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It’s possible to charge your electric car with the normal plug/wall socket charger cable supplied with the vehicle, but it’s slow and offers fewer options than a dedicated home charge point. Some of the most common reasons our customers choose to have a fit-for-purpose charge point installed included:
Charging an electric car requires a high and consistent electric current over a long period of time. It is generally considered that a standard electrical socket is not suitable for such a prolonged period of use and overheating of the socket may occur.
Speed of charge
A 2.3kW plug for a wall socket typically takes more than 20 hours to fully charge an EV, while a typical 7.4kW/11kW wallbox home charging device will comfortably charge the average electric vehicle overnight usually within eight hours depending on the cars battery size.
One of the criticisms levelled at electric cars is the amount of time they can take to charge. However, most EV owners charge overnight with a dedicated wall-mounted device, which means they wake up to a fully charged vehicle every morning. Think about it more like your smartphone – rather than waiting for the battery to run empty before you charge, it is charged regularly and usually when you’re not using it. Electric vehicles are used in a similar way.
In fact, you will save time because you will no longer need to drive to a petrol station, (potentially) queue for a pump, fill it up and pay – an EV is ready for you every morning.
Plug-in EVs are the future
There is no doubt that plug-in electric vehicles are the future of motoring in Europe. By starting the process of installing an EV charge point today, you will be able to enjoy faster, safer charging now and for your inevitable future electrics cars.
Using a Home Wallbox
When you have your EV Charger installed at home the installation engineer will explain how to use the EV Charger to you. There will be a process of how to get the EV Charger started and how to stop the charging.
There will be a series of lights on the EV Charger that tells you the status of the EV Charger and if it is charging correctly. These are specific to each EV Charger, so you need to read the instructions carefully.
You can charge your electric car at home as often as you need to. It can be treated the same as charging a mobile phone, fully charging overnight and topping up in the day if necessary.
While it is not necessary for most to charge every day, many drivers plug in each time they leave their car out of habit, giving them maximum flexibility should they have to make an unexpected journey.
Sometimes need to use a public charger. This guide explains how to use the different types of public charger and some of the differences to look out for.
Most EV drivers will charge at home. When you consider the average commute in the UK is just 10 miles and your is parked at home overnight for 10-12 hours this makes complete sense. In fact, only 3-6% of driving per year is more than 100 miles. This means most EV drivers will rarely need to use a public charger and will instead keep their car topped up at home, but there will be times when you need a public charger for longer journeys.
When you do use a public charger, it’s also very unlikely you will need to fully charge. Instead, it’s better to add the miles you need to reach your destination where you can hopefully charge overnight again.
|Public Charger Types Compared|
|On-the-Road Public Chargers||Destination Chargers|
|When are they used?||Long journeys or if you’re running low||While you’re doing other things and the car is stationary, such as while you’re shopping, at work, or staying at a hotel|
|Typical Location||Motorway services or near major roads; some Shell and BP petrol stations||Workplace, supermarket car parks, shopping ventres, hotels, gyms|
|Typical Charging Output||50kW – 150kW||11kW – 22kW|
|Typical Charging Speed||320 – 400 km an hour||48 – 96miles an hour|
|Payment Method||Pay-as-you-go via app or contactless; app subscription; RFID card/fob||Pay-as-you-go via app or contactless; app subscription; RFID card/fob|
|Typical Cost||.20-.30€ /kWh; some providers are much higher such as IONITY||Free; .20-.30€ kWh used|
|Connection Types||Tethered – CCS, CHAdeMO, Type 2||Untethered – Type 1 and Type 2, although you will need to bring your own charging cable|
|Example Operators||BP Chargemaster POLAR; IONITY; Ecotricity; PodPoint; GeniePoint; InstaVolt; Tesla (for owners only)||PodPoint; POLAR; Engenie; GeniePoint; AlfaPower, FastNed, Source and other regional operators|
Rapid chargers are easily identifiable thanks to their size, location and cable attachments. They resemble a traditional petrol pump, are quite large and have a number of units for multiple vehicles, as well as being located near major roads such as motorways.
They also have the rapid charging cable already attached, like a petrol pump. It’s best to check in advance to make sure your vehicle is compatible, but many rapid chargers include the main rapid charging connections – CCS and CHAdeMO – while some also include a Type 2 cable for fast AC charging.
On a longer journey, most people have a “bladder range” and will generally stop for a break anyway. This is the ideal time to use a rapid charger to add some miles to your electric car.
Rapid chargers are the fastest chargers available, but the charging speed can vary depending on the type of unit.
Destination chargers tend to be slower than rapid chargers. Instead of charging your car super-fast so you can get on with your journey, they tend to be located in places where cars are parked for a significant period of time, such as a supermarket car park, gyms, coffee chains, hotels or workplaces.
Plugging in to a public charger
The act of plugging in your electric vehicle using a public charger is very simple.
The principle of using a public charger does not fundamentally change, but there are some differences between chargers depending on the operator and location. This table shows the basic differences, but you can find more detail further down the page.
The cost to charge an electric car in Europe varies between home, work and public charging.
For a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and ~200 mile (320km) range:
Charging at home: Costs about £7.80 (9,75€) vfor a full charge.
Charging at work: Many employers will install workplace charging points and typically offer free access throughout the day.
Charging at public locations: Public charge points at supermarkets or car parks are often free to use for the duration of your stay.
Rapid charging: Rapid charging points are normally found at motorway service stations and typically cost £6.50 (8,13€) for a 30 min, ~100 mile (160km) charge.
Payment for a public charger (if it isn’t free) is usually done via a contactless card payment, smartphone app or RFID card – there are no kiosks to pay at and the payment process is completed before charging begins.
Costs to use a public electric vehicle charge point
Costs vary, but there are two primary methods of pricing up the service: