Understanding EV Charging in Apartments: EV Charger Options - JET Charge
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Understanding EV Charging in Apartments: EV Charger Options

19 June 2024

If you’ve been following along, you should have already read our previous blogs on EV Charging Load Management Systems and Billing Solutions. Understanding these technologies is crucial because they determine the types of EV chargers that can be installed in apartment settings. In this blog, we dive into the different EV charger options available for apartment dwellers.  

EV Chargers Explained 

Before we jump into the various options available, let’s refresh our understanding of the types of EV chargers. EV Chargers are categorised into three levels, each offering different charging speeds and functionalities: 

Level 1/ Mode 2 

Level 1 chargers use a standard power point and can provide about 10-20kms of range per hour of charge. However, these chargers lack the ‘smart’ capabilities required for integration with EV Charging load management systems and billing software. As such, they aren’t recommended for apartment settings.  

Level 2/ Mode 3 

Level 2 chargers are dedicated AC charges that offer 40-100kms of range per hour. These chargers can be ‘smart’, meaning they can be integrated with the necessary load management and billing systems. This makes them the ideal choice for apartment buildings.  

Level 3/ Mode 4 

Level 3 charger are high-powered DC chargers that provide over 100km of range per hour. Whilst suited for public charging, their high cost and power requirements make them unsuitable for private apartment use.  

The Best choice for apartments 

Given the need for compatibility with load management and billing systems, Smart level 2 AC chargers are the best fit for apartment EV charging. To maximise the number of chargers that a building can support, it’s recommended to use 7kW single-phase chargers. These can provide around 50kms of range per hour, which is usually plenty for an overnight charge! 

Socket vs Tethered Chargers 

Smart Level 2 AC charges come in two forms: 

Socket Chargers: These do not have an attached cable, so you’ll need a portable charging cable to connect to your vehicle.  

Tethered Chargers: These come with an attached cable that you can plug directly from the charger into your electric vehicle. 

Choosing between socket and tethered chargers is a matter of personal preference, some Owners’ Corporation might prefer to mandate a specific type to maintain consistency throughout the building.  

Choosing EV Chargers for your building  

As an Owners’ Corporation, your first step will be deciding on the EV charging load management system and billing software solution for your building. This is crucial because these systems only work with certain Smart Level 2 AC chargers.  

We recommend selecting solutions that are compatible with a variety of chargers. For instance, our JET Charge CORE load management system works with a range of popular and cost-effective smart level 2 AC chargers, offering EV owners more choice.  

Can Owners install their own charger? 

A frequent question is whether EV owners can install the chargers provided with their vehicles. Typically, chargers that come with EVs are designed for standalone homes and not apartments. It’s essential to check whether a specific charger is compatible with your building’s load management and billing systems. Usually, you can refer to a list of compatible chargers to confirm.  

Unfortunately, EV chargers suitable for apartments tend to be more expensive due to the additional smart components required. However, the investment is worth it for seamless integration with your building’s systems and the convenience it provides to all EV owners. 

Choosing the right EV charger for your apartment building involves understanding the capabilities and limitations of different charger levels and ensuring compatibility with your building’s systems.  By opting for Smart level 2 AC charges and integrating them with effective load management and bulling solutions, you can provide a reliable and convenient EV charging solution for all residents.  

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