Electric Vehicles

If you have an electric vehicle or are thinking of buying one, then we’d like to help you enjoy the drive by making sure it is easy and low cost to keep charged.

EV battery sizes range widely from 16kWh to up to 86kWh and the bigger the battery, the further you can drive.

To get the full benefits, you’ll need to check on the capacity of the electricity network supply to your home.  The cost to set up your home charging outlet depends on things like your current home electrical design, the electricity tariff and charging options you choose.

Your home’s electricity supply

Your EV manufacturer will provide the specific charging options available for your car.  Depending on which EV you choose and how many kilometres you drive, you may need to upgrade your home’s electricity supply.

Please refer to the following guide on what type of charger might suit you best:

Driving distance per week (average)Charger recommended
Less than 200 kilometres Normal socket connection
200 – 500 kilometresDedicated wall-mounted charging unit
Over 500 kilometres Dedicated EV charging point and possibly, second meter in order to optimise controlled charging or time-of-use tariff options

Electrical supplies to many homes and buildings in Victoria (especially those built before 1970) may not be enough to support the addition of an electrical vehicle charging load.

If you don’t invest in an upgrade, then charging an EV may cause fuses to blow and impact the reliability of supplies to you and your neighbourhood.

We can let you know more about your supplies, whether an upgrade is needed and what the costs will be. Visit eConnect to register your interest and see what the capacity is in your area.

If you contact us as soon as you order your EV, we can work to make sure any upgrades are finished before your new car arrives.

Be certain about the set up costs

 The EV charging point in your home will need to be set up by a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) who will install it in line with Australian Standards and the Victorian electricity rules.

The electrical contractor will visit your home and evaluate the wiring, electrical outlets and other hardware needed to support the charging of an EV.

 On average, research in Victoria has shown setting up a home charging outlet costs around $1,750 for the charging circuit wiring, and the charging outlet cost can vary from:

  • Less than $100 for a standard electrical power point
  • Up to $500 for a basic dedicated EV charging unit
  • Up to $2,500 for a more advanced dedicated EV charging unit.

Reduce charging costs with Time of Use Tariffs

Talk to your electricity retailer (the company that sends your electricity bill) about how you can make the most of new, two-part time-of-use tariffs offered by CitiPower and Powercor that can allow you to charge your EV when it is most cost-effective.

Essentially, peak periods on our networks are between 3pm and 9pm daily.  So if you can charge your vehicle before or after that time, then you may receive the benefit of lower network costs.

Make sure your connections are safe

Like any other electronics in your home, you need to make sure the equipment used to charge your car is safe.   Make sure you’re only buying and using safe equipment to charge your electric vehicle.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging your vehicle.
  • Never use a charging point that isn’t compatible with the make of your car.
  • Only buy EV supply equipment designed to fit your car and approved for use in Australia.
  • Never use a household adaptor like a multi-socket, double plug, extension lead or travel plug between your supply equipment and a call socket.
  • Never daisy-chain extension leads – plugging more than one extension lead into another to reach a greater distance increases the risk of an electrical fire as well as electric shock.
  • Never use faulty or damaged supply equipment – check your charging cable for wear and tear and replace it if any damage is evident.
  • Never use an EV charger that has been modified in any way.
  • If you notice a fault or issue, stop using the car and/or charging station immediately and contact the manufacturer.

For industry leading information

The Electric Vehicle Council is the national body representing the electric vehicle industry in Australia. CitiPower and Powercor are members of this organisation.

Their website offers useful information to help you select electric vehicles including:

  • Cost calculator comparing your car to an electric car
  • The benefits of EVs
  • Key facts about EVs
  • Map of public EV chargers in Australia.
MakeModelKilometres (avg km per week)Slow charge - charging time per week (avg hours)Fast charge - charging time per week (avg hours)

Charging times are falling quickly as technology advances. Residential chargers are usually able to fully charge EVs in around six to eight hours, depending on the vehicle’s capacity. This means you can easily charge your car overnight.

Public fast chargers are able to get you back on the road much faster. Leave your car at a charger while you go shopping or to work and in three hours, it’ll be fully charged.  Ultra-rapid chargers can add 300km of range in ten minutes.

Check with your car manufacturer for your EV’s charging options before you buy and check the map at Charge Stations in Australia or ChargePoint webpages to find one near you.

Charging from your solar PV system

If you charge your EV using electricity generated by your rooftop solar system, then your recharge costs can be further reduced with the added benefit of no CO2 emissions from this renewable energy source.

Charging with solar is usually the cheapest option depending on how much you are receiving as a feed-in tariff when you export solar to the network.

There are now an increasing number of solar aware charging options available. These track your solar export and adjust the charging rate of your EV to soak up that excess and charge your EV. It’s a great option when your vehicle is at home during the day. If you have a battery, then you can charge your EV off the stored solar when the sun doesn’t shine (enough). However, it’s worth keeping in mind that cycling the battery impacts the battery lifespan, so check if it may be cheaper to charge from the network.

Make sure your connections are safe

Like any other electronics in your home, you need to make sure the equipment used to charge your car is safe.

Make sure you’re only buying and using safe equipment to charge your electric vehicle.

  • Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging your vehicle and never use a charging point that isn’t compatible with the make of your car
  • Only buy EV supply equipment that is designed to fit your car and is approved for use in Australia
  • Never use a household adaptor like a multi-socket, double plug, extension lead or travel plug between your supply equipment and a call socket. If you do need to use an extension lead, only ever use one that is suitable for outdoor use.
  • Never daisy-chain extension leads – plugging more than one extension lead into another to reach a greater distance increases the risk of an electrical fire as well as electric shock
  • Never use faulty or damaged supply equipment – check your charging cable for wear and tear and replace it if any damage is evident
  • Never use an EV charger that has been modified in any way
  • If you notice a fault or issue, stop using the car and/or charging station immediately and contact the manufacturer.

Depending on the age of your wiring, it may need to be upgraded or new wiring installed.  High-draw devices like EV chargers can create heat and this can be a fire risk with older wiring that is not designed to cope with the demand.  Please ask your Registered Electrical Contractor to check.

We also recommend you ask your Registered Electrical Contractor to install a ‘Residual Current Device’ (RCD) to keep you and your family safe.  These devices will turn off the power if they detect a fault.   The most common types of safety switches found in homes may not be suitable to protect you from all the faults that an EV or its charger may create.