90% of the time, our cars are stationary. There’s plenty of time to charge them. Above all at night, when there’s enough electricity, and preferably with low power, to limit costs.
The power is a factor to consider, but so are the number of phases and amperage as well as whether you want to install a charging point or charge by plug.
Amperage and phases: important factors!
Before getting in to the question of power, it’s important to know that certain electric cars can only charge on a single-phase installation (1N 230V) and others on a three-phase installation with neutral (3N - 400V).
Luckily, this is changing very quickly. The vast majority of new cars on the market offer both single-phase charging (230V) and three-phase with neutral (400V).
Three-phase 400V charging is no longer necessary to be able to charge your electric car.
So check carefully what type of charging is required for your vehicle and whether it is compatible with your home connection.
At home: normal charging is recommended
Do you come home in the evening and set off to work the next day? Your car then easily has 12 hours to charge. This is more than enough to completely charge your electric car at low power, which is less costly.
What is normal charging?
We refer to normal charging when the power varies between 3.7 kW to 7.4 kW at 230V. At home, we recommend charges of 3.7 kW or 7.4 kW.
- Find out how much power you can install in your home
- Find out how much power you can install in a building (from 4 flats or 4 parking spaces)
|Three-phase + neutral
- Normal charging (up to 7.4 kW) is increasingly developed by manufacturers for home charging.
- Fast charging (between 11 kW and 22kW) is often used for street points, in semi-public car parks and in your employer’s car park.
- Ultra-fast charging (over 22 kW) is available in strategic locations, like service stations on motorways or car parks for shared cars.
Charging station or ordinary socket?
Charging electric vehicles using an ordinary power socket without protection in the charging cable or control of the start of charging (mode 1) is not authorised.
If you wish to charge from an ordinary power socket, you must use a mode 2 charging cable, which includes a protection device that will monitor charging to avoid any risk of overheating or overcharging. However, this mode is not recommended for charging electric vehicles.
In Brussels, from 1 January 2025, the installation and use of mode 2 charging points will be prohibited in new buildings or after major renovation.
The installation of a charging station (mode 3 or 4) is therefore the preferred solution for recharging electric vehicles.
What if I want to install a higher power or 400V?
We’re convinced that power of 3.7 kW or 7.4 kW meets the vast majority of people’s needs. If you would still like to have the same power, it’s obviously possible, but at a cost!
Here are the different costs possible if you wish to have more power than normal.
One-off cost of reinforcing the connection
If you need to reinforce your electric meter, the price may vary between a few hundred and few thousand euros, depending on the power required.
One-off cost for changing your private electricity installation
If you wish to increase from 230V to 400V, you must adapt your home’s electric board to distribute the phases correctly.
N.B. 400V is not available everywhere in Brussels.
If there is no 400V available, you can install an autotransformer which will convert the 230V voltage coming from the grid to 400V. This will cost approximately 2,000 euros.
Recurring reinforcement cost
Having more power available also has a recurring tariff. Today, it’s still limited to a additional cost of 30 euros a year if you exceed 13 kVA. But the rate for your electrical consumption is sure to change to a rate based on capacity. You will therefore have to pay more if you need more power.
Example for a standard home
It’s even possible to increase to a more powerful charge of 7.4 kW (single-phase 32 A) if you use smart charging. Installing a smart charging point will enable to you save on the costs of reinforcing your installation as well as the recurring costs in future tariffs.
Good to know!
- You don’t come home every day with a completely empty battery.
So, you will surely not need to charge your battery all night.
- Brussels residents drive an average of 30 km a day.
With normal charging, your daily charging can be done in a few hours.
If you need to drive further and you don’t have the time for a full charge, there are ultra-fast charging points on the roads if you need them.
- You can charge nearly 80% of the battery in half the time.
It’s often the last few percentage that take a lot of time to charge. Just like with your smartphone.
- Our cars are often parked for longer than 12 hours a day!
We therefore have the time to charge them.
- There are smart charging systems
These systems enable you to use the maximum power available at your home, taking into account your needs other than electricity charging.
For example, when you start to use your electrical goods, less power will go to your car.