If you have an electric vehicle (EV), or are thinking of buying one, we’re here to make sure it’s easy and cost-effective to stay charged.
EV battery sizes range widely from 16kWh to up to 86kWh. The bigger the battery, the further you can drive. To receive the full benefits, you’ll need to check on the capacity of the electricity network supply to your home. The cost to set up your home charging outlet depends on things like your current home electrical design, the electricity tariff and charging options you choose.
Your home’s electricity supply
Your EV manufacturer will provide the specific charging options available for your car. Depending on which EV you choose and how many kilometres you drive, you may need to upgrade your home’s electricity supply.
The following info shows which type of charger might suit you best:
- Driving less than 200km per week: we recommend a normal socket connection
- Driving between 200km and 500km per week: we recommend a dedicated wall-mounted charging unit
- Driving more than 500km: we recommend a dedicated EV charging point
Electrical supplies to many homes and buildings in Victoria (especially those built before 1970) may not be enough to support the addition of an electrical vehicle charging load.
In these cases, an upgrade might be needed to make sure charging an EV won’t cause your fuses to blow and impact the reliability of supplies to you and your neighbourhood.
Visit our new online connection application service to register your newly installed EV system.
Please contact our Project Planning department if you are interested in setting up an EV charging point (less than or equal to 30kVA) and would like to know have your load for an EV assessed. We can let you know more about your supplies, if an upgrade is recommended, and what the costs will be.
To assist you with navigating the new service, we have created supporting materials, which can be found here.
Check the set up costs
If you’re wanting a dedicated charging unit for your EV, then the charging point in your home will need to be set up by a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC). They will install it in line with Australian standards and the Victorian electricity rules.
The electrical contractor will visit your home and evaluate the wiring, electrical outlets and other hardware needed to support the charging of an EV.
On average, research in Victoria has shown setting up a home charging outlet costs around $1,750 for the charging circuit wiring, and the charging outlet cost can vary:
- Less than $100 for a standard electrical power point.
- Up to $500 for a basic dedicated EV charging unit.
- Up to $2,500 for a more advanced dedicated EV charging unit such as a fast charging unit.
Reduce your costs
Talk to your electricity retailer (the company that sends your electricity bill) about how you can make the most of new time-of-use tariffs offered by United Energy. They allow you to charge your EV when it is most cost-effective.
Peak periods on our networks are considered to be between 3pm and 9pm daily. If you can charge your vehicle before or after that time, then you may receive the benefit of lower network costs.
Industry-leading information and support
The Electric Vehicle Council website, the national body representing the EV industry in Australia, offers useful tools and information to help you select an EV, including:
- A vehicle cost calculator
- Key facts and benefits of EVs
- Map of public EV chargers in Australia
Charging from your home solar system
If you charge your EV using electricity generated by your rooftop solar system, then your costs can be reduced – with the added benefit of further reducing CO2 emissions.
There are an increasing number of options available. These track your solar export amounts, and adjust the charging rate of your EV to take advantage of the excess power. It’s a great option if your vehicle is at home during the day.
If you have a battery installed, you can use this to charge your vehicle when your system isn’t generating enough power.
Connecting your vehicle safely
Like any other appliance or electronics in your home, you need to make sure the equipment used to charge your car is safe:
- Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times and never use a charging point that isn’t compatible with your vehicle.
- Only buy EV supply equipment designed to fit your car and approved for use in Australia
- Never use a household adaptor – like a multi-socket, double plug or travel plug – between your supply equipment and a wall socket. Try and avoid using an extension lead, but if you do, make sure it’s one suitable for outdoor use.
- Never daisy-chain extension leads. Plugging one extension lead into another increases the risk of an electrical fire as well as electric shock.
- Never use faulty or damaged supply equipment. Check your charging cable for wear and tear and replace it if any damage is evident
- Never use an EV charger that has been modified in any way
- If you notice a fault or issue, stop using the car and/or charging station immediately and contact the manufacturer.
We also recommend you ask a registered electrical contractor to install a ‘residual current device’ (RCD). These devices help to keep you and your family safe by shutting off the power if a fault is detected. Standard safety switches commonly found in homes may not be powerful enough to protect from any issues related to an EV or its charger.