Charging Options

Below is a brief summary of a number of options to source power for EV charging. This is not intended to provide a complete list, but rather provide ideas that a strata can work through and develop their own solution.

Keep in mind that a building strategy will often involve more than one charging option depending on the individual apartment, car bays, proximity to infrastructure etc.

Standard Power Point

Apartments and multi-dwelling buildings

Charging from a standard power point in apartments and multi-dwelling buildings will likely increase overall power consumption and in this circumstance should not be considered.

Townhouse or single dwellings

If you are in a townhouse or single dwelling, then charging via an existing power point may be possible. Advice from an electrician should be sought to ensure the circuit has sufficient capacity.

Smart Charger - Single Charger with Embedded Load Monitoring

A smart charger having active load management where a current sensor measures the overall power usage for the building and diverts any excess to the charging circuit.

Power Sourced from Apartment or Owner's Meter

It may be practical to run power cable from either the owner's meter or the apartment switchboard. In both of these cases, consumption will be billed to the owner.

A smart charger simplifies provision of load monitoring in the system which enables the EV charging circuit ONLY when the apartment has spare capacity. This ensures the apartment can not exceed design limits. Those smart chargers having Bluetooth management and RS485 communications are particularly suitable for basement garages where there may be no wifi and a considerable distance from the current sensor monitoring the output of the meter and the location of the garage.

Power Outlet from Air Conditioner

Some apartments have their external air-conditioner units located in the basement, not far from the owner's parking bay. In this instance, a device may be installed that redirects the AC power circuit to an EV charger, but only when the AC is not in use. Because the power circuit can only run either the air conditioner or the charger (and never both), there is no additional power load on the apartment or building.

Some apartments have their external air-conditioner units located in the basement, not far from the owner's parking bay. This circuit is powered from the Lot Owners switchboard and in this instance a smart charger with integrated active load management can monitor the power being used by the circuit and direct excess power to the charger. The power limit is predetermined by a current sensor communicating with the smart charger. In the event the excess power drops below 6 amps the smart charger will disable power to the vehicle charger. This is a very cost effective solution with some smart chargers less than the cost of an interlock unit that would allow only either the air-conditioner or the charger to operate.

Multiple Chargers Controlled by a Load Managed System

A load management systems enables chargers to be installed without a negative impact on the general electricity supply by maintaining the overall load with the design parameters for the supply. See Load Managed Charging for more detail.