Buying an EVSE (overseas and local)

 

 In order to buy the most appropriate EVSE, you need to figure out:

  • Your car’s maximum charge capabilities. The EVSE will provide your car with AC current, so this is maximum non-DC charge. Currently:​​​
    1. ​BMW i3 can take ~7.7kW
    2. Nissan Leaf can take ~6.6kW
    3. Tesla can take 11kW for a single charger, 22kW for a dual charger.
  • Plug. If it’s a Tesla, you need a Mennekes. If it’s anything else, you need a J1772 (at the time of writing). Still look at the car’s plug and make sure you’re getting the right one.

Please note that the EVSE of a lower power can be plugged into a higher power socket (that just means there is spare capacity in the source socket). However, one should be always careful to not draw more power than the rating of the plug, as one could in that case blow fuses, melt wires and sockets and otherwise create sparkles. Any case, your car should be allrite tho.

Buy EVSE Online from overseas.

This is the way I went, and others went this way as well. There are a few options when buying online, from a relatively large number of manufacturers. I went with WallBox, purchased from www.lugenergy.com.
My requirements were: Tesla plug, 22kW capable (up to 3 phase current at 32Amp).
The deciding factor in purchasing the product was price: 430 Euro plus ~70 Euro shipping (if purchased without the Euro 5 pin three phase plug – different than the Australian one). This is under $1,000 AUD, which means taxes etc. do not apply. The transaction was pretty straightforward through PayPal and the product was shipped via DHL and arrived in 4 business days.
The person to contact was: victor.sanchis@lugenergy.com. He has so far provided two WallBox 22kW capable EVSEs, and they have both been tested at 3 Phase 20 Amp (~14kW) and performed to spec. Testing at 32A to follow. If you chose to contact Victor, please let us know so we can give him a heads up – he may put in more effort in finding a less-high-end shipping channel.
In order to connect your EVSE to Australian capable sockets you will need to organise plugs at least for the 20 Amp and 32 Amp, 3 phase 5 pin plugs.
Normally the plugs are relatively expensive (in excess of $100 each) however Green Concept Eco can provide them for around $31 each. They can be shipped or you can but the products online (via their ebay store) and pick the sockets up from the brick and mortar store in Sydney. As a minimum you will need the 20A 5 pin plug, the 32A 5 pin socket and the 32A 5 pin plug. This is because the 32A 5 pin plug and the 20A 5 pin plug are different (thicker pins), and these two sockets are the most common high power sockets in Australia.
You will also need 6mm 5 core 22kW rated cable. It can be purchased at electrical supplies (between around $6 and $11 per meter). The overall idea is that a minimum of 10m would suffice.
Once you get these supplies, a sparky can hook them up for you for a relatively low sum or you can get busy with a pair of plyers, a Philips and a Flat screwdriver and hook them up yourself. The plugs and the EVSE end will be marked and all you need to do it hook them up: L1 to L1, L2 to L2, L3 to L3, N to N and E to E. Rocket science, really. Care should be taken so that you don’t cross your pins on the extension cable so keep an eye out on the colours. The other important bit is to notice that the Australian cable will have a thinner cable (green/yellow). This is Earth and should always be hooked to Earth. The rest (in the extension cable) you can pick colour scheme to your heart’s desire.
Video of cable being built soon to follow.

Buying an EVSE from Australia (online)

This is even more straightforward: contact the owner of EVnomics and let them know that you have an EV. He’s a good bloke that will sort out everything, however one has to pay for the convenience and the difference in importing channels, GST, etc. I would expect that warranty would be less of an issue as well (we are yet to have a warranty experience with the WallBox hence we can not give any advice on that).

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