Top Tips for Charging Electric Vehicles

Power Up: Top Tips for Charging Electric Vehicles

The unwavering increase of petrol prices is one of the reasons why electric vehicle sales continue to surge. With that, there’s also the surge in search of the best home EV charger for homes in Australia. While electric car usage in the country lags behind the rest of the world, this gap is expected to shrink in years to come thanks to cheaper models and the high coverage of rooftop solar. 

As many Australians make the eco-friendly switch, the need for electric car chargers in Australia becomes a natural progression in transportation, with societies beginning to embrace sustainable options. But how to ensure that your EV car is charged and ready for either everyday use or longer travels? Here, we round up helpful tips for charging electric vehicles. 

Find the best Home EV Charger in Australia that suits your needs

Buying an electric car involves careful consideration and planning, especially when it comes to ensuring it’s available to use at any time. While gas stations are ubiquitous, the infrastructure for electric car chargers in Australia needs some catching up, although their rise in recent years doesn’t go unnoticed. 

True enough, the advantages of owning an electric car outnumber the downsides, so as long as your electric car is all charged up and ready for the day’s action, there’s no reason owning one can be daunting. But first, you’ll need to know what your options are and what each one means for you.

Install a home EV charger

The most convenient option of all is to install an EV charger where you live, although it’s more feasible for electric car owners who own their homes. There are also hoops to jump through but after that’s done, hassle-free plugging in at the end of each day and recharging overnight is worth it. 

Once you’ve decided to invest in installing the best home EV charger in Australia, the next step is to identify what charging option to install. For home charging, Level 1, the standard charging devices that come with most EVs, and the faster Level 2 chargers serve their purpose well. Since the Level 1 charger is slower, it’s more suitable for overnight charging. 

When installing a charging station at home, choose a location near your parking spot and ensure it’s weather-protected.

Public DC charging options

There’s a notable improved charging infrastructure rolling out across the state as many car buyers turn to electric cars. Charging points are typically found at public charging stations along motorways, and because they’re installed out there for everyone to use, they’re the quickest way to charge an electric vehicle, mostly using DC Fast Charging, also known as Level 3 chargers. 

Be mindful of your EV’s range

Knowing your EV’s range is crucial especially when planning your trips. It is, however, worth noting that several factors like the weather and the terrain could affect your range. By keeping these factors in mind, you can schedule and identify charging points during your journey and plan your routes to include charging stops. 

How to locate public charging stations

Planning on where to recharge your EV minimises unexpected stops and makes the entire journey efficient, helping you extend your electric car range. One way to do this is to know where to charge from the get-go. Luckily, there’s variety of apps or websites like PlugShare to locate nearby public charging stations. Even more convenient, you’ll be able to check availability and compatibility.

When using public charging stations, consideration is key

Public charging stations are beneficial when on the road, but there are charging etiquette rules for EV owners to abide by. If possible, plan to charge your EV during off-peak periods. While popular fast chargers can recharge your EV quickly, it’s likely they’re all occupied during busy hours. If it is unavoidable to be part of the busy period, the next best thing to do is ensure you are considerate of others. Here are things to consider: 

  • Once your EV has finished charging, move your car instead of remaining parked at a charging point. 
  • Use an app to monitor your EV’s charging progress, as well as alert you once completed. 
  • If you’re away from the charging point, the NeedToCharge app allows other drivers to send you a message when your car is finished using only your number plate. 
  • Make sure your electric car is correctly plugged in and actively charging before leaving to avoid ‘false starts’. 

Do not overcharge your EV 

Charging your EV to the full 100% capacity may seem satisfying, but it’s not good for your EV’s battery in the long run. In actuality, keeping your EV charged up to 80% is more than enough to reach your destination and doing more than that can only damage the battery pack over time. 

Know your EV’s charging capacity

Electric cars have unique charging capacities, which means there are certain chargers suitable for your EV. At public charging stations with multiple DC chargers, it’s only reasonable to use the one you need. It’s futile to use the fastest charger if your car’s just fine using the slower one, and it inconveniences those who actually need the faster option. 

Be ready for emergencies

It’s a good idea to invest in charging accessories that you’ll find handy during emergencies. For instance, charging cables and adapters are must-have items you need for peace of mind. It can also help to have a backup plan in case your preferred station is unavailable. 

As usage of electric car chargers in Australia continues to increase, it’s only fitting to learn some EV charging tips that you’ll find handy soon enough. 

about the author
Marcin Hernik

Marcin Hernik

Marcin Hernik is the Managing Director at Volteam Electric Pty Ltd, leveraging his expertise honed from TAFE Queensland's Electrical and Electronics Engineering, following his graduation from the University of Technology and Humanities in Radom. His career is marked by a commitment to excellence in electrical engineering and leadership in the industry.