How to Install a Charging Point for Electric Vehicles in The Garage

The electric cars they are beginning their career. Yes, it is not less true that the first appeared around 1832, and then another model throughout the 20th century, there was some highlights in particular the resurgence of 1996 in California. But the reality is that modern electric cars that we now carry only a few years with us.

With a technology that is starting, and can also happen in other areas, electric vehicle charging infrastructure still isn’t all abundant and competitive in prices that would be desirable. The fact is that anyone who wants to have an electric car today is (almost) essential to have in a charging point in the plaza de garage. Let’s see How to install one.

My car is parked on the street, what can I do?

At this point we have a first difficulty, What if I don’t have a garage, and pulled-up the car? Well, in principle, as is the situation in Spain, should bear in mind that a plug-in car, whether 100% electric, electric or hybrid extended-range plug-in, or an electric motorbike, is not highly recommended for those who do not have a parking place in which to install the charging point.

Anyway charge managers begin to also offer the possibility of installing a charging point in the street for a user. That Yes, you must request it, Manager evaluates their viability depends on the municipal permit and must be linked to the Manager with a contract and monthly reload bonus.

Today, in Spain, if you don’t have a parking place, not it is highly recommended to get an electric car

In other countries such as Norway, where the electric car being introduced rapidly, there are street specific parking for electric cars with charging points for each square. We don’t have the same situation in Spain, There are very few charging points by the streets. So as we said, it is almost essential to have garage and a point of discharge at the.

With luck, we can sometimes find a charging point in the street or in a parking lot

Almost any garage has recharging points

In the case of having the car garage, two things can happen: you have a parking space/garage in a single-family home, the type that is, and being so very probably already some plug in the garage, or having has a garage or in a communal parking garage, with more neighbors, which tends to be the most common in Spain. In this case almost any garage has plugs, and if you have any, is community.

You must keep in mind that with a conventional plug, household type and connector schuko, 16A, already an electric car can be recharged. This type of plug is used for what is coming to be called occasional recharge (which is limited to 10 A and approximately 2.3 kW of power). The most relevant in this case is that the installation of earthing of the line that feeds the plug is properly installed.

In a detached house with garage we can set a point of recharge even at zero cost

Anyway to be able to reload faster theirs is to install a Wall dock, also known by its English name wallbox, featuring a dedicated connector for recharging electric cars. This base operates from 16 to about 3.6 kW of power, although it admits more power recharging, which means an installation with cable with greater section (and also more power electric supply,) obviously. This type of connector allows communication and integration in a smart grid (smartgrids).

With one single family dwelling the investment is the lowest of all possible, and can be between zero euros, if we can directly use the plug that already exist in the garage, and around a 500 to 750 euros, if a mural of charging base is installed (although it can also be more if a more exclusive special base is installed).

To avoid problems, an electric car should come with two charging cables, one with connector SCHUKO Socket (outlet) and another with connector Mennekes (standard in Europe for electric cars)

You just have to inform the community

In the case of a garage or individual parking in a garage group the installation is a bit complicated, but we must not panic. As we are talking about having to perform an installation in a common element that is shared with other owners, we cannot act without more, or do whatever we want.

To install a charging point in a community garage, only it is necessary to inform the President in writing. But it does not in any way

The Horizontal Property Act was amended to simplify and ease of installation. November 23, 2009 was published in the Official Gazette number 283 Law 19/2009, measures of promotion and procedural streamlining of the rent and the energy efficiency of buildings, and in its third article the Horizontal property law is modified so that there is no systems to the approval of a Board of owners.

You just have to inform in writing, officially, to the President of the community, or administrator of the estate, that is going to perform the installation, and save a copy of the document with date and stamp or signature.

Here we see a ‘wallbox’ one takes schuko (left) and one takes Mennekes (right)

At present a complementary technical instruction is still in drafting of the Regulation electrotenico of low voltage (REBT), which will be the ITC-BT-52, which will regulate the charging for electric vehicles infrastructure. This instruction is generating some controversy, with several conflicting positions on how to consider the installation of a particular charging point, and several drafts that do not end adopted.

While this instruction enters in force, there are several ways of proceeding, but of course always performing the installation by a electrician authorized, and according to REBT, so that to ensure the quality and safety of the installation, a system of line protection against indirect contacts and against surges.

From our counter

If the garage is in the same building in which we live, it is more reasonable to perform a derivation of our individual electrical installation until the plaza de garage, using the same power supply of the housing contract. Here there are two options, or done from own our electrical supply counter, either done from the general picture of control and protection of our home.

The advantage of the first option is that the centralization of counters is usually in the ground zero, and as the parking lots tend to be on the ground zero or floor basement, the distance from the counter to the point of recharge will be less, and the cost of installation is also slightly lower, by having to spend less meters of cable. This option requires power meter digital (or electronic) (should be few meters analog, “old”).

The advantage of the second option is that you can have a control direct line that feeds the point of recharge from your home, because there would be installed circuit breaker and differential switch, or even a small counter, programmer, etc. The downside is that much more alta is our housing, more meter cable they will need to reach the point of recharge.

In principle for a normal recharging, or slow recharging point, to 16 A and about 3.6 kW of power, it is not necessary to hire a specific provision, with a second contract and a second fixed fee, although it could also be done depending on the circumstances.

In fact many times shall not be necessary or even increase the power that we have in our House, although this will depend on a bit of each case. Yes we must look at what degree of electrification has housing, because what we are doing is an extension of the existing installation. The electrician is already aware of this. The final cost of the installation may be between about 1000 and 1600 euros, approximately.

Not everyone, in particular certain utilities, defends the possibility of deriving from the counter of the user. We’ll see how is definitely the appropriate ITC. Right now it is in a somewhat alegal situation in certain autonomous communities.

Update (15 December 2014): finally approved the ITC-BT-52, the Electrotenico low voltage regulation, which regulates the installation of charging points, and this aspect it is perfectly clear. The different possibilities are valid, legal and correct, that we have just described of course also, and leave the decision to choose one or the other the user.

From the counter of the garage

If the parking place is not in the same building in which we live, or if it is not possible make the derivation from the user counter, because finally the rules do not allow it, or because it is very difficult technically, by building-related issues, the derivation is possible from the power meter of the garage.

Apart from this difference, the installation does not change just with the derivation from the own individual meter. It is essential to a secondary counter bypass that will serve the community of owners of the garage copper user electricity that consumes its charging point and pass it is for example every month with the corresponding Community share.

For this case obviously not only is sufficient to inform to the Community of owners, but this must approve it.

It is appropriate to make it clear that it does not with ‘stealing’ electricity from power lines passing next to our parking place, making a connection or direct derivation without more. It should be a new circuit with its own line, specific to the charging point. This is so primarily as a matter of security and control, and to avoid overloading an already existing circuit.

With a new supply

In this case there is the installation of the mains for recharging point deriving from an existing timer, user, either of the garage, but that engages a new power supply, with the corresponding monthly or bi-monthly fixed cost, and with its own main counter.

I.e., with this solution we would have a contract for electricity from the House, with its corresponding periodic invoices, and also would have a contract for electricity from the charging point, at the same time with their corresponding invoices. I mean, It is a more expensive solution for the user.

There are a couple of variants of this system. The first is the of the load Manager. Rather than than the user which coast installation, and pay the electric company for the supply and consumption, you can do so through a manager’s load, which is a company which, without being a power company, focusing on electric vehicle charging solutions and can resell electricity.

In this case the installation, with the new supply and counter as well as the own point of recharge, load Manager pays, and then monthly user pays to load Manager which is stipulated. I.e. in this case paid service, in addition to consumption. Usually solutions “bonus” type (with many including kWh) or type “flat rate”, as the case may be. This solution can be useful especially in very large garages.

The other variant is that that new supply with a main counter serve for various charging points. It is what comes to be called as a trunk installation. Main counter derive as many side counters as charging points go to. Again this solution seems more suitable for large garages, garages where you will have many charging points, or those who are not in the same building as the dwelling of the users.

Is installation difficult?

Until the regulations must be complied with in the new building works not stipulates that it must be included (pre-installed), or directly to install charging points in the parking lots, and certainly all already constructed buildings, the installation of a point of discharge at a parking place may be more or less complicated.

You have to keep in mind is that the user must pay all the costs of the installation that point of recharge, you can not cause damage to the facilities or common elements of the building, and when something is damaged due to installation, has to take responsibility. This is total logic and common sense.

In principle the installation is fairly simple: just that to get a cable to the plaza garage. In a single-phase installation really speak of three wires: phase, neutral and ground. In all cases we’ve outlined before, the biggest difficulty usually occurs to get this wire from timer to plaza de garage, because travel can be somewhat labyrinthine.

Depending on where is the plaza de garage There may be more or less distance to go, and more or less architectural barriers to overcome: walls, floors, stairs, etc. If the housing is not very old may be recessed, generously dimensioned, electrical conduits that can pass the cables. Also the false ceilings and risers can take advantage.

When these ducts for installations do not permit more cables, or even exist, then no choice other to make New pipes, and should most likely be seen, by its lower cost and speed of execution. Within the garage that the lines are seen not usually a problem because these are already done so. The problem is in other areas. We must try to carry it always hidden.

According to the case, it may be necessary to make a hole in some constructive element to go driving with the cable. Obviously pillars and beams, structural elements, should not be affected (screw rather to a pillar, Yes, drill a beam to pass a cable or pipe, not).

Should not in general be necessary masonry works. Views pipes with flame retardant plastic pipes are normally used. Again the electrician who perform the installation is already aware of all the rules and can do his work.

Once the cable has reached the plaza de garage, there stands a control and protection, with differential switch and automatic circuit breaker, as well as other elements if considered necessary, and the mural recharge base.

In my case only had to cut a hole in a wall to get the cable to the plaza garage. Here we see the conduct of plastic that protects the

We had to choose a recharge according to the vehicle wall base

The wallbox may be in different ways: for example with cable and connector hose specific to electric vehicle recharging (with several meters of length of cable to reach without problems), we will either with charging Sockets without more, one or several, with different connectors (i.e., several “plugs”), where to plug the vehicle charging cable. The shots will be top, security.

It should bear in mind that not all electric vehicles have the same type of charging connector. Motorcycles and electric motorcycles commonly used connector schuko (domestic), while electric cars, electric vans and plug-in hybrids typically use the connector Yazaki (type 1), for example Nissan, Mitsubishi or Chevrolet and Opel, or well use the connector Mennekes (type 2), for example, Renault, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Tesla (is not exactly a type 2, but compatible)

The safety of the installation of a charging point is more than guaranteed. Just the shunt is placed a first protection system of the line as in case that any short problem would have electricity and point. And then the wall base has its own electrical protection.

In addition reload bases are designed to be used outside and be resistant to splashing water. Should bear in mind that own electric vehicles, charging cables and connectors are designed to be used abroad, exposed to the open air, without having problems even though it is raining.

Let us not forget that that there is a point of discharge at a parking place is not greater security issue, because in the garage there is electrical installation. And for the more scary it must be remembered that the risk of fire of an electric car is less that in a conventional combustion engine car (gasoline, though do not think every day about it, is far more dangerous than talking about fire risk).

So that no other “steal” electricity from the charging point, that is to say that anyone who is not the user can plug in a vehicle or whatever to the point of recharge from the plaza de garage, have thought different locking systems, either with a key or by a RFID badge.

Who is thinking of a recharging system wireless by means of an induction system, something that can already be purchased in some countries, should be aware that although you don’t need to plug in a cable car, yes you need also an electrical installation to plaza de garage.

A tip for end

One last tip: install an electrical vehicle recharging point is at the moment a very specific task, and although it might any electrician, experience and specialization are well.

In Spain, there are several companies specialized in the installation of charging, e.g. Lugenergy or Ibil points, although there are also some electric companies with advisory service for this purpose. It is a matter of research a bit on Google and search in your region. Some car brands tend to also advise or assist in the installation. There is another search and compare service and price.

In my particular case, as a casual user of electric cars, I chose to install a charging point in my square garage on property, that is, afford myself the installation, without opt-out option of the load Manager, or monthly fees. I have to say that the electric company with which I have contracted House electricity not helped me absolutely nothing, nor advised me the least (it is a pity, but it was).

I installed a wall base with two shots of recharge, SCHUKO and Mennekes, but without hose, to cover all the possibilities and to recharge electric vehicles, regardless of the type or brand. Who will buy an electric car in particular can opt for a specific hose, is not much more expensive, around 100 euros, but is something more comfortable.

Considering plaza de garage a plant basement second, more complicated, as you might expect, was getting the cable up to the square, but at the end it could be done and without affecting practically nothing, that with enough work, maybe a couple of electricians needed a full day to complete the installation and took about 40 m of cable. At the moment I have not had to increase the contracted power and everything works perfectly.

Gallery

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