Help us answer your burning questions. Click on a question to jump down to the answer.
Got a question we haven’t answered? Submit it here to obtain a response. If it has a wide enough interest it will be added to this list of FAQs.
- How fast can I charge?
- Why is the charger slower sometimes than others?
- Why is there both a time charge and an energy charge?
- What if a charger doesn’t work?
- If I can use my credit card, why do I need the app?
- If someone is plugged in with an active charge session, but the charger indicates 100% charge or no charging activity, can I disconnect them and start my charge session by parking in the next bay?
- What happens if I am plugged in but not charging?
- Why is there CCTV at every site?
- What if the site is blocked by a vehicle not charging?
- Why aren’t there more chargers at each site?
- How is the time charge set?
- There are two chargers, DC and AC; why are there not two separate charging bays?
1. How fast can I charge?
Each charger is labelled with the maximum charge power, in kW. At full power:
- a 50kW charger adds about 40 km range in 10 minutes
- a 22kW charger adds about 18 km range in 10 minutes
Your EV may not be able to accept the full power; or may accept it for part of the charge cycle, slowing as the battery state of charge (SOC) increases. Every model of EV has a different charge rate curve, but most start to slow at more than 60% SOC, but particularly strongly above 80% SOC.
Some vehicles are not equipped to accept the full capacity of the charger. The EV’s on-board AC/DC converter may allow anywhere from 3.5kW to 22kW. For example, the three phase AC charger can deliver 22kW but an EV with only single phase gets 7kW and adds approximately 6 km of range in 10 minutes.
2. Why is the charger slower sometimes than others?
EVs may charge slower if the battery is either hot or cold.
- Batteries can become hot in hot weather, after driving quickly or hill climbing for an extended time, or as a result of frequent fast charging or any combination of these.
- They can become cold in cold weather.
The charge rate may also be reduced at very low and high state of charge.
3. Why is there both a time charge and an energy charge?
The time charge covers the cost of supplying the equipment, the site, insurance and other fixed costs. The energy charge pays for the electricity used.
Billing in this way provides a balance between cars that charge fast (lots of energy, not much time) and those that charge slow (not so much energy but take a long time). The time charge also rewards EV drivers for removing their EV promptly when the charge rate slows down, rather than staying for a long time to get the last 10%-20%. Charge sites in Tasmania are rarely more than 150 km apart, mostly much closer, so charging more than 80% is not usually necessary.
The time charge also means that if people do choose to linger – and pay for the connected time – we get the revenue we need to add more chargers so you don’t have to wait for a charger to be free.
4. What if a charger doesn’t work?
We work hard to ensure our chargers are working over 99.9% of the time (our target is 99.99% or less than one day per year down time per charger). But stuff happens. As there is always a DC and an AC charger at our sites, at least one of them should be working at any time.
Common problems with chargers that are easily fixed include:
- Most EVs will not charge if they have not been turned off. It is surprising how often people forget to do that.
- Sometimes the plug is not inserted fully. You should hear a click or closing whir when it is in properly. For the AC cable, it needs to be in properly at both ends.
- You may have chosen the wrong charge connector when activating the session on the credit card terminal or Chargefox app. Check the connector number to make sure.
- Both charge connectors on the fast charger may not have been replaced in their holders properly since the last user. Connectors need to have been replaced in their holders for about ten seconds for the machine to reset to ‘ready’ status. If someone leaves a connector on the ground, it will need to be placed in the holder and left for ten seconds to reset the charger to ‘ready’.
Sometimes EVs park in adjacent bays and either plug in the other connector before the current EV finishes their session or unplug from one car and move the connector directly into the next EV. Doing this means the charger does not reset to ‘ready’ and the session will not start.
- Someone may have pressed the red safety shutoff button (on the lower front panel of the fast chargers). Follow the instruction to reset. This takes a minute or so to complete. Call 1300 518 038 if you need help with this.
Less common and harder to fix issues:
- Tesla drivers using an adaptor on the CHAdeMo connector need to ensure the firmware has been updated for it to work. If it has worked successfully at other CHAdeMo chargers, it should be ok. It is worth checking your CHAdeMo adaptor works before starting a long trip for the first time.
- A DC charge connector or cable may be damaged, usually as a result of being repeatedly dropped or left on the ground and run over by a car. If your find this please call 1300 518 038 to report it. You will need to use the AC charger for which you need to bring your own cable.
- The equipment may have been physically broken, by vandalism for example. Hopefully there is still an undamaged charger on site. If all chargers on a site are broken or unusable, call 1300 518 038. They will tell you how to find and access a 15A powerpoint on the site. If you have your portable electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) with you, you can plug in and charge (slowly) for free.
- The power may be off. This will be evident if the control panel is dark and no indicator lights are on. That one we cannot fix ourselves, but please report it on 1300 518 038 so we can contact the network provider to restore power to the site as soon as possible.
- Communications may have been lost to the network. The system is designed so that if the communications or the billing systems fail, chargers remain ‘available’. The normal connection steps will not work but just press 'start' and you get to charge for free!
- If you are charging by credit card and the bank communication or processing systems are down, we may fail to receive an authorisation from the bank. Call 1300 518 038 and they can enable a charge.
- Possible issues with the Chargefox app:
- Check to see if there has been an update that you have not uploaded or activated. You may need to delete the app and reload.
- Your credit card details recorded with Chargefox may not be current.
- There may be poor mobile phone coverage. EHT charge stations in weak coverage areas have wifi that should enable you to connect or use a credit card.
- You phone battery is flat. Recharge or use a credit card.
5. If I can use my credit card, why do I need the app?
You don't! But it may be helpful.
The Chargefox app provides access to many more charger sites in addition to EHT sites, most of which do not accept credit cards. Having the app gives you access to the largest network of chargers around Australia (and New Zealand).
The app also provides information about these sites including what chargers are available, pricing and whether they are currently in use. Additional features are added from time to time.
Downloading the app is free. However, to use it you need to associate a credit card with the app for payment.
6. If someone is plugged in with an active charge session, but the charger indicates 100% charge or no charging activity, can I disconnect them and start my charge session by parking in the next bay?
When a charge session is active almost all cars will lock the connector to the car so it cannot be removed until the session is stopped by the owner of the EV. If the session has been stopped by the owner (or the system under some circumstances) then the connector can be unplugged. However, for DC chargers the connector needs to be replaced in the holder for about ten seconds until the charger status is reset to ‘ready’.
Some EV owners can finish a charge session remotely with their car’s app. If they do so, that may unlock the connector (depends on the car).
If you initiated your charge with a credit card, but terminated with the app instead of the credit card terminal, you may end up paying for the next users session!
7. What happens if I am plugged in but not charging?
You may be subject to an enforcement notice and a fine. We receive an alert when an EV charging space is occupied if the charger is not in use within a set period of time.
8. Why is there CCTV at every site?
CCTV has been installed for several purposes:
- It provides security to users. Even though sites are not attended in person, they are monitored and assistance can be alerted if any incidents occur that require it.
- Sadly, EV chargers have been subject to vandalism. CCTV is one means to help deter this, and to prosecute those who commit such acts if they occur.
- CCTV can identify when cars are parked in charging spaces, and also when cars are queuing, waiting to charge. This provides EHT with additional information about user and non-user behaviour including blocking the charger, frequency of queuing and EV drivers parking but not charging. This helps us ensure EV charging is not being blocked for our users.
9. What if the site is blocked by a vehicle not charging?
We monitor sites for blocking by non-charging vehicles but if you arrive before we have done something about it, call 1300 518 038 to let us know. At a minimum we record the frequency and timing of blocking at each to identify where greater enforcement efforts are needed.
Some of the host councils have parking enforcement officers that will issue an enforcement notice and a fine for blocking EV charging sites. Not all councils have the resources to do this.
Councils that issue fines for cars blocking sites get the revenue, not EHT.
10. Why aren’t there more chargers at each site?
Currently there are very few EVs in Tasmania and the number of hours per week that chargers are in use is very low. We will increase the number of chargers at sites as the number of EVs increases, particularly where there is evidence of queuing on a regular basis.
11. How is the time charge set?
The time charge is calculated to meet fixed costs, overheads and depreciation over the expected life of the equipment based on an average use of four hours per day. This could be up to 12 hours per day on the busiest day of the year, but less than four hours most of the time.
The average cost of our sites is about $100,000 to develop. Annual fixed costs and overheads are about $6,500 per site.
We can reduce the time charge if we allow chargers to get busier than four hours per day, resulting in more queuing, more often. Alternatively, to have even less queuing, we would have to increase the time charge.
We hope we have the balance about right. Your feedback can help us decide.
12. There are two chargers, DC and AC; why are there not two separate charging bays?
Site hosts have generally been reluctant to commit more than one parking bay until there is demonstrated demand. All have agreed to release additional bays for EV charging once we show the level of use warrants it.
We do not expect the AC chargers to get heavy use at most sites. They are primarily provided as a backup should the DC charger not be working (or if it is occupied) and for vehicles that do not have DC ports (Renault Zoe, some PHEVs and some do-it-yourself converted EVs).
An AC cable is likely to be able to reach one or more of the adjacent bays and can be used even if they are not marked as reserved for EV charging.
At Swansea and St Helens there are two bays! That is because on street parallel parking does not allow all EVs to safely park in a way that permits the charge cables on the DC charger to reach all possible charge port locations. Some EVs need to approach the charger with the front of the vehicle and others with the back. You need to choose the bay that suits your EV. AC cables can be much longer so if you are using the AC charger, either bay may do, effectively making both bays available at these two sites.