How to charge an electric vehicle at home and on the road

woman charging her Tesla electric vehicle at home

Danny Baggs

Posted September 08, 2022

Thinking about making the switch to an Electric Vehicle? Here’s how to charge your EV, whether you’re at home or on the road.

Interest and sales of Electric Vehicles (EV) are surging across Australia. According to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, EVs accounted for a record 4 per cent of new car sales in August 2022, with EV pioneer Tesla delivering 3,397 cars and outselling Subaru, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the process.

Today, there are hundreds of public fast-capacity and destination EV charging stations across Victoria and Australia. Home EV charging solutions are also becoming more accessible, so range anxiety - the fear of your EV running out of charge - will soon become a thing of the past. Peace of mind on charging will enable more Australians to transition to an EV.

Learn how JET Charge makes EV charging at home easy and convenient | RACV

Guide to charging an Electric Vehicle

How do I charge my EV at home?

You can plug your EV into any standard AC outlet with a compatible lead, just as you do with a laptop or smartphone, but charge times will be very slow. That may be OK if you’ve got a lot of time, however it’s much easier to charge your EV at home by having a dedicated home EV charging unit installed, which can charge your car up to three times faster than a standard power outlet.

A dedicated EV charger at home makes EV ownership highly convenient: you can fully charge your car overnight, or during the day and you won’t need to leave your house for top-ups. You can even set up your home EV charger to only charge when your solar power system is generating energy and/or at off-peak times from the grid (depending on your energy tariff). Around 70 per cent of the EV owners across Australia today also have a home solar system, allowing them to charge their EV from solar power at no additional cost.


household EV charging unit

Household charging units make EV ownership highly convenient. Image: Matt Harvey

How long does EV charging take at home?

How long your EV will take to charge at home depends on a few factors:

  • The size of your EV’s battery – the bigger this battery is, the more power it will need to recharge. Most batteries are between 40kWh and 100kWh.
  • What you’re charging with – the speed of charge will depend on whether you have a home charger or are charging ‘from the socket’.
  • Your home’s power type – the rate of power from a charger will be affected by whether your home has single phase or three phase power. This will also dictate the options available to you regarding EV home charging systems.

To figure out which type of power phase your house has, locate your switchboard – usually it is in the garage or near the front door. If your switchboard has one main switch, that means you have a single-phase power connection, which means one wire feeding your house with power. Three main switches mean a three-phase power connection (three power feeds), which likely means you can charge your EV faster than single-phase.


Charging your EV at home is easy with a dedicated EV charger. Image: Matt Harvey
Households can harness renewable energy generated by home solar systems to charge EVs. Image: Matt Harvey

How do I get started with EV charging at home?

Solar experts RACV Solar can devise a solar power system encompassing EV charging that can meet the energy needs of your home and vehicle.

Most home EV chargers available today are fully weatherproof, so you can choose to install yours inside a garage or outside in a carport. Some new apartment complexes have been built with EV charging in mind, so installation may be economical and more straightforward. Older apartment blocks may require a significant investment to upgrade to EV charging capabilities. Your owners corporation or strata manager should be able to advise you on the relevant EV charging installation policy. JET Charge – Australia’s biggest EV charging provider - offers installation and charging support for EV drivers in apartments, flats, and units.


woman plugging in her Tesla electric vehicle at home

Most home EV chargers are fully weatherproof, so you can choose to install yours inside a garage or outside in a carport. Image: Matt Harvey

How do I charge my EV on the road?

You can charge your EV at the rapidly increasing number of destination charging stations around the country. Many highways have fast or ultra-rapid charging to get you back on the road quickly. Use Chargefox’s app to plan your route using the fastest chargers available, both in Victoria and interstate.

In addition, destination charging stations are increasingly being installed in many carparks, public parks, community centres, shopping centres, libraries and popular landmarks such as the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Zoo, MCG and Great Ocean Road, plus the RACV City Club and RACV Resorts,

Many destination chargers don’t have their own cables for security reasons, so make sure to keep a compatible lead or adapter in your EV. Keep a charging cable and adapter in your car as well, so that you can plug into standard power point in Australia in an emergency.

woman charging her electric vehicle at an racv chargefox ev charging station

You can charge EVs at public charging stations around the country. Image: Shannon Morris

How much does public EV charging cost?

Recharging an EV is generally cheaper than filling up an ICE car with petrol or diesel. Exact prices will vary between your home’s electricity tariff, public charging station sites and EV models. The most you are likely to pay at a public EV charging station is about $40 for a full charge. The cost of charging from RACV destination chargers and RACV public ultra-rapid charging stations, for example, ranges from free to 64c per kWh. Slower public chargers typically cost about 25c per kWh. The same charge will likely cost you less if you are charging at home, especially if you are charging from renewable energy generated by a solar system.

You can use JET Charge’s EV charging cost calculator for an estimated weekly charging cost. Keep in mind that the typical Australian drives an average of 35 kilometres per day.

EV being charged

Recharging an EV is generally cheaper than filling a tank up with fuel. Image: Shannon Morris

How long does EV charging take at public charging stations?

EV charging times vary based on how much power can flow into the EV’s battery. This can depend on:

  • Type of EV charger – slower AC (alternating current) or faster DC (direct current).
  • Power of the EV charger – public EV charging stations range from ‘fast’ to ‘ultra-rapid’, while home EV charging systems are generally slower.
  • How much electricity the car model can accept at once – newer or high-tech EV models can charge faster, like the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, Polestar 2, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Porsche Taycan.
  • Charge-level of the vehicle battery – most EV brands recommend charging to 80 per cent in order to prolong battery life, and ‘throttle back’ charging power as the battery approaches maximum charge.
  • Ambient temperature – EV battery performance can be affected by extreme heat and cold.
Many Chargefox charging stations are ultra-rapid. Image: Chargefox
The Chargefox app shows drivers their car charge progress. Image: Shannon Morris

How do I find EV public charging stations near me?

You can find EV charging stations near you by checking PlugShare’s database, which you can view online or via an app. Just enter your location and select the plug type you need for your EV. You can even filter charging stations by network.

Australia’s largest EV charging network Chargefox is ultra-rapid (that means fast) and powered entirely by renewable energy.

RACV Members save 10% at all Chargefox ultra-rapid charging stations across Australia. Download the Chargefox app on Google Play or the App Store to find your nearest Chargefox station, access the RACV Member discount, and pay for your charging session.

woman looking at EV charging stations on her phone

The Chargefox app displays public EV charging stations near you. Image: Shannon Morris

Which EV plug do I need?

It’s useful to know which plug type your EV uses, because it can dictate your charge speed and ability to connect to public EV charging stations.

The main EV plug types are:

  • Type 1 – the standard North American and Japanese plug type, Type 1 has a five-pin design that supports single-phase AC charging. In Australia, it can be found on most Mitsubishi EVs and some pre-2018 EVs. Alternative names include J1772 or SAE J1772.
  • Type 2 – the standard Australian and European plug type, Type 2 has a seven-pin design that supports three-phase AC charging. In Australia, it can be found on almost all purely electric vehicles. Alternative names include an IEC 65196 or Mennekes plug.
  • CHAdeMO – a fast DC plug type used internationally by the Japanese brands Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota, plus some European brands. CHAdeMO is short for charge de move (French for “move using charge” or “charge and go”).
  • CCS – a fast plug type that uses a combined charging system (CCS) to allow AC and DC chargers to use the same plug. CCS1 is compatible with Type 1 connections, while CCS2 is compatible with Type 2 connections. In Australia, many EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model 3 have a CCS2 port so that it can plug into a Type 2 charger at home and a fast CCS public charging station. It is also used internationally by the Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai and BMW brands.
  • Tesla Supercharger – these plugs only charge Tesla vehicles. They use a similar design to Type 2 AC plugs, but two of the pins accept DC current for faster charging.
hyundai ioniq electric vehicle displaying its plug port next to an racv chargefox ev charging station

New EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 enable fast charging. Image: Shannon Morris

Which EV adaptors do I need?

You can use adaptors or cables to allow your EV with one plug type to connect to a charging station with a different plug type. To figure out which cables you need to access Australia’s public charging station network, use JET Charge’s online cable tool.


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