All charged up and ready to go! - Lifestyle NZ
All charged up and ready to go!

All charged up and ready to go!

Electric vehicles are part of our new world: better for the environment than petrol-fuelled cars, quieter and cheaper to run, plus they have a role to play in reaching net-zero emissions worldwide. But don’t forget the charger!

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Fossil-fuelled cars look set to be phased out, and sales of EVs are increasing in popularity locally and around the world. Most of the world's top vehicle manufacturers now produce EVs and plan to increase their production and range of available models.

So, having made the switch, how do you keep your EV charged and ready for action?

ABB is a highly regarded global manufacturer of power-related products – transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers, and much more. In the last ten years, the company has invested heavily in the research and development of chargers for electric vehicles. ABB entered the e-mobility market back in 2010, and has sold more than 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across more than 88 markets; over 25,000 DC fast chargers and 500,000 AC chargers.

To ensure its products are aligned with the needs of consumers, ABB has engaged with global vehicle manufacturers to understand vehicle trends and developments and ensure its chargers meet the highest standards of quality, efficiency and convenience for end-users.

All EVs are sold with an in-car charger that can plug into a standard three-pin socket in your garage, but they have a low kW rating, meaning that a full charge for a car battery can take up to three days, depending on the battery size.

ABB has developed a range of AC chargers in a selection of kiloWatt ratings to speed up the charging process, depending on the types of vehicles – from small cars to large trucks and buses – that you are planning to be recharging.

For a residential location, a 7kW wall charger may be sufficient to keep your car humming and on the road whenever you need it. However, for commercial premises with larger vehicles, buses or trucks, ABB can supply powerful 22kW chargers.

Debbie van der Schyff, Sales Solution Specialist Electrification Business for ABB, says they recommend anyone buying an AC charger checks on the size of their vehicle’s onboard converter.

The Terra AC wallbox by ABB provides intelligent and networked charging solutions for both residential and commercial buildings.

ABB: a simple solution for every situation

“There is nothing to be gained by installing a charger that is more powerful than your car’s AC converter is designed for. However, if you have several vehicles of different sizes, a larger AC charger will not damage the battery of a smaller car. The car’s battery management system is designed to protect it.”

ABB provides chargers for installation in private homes and commercial settings such as office buildings, hotels, and supermarkets, where people may be leaving their vehicles for some time. The appropriately sized AC charger will charge larger current EV battery systems to 80 percent overnight.

The company supplies charging infrastructure to suit every purpose. It can be installed internally, for example, in a garage, externally, on the wall of your house, or in a public or private car parking area. For residential installations, the AC chargers are wired into the distribution board in your home, with a dedicated socket and circuit breaker. For commercial installations, they must also be wired into the main distribution board of the building.

Of course, it is always more cost-effective to install the necessary wiring into a home or commercial premises during the building process. However, AC chargers can be retrofitted.

Chargers can be both retrofitted or planned into the design of a new build project.

ABB: where sophisticated technology does the hard work

And like most systems these days, the hardware is only the beginning. For day-to-day functionality, there’s an App for homeowners or commercial property managers. The free Terra AC App allows you to check the charge level of your vehicles from your phone or device; you can turn the charger on and off, schedule it to come on at a pre-programmed time, and even set a limit to prevent it accidentally overloading your fuse board.

Payment or billing systems can be set up over OCPP protocol using a QR code for commercial applications. For example, chargers in public areas can be installed so only authorised users can charge their cars or operate via a payment system using QR codes or RFID tags. Other sophisticated options include information on when vehicles are charged, and supply information on usage, power consumption, etc. This can be used to assess fuel savings and to monitor how frequently certain customers use charging stations, so companies can plan ahead for future customer requirements in commercial applications.

ABB also supplies DC fast chargers to businesses such as car dealers, which may need to charge cars quickly for sales purposes. These can be used in conjunction with more cost-effective overnight AC chargers.

"We work with businesses to assess their needs, and then we provide the best solution," says Debbie.

And, looking to the future, when most vehicles are electric – instead of pulling into a petrol pump – drivers will buy their charge at an EV station. In addition, so you’re not parked there for many hours, ABB has just launched the fastest EV charger in the world, capable of charging up to four cars at once. The Terra 360 is able to add a 100km charge in under 15 minutes.

ABB works with a network of installers nationwide to make the process seamless. Whether it’s a commercial or residential application, ABB’s installers carry out site surveys to check if a property has enough power to install the chargers, negotiate with the power companies to get additional power if needed, install the infrastructure, and configure the chargers to meet the needs of your vehicles.

Talk to ABB about installing charger infrastructure into your residential or commercial property, and take advantage of the company’s latest promotion to purchase an AC charger and installation starting from $2,000 + GST, via one of its installation partners.

Learn more about electric vehicle charging solutions. 

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