‘You can now conveniently charge your EV at home’

Contrary to the notion that plug-in type Electric Vehicles (EV) can only be charged at dedicated public charging stations – long seen as one of the barriers to speedy EV adoption – owners in the Sultanate can now safely and conveniently charge their environmental-friendly ‘green’ vehicles at home, according to Oman’s power sector regulator.
“Most of the charging can be done at home,” stressed Qais bin Saud al Zakwani, Executive Director – Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER), clarifying the mistaken “public perception” that public charging infrastructure needs to be in place for the adoption of Electric Vehicles in the Sultanate.
“What we have noticed through our study is that most charging can be done at home before the (motorist) sets out. There are also different types of facilities emerging with regard to charging, particularly developments in DC (Direct Current) fast charging, which could reduce wait times; so we are looking at some extremely fast charging mechanisms that have been adopted (elsewhere around the world),” he remarked.
Home-charging partly addresses one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption: ‘range anxiety’ – described as ‘worry on the part of the worry of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out before the destination or a suitable charging point is reached’. EV owners using their vehicles for relatively short distances can also conveniently depend on home-charging to keep them reasonably topped up, say experts.
Importantly, the subsidised electricity tariff regime currently in place for residential customers, among other segments, “incentivises” the adoption of Electric Vehicles in the Sultanate, said Al Zakwani.
“In an environment with heavily subsidised electricity tariffs, there is an indirect incentive for customers to purchase these EV and charge them at home, because when you compare the charging rates at home they are far cheaper than unsubsidised fuel prices. But, as we all know, subsidies will not last for the future,” he noted.
According to experts retained by the Authority to assist in the formulation of regulatory guidelines to support EV adoption in the Sultanate, the Sultanate’s housing stock generally supports plug-in type EV charging at home.
However, EV charging in Muscat’s multi-family buildings may be more difficult with relatively limited and communally owned/operated parking facilities, the consultant noted.
Regular electrical outlets (2 kW-ac to 4kW-ac) — broadly known as Level 1 charging — does not provide enough power to fully charge EVs overnight — but are suitable for hybrid EVs or those used for short distances. But as EV battery capacities grow, Level 2 charging (7kW-ac to 50 kW-ac) will account for the majority of home charging utilisation. Level 2 is often employed in workplaces, and longer dwell-time locations, such as malls and parking structures, the expert added.