Can I charge my electric car at home?


Home charging can normally be arranged to any real estate where electricity is available. This article considers the key points of home charging. To ensure compliance with electrical safety regulations, home charging points are installed by qualified professionals.

The type of car determines charging needs

Most full electric cars and almost all plug-in hybrids have a single-phase internal charging unit (AC charging unit) limiting the charging current to around 13A. With charging current during a typical 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. home charging session, vehicle’s range is increased by 140 km. Under normal conditions, charging between 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. is more than enough for fully charging the batteries of chargeable hybrids and provides sufficient energy for most people’s daily driving.

The newer models of full electric vehicles are equipped with internal charging unit capable of charging the battery at a higher current, up to 32A. However, in practice, the typical 25A main fuses of the property limit the available current to 16A, because some amps must be reserved for other electric appliances as well. A 16A current enables a full electric vehicle to be driven around 170 km after a night of charging.

In some car models, charging current can be adjusted from the dashboard.

The car’s internal charging unit determines the maximum current it draws from the property’s charging unit. Similarly, the car’s maximum charging current cannot exceed the maximum current set for the property’s charging unit. Hence, the charging unit providing a 16A current can be connected to a car equipped with a 32A internal charging unit, without the risk of overloading.

Car’s charging current is regulated by its internal battery management system. The amount of current depends on factors such as the battery charge level and temperature.

High power quick charge is seldom possible in detached and terraced houses, because the required current would exceed the connection’s load limit and blow the main fuses.

Charging unit connected to the property’s electricity network

The ‘Type 2’ plug having high mechanical and electrical durability is used in all public basic charging stations in Europe. This is why it is also sensible choice for home charging.

In daily life, a home charging unit is the most convenient way to charge your car, as its plug is easy and safe to use.

The home charging unit´s power supply cable is typically installed on the property´s switchboard, where it is easily connected if at least one 16A spare fuse is available. If no fuse or circuit breaker is available, the necessary equipment can usually be added.

A residual current device, located on the switchboard or the home charging unit, is used to ensure that electrical car charging is safe. The switchboard can also be equipped with a combination device that provides protection from both overcurrent and earth fault currents.

Attention to load distribution must be paid, as otherwise it is possible that charging unit can overload one of the main fuses. A qualified electrician will measure and balance the loads to ensure even current distribution enabling all devices to function properly with no danger of overloading.

Installing and setting up a home charging unit

The home charging unit should be located in an easily accessible place in the parking lot, so that the charging cable reaches the car. For convenience, the charging unit should be placed under a canopy to protect against rain and equipped with a motion sensor lighting.

Before using the home charging unit, electrician sets its charging current to match the current available from the switchboard. This will ensure that everything works even if the car parked outside has a higher charging capacity.

Contact a qualified electrician to ensure convenient and safe charging of your vehicle.

Three steps for obtaining a home charging unit:

  1. Contact a qualified electrician. State the kind of car you have and that you want to start using a home charging unit.

  2. Check together the charging location and capacity for electrical installations. Agree on the installations.

  3. Set up the home charging unit together with the electrician to ensure that everything works as it should.

 

Then just enjoy the easy and safe charging and environmentally friendly miles!


Read more about home charging

 

* Chargeable hybrid = Plug-in hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)