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Two EVs, one Wall Charger or two?

February 21, 2024

Do you need two wall chargers at home if you have two EVs? or can you just share one between the two cars?

You can survive on one

If you’re an average driver, driving average distances in your average EV, you’ll only need to charge for an hour or so a day. With a single charger, charging every second or third day will on average, be enough to stop you running out of charge. In fact, you can probably be doing a fair bit more driving than average before you really need to charge both EVs every day.

One might be all you can fit

Two wall chargers require two parking spaces. It also requires enough electrical capacity in your home. Regular home fast chargers will draw 7 kW or 32 amps. That’s 64 amps when both EVs are charging. If you’ve got a small single-phase grid connection it might be more than your home wiring can handle. Two chargers will still be possible but you may need to make use of dynamic load balancing.

One smart charger might be a juggle

Charging requirements will vary for each of your EVs. If one is driven more than the other or one uses more energy than the other, it may need different charge schedules. Most EVs let you create schedules directly on the EV, but if you’re planning to use schedules on a single smart charger shared between two EVs it might require ongoing tweaking.

The charge port location varies from front to back on different makes and models of EVs. Check that your charger location works for both vehicles.

One is half the cost

There’s no way around it, installing one charger will cost you half as much as two.

1.5 might work well

A mobile charger that plugs into a regular wall outlet, used in combination with a fast (7 kW) wall charger might be a good middle ground.

Two unlocks more solar charging

Maximising how much you charge from solar means being plugged in as often as you can. You want your car to be ready to accept solar goodness whenever it’s available. Sunny days and a big solar system may mean you have more excess solar than a single EV can make use of.

Two can make grid charging cheaper

Energy plans often include a cheaper overnight or daytime period to charge in. To minimise your EV charging costs, it’s best to schedule any charging from the grid to automatically occur in these times.

Two chargers means all you need to do is remember to plug in, no need to juggle EVs if you find them both running low on charge on the same day.

Two can be better for battery life

EVs use a surprising amount of energy whilst parked in your garage. Phantom loads come from running onboard computers, heating and cooling battery packs, cabin heating and cooling for pre-conditioning, and onboard security systems.

All of these can add up to consumption of 1% of the EV battery every 2-3 days, without doing any driving.

If your EV is plugged into a wall charger all of the time it’s in your garage, this energy will be drawn directly from your wall charger. But, if you’re sharing a charger this energy comes from the EV battery. It’s small enough that you probably won’t notice it it each day, but over the life of the battery, it adds up to a lot of extra battery cycling, which reduces its life a little faster than necessary.

Two is peace of mind if you take long holidays

If you take long holidays, 1% every few days can add up. Add in some extra hot or cold weather and you could find your EV battery spending more time outside the optimal range than you’d like.

Two is great if you are lazy

It’s the end of the day and you remembered you’re doing some extra miles tomorrow? No problem, with a dedicated EV charger it’s always plugged in. All you need to do is open your EV charging app on your phone and adjust your charge limit. No getting off of the couch or out of bed late at night.

Two gives you the luxury of set and forget

One charger per EV means you can forget about EV charging. Just plug in, with the same charger, on the same car, at the same place, every time you come home. Charge HQ will automatically charge your EV from solar, or top it up from the grid.

See also