Electric Car Charging – What You Need to Know

Posted in Uncategorized
Published on September 22, 2020

Choosing which car to buy can be a daunting decision, yet more buyers than ever before are opting for an electric car. There are so many advantages to this, not least being better for the environment and your wallet (they’re much cheaper to maintain!), and thus an electric car is an appealing option to many.

However, a lot of people have questions about charging their car; from where to find electric car charging points, to the time it takes to charge the car. If you’re interested in finding out the answers to these questions and more, then this handy guide will detail everything you need to know.

 

Are there different types of chargers?

Electric cars will usually have either a type 1 or type 2 connector for slow and fast charging. For rapid charging via a direct current, they will usually have CHAdeMO or CCS connectors. When out and about, you’ll notice that the majority of slow and fast charging points will have a type 2 socket and most rapid charging points will have a cable already attached. Many electric car owners will go onto purchase a portable charging cable that matches their car’s connection type; this is handy as it means you can charge on public networks.

 

Where can I find electric car charging points?

Luckily for electric car drivers, there is an ever-growing network of charging points up and down the country so you’re never too far away. Many shopping centers, office car parks and even some public transport car parks have electric car charging stations; meaning that it’s unlikely you’ll have the worry of your car breaking down due to lack of available charging points!

However, sometimes you may have a long journey ahead or perhaps you’re in an unfamiliar place and are unsure of where to charge your car. This is where sites such as Zap-Map come in handy – they allow you to see where charging stations are located across the UK as well as plan your route ahead to allow you to incorporate charging stops into your journey.

 

Can I install an electric car charging point in my home?

Installing an electric car charging point in your home can be surprisingly easy and affordable. The average cost to install a charging point in your home is £1000; however, with a £500 government grant as well as a £300 grant from the Energy Saving Trust – the price can be as low as £200!

Although your electric car can technically be charged via a regular domestic socket, it’s not usually recommended as this will significantly increase charging time. The two options that will usually be available are universal socket or tethered. A universal socket is compatible with all plug-in electric cars and is used with a portable cable. A tethered charging point comes with a permanently attached cable. Whilst the tethered option is more convenient due to the pre-existing cable, the universal socket is ideal for multiple cars or cars with different connection types.

 

How long does an electric car take to charge?

The time it takes for an electric car to charge can vary greatly; it will depend on the size of your car’s battery, as well as how powerful the charger is. There are three options when charging your electric car: slow charging, fast charging, and rapid charging.

Slow charging is the process of charging your car via a regular domestic socket. As discussed earlier, this is by far the slowest option and will usually take around 8 hours. Fast charging at 7kW typically takes around half the time of the slow charging option; fast chargers can vary from delivering 7kW of power to around 22kW, with the latter being able to provide a near to full charge in a couple of hours for certain cars. With rapid charging, it can take just 30 minutes to charge your car from 0-80% – however, it’s important to note that rapid charging is usually the most expensive way to charge your car, which brings us onto pricing.

 

How much does it cost to charge my electric car?

The cost of charging your electric car can vary massively and mainly depends on charging station, type of car and type of charger. When charging at home, many energy companies will offer reduced rates at night, making this ideal for charging your car overnight while you sleep. Still though, the cost widely varies, and the overall cost can be as little as a few pounds overnight to over £10 during the day for a full charge, making the average likely to be somewhere in the middle.

Luckily, many public charging points such as in supermarkets and shopping centres offer charging free of charge for the length of your stay, this is also sometimes the case in office carparks. As previously mentioned, rapid charging is usually the most expensive way to charge your electric car, with the cost averaging around £6-£8 for a 30-minute charge.

 

Buying an electric car (or any car for that matter!) is a big decision. Ultimately you need to choose one that’s right for you and your lifestyle; however if you do feel an electric car is for you, then the questions we’ve answered today are sure to give you a step in the right direction when you’re looking to charge your car.