Electric vehicles (EVs) have gained significant popularity in recent years as a cleaner and more sustainable mode of transportation. However, one of the biggest concerns for potential EV owners is the availability and accessibility of charging stations.
Types of EV Charging Stations
There are primarily three types of EV charging stations: Mode 2, Mode 3 and Mode 4 (Mode 1 is not deemed a safe charging method in New Zealand). Mode 2 charging stations are the most basic and typically come with the purchase of an electric vehicle. These stations use a standard 120-volt household outlet and provide a charging rate of around 3–8 km per hour. This means it can take up to 48 hours to charge your car, depending on the battery size. While Mode 2 charging is the slowest option, it is suitable for overnight top up charging at home or in a residential setting. In our view, they are best used as travel chargers or emergency back up chargers, rather than a main charger.
Mode 3 charging stations offer a faster charging rate compared to Mode 2. These stations use a 240-volt power supply, similar to that used for large appliances like electric dryers or stoves. Mode 3 charging can provide a charging rate of around 15–50 km per hour, depending on the vehicle and charger’s capabilities. This brings charging times down considerably, with a full charge taking between six and twelve hours (depending on your vehicle’s battery size). Mode 3 stations are commonly found in homes, public spaces and workplaces and residential areas. They offer a convenient option for those who need to charge their vehicles during the day or overnight. This is the type of charger we typically install in homes, businesses and strata properties.
Mode 4 stations are the quickest option for EV charging. These stations use direct current (DC) power and can provide a high charging rate, ranging from 95–130 km in just 20 minutes. Mode 4 stations are typically found along highways, major routes and in commercial areas, allowing for quick top-ups during long trips or when time is of the essence. However, these stations sometimes require more power than your entire house, cost upwards of $25,000, and require major panel and service upgrades – which is why they’re not typically feasible for home use.
However, it’s important to note that not all electric vehicles are compatible with all levels of charging, so it’s essential to check your vehicle’s specifications before using any type of charging station.
The Charging Process for Electric Vehicles
The process of recharging electric vehicles involves connecting the vehicle to a charging station, allowing the flow of electricity to replenish the battery’s energy levels.
Once your EV is connected, you need to select the desired charging level. Whether it is the slower Mode 2 charging, the rapid Mode 3 charging, or the super-fast Mode 4, the goal is to replenish the battery’s energy levels efficiently. As electric vehicles become more prevalent, advancements in charging technology will continue to improve, making the charging process even more convenient and accessible for EV owners.
Also read: How To Get The Most Out Of An Electric Vehicle Charging System to learn more.
Advancements in EV Charging Technology
One significant development which has already been touched on, is the introduction of fast charging stations, known as DC fast chargers. These chargers use direct current (DC) to rapidly charge the vehicle’s battery, allowing for a significantly reduced charging time compared to traditional AC charging. With fast charging stations, EV owners can now recharge their vehicles to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes, making long-distance travel more feasible and convenient.
Another noteworthy advancement in EV charging technology is the integration of smart charging features. Smart charging systems utilise advanced algorithms and communication technologies to optimise the charging process. These systems can monitor the energy grid’s demand and adjust the charging rate accordingly, ensuring that charging occurs during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper and the grid is less strained.
Additionally, smart charging systems can be programmed to prioritise charging based on user preferences, such as charging to a specific percentage by a certain time or utilising renewable energy sources when available. These intelligent features not only enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of EV charging but also contribute to the overall stability and sustainability of the energy grid. All our EV charger installations feature the latest smart charging technology – get in touch to find out more!
The Future of EV Charging Technology
EV charging technology is developing rapidly, with ever-faster and more convenient ways to power up EVs emerging. One of the major developments in this field will be wireless charging. Imagine simply parking your car over a charging pad embedded in the ground, and the battery automatically starts charging without the need for any cables or plugs. This technology is already being tested and implemented in some areas, and it promises to revolutionise the way we charge our vehicles.
Another exciting development on the horizon is ultra-fast charging. Currently, the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle can be a significant barrier for many potential EV owners. However, with advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure, ultra-fast charging stations are being developed that can provide a full charge in a matter of minutes. This means that long charging stops during road trips could become a thing of the past, allowing for a seamless travel experience. Additionally, ultra-fast charging will also enable more widespread adoption of electric vehicles, as the concern over range anxiety will be greatly reduced. With these advancements in the pipeline, the future of EV charging technology looks promising, paving the way for a cleaner and more efficient transportation system.
Professional Installation for Your Home EV Charger
The future of EV charging technology is promising. With ongoing research and innovation, we can expect even faster charging times, longer battery ranges, and more efficient charging infrastructure. EV charging technology is a crucial component of our transition towards a greener and more sustainable future.
K C Electrics offer in-home installation for EV charging in Auckland. We have the expertise and technology to charge your EV up to four times faster than a standard mains connection. Get in touch now for a free home assessment.