Installing a Charging Station at Home? Here’s What You Need to Know!
There are three ways of charging your electric car: via a power socket, via a charging station (either public or at home) and via a fast charging station. The first two options can be used at home. But how do you make the choice?
Charging at home via a power socket or installing a charging station?
You can often charge your electric car via an ordinary power socket, but that depends on the type of car and battery. Electric car manufacturers provide a special cable and adapter that you can use to charge your car. The cable is fitted with an In-Cable Control Box. This ensures optimal protection while charging your electric car thanks to a safety switch and a current limiting device. This is called ‘Mode 2’ charging. Using this method, every hour of charging adds a radius of action of approximately 12 kilometres. Make sure that your electrical installation is in good condition and that the socket meets all the requirements. You can charge safely via an ordinary (earthed) power socket up to 10 amperes. Warning: never use your own extension lead.
However, household power sockets are not designed to supply high current levels so regularly and over long periods. So it is important to limit the charging current. Charge your car as often as possible at a specific charging point. In addition, there are two types of electricity grid in Belgium (3,400V and 3,230V). Be sure to check with your grid operator which one your home is connected to, because some electric vehicles cannot be charged at power sockets connected to 3,230V. In that case, too, you need a suitable charging point.
What is more, charging at home via the power socket takes a long time. A full charge takes around ten hours (depending on the type of car). With a charging station (home or public), the charging time is four to six hours. The charging speed is a significant advantage of a charging station. Charging at a charging station is known as ‘Mode 3’ charging.
So the payback period of your charging station is fairly long, but this infrastructure offers a host of advantages such as more convenience and a faster charging speed.
If you have a charging station at home, you avoid the risk of overheating or a worn power socket. Charging stations are especially designed to supply more power without heating up.
A home charging station is connected to its own protected circuit at the start of your electrical installation. As no artificial power limitation is required, cars can be charged far more efficiently at a charging station than via a power socket.
What makes a charging station at home particularly attractive is the cost price of charging: after all, your own power is considerably cheaper than that supplied by a public charging station. Do you have solar panels on the roof? In that case, solar power even charges your car at no cost.
Charging an electric vehicle accounts for one quarter of all available power. With a charging station, it is easy to set up the system to charge your car: charging stations detect whether other appliances are using a lot of power at that time and can reduce their own capacity. You can arrange for your car to charge only at night, you can consult the energy consumption via the internet and these stations offer other smart functions for added convenience.
An electric car can soon double your electricity consumption. So it is wise to assess your electricity supplier and possibly switch to a cheaper one. lf you calculate the cost of the electricity used to charge your car, driving an electric car costs approximately €3.8 to €4.6 per 100 km. That’s a lot cheaper than driving on fossil fuels. It costs around €750 per year to charge your car at home, whereas with diesel you can easily spend over €1,100 and with petrol over €1,200. That’s quite a difference!
It may be cheaper to drive an electric car, but of course, you have to take into account the cost of the charging station and the installation. Depending on the type of charging station (monophase or triphase), the price ticket is between €600 and €1,500. In addition to this, there is the cost of the mandatory inspection (€100) and the installation costs.
So the payback period of your charging station is fairly long, but this infrastructure offers a host of advantages such as more convenience and a faster charging speed
What about subsidies for charging stations?
No subsidies are available for charging stations. For companies, 120% of the cost of purchasing and installing a charging station can be deducted (100% as of 2020). However, the authorities are making efforts to increase the number of public charging stations. The Flemish government, for instance, aims to install at least one public charging station in every commune by 2020.
Companies do not require urban planning permission or an environmental permit to install a charging station in their car park. Permanent facilities for charging vehicles, bicycles and scooters are exempt from the grading requirement. In the future, just a few specific conditions will have to be fulfilled for charging stations, such as separation distances when hazardous products or gases are stored above ground.
Moreover, did you know that you can request a public charging station in your neighbourhood free of charge in Flandres? You have to fulfil these conditions:
- You are a private individual and you have bought or ordered a fully electric car.
- You do not have your own garage or driveway at home with the possibility of charging facilities.
- There are no public charging stations and no plans to install such stations within a radius of 500 metres around your home.
Are you look for a charging station in your neighbourhood or when you are on the road? You’ll find a handy map here. Would you like to know more about charging electric vehicles? This website will start you off. Additional information for companies can be found here.