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How much does it cost to set up an EV Charging Station?

Electric vehicle uptake is growing rapidly across Australia as all the major car manufactures begin releasing more affordable EVs with ever increasing range. We will begin to see mass-market EV’s arriving on our shores in the coming months including the much-anticipated Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq as well as the next-generation Nissan Leaf.

With continued adoption, there will be an increased need for home, workplace and public EV charging to support this shift. Let’s take a look at the process and the rough costing involved to set up the necessary electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

At Home EV Charging

Like a mobile phone, most EV drivers will do the majority of charging at home overnight, during off-peak times, when electricity prices and demand on the grid is at it’s lowest. What this means is that pretty much every day you will be starting off with a full charge.

For some EV drivers, such as those with Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) with a small range 30-50km, the standard portable charger that comes with the vehicle may be enough to cover their needs. These trickle chargers can plug into a 10amp or 15amp home socket, and will very slowly charge the car over a full night (8-12 hours). EVSE Australia recommends an electrician inspect the socket and the line to ensure it is safe and ideally dedicated purely to EV charging given it will be running for long periods of time.

A specific level 2 electric vehicle charging station is the best solution for an EV owner given the increased charging speeds, enhanced safety features, and the connectivity to the vehicle and even to your smart home or solar PV system. The majority of the cost of setting up a Home EV Charging station will come from the hardware itself, which will range from between $1000 up to $2500.

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When considering what EV charging station is right for your home, it’s always worth thinking about your needs now and into the future as this could save you a lot of money down the track. Installation is necessary through a licensed electrician and can be a very simple process taking around an hour for $800 if very little upgrades are required, or an increase in cost (+$1000) if you don’t have flexibility with EV charger location and require upgrades to circuits and breakers.

Public AC EV Chargers

Public EV charging stations at workplaces, car parks, shopping centres and councils are more expensive than home chargers, with costs varying over a large range depending on the number of stations being set up, the type of installation and the specific site requirements.

Single-port public EV charging station hardware costs range from $1950-$3000 depending on the features and brand of the machine. Type 2 Socket systems are also the preference for public projects as this allows open access to all EV drivers on the road, and minimizes potential damage associated with a tethered cable. Public EV charging stations are more robust and are often pedestal mounted allowing for maximum versatility and usability. Dual socket systems or dual mounted public EV chargers are also available with installation costs decreasing relative to the number of chargers being set up.

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Unlike a home EV charging station, where the hardware component comprises the major cost, installation is the major contributor to public EV charger cost (60-80% of the total). Distance to the breaker box is usually the most critical factor in determining the installation cost, and will usually range from 15-30m. Runs longer than 40m are usually too expensive to justify station installation and therefore a change in location of the charge point needs to be considered.

Car park and garage installations are the simpler and more economic public EV charger options and will typically cost around $6000 with the EV charger and wiring all being wall mounted. Curbside and pedestal mounted stations can become more expensive than a car park EV charger due to the additional trenching or directional boring to run conduit and wiring to the EV charging station. Added costs will arise if the stations require connection to Ethernet or 4G connectivity for management and billing purposes.

Public DC EV Chargers

Level 3 or DC EV charging provides rapid recharge of your electric vehicle to around 80% full in 30 minutes. Currently, not all vehicles have DC fast charge ability, and for those that do they will require one of three specific connections to their respective electric vehicle (CHAdeMO, CCS, Tesla). Hardware costs for a Public DC electric vehicle charging station are very expensive ranging from between $40,000-$100,000 per charging station.

See EVSE’s DC electric car charging range here

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In addition to high hardware costs, installation can also be very expensive given the frequent need to install a 480V transformer, upgrade the electrical supply as well as the permitting and increased labor time needed for the project. Installation costs would likely range from between $15,000-$60,000 depending on the specific nature of the project.

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