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Smart EV Home Chargers Are The Way to Go

Man charging electric vehicle
Charging at home allows drivers to start the day with a full battery

As Kiwi’s uptake of electric vehicles rises, thoughts now move to how to charge these vehicles. The best approach is to charge at home allowing drivers to start the day on a full charge, essentially making your home a ‘gas station’. With a range of options on the market from the wall plug that often comes with the vehicles which will trickle charge to wall mounted fast chargers, it is hard to decide what is best for you. As most homes are single phase, one limitation is the power. A 7.4kw fast charger will be the most that you will be able to install in a single phase home (most Kiwi homes are single phase), but this is still more than 3 times faster than your wall plug. The final choice is basic or smart, we always recommend smart.

Smart EV chargers allow for communication between your car and the charger, as well as solar (if you have it) and the power usage in your home. Many users prefer a smart charger for the control and insights that it gives them through the associated app. Scheduling of charging also means that users can make the most of cheaper electricity prices at night as well as see their power consumption. This can allow them to gauge just how much of their power bill their car is using. Another feature that power companies love is load balancing as it protects their infrastructure too.

Transpower carried out an investigation that models the grid peak in 2035 once electric vehicle uptake has increased with the use of smart chargers versus basic chargers. The smart chargers result in almost 2GW less in peak power needed to be produced by the grid. As chargers can be scheduled for off peak charging this reduces a lot of stress on the grid. Furthermore, load balancing means that even when charging at a time when a household is using a lot of power, the feed to the car is reduced in order to keep the home within its limits. This is better for the grid infrastructure as well as the car and home.

Transpower Modelling of Grid Peak With and Without Smart EV Chargers
Transpower Modelling of Grid Peak With and Without Smart Chargers

Transpower found that smart products in homes, including smart EV chargers, will save $1.5 billion in generation, transmission and distribution investment for every GW that does not need to be added to grid capabilities. This investment by Kiwi’s at home means that government funds can be distributed elsewhere. As well as saving government money, smart chargers will help users reduce their power bill in comparison to a basic charger. Charging at times when tariffs are lower means that they can avoid the higher prices of peak times.

Many new builds are also looking to future-proof their homes for the conversion to electric transport. For those building to the NZ Green Building Council Homestar ratings it is also a way to contribute points to their rating, but only if installing smart chargers. The most recent version of Homestar requires smart chargers to be able to be accessed remotely, through a data communication protocol and communication technology, by utilising the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) version 1.6 (or above), or equivalent. This standard is not met by all chargers on the market.

Whatever smart charger needs you have for your home, we have an option here at ChargeSmart. Here are our smart charger recommendations for your home:

EO Mini Pro 2 at ChargeSmart
EO Mini Pro 2

Want a small, discrete charger? App control? Solar integration and load balancing options? Then the EO Mini Pro 2 is for you! Our best selling charger is the go to for most homeowners!

EVBox Elvi EV Charger at ChargeSmart
EVBox Elvi

The best choice for those looking to gain Homestar points with its OCCP 1.6 capabilities. This charger is also great due to its modular click on/off features that allow it to be upgraded from 7.4kw up to 22kw if three phase power is available.

EVBox Elvi Wall Dock at ChargeSmart
EVBox Elvi Walldock

For those that don’t have an EV yet but may do in future. A blank dock wired in and ready to click on the Elvi Charging station once you purchase an EV. Loved by developers to get their builds EV ready, with all the smarts already installed!

Download our Free Guide to Home Charging for more information.

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