I often get asked by current EV owners about what to do about charging two EVs at the same time when they get their second EV.
Given household electricity supplies do have limits – the chances of fitting two 7.2kW EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) in most homes is practically nil.
The other options have been to remember to swap the charger lead over when one car is charged enough (most likely in the middle of the night if off-peak charging!), or install two separate 3.6kW chargers and give up the capacity to charge at 7.2kW even if there is only one EV charging.
In a sign of the times, two EV households are starting to appear and one company in the US has now come up with a solution: a two lead EVSE that can vary the charge levels up to a set maximum based on how many cars are charging.
The company is well known EVSE manufacturer Clipper Creek, and the EVSE is their new HCS-D40: a 32A, Mode 3 (hardwired) EVSE that can charge two vehicles simultaneously on one 40A circuit.
It does this by splitting the charging current between two vehicles, with up to 16A (3.6kW) of electricity each when both are charging and up to 32A (7.2kW) when one vehicle is charging.
Combine this with the percentage charge option (that is to stop charging at 60%, 80% etc. of maximum) offered by many currently available EVs – and one can easily tailor the charging of two EVs to be ready for their next outing without any further input beyond plugging them in.
Whether this particular EVSE ever comes to Australia is a moot point (only their portable Mode 2 EVSEs are currently available here and the HCS-D40 has Type 1 plugs, not Type 2 as used in Australia).
Similar solutions for households may however soon become available from other manufacturers known to be gearing up to sell data connected/power sharing EVSE into the strata title market.
Interestingly, Clipper Creek are also marketing their EVSE towards the simpler end of the car park and/or strata title installations – as they note on their website: “Up to two HCS-D40 charging stations can be mounted on a pedestal, allowing the charging of up to 4 vehicles per pedestal”.
So there you are: before most people in Australia even get their first EV, there is now a solution to the two EV household conundrum of how to get them both charged without having to think twice about it.