How to choose the best home Electric Vehicle (EV) charger
Before buying a charger, it is good to know the charging options for your property, and the factors that determine that type of charger you get that is the best fit for your use case.
What is the difference between 'Single-Phase' and 'Three-Phase' electricity?
The power transfer capacity of a single-phase supply (one wire) is smaller than a three-phase supply (3 wires) simply because power flows through a single conductor as compared to three.
Majority of homes have a single-phase electricity supply, which means the maximum charging rate for electric cars is 7kW, while commercial properties have three-phase supplies and can fit faster chargers such as a 22kW unit.
In theory, a three-phase electricity supply should deliver faster charging times. However, that depends on the on board inverter of the electric car and whether it is able to accept a 22kW charge.
Article you might be interested in: How long does it take to charge an EV
What are the ‘Levels’ of charging?
EV chargers are characterized by “levels” and these levels describe how quickly a charger will recharge an EV’s battery. In general, chargers are defined by the number of kilowatts (kW) they output.
Level 1 Chargers
Level 1 (L1) is the slowest type of charging equipment. These chargers can plug directly into a standard 230-volt (V) outlet, supplying an average power output of 1.3 kW to 2.4 kW. However, it is important to note that these charging cables are not approved in Singapore.
Level 2 Chargers
Level 2 (L2) chargers operate at 220 - 240 V and output anywhere from 3 kW to 19 kW of AC power. This power output translates to 30 to 45 kilometres of range per hour. An average EV can be fully charged in 8 hours or less with an L2 charger, making it a popular choice for many EV drivers for home use and workspaces to increase the range availability.
Level 3 Chargers
Level 3 (L3) DC chargers are the fastest EV chargers that generally start at 50 kW to 250 kW. Very few residential locations have the electrical capacity that is required for level 3 charging. Due to the speed in which they can recharge an EV battery, L3 chargers are better suited to high-traffic areas, such as highway rest stops and shopping locations where the vehicle can be recharged in less than an hour.
Most EV drivers need access to an L2 charger, whether it is at home, work, or school, etc.
The home is the best place for an L2 charger, and if you are heading outside of your normal commute, download an app to locate and pay for the right L3 charging station for your vehicle.
The EV chargers available in Singapore
To ensure the safe use of charging systems, a nationwide EV charging standard TR25:2016 and Letter of No Objection (LNO) is implemented to protect persons and properties against electrical hazards.
Excluding the DC L3 chargers, the chargers listed below have been accredited with the safety certificates. The full list here, on the LTA web page.
7.4 kW Charger Options for Landed and Multi-dwelling Residences
11 kW Charger Options for Landed and Multi-dwelling Residences
22 kW Charger Options for Multi-dwelling Residences and Workplaces
It is essential to hire an experienced and certified system integrator to install charge points in your property to ensure building and electrical codes are up to standards. How we charge our EVs is a crucial part of battery safety and hiring an under-qualified person to install your charger may lead to unreliable charging or worse, electrical faults and EV battery thermal runaway.
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