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More and more Victorians are buying electric vehicles (EVs) as part of Victoria’s clean energy transition. By driving an EV you can save money and time, while helping to reduce air pollution and make our cities and towns more liveable. In fact, there are a range of benefits from driving an EV.
As we strive for a 2030 target for half of all new light vehicle sales to be zero emissions, Victorians will need greater access to charging equipment, including public chargers and private chargers in the home or workplace.
The following information will help you to understand your options and the steps to installing charging equipment at:
- your house
- your apartment complex – with an owners corporation
- your workplace.
What is an EV-ready building?
Your building is EV-ready if it has infrastructure that allows EV charging to be easily installed. This includes the physical space – and the wiring for future electricity supply equipment.
Even if you don’t own an EV yet, getting your building EV-ready can increase your property value, given more and more people are making the switch.
EV charging terms
The following terms are often used regarding EV charging.
Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) – the equipment that gets the electricity from the fixed wires in the building to the vehicle. This is better known as an EV charger. Chargers come in three levels that affect charging speed and the required equipment and cables:
Level 1 charger
- Uses standard 230-volt AC power point, provides 10 to 12 kilometres of range per hour.
- Can deliver the power needed for the average daily driving needs when charged overnight.
Level 2 charger (fast charger)
- At least twice the power of level 1, can provide 35 to 110 kilometres of range per hour.
- Typically found in visitor parking or short-stay parking within residential buildings, workplaces and public areas.
Level 3 charger (rapid/ultra-rapid direct-current (DC) charger)
- Uses high voltage electricity capable of fully charging an EV in 10 to 45 minutes.
- Significantly higher cost of installation
- Often impractical for residential settings - typically found in public or commons areas, or at public charging stations where long-distance drivers require a full charge.
Load management system
- System that manages multiple chargers at once.
- Helps manage demand on the electricity supply from EV charging, avoiding costly upgrades to electricity mains and switchboard equipment.
- Chargers can be programmed to charge at off-peak times and/or stage charging of cars in the order they are connected. The option to override the load management system (just like boosting your electric hot water) can be included at additional cost.
- Functionality that enables charging to be scheduled or controlled, such as during times when there is less demand on the grid or when more renewable electricity is available, often through a mobile app.
- Can be applied to Level 2 and 3 charging.
- A wired, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is required to enable communication between the charger and an app or building load management system.
- Plugs that connect the car to the charger.
- Vehicle manufacturers have been converging to common plug types for newer EVs.
- For AC charging, Type 2 charging connectors are the standard and have been adopted by all vehicle manufacturers in Australia.
- For DC charging, most EVs sold in Australia have a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector, which can support both AC and DC to charge an EV.
- Vehicle manufacturers and charger suppliers can provide more specific details on plug types based on the vehicle.
Steps to get your home EV-ready
Understand your home’s capacity for charging equipment
When deciding what equipment to install, you will need to consider:
- Switchboard capacity – chargers need power from circuit breakers on a switchboard. Knowing if you have a spare slot on the board may trigger the requirement for a switchboard upgrade.
- Maximum electrical demand – the maximum electrical demand will help inform how much spare capacity is available. This will inform the sizing of the charger and what times it is best to charge.
If you are unsure about the above, please check with a qualified electrician.
Get in touch with a professional to quote and install your charger
A qualified electrician or a charging infrastructure manufacturer can quote and install your charger. They will provide advice on what charging level can be achieved in your home, and the associated cost. Typical costs are $500 to $2,000 for a level 1 charger.
You should consider getting multiple quotes to ensure you are receiving a fair price and quality products that suits your requirements. After your charger has been installed, ensure you follow the maintenance instructions to ensure it is reliable and safe to operate.
Look into power saving options
Installing a charger will likely lead to an increase in energy consumption – and therefore higher electricity bills. To ensure you are not paying more that you need to, contact your electricity provider to discuss a plan that works with your charging habits.
You can also visit Victorian Energy Compare to ensure you are on the cheapest plan. You could also consider shifting energy consumption across the day, as well as installing solar panels and a battery to further reduce your bills.
Visit Solar Victoria to see the rebates available.
Getting your apartment complex or workplace EV-ready
Organising EV charging at your apartment complex or workplace involves much more planning and coordination with other parties.
In some cases, EV charging in your building or workplace may not be completely achievable, meaning a load management system is required or some degree of charging from public chargers.
As part of the new requirements under the National Construction Code 2022 energy efficiency standards (commencing in Victoria on 1 May 2024) there must be space for switchboards and EV charging infrastructure in new builds for
- 100% of parking car spaces in apartment buildings
- 10% of spaces in offices and retail
- 20% of spaces in other commercial buildings.
EV-ready buildings for owners corporations
With electric vehicle sales increasing every year, Victorians want access to affordable and convenient home charging.
Approximately 1 in 4 Victorians live in strata-managed residential buildings that haven’t been setup for EV charging, leaving many without an option to charge at home.
While owners corporations are facing pressure from residents to install EV charging infrastructure, the potential lack of electrical infrastructure and navigating often complex strata rules can make retrofitting existing residential buildings a challenge.
The EV-ready buildings for owners corporations factsheet will help owners corporations through the process of installing EV chargers in multi-unit residential buildings.
Page last updated: 05/10/23