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Home - News - Charging Your Home: The Ultimate Guide to Multi-Charging Electric Vehicles

Charging Your Home: The Ultimate Guide to Multi-Charging Electric Vehicles

May 22, 2023

If you're in a household that owns multiple EVs, or expect to in the future, planning is key to ensuring that no one runs out of power.

In This guidance, an overview to let each EV charged has been offered without triggering any tensions.

The primary methods for charging multiple EVs at home include:

  • Sharing a single charger.
  • Utilizing two.
  • Employing two with load management.
  • Implementing a multi-port charger.

Each approach involves different techniques and several hardware solutions. Factors influencing your choice may include power type and capacity, DNSP restrictions, budget restrictions, vehicle model, battery size, charging time, and personal preferences.


1. Sharing A Single Charger


That's right, you started this article looking for more complicated solutions than just replacing the EV charger. However, due to dietary restrictions or DNSP restrictions, this may be the only option for some families.

Living in a single income household is not the end of the world. Think of the money you'll save on hardware.

Sharing is Caring

There is no need to tax every family member every day. Factors such as battery size, charging time, and travel distance may vary. Many families can successfully manage variable consumption schedules on different days.

Maybe it's not for you. You're r eally tired of jumping out of bed in the middle of the night and hitting a car to get to the charger. It doesn't seem like a good long-term solution since there is no standard for charging port locations in different EV models. There has to be a better way.


2. Using Two Chargers


Using Two Level 1 Chargers

If installing a second source or original dedicated charger is not possible, consider installing an electrician 2 15A General Outlet (GPO). This allows two Level 1 chargers to be connected at the same time, each operating on a separate circuit.

The power of the 15A GPO reaches 3.6 kW, so this solution will be very effective. With two outlets, the total output of 7.2 kW is equivalent to a single-stage Level 2 charger used in two electric cars.


Using A Level 2 Charger Plus Level 1 Charger

One option is to charge the EV with a dedicated Level 2 charger, another option is to plug the Level 1 device that came with the car directly into the power outlet. This configuration allows two vehicles to be charged at the same time, but the charging speed of the second vehicle is slower.


Potential Pitfalls

Level 1 slow chargers are not smart devices. EVs will draw the current they need and the only way to adjust the amount of charge is in the car settings. This means that when a GPO Level 1 charger is connected, it can run a full 10A or 15A. If precautions are not taken, this can stress the circuit and cause problems. Sure, it's obvious, but I'll say it - never plug two people into the same outlet or circuit.

Another thing to note is that if you charge two electric cars at the same time, the current consumption will start to increase. A Level 1 charger and a Level 2 charger won't overload the power switch in most homes (yet), but when you mix in some high-powered devices, it starts to look a little different.

For example, the power of a single-phase level 2 charger is 7.4 kW (up to 32 A). Add this to a level 1 charger running on a 10A circuit (say 10A). It can now reach up to 42A for EV-only charging. A typical single phase mains switch in an Australian residential electrical panel is 63A or 80A, so it takes up more than half of your supply. Now you are faced with the need to know what other power hungry appliances are tripping and tripping the circuit breakers.

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Placing a large solar panel on the roof and charging the vehicle during the day can significantly reduce the demand on the grid. But this is not a panacea because the sun does not always shine and electrons go when they want when they need to. Even if your charger is set to charge only with additional solar power, it can still be fully charged without using sunlight. Your electrical installation must be designed for the worst case scenario.

With three-phase power, it is easy to distribute the load across the three phases. A single level 2 phase charger can be installed on one phase and other loads can be balanced on the other phases. The downside is that a single phase unit will last longer than a 3 phase charger. While this gives you more room for other steps, it may not be the best option if you're charging one car quickly.

3. Using 2 Chargers With Load Management


Well, here comes the part you've been waiting for. If you have two electric cars, does it make sense to have two electric chargers?

Yes, of course; However, the consequences (potential problems) mentioned above are more important because of the increased potential load on the switches and cables. For all the reasons above, the number of EV chargers you can install is limited by the capacity of your power supply. According to Australian standards and current electrical regulations, your DNSP will have the final say on this matter.

The smart people who design and manufacture electric car chargers have developed solutions that meet the current limitations of typical household appliances. Enter Startup Management. Using smart devices to control the current in each device, they found a way to keep your phone or tablet happy and avoid overloading the system. This is usually done in one of two ways:


Power Sharing

Multiple chargers can be configured to set a maximum power limit shared by all installed chargers. Power sharing (sometimes load sharing) is done using a smart device that connects to any configured device via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Open Charging Point Protocol (OCPP).

For example, if your main switch is 63A, you can set a limit of 40A for 2 shared chargers, leaving 23A for the devices. However, the user should manually control the load at home and make sure that it is below the threshold, otherwise there is a risk of overloading the main switch.

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Dynamic Load Balancing

Other chargers use a dynamic charge balancing feature that calculates additional charges. This is useful if you have no choice but to wash the EV while charging.

Dynamic load balancing takes into account the electrical power of the house in real time. This ensures that the load factor is properly adjusted and does not exceed the available power at all times. Home load is best. Now you can sit back and smile, knowing that your home's main breaker won't trip because you've given control to your computer.

Some devices with a dynamic load balancer can connect to a solar inverter, which combines the instantaneous solar energy through an algorithm.

Regardless of whether your EV charger has the aforementioned smart devices, it is recommended to install multiple single-phase chargers all in different phases if you have three-phase power to distribute the load. If you are using a single pass provision, your options will be more limited.


DIY Solutions

For tech-savvy people with too much time on their hands, Home Assistant is an open home automation platform that lets you control a variety of smart devices, including electric car chargers. Two EV chargers can be controlled via the app to operate one at a time or limit the current of each. To control both EV chargers and Home Assistant, you will need two compatible devices that support integration with the OCPP or Modbus protocol.

After connecting the charger to your home network, you can integrate it with your home assistant using the appropriate plug. Automation or scripts can be created to run one at a time or limit the flow of each.

For example, you can set up an automation to charge one EV and switch to another when the first one is fully charged. You can also create a script to set the charging current for each tray individually.


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Another DIY solution is IFTTT (If This Then That), a free web service and mobile app that allows users to create and manage automated tasks. The app allows users to browse and activate pre-built apps, create their own apps, and manage services connected to (supported) devices with a simple drag-and-drop interface.

If your EV charger supports power sharing, you can use the smart home automation platform IFTTT to automate the process. For example, you can use IFTTT to turn a smart plug on and off to turn off or reduce the power of other devices in your home when using an electrical charger.


Third-Party Apps

Many third-party apps can integrate with Home Assistant, IFTTT, or connect directly to EV chargers and devices. They have different levels of functionality depending on the hardware and the communication protocols they support. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all.

Some aren't specifically designed to charge most EVs, but they can help maximize your experience: HQ Charging, EV Energy, and Homeseer, for example.

Which EV Charger Is Best For My Growing EV Collection?

I can't tell you. However, I can direct you to our EV charger comparison table where you can compare prices and specifications to find the best solution for your situation and budget.

Also check out another SQ article - Best Electric Chargers 2023: According to Australian Installers. The top 3 chargers on this list can all be configured to fit in many EV cases, but may require additional hardware.

I hope I have given you enough information to make the right decision for your situation.