Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming the go-to choice for many drivers. If you own one, you must know how it functions, especially the charging system. Proper use of your EV charger is not only about keeping your EV in excellent condition but also about promoting sustainability.
Believe it or not, many EV enthusiasts are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out the optimal way to juice up their rides.
In this piece, we’ll talk about the six common EV charger mistakes owners make. We’ll also give you tips on avoiding and correcting these mistakes for a smoother and safer charging experience.
Whether you’re new to electric vehicles or have been using one for some time, this article will help you navigate EV chargers more confidently.
Common EV Charger Mistakes
When you get an electric car, it usually comes with its charger, right? But what’s surprising is that many folks aren’t entirely sure how to make the most out of their EV chargers.
For a technology that is still relatively new to the general public, it’s understandable that mistakes are made. However, being informed can save you time, money, and potential hazards.
The Planning Pitfall
Failing To Think Ahead
If you own a EV, having a forward-thinking approach is important. One of the most common EV charger mistakes is failing to plan and strategise for charging needs, and there are consequences for failing to do so.
Picture this: you’re in a hurry, running late for an important meeting or a family gathering, and your EV’s battery indicator is blinking red. You risk running low on power without a charging strategy at inconvenient times. A clear plan for when and where you’ll charge your EV can prevent these stressful situations.
With Australia’s EV charging infrastructure growing, it’s still not as widespread as traditional petrol stations. Not having a charging strategy can leave you limited access to charging stations, especially in less urban or remote areas.
Not Checking If The Cable Is Long Enough
Another common mistake EV owners make is underestimating the importance of checking the charging cable length before purchasing. If your charging cable is too short, it can restrict where you can park your EV while charging.
In many Australian cities, parking spaces can be tight, and not having the flexibility to reach your vehicle’s charging port comfortably can be frustrating. Home charging is the most convenient and cost-effective way to keep your EV topped up.
However, if your charging cable is too short, you might need to park your EV in an inconvenient spot or even have an expensive electrician repositioning your charging equipment. Ensuring the cable length suits your parking setup is essential for hassle-free home charging.
The Charger Choice Conundrum
Relying Solely on the Trickle Charger
Different electric vehicles have different charging needs. It’s a typical mistake for owners to choose the wrong charger for their car. It is essential to understand that different types of chargers cater to specific models of EVs. Below are the most common types of chargers for EVs
AC or Level 2 chargers are Australia’s most common EV chargers. They typically provide power at 240 volts and offer charging speeds ranging from 3.3 kW to 22 kW. These chargers are found in homes, workplaces, and public charging stations, making them versatile for daily charging.
DC Fast Charger
DC fast or Level 3 chargers are designed for fast charging. They supply power in direct current (DC) and can range from 25 kW to 350 kW, depending on the model. These chargers are typically located along highways, major routes, and select public charging stations, making long-distance travel with an EV possible.
Smart chargers have connectivity features, allowing remote monitoring, scheduling, and data analysis. They can be integrated with renewable energy sources, manage charging times, and support load balancing.
Overspending on Unnecessary Smart Chargers
Smart chargers come with features like wireless charging, fast charging, connectivity to mobile apps, and remote control. It aims to simplify your charging experience and improve power delivery efficiency. These features can be helpful in some cases, but they are unnecessary in every situation.
Many people are tempted to overspend on smart chargers because of the promise of convenience. The idea of effortlessly charging devices, monitoring progress through an app, and scheduling charging times feels futuristic, but it’s crucial to assess if these conveniences truly improve your daily life.
Before purchasing a smart charger, assess your charging needs and habits. Do you frequently charge multiple devices simultaneously? Do you travel often and require a compact charger? Understanding your requirements will help you make a more informed decision.
Choosing a Smart Charger with Irrelevant Features
It’s easy to get carried away with the smart charger’s flashy features, but while the EV charging technology world offers many options, it’s essential to stay grounded and make choices that align with your actual needs.
Take a close look at your EV charging needs. Do you frequently charge multiple devices at once? Are you always on the go and in need of faster charging speeds? By understanding your requirements, you can zero in on the features that genuinely matter.
Do your homework. Read reviews, compare different chargers, and understand the long-term costs associated with the charger of your choice. Ensure you’re fully aware of what you’re getting for your money.
Charging in Hazardous Conditions
Charging during heavy rain and flooding can increase the risk of safety issues. Avoid charging in harsh weather conditions. If you are charging your vehicle outdoors, have a protective cover or charge at designated charging stations.
Neglecting Electrical Infrastructure
Before setting up the charger, assessing your home’s electrical structure is essential. While most homes are built to handle a variety of appliances, not every home is ready for the extra energy demands of an EV charger. Trust us when we say you don’t want to risk overloading those circuits.
Overloading circuits can cause overheating or fire risk. They can be destructive to your EVs and even life-threatening. Here are some tips to help you safely assess your home’s electrical capacity.
- Talk To A Qualified Electrician – Getting professional advice is always a good idea. They can evaluate your current electrical system and recommend if you need necessary updates for your EV charger.
- Dedicated Circuit – Installing a dedicated circuit for your EV charger will reduce the risk of overloading and other hazards.
- Smart Charging Solutions – Consider smart charging solutions to prevent overloading. You can program them to charge your vehicles when your home consumes less energy.
Looking for a reliable EV charger installer? Sungain Solar has got you covered! Power your electric vehicle with clean, renewable energy using Sungain Solar’s EV charger solutions. They provide a range of EV chargers designed to suit different vehicle models and charging requirements, ensuring you receive the best possible charging experience.
Power Supply and Tariff Traps
When it comes to electric vehicle ownership, you have l to steer clear of power supply and tariff traps. Australia’s electrical infrastructure varies. Optimising your EV charging experience requires knowledge and expertise.
Using Regular Power Outlets
While plugging your EV into a regular power outlet may seem convenient, there are more efficient ways to charge. These outlets provide lower power levels, resulting in slow charging times. For a more quick experience, it’s worth considering a dedicated EV charging equipment. These chargers offer faster charging speeds, making your EV journey smoother.
Overlooking Power Supply Compatibility
The electrical infrastructure in Australia can vary, and not all power supplies are created equal. Overlooking the compatibility of your EV charger with your power supply can lead to compatibility issues. Make sure your EV charger is compatible with your home’s electrical system, and if necessary, consult an electrician to ensure a safe and efficient setup.
Missing Out on “Time of Use” Electricity Tariffs
Understanding “Time of Use” electricity tariffs can save you a pretty penny when charging your EV. These tariffs offer lower rates during off-peak hours, making it more cost-effective to charge your EV. It’s time to consider shifting your charging routine to maximise these savings.
Not Harnessing Solar Power Efficiently
If you’ve got solar panels on your rooftop, it’s a missed opportunity not to harness that free energy for charging your EV. Consider installing a solar-compatible EV charger to make the most of the sun’s power and reduce your environmental footprint.
Charging Habits That Harm Your EV
Owning an EV is a fantastic choice, but knowing your charging habits is important to keep your ride in peak condition. Here are some charging practices to avoid to ensure your EV remains a reliable and eco-friendly companion.
Overcharging Your EV
Overcharging your EV can be detrimental to its battery health. While modern EVs have sophisticated battery management systems, it’s still wise to unplug your vehicle when it reaches a full charge. Leaving it plugged in unnecessarily can lead to accelerated battery degradation and higher maintenance costs.
Charging Only During Peak Hours
Charging your EV exclusively during peak electricity hours might save you time but could hurt your wallet. Electricity rates are usually higher during these times, so take advantage of off-peak hours for more cost-effective charging. Some power providers offer lower “Time of Use” tariffs during these periods, making it a win-win for your budget and your EV’s battery.
Relying Solely on Rapid Charging
Rapid charging stations are convenient when you need a quick top-up. However, making them your primary charging source can have drawbacks. Rapid charging generates more heat, contributing to faster battery degradation over time. Consider using a Level 2 charger for everyday charging, which offers a more battery-friendly approach.
Letting Your EV Battery Run Too Low
While pushing your EV to the limit before recharging is tempting, it’s not the best practice for your battery’s well-being. Allowing your battery to run too low too frequently can strain it and decrease its lifespan. Aim to keep your battery level between 20% and 80% to maintain optimal health.
Neglecting to Unplug After Charging
It’s easy to forget to unplug your EV once fully charged, especially with modern charging equipment that often has user-friendly features. But remember that leaving your EV plugged in unnecessarily can cause a continuous, low-level drain on the battery. Unplug when your charging session is complete to prevent any energy waste.
Overlooking Charger Maintenance and Installation
Disregarding EV Charger Maintenance
Many car owners focus on maintaining their cars but often overlook their chargers. It’s easy to forget, but if you neglect it, your charger might not work as efficiently and could even become a safety risk. Just like your car, your EV chargers need regular check-ups, too.
By keeping up with your EV charger maintenance, you ensure it’s always in tip-top shape and charges your vehicle efficiently. Maintenance includes updating your charger’s software to enhance its functions and security. You might run into a few issues when you ignore your maintenance.
- Cable Deterioration – Charger cables can suffer from wear and tear over time. Damages can result in reduced performance and safety concerns. Replace damaged cables as soon as possible.
- Loose Connections – Loose connections between chargers and vehicles can lead to insufficient charging and other electrical problems. Ensure to tighten all cable connections before every charge.
EV chargers are popping up everywhere these days, both in private spaces and public areas. But it’s surprising how many electric vehicle owners aren’t quite clued in on the right charging manners.
Hogging Charging Stations
Using charging stations for more than needed can be inconvenient for other EV owners. Don’t stay at the station longer when your vehicle is fully charged. Be aware of the time limit so other users can use the charging station.
Leaving EVs Plugged In When Fully Charged
Leaving your electric vehicles plugged in when fully charged wastes charging resources. When you’re in a public charging station, it can cause inconvenience to others waiting to use the charging station. Keep an eye on your vehicle’s charging level and unplug it immediately once it’s complete.
Inconsiderate Parking at Stations
Park properly to avoid disrupting the flow of charging stations. If you don’t need to charge, use a designated parking space instead for occupying charging stations.
Overlooking Environmental Considerations
Electric vehicles help reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses compared to cars with internal combustion engines. EVs contribute to cleaner air and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. But if you want to maximise the environmental benefits of EVs, it’s also important to consider how to use their chargers.
Here are some EV charging mistakes that impact its environmental considerations.
Utilising Dirty Energy Sources
One huge mistake of EV owners is using chargers that use dirty energy sources such as coal or oil. Using these energy sources counteracts the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. You can consider utility providers that use renewable sources or green energy plans to ensure your chargers remain environmentally friendly.
Ignoring Battery Health
The lifespan of your EV batteries can affect its environmental impact. Ignoring your battery’s health can lead to poor efficiency and a shorter lifespan. Proper maintenance will ensure you don’t need to replace your battery prematurely, increasing your vehicle’s impact on the environment.
You can improve your battery life by keeping it within the recommended charge range and avoiding extreme temperatures.
Not Charging in Off-Peak Hours
Charging when energy demands are high can strain the electric power grid, increasing the use of fossil fuels. You can avoid this surge by charging during off-peak hours. Some providers give discounts if you charge during these times, which allows you to contribute to the environment and also gives you savings.
Safety First: Ensuring Safe Use of the EV Chargers
Safety measures are important when dealing with electricity, and EV chargers are no exception. Ignoring safety measures can put you and your vehicles at risk. Let’s talk about the common mistakes EV drivers make when charging.
Using Damaged Cables and Chargers
Cables and chargers are not invulnerable to damage. Using damaged equipment can lead to electrical and fire hazards. In some cases, it can also harm your EVs. Regularly inspect your cables and charger for any indication of damage or any exposed wires. If you see any damage, replace your equipment immediately to avoid any untoward incident.
Overloading Electrical Circuits
Connecting too many high-energy-demanding appliances with your EV chargers can overload your electrical circuits. Ensure that your electrical system can handle the additional power requirement of EV chargers.
Have a qualified professional assess your electrical system and, if necessary, install a dedicated circuit for your chargers.
Don’t Let Charger Mistakes Slow You Down!
Using chargers can be daunting, especially if this is your first time owning an electric vehicle. We hope this article on EV charger mistakes gives you the confidence to use your chargers properly and efficiently.
Are you ready to install your own at-home EV charger?
Sungain Solar can help you find the perfect charger for your vehicle. We have a range of quality products to choose from. Get in touch to speak with one of our EV charger specialists who can assess your needs and advise you on the optimal EV charger solution for your home.