What are some of the benefits to electric vehicles?
One of the most obvious benefits to driving an electric vehicle is the minimal environmental impact. As EV's do not have combustion engines, meaning they do not solely rely on fossil type fuels to power them, they aren't emitting as many harmful emissions which contribute towards climate change and air pollution.
Some other benefits to EV's are:
- Reduced running costs - the electricity it takes to charge an EV works out to be cheaper than using petrol for that same vehicle per kilometre. This saving is greater when the charger is accompanied by the offset of a solar production as the solar power produced feeds into the EV charger and charges the car for free.
- Reduced maintenance costs - as a battery has far fewer moving parts than a conventional engine, there are fewer parts to be serviced. Hybrid electric vehicles will have a slightly higher maintenance cost as the petrol engine components will need to be serviced more regularly.
Investing in an electric vehicle? Things to consider when choosing your EV charger
There are several EV chargers out there on the market, how to know what one is right for you? Let us break it down.
What type of EV you have, or what sort are you considering buying will determine how much power your EV charger will need to provide your cars battery. If you are thinking of going Hybrid, note that their battery size is smaller as they do not run solely on electricity. Electric vehicles have a range of battery sizes, the capacity of the battery is rated in kilowatt-hours, you may have seen this listed on some EV charging sites as this relates to the charging capacity.
How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? The duration of EV charging has a few components to it, including the size of the car battery, the dimensions of the car, how full the battery already is, what charging mode you are using, the maximum charging rate of the vehicle and also the maximum charging rate of the charging point. It is likely that EV charging can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 8 hours, depending on those several factors.
An important factor to consider when thinking about installing an EV charger is what are you going to be powering the charger with. Do you have a solar PV system installed? Or are you thinking of installing one in the near future - or perhaps you are going to be using grid-connected power. This is important as you will need to ensure that the charger is compatable with that power source. If you are looking at installing an EV charger and connecting it to the grid, it might be worth looking into the energy tariffs as certain tariffs may affect your charging rate at certain times of the day.
DC or AC charging? There are two kinds of charging used in electric vehicles, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The power that comes from the grid is always AC. However, you may know that batteries, like the battery in an electric vehicle, can only store the power as DC. This is why an AC, alternating current EV charger has a built-in onboard converter in the plug that converts the AC power to DC, ready for battery storage.
Now we know what an AC charger does, what does a DC charger do you ask? Well, a DC charger can convert the AC power without the need of an 'onboard' converter. DC chargers can send power straight to a battery for storage, they are the faster way to EV charging, you will usually see DC charging at public charging stations, basically anywhere the charging time is limited.
Type 1 or Type 2 charging? What is the difference?
Type 1 charging plugs are single phase, these are a 5-pin charger and can allow fast charging on a power outlet of 3.7kW-7.4kW. They are predominantly used with car models from parts of Asia and are less found on European cars.
Type 2 charging has is a 7-pin charging plug and is mainly used on European made cars. Type 2 chargers allow both single phase and 3-phase power to be connected to the vehicle. It offers the same fast charging aspects of the type 1 charger.
We have done our own research and found two electric vehicle chargers that we feel best suit our customers. Whether that be a business looking at easing their costs by installing a solar pv system with an integrated EV charger, or, a family looking at installing a grid connect EV charger for their new electric vehicle, or even someone looking at upgrading their SolarEdge solar system to an EV integrated inverter. We will talk through our pick of the pack when it comes to EV chargers and their features.
MyEnergy Zappi Electric Vehicle Charger
The Zappi range of EV chargers can be connected to a solar system and use PV generated power, or, connected straight from the grid making it a great, easy add on.
Zappi electric vehicle chargers come with three charging modes, Eco, Eco Plus and Fast. What do the three charging modes mean?
Eco - Charge power is continuously adjusted in response to changes in generation or power consumption elsewhere in the home. Charging will continue until the vehicle is fully charged, even if power is drawn from the grid.
Eco Plus - Charge power is continuously adjusted in response to changes in generation or power consumption elsewhere in the home. Charging will pause if there is too much-imported power, continuing only when there is surplus free power available.
Fast - In this mode, the vehicle will be charged at maximum power. This is just like an ordinary Mode 3 charging point.
Some more of the Zappi EV charger features:
- Optimises microgeneration self-consumption
- Works with solar PV or wind turbine systems
- Economy tariff sense input
- Programmable timer function
- Charge and event logging
- Pin-code lock function
- Built-in RCD protection
- Integral cable holster
- Remote control and monitoring add-on option
- Supplied with clip-on grid current sensor
There are additional extra MyEnergy devices that can be paired with the Zappi Ev charger to monitor usage and increase its efficiency. These extras are the harvi and the eddi.
For more information on the Zappi range of EV chargers check out the following links.
SolarEdge EV Integrated Inverter
The SolarEdge integrated inverter charger is the first of its kind in the world. This system incorporates an electric vehicle charger and a solar inverter, in one system. This is great for those who are thinking of installing a SolarEdge solar system and an EV charger as it means installing only one inverter.
Some of the features of the SolarEdge EV integrated inverter:
- Combine sun and grid power for 4 X faster charging than standard EV chargers using home power
- Reduces workload and costs of installing a standalone EV charger and a PV inverter as it is integrated
- An EV-ready solution, compatible with multiple EV connectors
- Maximises self-consumption by using excess PV for EV charging
- Easy inverter commissioning via SetApp while customers can monitor performance via the homeowner app
- Built-in meter enables separate tracking of EV power usage for visibility and control
- 12-year warranty, extendable to 20 or 25 years
- Demand-Response ready
SolarEdge will be releasing a standalone EV charging option, much like the Zappi, late 2021.
For more information on the SolarEdge EV integrated EV charger check out the following links.
EV Charging at Whitney Electrical and Solar
We have recently installed a SolarEdge EV integrated solar inverter at our office and showroom and now offer EV charging for both type one and type two electric vehicles. Come down and check out our solar displays and charge your electric vehicle whilst you do so.
You can find us and other free EV charging stations on these great websites.
We are currently running a promotion where those who purchase one of our Zappi EV chargers go into the running to win a brand-new Webber 2000 BBQ.