If you own an electrical vehicle (EV) in Malaysia, chances are you spend most of your time charging the battery at home, and likely, via a wall plug. Another alternative, while expensive, is to pay for a direct current (DC) charger located at petrol stations.
However, it’s been warned by several electric companies that frequent use of a DC charger can decrease the lifespan of your EV’s batteries.
Replacing a full-sized battery is definitely not cheap, hence, your safest bet is to charge at home as best as you can. For first-time EV owners, here’s all you need to know about installing an EV charging system at home.
Can Electric Cars Be Charged at Home Via an Outdoor Home EV Charging Station?
Yes, you can charge an electric car at home. However, since installing a DC charger at home is next to impossible, you have two options to supply power to your vehicle. These options are, unfortunately, commonly available for landed house owners.
For those living in apartments or condominiums, you can try making a petition to your management to have a dedicated charging spot in the parking area.
How Do You Charge An EV at Home
Level 1 Type EV Chargers (Wall Plugs)
Some electric cars come with their own three-pin charging cable. These are pretty much straightforward to use – just plug and play. The caveat of these charging cables is it will take a full night for your car to reach full charge.
The average output of a wall socket has an output of 240v. Currently, the smallest EV capacity in Malaysia is the Ora Good Cat 400 Pro. With a wall socket, it may take up to 12 hours before the car reaches full capacity. Your other alternative (without going to a charging station) is a wall box at home.
Level 2 Type EV Chargers (Wall Boxes)
Installing a charging station at home is the more expensive option. Additionally, if you live in an old residential area, you need to convert your ground line from single-phase wiring into a three-phase one.
In newer residential areas, three-phase wiring systems come standard but do check with your developer for clarification.
Cost to Install an Outdoor Home EV Charging Station
Installing an outdoor home EV charging station can significantly reduce the charging time of your car from overnight to a mere 3-4 hours on average. Here’s how much it costs to mount a wall box at home.
For older houses, you may need to contact an electrician or a home renovation company to do it for you. It’s been recommended by EV manufacturers that your house should have three-phase wiring before installing a wall box.
This will be a lengthy and expensive process to pull off. An average conversion job would take up to three weeks to complete and could cost you around RM10,000 depending on various factors.
However, the benefits of utilizing three-phase wiring are a worthwhile investment for your home. It can handle and provide more amperage; much is needed to charge a remote-controlled car the size of a full-sized vehicle while protecting your house from outages.
Once the wiring is done, you need a wall box installed in your house to provide an electrical supply to your EV. Some EV manufacturers like Tesla give out one for free albeit you have to fork out for the installation costs.
Prices for a third-party wall box in Malaysia can vary from basic RM1700 to high-end ones at RM8,000 and above.
There is another way to get a wall box for free but the catch is you have to buy a Tesla first.
Will My Electricity Be High if I Frequently Charge at Home?
There is a possibility your electricity bill will be higher than usual. However, if we compare the charging costs at a DC station to those via an outdoor home EV charging station, it will be significantly cheaper. Take the Ora Good Cat 400 Pro for example. This variant has a 47.8 kWh battery with a 400 km range.
Ora Good Cat can be bought from CARSOME here.
Taking into account Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s rates of the first 200 kWh (1 – 200 kWh) per month, it costs 21.80 cents per kWh, and it will cost you RM9.46 to fully charge a 400 Pro.
If you can afford a Rolls, RM20 should be chump change for you
On the other hand, the latest Rolls Royce Specter, probably the largest battery capacity in an EV available in Malaysia to date, costs RM20.20 to fully charge its 102 kWh battery.
Then again, these calculations are only made solely for charging your EV in mind. The final cost to charge your EV at home will vary depending on your electricity expenditure at home.
If your bill does get expensive, consider installing solar panels at home to ease off the monthly bill, but that’s a topic for another day.
You know the old saying that goes – you need money to make money? The same can be said when you own an EV at home; you need to spend money to save money.
All these renovations and maintenance do not come cheap which is why EVs remain as toys of the rich for now.
Here’s to a future where EV ownership will one day be cheaper.