Advice: What it takes to charge an electric car in the garage


Garages with a power connection (possibility) are the best friend of those interested in electric cars. But mostly the electrical installations, especially in garages, are unsuitable for such a permanent load. If you do not read any further than this first paragraph, then at least take this with you as the most important piece of advice: BEFORE you buy the car, an electrician MUST look at the garage installation in terms of the specific car parameters, both for a wallbox installation as well as for the supposedly harmless Schuko charging adapter with 10 ampere amperage at 230 volts. This tip alone will almost certainly save you nasty surprises.

Why should the process of charging a car be valued differently than other pantographs in the house? Quite simply: Because otherwise there are no consumers in the house that draw a comparable amount of electricity over a comparable period of time. A current generation electric car, for example, can easily draw 11 kW of electrical power for 5 hours (depending on the charging settings). No stove or heat pump does that, because both switch off the heaters at the set temperature.

The small Schuko charging adapters (commonly known as “charging tiles”) are also unusual here. Although protective contact plugs are designed for a load of 16 A, there are often connections and distributors installed by laypeople in garages that do not manage this permanently – yes, which even with the usual 10 A Schuko chargers already melt. In addition, the cable cross-sections of the Schuko products are too small and bad (high-resistance) connections, for example in the molded plug – things that you cannot see, not even in the price. In order not to repeat a long, bitter debate in the e-car forums here: It is best to consider 16 A as an optimal value and 10 A as the practical value that the car industry has agreed on.

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