Most EV charging* is done at home and if you have Solar PV you can drive on sunshine! To make the most of your PV + EV, you can use a smart solar aware EV charger to put your surplus solar energy into your EV.
Of course you are not limited to only charging during the day when your solar is generating, although that might be the cheapest energy you have available. You can still charge more quickly than your surplus solar during the day, if you need to, or you can charge overnight when electricity might be very cheap.
If you have a Fronius SnapInverter (like a Galvo, Primo or Symo), or a battery ready Fronius GEN24 inverter (Primo or Symo), and a Fronius smart meter, then you are probably already monitoring your generation and consumption like in the graph below.
It's now possible to install a Fronius smart solar aware EV charger. It's called the Fronius Wattpilot Home 22. We think it's the best Fronius EV charger to install because it can charger faster than the Fronius Wattpilot Home 11 on single phase connections (which is limited to 16A) and on 3 phase homes it future proofs your charging speeds if your future EV can charge at 22kW (3 x 32A).
By smart we mean that it knows how much surplus solar energy you have.
In the first graph yellow shows the regular house loads which are being supplied by the Solar PV system. Grey is the surplus solar not used but exported to the grid. White is energy imported from the grid at night or when solar can't provide enough power at the time to meet all the loads.
In the second graph is another day but this time you can see the Fronius Wattpilot Home 22 EV charger at work. It has carefully tracked the normally grey surplus and put it into an EV as purple.
Below is the Fronius Wattpilot Home 22. This EV charger is hardwired by an electrician from your electrical switchboard to where you want to charge your EV, perhaps in your garage or carport. It also wirelessly connects to the Fronius Solar.web monitoring portal and also to your Fronius inverter and Fronius smart meter, to know how much surplus solar you have available for EV charging,
It can charge at upto 7kW (32A**) when you have a single phase home. The Wattpilot Home 22 can also charge at 22kW (3 x 32A) when you have a 3 phase home, but most EVs are limited and only charge at 11kW (3 x 16A) on a 3 phase connection. The Wattpilot Home 22 does not come with a charging cable but any Type 2 cable, which are also typically used at public AC charger locations, can be used with it. You control it with the Fronius solar.wattpilot smartphone app.
Also below is a graph showing the "phase switch" feature of the Fronius Wattpilot, if you have a 3 phase connection. You can see the Wattpilot smartly tracking down the surplus solar from 2:30pm to 5pm but the steps down are large. EV chargers can change their charging speed at 1A (340W) at a time. 3 phase EV chargers take bigger steps when changing their charging speed. They are also using 1A steps but because there are 3 phases, each step is really 3A (690W) in total. The Wattpilot is able to switch from 3 phase charging to singe phase charging to more gradually step down the charging 1A (340W) at a time to better track the surplus solar available.
* EV charging. The are many difference pieces of equipment that together get called an EV charger.
How fast can an EV charge? EVs are varied but can typically charge from 2.3kW (AC) to 100kW (DC) and even faster, but the maximum possible charge rate is determined by the exact make/model of your EV, how full the battery is, the temperature of the battery pack, and how fast the EV charger can supply energy, which might be limited by the local grid.
NB there is also a minimum EV charging speed of around 6A (1.4kW). So if you are charging just from your surplus solar, there would need to be at least this much surplus before the EV charger will turn on when using this feature.
EV chargers range from portable AC chargers which plug into a regular 10A power point. These have a charging speed of 2.3kW. Some EV manufacturers give you a portable charger with your EV so it's a good way to get started with EV charging at home and when charging overnight on road trips. These portable AC chargers suit many people and if you charge your EV during the day and have Solar PV, it's likely that much of your charging will be coming from your roof. A small problem is that this method of charging is slow. It might take you 24 hours to completely charge your EV with a 55kWh battery pack from empty to full.
Faster hardwired AC chargers like the Fronius Wattpilot Home 22 can optionally be purchased and installed on your home by an electrician and they can charge at up to 32A (7kW**) on single phase, or 3x16A (11kW) or (3x32A) 22kW on 3 phase homes.
How fast is 7kW and how much range will I get? Most EVs can only charge at 7kW on single phase or 11kW on 3 phase. When charging at 7kW you typically (e.g. on a Tesla Model 3) would be adding around 50km of range in one hour and at 11kW you would be adding around 75km of range in one hour.
What are DC fast chargers? Finally there are DC fast chargers which usually charge at between 50kW and 350kW. These are usually found in shopping centres and dedicated EV charging station locations. Not many cars can actually charge at 350kW (your EV needs to be 800V architecture and most EVs are 400V) and if they do, not for very long because the to preserve EV battery life, slower is usually better for a long life. You can read more about public charging here.
What is an EVSE? Fun fact. When it comes to AC charging, your EV actually contains the EV charger and the piece of equipment outside the car is actually called an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) but everyone tends to calls them EV chargers and on this page so do we. In the case of a DC fast charger the charger really is the big box outside the car.
** NB Energex/Ergon require EV chargers to only charge at 20A when connected to a single phase continuous tariff but allow the full 32A when connected to a controlled/offpeak tariff or if you have a 3 phase charger on a 3 phase connection. You can find more information here