One of the many advantages of having an electric car is being able to charge it at home — no need to stop off at the service station! You just need to figure out how to go about it, both quickly and safely. Your potential solution is: a wall charging station.
An electric car wall charging station takes the form of a wall-mounted box. It can be installed in a private garage or an apartment block or company parking lot. Several electric vehicle manufacturers, including Renault and Dacia, recommend opting for this solution.
The wall-mounted box is connected to the electrical grid by a dedicated circuit that can take a greater load that a regular domestic circuit. The Charging point works by receiving electricity from the grid and converting it into the type of current your car’s battery can store. When charging through a domestic plug socket, the electricity has to go via the car’s inbuilt converter, aka onboard charger, but this is no longer necessary with a wall charging station.
Electric vehicle drivers who have opted for a Charging point at home enjoy its many advantages.
Arguably the greatest advantage of the wall charger is its practicality. You park your car after work, hook it up to the Charging point overnight, and it is ready to go for the next morning. Plus, with Renault ZOE, you can multi-task anywhere you charge by programming interior heating or cooling for when you get into the vehicle. Not only does this mean a comfortable interior from the moment you sit down, but you also don’t have to use up battery energy to regulate the temperature when driving. Ideal for the morning commute!
How can you recharge your electric vehicle at home with the greenest and cheapest energy? With Mobilize smart charge... quite simply. The application interrupts charging during peaks in electricity consumption. In this way, you help to maintain the balance of the grid. It resumes when the demand for electricity is lowest, favouring the integration of green energy. On the budget side, the application also includes off-peak hours. What's more, you are rewarded for your good use of green electricity by a partial payback system. A clever contribution to a zero carbon world!
Mobilize smart charge is compatible with all charging modes, but smart charging has more time to express itself the faster the charging speed. This is why its benefits will be particularly visible if the vehicle is connected to a wall-mounted charging station. This is good for the network, the environment and your wallet.
The Charging point is also equipped with electronic features that safeguard against the risk of overheating, electric shock and voltage peaks which can not only disrupt efficient battery charging, but also be a safety hazard. Equipped with its own self-diagnostic system, the wall charging station is able to deliver a high-wattage power supply for several hours without posing any risk to the electric system, keeping the home and its occupants safe. Its components are designed to prevent any power surges. The same can’t necessarily be said of regular power outlets, which are not recommended for charging over a long period (except for the Renault Twizy).
Another advantage of the Charging point charger is its rapidity. Whether 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW or 22 kW, the wattage of a Charging point will be much higher than that of a regular domestic power outlet (2.3 kW). Consequently, the charging time is significantly lower. For example, a ZOE will reach full charge, i.e. a range of 395 kilometers WLTP*, in under 10 hours minutes on a 7.4 kW Charging point, compared to well over 25 hours from a domestic socket! For Twingo E-TECH Electric it takes 4 hours on a 7.4 kW wall charging station, or 15 hours from a domestic socket.
To start charging, all you have to do to is hook the electrical Charging point charger cable up to the car. This way there’s no need to unravel the charging cable and put it all away again afterwards, like you have to with a regular domestic power outlet.
Several electrical Charging point charger models are available on the market, offering solutions to suit the electric systems of homes and businesses. It all depends on the meter wattage and the way the electricity is carried (single phase or triple phase, with most private individuals using single-phase meters). Single-phase domestic electric systems are enough to charge a ZOE with a 7 kW Charging point. If your electric system has a triple-phase supply, you can even opt for a 22 kW Charging point.
Mobilize power solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renault Group and spearheading the Mobilize brand, is an expert in recharging solutions for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles of all makes. Mobilize power solutions offers tailor-made, turnkey solutions, from consulting to design, installation and operation of charging stations.
Whether you are a private individual who wants to charge your car easily at home or a professional who wants to integrate electrified vehicles into your fleet, a Mobilize power solution exists for you.Did you know? In an increasing number of countries, such as France, Spain, Japan and India, any electric vehicle driver living in a shared apartment block has the right to the installation of a charging outlet on their parking space.
One Charging point serves one electric vehicle at a time. For homes and businesses with more than one electric vehicle to charge at the same time, separate Charging point will be needed. However, if your concern is about two different brands of electric car alternating use of the Charging point charger, then it depends on the cable type. With a type 2 cable (now the European standard), any number of electric vehicles (regardless of their brand) can use the same Charging point charger.
Charging point prices vary between manufacturers, but generally lie somewhere between 500 and 1,000 euros. On top of this, the installation cost is 300 to 600 euros. But there’s good news: to bring the costs down, in many cases you can qualify for government aid.
In the UK, for example, electric vehicle drivers can benefit from the OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) grant, which offers up to £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point from April 1, 2020. Businesses in the UK can also take advantage of government incentives. You can claim up to £10,000 for 40 chargers as part of the WCS (Workplace Charging Scheme), a voucher-based scheme designed to help the upfront costs of purchasing and installing wall chargers.
In France, the aid takes the form of a tax credit: equal to 75% of the amount of expenditure incurred and mentioned on the invoice, including installation costs, up to a deduction of 300 euros. This aid is part of the ADVENIR program dedicated to rolling out EV charging infrastructure across France.
Other countries also offer grants and tax benefits towards the purchase and installation of charging units like wall charging station.
What if you could charge your electric vehicle and also give back to the grid, aka Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), or the home, aka Vehicle-to-Home (V2H)? This is the principle behind bidirectional (or “two-way”) charging. The idea is that your electric vehicle often sits attached to a charger despite being fully charged — overnight, for example. Bidirectional EV chargers are used to supply electricity back to the grid or the home.
This emerging technology means, for example, that you could charge your electric car at night, when there is less demand for electricity, and then use that electricity to power your home during the day (V2H) or help balance energy supply and demand on a local, even national, scale (V2G). A more balanced power supply means lower costs and more reliable electricity for everyone. Plus, balancing energy demand in real-time results in more electricity sourced from renewable energies such as solar, wind power, by their nature intermittent. Not to mention the potential of selling excess energy back to the grid!
The multiplication of electric vehicles combined with their unidirectional and (in particular) bidirectional smart charging capacities, facilitates the use of intermittent green energy sources. This then encourages the introduction of more such sources, which in turn leads to a grid supplied with a higher percentage of green energy. Bidirectional charging systems therefore offer a form of energy supply that is beneficial, not only for vehicles, but for the planet.
*WLTP: Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. The standard WLTP cycle corresponds to 57% of city journeys, 25% of suburban journeys and 18% of motorway journeys.