DC connectors. They have different charge rates (DC can charge at a faster rate than AC) and you will find DC at public fast chargers and AC in nearly every home charging setting.

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Do I Get An App For My EV Charger? 

Short answer, yes. All chargers will come with an application to monitor and sometimes manage what your charger is up to. Some are much better than others so depending on your requirements, it is best to check before you get one put on your wall!

For public chargers, it’s horses for courses. Some will have apps to help you find fast chargers, pay etc (think Tesla, it is even built into the car's operating system) some will just be plug and pay! For public charging, apps aren’t as meaningful. It is your at home charger you need to make sure has an app that does what you want it to!

How Much Does It Cost To Charge My EV?

Depending on where you charge your EV will impact how much it costs. If you are doing it at home, you will be just charged as if it was any other appliance in your home. Le’ts say you are on a fixed tariff and get charged $0.30c a kWh for energy. If you charged up your Tesla Model 3 from 0% - 80% it would cost around $14.88. The entry level model 3 has a battery that is  ≈ 62kWh in size, so 80% would be around 49.6kWh so times that by your tariff of 30 cents and you have $14.88. Not bad, hey!

If you have solar or solar and battery and you charge your EV from your own generation, you will be saving yourself from buying it from the grid. Pretty cool hey!

Public charging infrastructure can cost anything from $0.00 (some places give it to you for free to encourage you to use it, shopping centres etc) and then go up accordingly. It’s just like filling up your old petrol car however instead of $/litre it is $/kWh. Simple right!

What Is The Difference Between AC And DC Charging? 

EV, Tech Nerds and Electrical Engineers will hate this response but the simple reality is, the main difference between AC and DC charging is how fast you can charge. DC can charge at a much faster rate then AC. However, don’t worry about it. 

For example, nearly all at home chargers will be AC. They will still give you a full charger overnight no problem and if you are a regular commuter they can top up your battery quickly and easily. DC Chargers are nearly exclusively used at the big, public super fast chargers for when you are on the road and need a full charge fast so you can hit the road again.

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