As the price of petrol and diesel continues to sore, interest in EVs (Electric Vehicles or plug-in hybrids) is also on the rise.
When considering an EV, the decision on where to charge and the option of installing an EV charger will also be top of mind.
This month, Mikey St Ledger from JMN Electrical shares everything a homeowner should consider or know before installing an EV charger for the home.
Onlinetradesmen (OLT): Do I really need an EV Charger for my home?
Mikey: If your EV is parked 8 hours a day, 5-days a week at your place of work, then a workplace fast charging point would be a better option and worth lobbying your employer.
A homeowner can use a normal 3-pin plug to charge an EV, but if you don’t already have an external socket conveniently located, it will mean running a lead from inside the house.
OLT: What are the things to know before installing an EV charger?
Mikey: Before installing, you will want to know if your house can support an EV charging unit, such as:
- Are the ESB tails big enough (these are the cables that connect a house meter to the cut out/service head)?
- Is the house adequately earthed?
- Does house an electric shower/induction hob or a heat pump? Is load control required?
All these factors will impact the cost of the installation.
OLT: What are the different levels of EV Charging?
Mikey: A 7.4 kW charger is usually the standard install for domestic use. Fast charging or high-powered chargers are mostly in commercial garages or on-street parking.
OLT: What is the difference between tethered and untethered?
Mikey: A tethered EV charging unit has a cable attached to the box that you plug into your car while untethered plugs into the car at one end and the box at the other.
Early EVs typically came with a type two charging cable but this is not every manufacturer’s policy. What we have been hearing lately is that some manufacturers are only supplying a granny cable (3 pin plug) up to 3.3kW.
Some people like to keep their charging cable in the car and use a tethered charger; others prefer to plug in and out, which can get a bit of a chore. So, it would be down to the user to select what type of charger they would prefer.
OLT: Are there any advantages to smart chargers vs standard chargers?
Mikey: Most EVs are already supported by an App to track electricity usage, charging times and more. The price difference for added Wi-Fi capability can be between €150-€300, so unless you are tech-savvy, a ‘plug and charge’ is the option we recommend.
OLT: Are there any issues on where to install?
Most customers are lucky enough to have the main distribution board at the front of the house where the EV is normally parked.
Others are not so lucky, where a board is in the middle of the house, which means more cost in getting a cable out to the preferred location.
We have also installed a few chargers in private estates, where there’s permission from the management to put in charging points in parking spaces.
OLT: What does the EV Charger install process look like and how long does it take?
The first step is a site survey to check if Earthing and ESB tails are adequate. If found to be missing, inadequate or the incorrect size, we would need more installation time to address.
The second step is to check the loading on the house, as an electric shower, induction hob or heat pump will require a priority board or a load management unit.
Once all these eggs are lined-up, we can install the charger.
A standard charger installation consists of around 5m of cable, isolation switch, Type A RCBOs installed in the distribution board and the charger. A typical installation takes about 4-5 hours, with the client preparing for a power outage for around 30 minutes.
How much does it cost to install an EV charging station?
A standard EV charger installation will cost around €1100 plus vat. More complex jobs can cost up to €1600.
OLT: What about the SEAI Home Charger Grant?
The Irish Government currently offers a home charger grant of €600 administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). You must apply before the work is carried out and use a registered installer to claim.
Based in Co Dublin, JMN Electrical carry out all aspects of the electrical trade, from residential to commercial/industrial installations, emergency call outs and proactive maintenance. All JMN electricians are fully insured and equipped with the best tools and equipment for the very best service.
For a no-obligation quote contact Mikey St Ledger direct on 0831809475 or post a job with Onlinetradesmen.