With the rapid evolution of electric vehicles (EVs), many individuals and businesses are now transitioning towards sustainable transportation options. As an integral part of this revolution, understanding your EV charger options is crucial. In this article, we’ll guide you through the fundamental differences between 7kW, 11kW, and 22kW EV chargers. We’ll also provide you with insights that will help you make an informed decision on the right charger for your home use.
Understanding Electric Vehicle Chargers: An Overview
Electric vehicle chargers, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), are devices that supply the electrical energy needed to recharge EVs. These chargers come in various forms, each having distinct power outputs measured in kilowatts (kW). In this context, the power output of an EV charger is the key determinant of how quickly an electric vehicle can be recharged – the higher the power output, the faster the charging process.
In Europe, there are three prevalent types of EV chargers based on their power output: 7kW, 11kW, and 22kW. While all these chargers serve the same fundamental purpose of charging your EV, their power output differences translate into diverse charging speeds and installation requirements. In this article, we’ll aim to unpack these differences and guide you towards choosing the most suitable EV charger for your needs.
Deciphering the Power: Single Phase vs Three Phase Chargers
The power output differences between the 7kW, 11kW, and 22kW chargers can be largely attributed to their operation on single-phase or three-phase power supplies, commonly found in many European households.
The 7kW charger operates on a single-phase power supply and uses a single alternating current (AC). This makes it a cost-effective and easily installable solution for most homes, providing a convenient way to charge your EV overnight.
In contrast, the 11kW and 22kW chargers operate on a three-phase power supply using three alternating currents. This operation allows them to charge an EV at a significantly faster rate than their single-phase counterparts. However, they require a three-phase power supply, which is not readily available in every home and might require an electrical upgrade.
Furthermore, while the increased power output of three-phase chargers promises faster charging times, not all EVs can fully leverage this feature. The vehicle’s onboard charger can sometimes limit the charging speed, hence it’s essential to know your vehicle’s charging specifications before deciding on a charger.
Calculating Charger Power: A Simple Guide
Understanding how to calculate the power of your charger can help you better comprehend the charging process and select the most suitable charger for your needs.
For a three-phase charger, the calculation is as follows: Charging Power (kW) = Voltage (V) x Current (A). In many parts of Europe, the standard voltage is around 400V for a three-phase supply and the maximum current for home use is often 32A. So, if you have a 22kW charger, the calculation would be: 22kW = 400V x 32A.
However, it’s essential to bear in mind that the power you calculate is the maximum power output the charger can provide. The actual charging power can be less, depending on the EV’s onboard charger and the settings you choose.
This calculation ensures you have an accurate understanding of the charging power, providing the foundation for making an informed decision about the best home EV charger for your needs.
Charging Time: What to Expect
The charging time for an electric vehicle varies based on several factors, the most crucial of which is the power of the EV charger. Generally, the higher the power output of your charger, the less time it will take to charge your EV. Here are some examples to give you a clearer picture:
If your electric vehicle has a battery capacity of 60kWh, and you’re using a 7kW single-phase charger, the full charging time will be approximately 8-9 hours. For an 11kW three-phase charger, this reduces to around 5-6 hours, while a 22kW charger can fully charge your EV in approximately 2.5-3 hours.
However, these calculations are simplified and actual charging times can vary depending on other factors such as the efficiency of your vehicle’s onboard charger, the battery’s state of charge at the beginning, and its overall health.
Adjustable Charging Options with GoCharge Tech’s 22kW EV Charger
One of the key features of GoCharge Tech’s 22kW EV chargers is the ability to adjust the charging power. This can be particularly useful for homes with limited power availability, or if you want to manage your home’s overall power consumption while charging your EV.
Through our user-friendly, mobile optimised website, you can easily set your 22kW charger to deliver a lower power, such as 11kW, providing you with the flexibility to optimise charging based on your specific needs and circumstances.
This feature not only provides an adaptive charging experience but also ensures that even with a high-capacity charger, you can still efficiently use your home’s electrical resources. It highlights our commitment at GoCharge Tech to offer versatile solutions that cater to the varying needs of our EV community.
Choosing the Best Charger: Price, Power, and Permissions
When choosing an EV charger for your home, you should take into account several factors. First and foremost is the price. Higher capacity chargers such as the 22kW model tend to be more expensive than lower capacity 7kW chargers due to their higher power output and associated components.
Second, the power requirements and charging speed your EV can handle should be considered. If your vehicle’s onboard charger can only handle 7kW, investing in an 11kW or 22kW charger might not provide additional benefits in terms of charging speed.
Third, it’s crucial to consider whether your home’s electrical system can support the charger you are considering. Installing a three-phase charger may require an upgrade to your home’s electrical system, which comes with additional costs.
Lastly, local regulations and permissions must be taken into account. In some European jurisdictions, installing a high-power EV charger may require authorisation from the local grid operator, especially if it entails a significant upgrade of your home’s electrical infrastructure.
Choosing the right EV charger for your home is an essential step in your journey towards sustainable transportation. Understanding the differences between 7kW, 11kW, and 22kW chargers, calculating charger power, and knowing what to expect in terms of charging times can greatly help you make the best decision for your specific situation.
At GoCharge Tech, we believe in providing you with versatile and adaptive charging solutions, ensuring you are equipped with the knowledge to make the best choice. Remember that investing in an EV charger is not just about the here and now, but also about preparing for the future of sustainable transportation. Let’s drive this change together.