Electric cars are only increasing in popularity as more and more people are looking to reduce both their motoring costs and their environmental impact. An electric vehicle (EV) runs off a charger that can be installed in your home.
Nearly one in four of those surveyed in the National Travel Survey stated that they would be interested in buying an electric vehicle. This was due to a variety of reasons. Better affordability to run was by far the most common influencing factor at 77.8%, followed by making more of a contribution to a better environment at 71.8%.
More availability of overnight charging at low cost was a consideration for 35.8%. This ability for low-cost charging is a major advantage for EV owners over standard fossil fuel powered vehicle owners.
Overnight Electric Car Charging at Home
Installing a home charging unit is the most convenient and cost-effective method of charging your electric vehicle. According to the SEAI, a full overnight charge for an electric car can cost as little as €3 using night rate electricity (costs vary by vehicle and electricity supplier).
Furthermore, the majority of electricity suppliers offer lower electricity rates for night time usage of electricity. As you are using you home electricity to charge your vehicle, the cost is simply incorporated into your monthly bill.
The SEAI are also currently offering a €600 grant towards the purchase and installation of a home EV charging unit on behalf of the Irish Government.
What is a Home Charging Station?
A home EV charging station is usually installed on an external wall of your house in order to use use your domestic electricity supply. They charge the batteries using this supply, with most electric cars reaching a full charge in just a few hours. They require a 240-volt outlet, and they can be portable or mounted and hardwired to your home.
Some are specific to the type of car, however, most are compatible with all-electric cars on the market. When you purchase a quality charging system that is designed for your vehicle and have it professionally installed, then home car charging systems are completely safe.
EV Charging Products Offered by SolarShare – ZCS Azzurro, Zappi and Smapee.
ZCS Azzurro 7kW EV Charging Station
- Smart charging station for electric vehicles equipped with the innovative ZCS Predictive Energy Intelligence system.
- It is capable of managing energy flows and predicting the household energy demand.
- Compact system with touch display and keypad that is compatible with all electric vehicles. Can be easily installed on wall or support mount.
Zappi Eco-Smart 7kW EV Charging Station
- The charging station has three special eco charging modes which will benefit homeowners with grid-tied microgeneration systems, like solar generation.
- Charging current is automatically and continually adjusted in response to on-site generation and household power consumption.
- It has a programmable timer function as well as a remote control and monitoring add-on option.
Smapee 7kWh Smart EV Wall Charging Station
- A compact and elegantly designed charging station.
- With built-in dynamic load balancing and self-sufficiency features.
- It has solar optimisation and autonomous overload protection.
- Furthermore, charging sessions can be started and stopped via QR code, RFID and smart EV schedules.
Benefits of EV Charging Stations
If you have an electric vehicle, having a charging station at home provides greater freedom and convivence.
Manufacturers often quote a charging time to 80%, rather than 100%. This is firstly because not fully charging each time extends the life of the car battery, and secondly because the last 20% takes longer to complete relative to the first 80%.
Having a home EV charger means that you can charge to this 80% mark with ease. It also allows you to save money by choosing the time of day and, therefore, the rate of electricity.
Solar PV for EV Charging Stations – A High Energy Solution
Home EV chargers require more electricity use, a solution to this higher household energy consumption is solar PV panels. All the smart EV chargers discussed above have load balancing features that are compatible with solar PV.
For example, the ZCS Azzurro predictive energy intelligence balances loads by linking Solar PV panels with the charging station via a storage inverter. The meter knows when to tone EV charging up or down depending on household energy use.
This means that the system is capable of managing energy flows and predicting the energy demand in order to ensure the most efficient use of the electric vehicle, photovoltaic system and storage system. ZCS Predictive Energy Intelligence allows you to:
- Predict the amount of power produced based on weather forecasts.
- Efficiently distribute the energy produced between the car and home, according to the needs of the user and the distance to be travelled.
- Optimise the energy imported from the grid.