Installing a charging station for your electric vehicle at home is a great idea to optimize your charging and enjoy a comfortable and efficient autonomy. On the other hand, recharging an electric vehicle requires energy, which directly affects your electricity consumption. As a result, depending on your charging mode, you may forget to check the power of your electricity meter upwards. How do you know if this change is necessary? How much power is needed to charge an electric car? Let’s take a look at this case.
Vehicle power and charging station power: key criteria
When it comes to charging your electric vehicle, there are several key criteria to consider.
The power of the vehicle
Depending on the plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle you are driving, your battery’s charging and storage capacity will vary. In fact, if a conventional household outlet is enough to recharge the small battery of a plug-in hybrid vehicle at night, you’ll need to opt for a reinforced outlet or a charging station to recharge your 100% electric vehicle.
Your car has a battery that has a certain capacity. This load capacity corresponds to the maximum power it can tolerate. In other words, if this power is exceeded, the battery will limit the charge by limiting the power of the charger. Thus, if the battery of your electric vehicle has a maximum charging capacity of 7 kW, a station of 11 kW or more will be limited to 7 kW.
The power of the charging station
Home charging stations or wallboxes have different power categories, namely 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11 kW and 22 kW and operate on alternating current (AC). 50 kW and up to 350 kW charging stations are generally reserved for public or semi-private use and run on direct current (DC). Please note that a reinforced plug offers a power of 3.2 kW.
The wallboxes with a power of 3.7 kW and 7.4 kW are connected to your single-phase electricity meter while the 11 kW and 22 kW terminals are three-phase.
Of course, when considering the charging power you need for your electric vehicle, you need to consider your use. If you drive little and your use is limited to short daily commutes, a low power terminal, or even a reinforced power outlet, is enough.
On the other hand, if you drive very regularly or if you need to drive your car frequently in an emergency, you should invest in buying a more powerful terminal that can recharge your car faster.
What is the power of an electric meter?
The power of your electric meter corresponds to what is called subscribed power. This is nothing more and nothing less than the maximum power you can use in your home. If it is exceeded, its installation is secured and cut.
This power of your electric meter is indicated in kilovolt-amperes (kVA), knowing that one kilovolt-ampere corresponds to one watt, or 1 kVA = 1 kW.
Electricity meters for individuals offer several power categories: 3 kVA, 6 kVA, 9 kVA, 12 kVA, 15 kVA, 18 kVA, 24 kVA, 30 kVA and 36 kVA. This power is indicated on your electricity bills, but you can also order it directly from your supplier.
Please note that electrical meters can be connected to the grid in single-phase (single-phase) or three-phase (three-phase). In single phase, the available power is 3 kVA, 6 kVA, 9 kVA, 12 kVA or 15 kVA. In three-phase, the available power is 9 kVA, 12 kVA, 15 kVA, 18 kVA, 24 kVA, 30 kVA or 36 kVA.
However, depending on your needs, you can modify your subscription power by hiring a subscription for a power other than your power provider.
Of course, the higher the power of your electricity meter, the more expensive your subscription will be. The price of the monthly subscription goes from 8.14 euros with a power of 3 kVA to 30.89 euros with a power of 36 kVA to the main electricity supplier, EDF.
How much power does your electric meter need to charge your car?
To keep your electrical installation from sinking, it is important to make sure that the power used by your electrical appliances is less than that of your meter. As a result, you will understand that it is essential to have an electricity meter with a power higher than that of your charging station.
We take stock of the minimum power you need based on the power of your charging station.
Be careful, though, because these minimum powers are recommended to meet the needs of your charging station. Of course, this is not the only electrical equipment in your home. To prevent the meter from tripping when the charging device is running, you must provide a higher margin to include the electricity needed for other equipment.
Should you change the power of your electric meter to charge your car?
As we have said, the charging station is not the only computer that consumes electricity in your home. You’ll also need to plan for your electric heaters, oven, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, dryer, washing machine, stereo, and more.
Therefore, you may need to change the power of your electric subscription after installing your charging station to prevent the meter from turning off. To find out your needs, you can consult your Linky meter, your energy provider, or even use free consumer analysis tools available on the Internet. As you can see, you need to provide more power to the meter than the energy needed to operate the appliances that can be operated at the same time.
If you charge your electric car at night, few devices work at the same time. The washing machine if you use it during off-peak hours, heaters in the winter, but rarely more. On the other hand, in the case of daytime charging, you are likely to use many more electrical devices at the same time. Therefore, it is better to provide a higher power margin.
Please note that changing the subscription level is a simple operation. Just contact your energy provider. You even have the option to make the change yourself from your personal online space or from your Linky counter.
It should be noted, however, that there are charging stations with features that allow you to avoid exceeding energy subscriptions. The download function makes this especially possible, because it automatically stops or reduces the car’s charging power when another device is running at the same time and approaching the maximum tolerated power ceiling. Then the load resumes its normal course when the energy consumption in the home allows it.