What is three phase EV charging?

January 28, 2020

A lot of words and terms get thrown around when talking about charging your electric vehicle, but what do they all mean? And what EXACTLY is three phase charging?

 

If you've heard of three phase electric vehicle charging, it's probably in relation to campsites, homes, showgrounds or remote areas. There are a number of them on the PlugShare app, but as they're generally publicly available chargers, it's always recommended that you ask permission from site owners before plugging your electric vehicle in to charge.

 

Put simply, three phase is a form of power supply that outputs a steadier and faster flow via your electric car charger.

 

Three phase charging uses 3 separate lines of power that have their altered intensity of output staggered so that more often, the output receives optimum power supply. A three phase power supply is slightly complicated but can be simplified with a graphic - single phase on the left, three phase to the right.

 

The peak of each line is where power is optimum, and as you can see, three phase power increases the output of power. 

 

Should I install three phase power to charge my electric vehicle?

 

Using three phase power will generally charge your electric car faster, at its optimum charge rate. But not all cars can use 3 phase power directly.

 

This is where useful 3 phase chargers like the GIGER come in, allowing you to more easily access three

phase EV charging. 

 

However, not all EVs will benefit equally from the power of three phase charging. A Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Ioniq or Kona will max out at 7kWh, but a Tesla Model 3 or a Renault Zoe will take all 22kWh that 3 phase electric car charging has to offer, topping up much faster than using regular single phase AC wall power.

 

Plus, installing three phase power to your home is possible, but can be an expensive exercise, so careful consideration should be given to how and when you charge your EV up.

 

If you do want to install three phase power, it's probably only practical if you have other uses for that type of supply at your property, such as running large motors. But, if you're lucky enough to have it installed already, connecting your EV to three phase charging will speed up your battery top up!

 

For more great information about three phase electric vehicle charging, this article by Bryce Gaton at The Driven is a great read.

 

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