28 August 2020

Why are some EV chargers more expensive than others?

Over the past few years, there has been a rapid development in the automobile industry. The increasing population leads to an elevated rate of air pollution. This has lead to a high rise in carbon dioxide emissions across the globe. As a result, several policies are developing to improve and upgrade the transportation industry. Consequently, the plans lead to the birth of Electric vehicles as a means of alternative transport.

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Electric vehicles have proven to be more efficient compared to traditional ones. They use clean energy with a considerably reduced impact on noise pollution. Also, as technology continues to change, these vehicles can become great beneficiaries of renewable energy.

A motor drives the EVs, as the rechargeable batteries supply power the engine uses. Therefore, each vehicle must have a smart EV charger for it to continue functioning appropriately. There are different types of EVs which will, in turn, determine battery performance, energy-saving capabilities as well as the cost. This article will focus on the factors that make some EV chargers more expensive than others.

Battery Technology

Each model of the electric vehicle has a different battery technology. Consequently, the smart EV chargers will be different as well. There have been considerable improvements in batteries over the past few years. These improvements have seen to it that the battery cells have a higher energy density. Thus, these batteries will be cheaper compared to older batteries.

Battery technology, therefore, plays a significant role in the cost of the chargers. This is because the EV charging features will be specific to a particular battery. Thus, the value of the charger will be dependent on the type of cell.

However, the cost of batteries can either fall on individual cells, the power storage device pack, or a cumulative fee that will cover the battery pack and the installation. The consumer will, therefore, select the option he/she needs.

EVBox Elvi installation

The type of EV chargers

The EV chargers are available in several categories. These include slow chargers, fast, and rapid chargers. These categories are priced differently because they have different charging speeds. For instance, a 43 kW charger will go for a higher price compared to a slow charger.

Usually, all Electric vehicle users pay for fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed prices include the charging equipment, while variable costs include the power consumed by the vehicle. The cost of buying and installing the charger will, however, depend on the type and model the consumer selects. For instance, a slow charger that has a maximum of 3.6 kW can be convenient for a person that wants an overnight charger.

On the other hand, if the buyer is interested in fast chargers that have between 7-22 kW, or rapid chargers that have over 43 kW, he/she will have to pay more for these chargers. It is because they have a higher charging speed compared to slow chargers. Different chargers have different EV charger features. These features also determine their cost.

Location of the Charger

Residential chargers
Usually, most level one and two home chargers sell at a fixed rate. Thus, the consumers pay a fixed cost for the rate per kWh which are faster charging rates. There are, however, some companies that offer services rating it according to the specific time-of-use. This means that the consumers have an opportunity to reduce their charging costs by charging at night when the demand is low. Also, this utility allows users to charge their EVs during off-peak hours.

During off-peak hours or at night, the rates are lower compared to peak hours. Thus, users can choose to charge any time they want, depending on their needs.

Commercial chargers
Commercial chargers are much more expensive compared to residential chargers. This is because the electricity they use undergoes monitoring using industrial and commercial electricity rates. Also, the charger’s designs are in a specific way such that they can incorporate per-peak KW demand as well as volumetric per-kWh power tariffs.
Commercial tariffs offer minimal volumetric costs. For the utility to be active and efficient in power supply, it must ensure there is a dynamic load balancing. This means that the electricity must be distributed evenly to all the EVs that charge simultaneously.

Also, the fixed costs can be recovered by the utility by ensuring that all demand charges reflect the total cost of providing energy around the clock. That is, during peak and off-peak hours.

The commercial charger types are classified from level three to level five. However, there are some level two industrial chargers as well. All these levels are on a specific retail electricity tariff. This means that their monthly cost will vary. The price, thus, increases as the level of the charger increases. The rise in demand charge hence increases as the number of chargers increases. Therefore, a level five charger that has a faster charging rate will be costlier than a level three charger.

Availability of charging infrastructure

Charging infrastructure may seem to be a far-fetched factor, but it also affects the pricing of the chargers. If the charging facility available does not meet the demand for certain levels of chargers, the cost inflates. This is means that some chargers will be more expensive than others depending on the availability of the charging infrastructure.

Tesla Superchargers

Conclusion

Smart technology is taking over the world at a fast rate. Thus, every person must be ready to embrace the changes in technology to stay current. Electric Vehicles, for instance, are a proper development in the technology as they provide a better environment. This is because there is low environmental pollution, and better services provided.

However, for the Electric Vehicles’ embracement in society, there must be adequate charging infrastructures. This will directly affect the cost of chargers, making them affordable to a wide range of the population.