Many solutions allow people to charge multiple electric cars simultaneously. Please find below a few options available for people or companies owning at least two vehicles. This article will also tell you what to look for when finding the best solution for your needs.
Who needs to charge more than one EV?
With EV sales skyrocketing it is not uncommon to find more than one EV in the same place. There are many reasons why a driver is looking to charge multiple EVs at the same time.
Owning multiple EVs
You might have an electric vehicle and are planning on purchasing another EV, or you already bought more than one EV, then you are probably looking for a solution to have all your vehicles ready to drive in the morning.
Fleet of EVs
More and more companies shift their fleets from fuel-driven vehicles to electric vehicles. With a large EV fleet, companies are looking for opportunities to charge a great part of the fleet at the same time.
Living in an apartment building
Especially in cities, it is fun to drive an EV. At the same time living in the city often goes hand in hand with living in an apartment building with other EV owners. Every EV owner expects the EV to be available the next morning.
How to charge multiple electric vehicles simultaneously?
Here are a few options available on the market.
Charging stations with multiple plugs
There are charging stations on the market having multiple plugs. The charging stations have two cables and two plugs enabling the simultaneous charge of two vehicles. While this option is very interesting for families or private EV owners with two EVs, it might not fulfill the needs for scenarios with more than two EVs.
Multiple charging stations
Surely the first thought coming up is to install one charging station for each EV. This strategy has a great upside, in that you are not limited to two cars. A charging station is installed with each EV.
What could go wrong when charging multiple cars at the same time?
With each EV being charged, the power consumption of the building increases. With multiple EVs charged simultaneously the power consumption increases significantly, up to a point at which one needs to consider the potential load of the entire property. If not considered carefully, exceeding the potential load leads to a shutdown of the power for the whole property. To avoid this, the load for charging can be limited and balanced between the different charging stations. And that’s where dynamic load balancing comes in.
Dynamic load balancing
Dynamic load balancing describes a system that optimizes the usage of your property’s power connection. The system measures the power consumption of the property and calculates the power available to charge your vehicle. The charging power is then distributed equally or according to your settings between the active charging stations. Thus ensuring that every vehicle is being charged and the residents of the building are not restricted in their usage of high electrical power consumers, like ovens, TVs, washing machines, or dryers.
Charging stations with build-in load balancing management
There are charging stations, that have a built-in load-balancing functionality. By installing multiple charging stations (typically of the same type or the same manufacturer) the owner is able to connect these chargers. When the chargers are connected, the limit of the maximum charging power for the whole system can be set. Instead of exceeding this limit, the charging stations distribute the load between the charging stations according to the settings. This solution is often limited to a maximum number of chargers being connected to each other.
Central load balancing unit
If you are interested in orchestrating the charging power of more than three charging stations, then you should look into installing a central load-balancing unit. The central unit is connected to all charging stations and orchestrates the maximum charging power for each charging station.
A more sophisticated solution for central load balancing includes a power consumption measurement of the property. The central unit adjusts the charging limits to the power usage of the building. If this solution sounds promising to you, you should make sure, that the charging stations and the central load balancing unit you are intending to use can be connected and are able to communicate
We hope you find this article useful. As seen above, many options exist to charge multiple EVs at the same time. You just need to choose the right solution for your needs.