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If an electric car is in your future, the more you can learn now about the set up you might want as an EV owner, the better. In this guide, you can learn which kind of EV home charger you might need, general charging infrastructure installation costs, things to consider with EV charging in apartments – and more.


Before you become an EV owner

Around the world, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a popular choice for drivers. Myths about EV driving range and other factors used to be an obstacle for some people considering electric vehicles but there’s no doubt the Australian electric car industry is growing. More affordable EV models have been launched overseas in recent years meaning that more options may become available here in the future. 

Electric vehicles have clear benefits, from generally lower emissions to possible lower running and maintenance costs, but making the shift to become an EV owner can take a bit of planning. Buying an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is a relatively simple process but with an electric car you may need to consider a home EV charging station, your charger location and other factors.

If you’re interested in getting an EV – or you’re planning a new home build or renovation – this could be the perfect time to start considering how to get your home ready for an EV.


How to decide which type of EV home charger to install

WA’s network of public EV charging stations is growing – but charging your EV at home can be more convenient and could be a cheaper way to charge your EV. Having a EV charger for home use means you don’t have to leave home to charge your EV, and you may have more control over the level of charge. 

As an EV owner, there are a few options for charging your EV at home. The option which is most suitable for you will depend on your budget, driving needs, garage set up, whether you own or rent your home and other factors.

You can find details in our EV charging guide – but EV chargers are classed in one of four levels:

  • Level 1 chargers – This involves simply charging your EV at home from a wall socket.
  • Level 2 chargers – This allows generally faster charging from a home wall box or at home with electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
  • Level 3 and Level 4 chargers – These are generally only used in commercial or public charging stations. 

When you’re working out which kind of electric vehicle charger is most suitable for you, consider your electricity usage habits, driving needs and the type of EV you have. These factors can help you to work out the type of EV charger you might need.


Things to consider when choosing your EV home charger

In many cases, your electric car will come with a Level 1 charger as standard.  This means you can plug directly into a standard power outlet, so getting your home EV ready shouldn’t take too much planning. Level 1 chargers, also known as ‘slow chargers’ by many EV owners, can take more than a day to fully charge your battery from empty.  This potential inconvenience can be overcome by conducting regular ‘top up’ charges, for example by charging your EV overnight, or if you are on a time of use electricity plan such as the Synergy Midday Saver* or EV Add On^ by charging at cheaper times of day.~  These types of EV chargers don’t take much effort or investment – but it will charge a car’s battery at a slower rate compared with having your own home EV charging station set up. 

If you invest in a Level 2 electric vehicle charger, you will have the power to charge your EV quicker. Your EV charger will need professional charging installation from a licensed electrician – but the upfront cost could be worth it in terms of reducing the time spent charging your EV.


How to get set up for Level 2 chargers at home

If you decide to invest in a Level 2 home EV charging station with a wall box charger, you’ll need to figure out where you are going to have it installed. For most EV owners, this would generally be your garage or carport. If you’re exploring EV charging in apartments, we’ll cover that further below.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your EV charger location:

Where is the charge point located on your electric vehicle?

With an ICE vehicle, you need to drive up to the correct side of the petrol pump to make it easy to fill your tank. It’s similar with charging your EV at home. Before you book your EV charger installation, check where the charging point sits on the electric car you’re going to buy. This could be at the front, rear or on one side. Knowing this upfront will help you choose a convenient charger location for your "EV ready home".

Where and how do you park?

Considering how you park (whether you like to reverse in or drive in forward) can also help you to determine the most convenient charger location. Think about where your car sits overnight or while you’re at home, and aim to position your home EV charging station in that area of your garage or carport.

What kind of charging cable length will you need?

Most EV charger cables are around five metres and you can generally get longer cables if needed, which is handy to know when you’re setting up your "EV ready home". Measure the length from where your EV will be parked to your planned charger location to check what length charging cable is needed.

Where is your electricity switchboard?

Your new EV home charger will need to be connected to your switchboard or fuse box, and it can be convenient to have the two as close as possible together so you don’t need long cables in between them. When you hire a licensed electrician for your charger installation, they should be able to recommend the safest set up for your home. 

What’s your connectivity in that area?

Your EV home charger may be able to communicate with your smartphone app through WiFi. An EV charger with this capability should be installed somewhere in the garage with a strong WiFi signal. Generally, this isn't too much of an issue, especially if your garage is attached to your house. A strong mobile signal can also help for some chargers if your WiFi signal gets interrupted.  

Will it be safe to move around your home EV charging station?

Safety is essential when installing an EV charger in your garage, especially if you have children or people with mobility challenges in your household. You need to make sure it’s easy to access with space to move safely around it. Another reason why it's important that your home EV charging station is installed correctly by a licensed professional, is to ensure it is safe and the installation complies with safety requirements. 

If you rent your home, you should discuss your charging installation needs with your landlord. Generally, any alterations tenants make to their leased property will need to be approved by their landlord, so if you are renting, be sure to ask for permission in writing or through your property manager to install an EV home charger. 


How to work out what kind of electricity you need for an "EV ready home"

If you’re considering Level 2 chargers with a wall-box charger, the first step you will need to take is determining if you have a single-phase or three-phase electricity connection.

To do this, check the width of the main switch on the switchboard. The single-phase switches are one ‘pole’ wide and three-phase switches are three ‘poles’ wide and look like a triple switch.

Many Australian homes have a single-phase electricity supply, which will allow you to charge most EVs overnight at 7 kilowatts, or around 40 kilometres of range per hour. Some new or larger homes may have three-phase power already, and so have the potential to easily be "EV ready homes".  With a three-phase electricity connection, you can install a Level 2 charger without upgrading your connection and have access to faster charging capabilities. 

Your choice of EV and the type of battery it uses will also have an impact on the time it takes to charge your EV at home. Check this with your dealer when you’re choosing which EV is right for you.

If you have single-phase power, it’s possible to upgrade to three-phase power. Just remember to discuss this with a licensed electrician and factor those costs in as part of your electric car purchase.


How much does charging your EV at home cost?

One of the main benefits of driving an EV can be saving money on fuel – but that doesn’t mean that you can drive for free. You’ll still need to cover the cost of electricity you use to charge it as well as any extra costs, such as charger installation fees and upgrading your power connection if required if you choose to install a Level 2 charger. 

Here are some things to think about in terms of home EV charging station costs:

  • Your electricity plan:

    With a time of use plan such as our Synergy EV Add On^, you could benefit from cheaper electricity rates at off-peak electricity times.~
  • Solar power:

    If you have a rooftop solar PV system, you could potentially charge your EV using your solar power. If you charge your electric car at home during the day when solar energy is being generated, your solar PV system can act as your own solar EV charger. 
  • The cost of Level 2 chargers:

    The hardware itself generally can range from between $1000 up to $2500.
  • Charging installation costs:

    Remember to factor in the cost of a licensed electrician to install your EV home charger. They’ll need to add a new dedicated circuit for your electric vehicle charger from the switchboard so make sure you understand any extra costs involved before you commit. 

When considering which EV home charger is most suitable for your home, give some thought to your needs now and into the future. This could help you save time and money in the years to come as an EV owner.


How to plan for EV charging in apartments

If you live in a new apartment complex, you may find it has been built with EV charging in mind. Apartments with EV charging infrastructure in place are becoming more common – or, if you need to install an EV home charger, it’s usually a straightforward process for new buildings. Start with your owner’s corporation or strata manager to find out if they have an EV charging installation policy.

It can be harder to install an electric vehicle charger in an older apartment building – but it’s usually possible. Again, start with the owner or strata manager of the building to see if it can be done. EV charging in apartments is likely to become more common as more people become EV owners, so your building owner or manager might decide it’s time to plan for this kind of infrastructure on a bigger scale. 


Learn more about EV chargers

A major benefit that EVs have over ICE vehicles is that there are so many ways you can charge your car. If you would like to explore some of the methods available to decide which might suit your lifestyle, you might like to read our ultimate guide to charging your EV



* The Synergy Midday Saver product is a time of use plan that is not a regulated tariff. It is available for residential customers only, and to be eligible a compatible meter or reprogramming of an existing meter is required. The Synergy Standard Electricity Agreement Terms and Conditions apply to the Synergy Midday Saver. 

^ Synergy EV Add On is subject to eligibility criteria, see the Synergy EV Add On Eligibility Criteria for details. The Synergy Standard Electricity Agreement Terms and Conditions apply to the Synergy EV Add On product. 

~ The electricity charges during the Super Off Peak, Off Peak and Overnight(EV Add On only) time periods on are lower than the electricity charge for the Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff). The electricity charge during the Peak time periods for both plans however higher than the electricity charge for the Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff). Ensure you do your own due diligence when deciding whether changing to a time of use electricity plan would work for your unique circumstances.