Although charging an electric car is more straightforward than you think, due to the placement of charging points and the battery range of vehicles, there is still an element of organisation needed. As the charging network grows and batteries become more efficient, going forward you are less likely get caught short should you fail to plan your journey.
The three main ways to charge your vehicle are at home, at work or using a public charging point – for example at a service station. Most EV’s also have a built in sat-nav with sites featured on there. BP Pulse, Ecotricity, Gridserve, Ionity and Shell Recharge are some of the more well-known providers.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The amount of time it takes to charge your EV comes down to 3 things: The size of the battery, the amount of electrical current the car can handle and the speed of the charger being used. The size and power of the battery pack is measured in kilowatt hours, or kWh, and the larger the number the bigger the battery, and the longer it’ll take to recharge. Chargers deliver electricity in kilowatts (kW), with anything from 3kW to 150kW available, and the higher the number the quicker the charging.
Types of charger
There are three types of charger for your EV – slow, fast and rapid. The first two are usually used in homes or for on-street charging posts, while rapid chargers are at service stations or dedicated charging hubs. Some you’ll need your own cable, but some will provide them.
Home chargers use the conventional three-pin plug, charging at 3kW, which is enough for plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, but for some bigger pure EV models, charging times can be up to 24 hours.
Usually charging at between 7kW and 22kW, fast chargers are becoming more common in the UK, even at home and are usually installed in your garage or driveway. The Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles provides grants that cover up to 75% of the cost of buying and fitting a home charger, and some car manufacturers will even cover for this cost when you buy one of their vehicles. Public chargers require the use of your own cable, and are pay as you go either by signing up for an account or using contactless bank cards.
These are the most powerful and quickest chargers, operating at a rate between 43kW and 150kW, meaning some cars can receive 80% charge in as little as 20 minutes. Great for longer journeys, these chargers are usually found at service stations and dedicated charging hubs. 43kW AC units use a type 2 connector, and DC chargers use a larger Combined Charging System (CCS) plug, although vehicles with the latter can still charge with a type 2 connector but at a slower rate. DC charges work at 50kW, but there are some that can charge between 100kW and 150kW, and Tesla even has some 250kW units.
Charging company Ionity has also started producing 350kW chargers around the UK, although not all cars at present can handle that amount of charge.
Radio-Frequency Identification cards give you access to most public charging points, and charges your account when used. These are slowly being faded out in favour of contactless bank card payment and smartphones apps.
Looking to lease an electric or hybrid vehicle?
Just Vehicle Solutions offer a range of vehicles available to lease for 6 or 12 months, including electric and hybrid vehicles. We pride ourselves on flexibility, simplicity and efficiency, so book a call with us today to discuss your next vehicle lease.