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The Basics

Our guide to EV charging will take you through the basics of how to keep your car charged. When considering an electric car, charging can seem confusing or challenging. In this guide, we will explain the different ways you can charge your EV.

The Basics

When you own an electric car, the concept of heading to the garage to fill up with fuel will be a thing of the past. Instead, EV drivers wake up every morning with a “full tank” and will almost never need to fuel up whilst out and about (except on those occasional extra-long journeys.)

“As an EV driver, you never need to queue at the pumps again saving you time and money.”

It is possible to charge your car anywhere there is an electricity supply and a standard domestic plug socket you can use (for example when visiting friends). There are also many places to charge your electric car. These are known as charge points. They can range from a standard to large rapid charging units and can be found in city centres, car parks, motorway service stations, hotels, and an ever-expanding range of easily accessible locations, all across the country.

“Cars in the UK spend 96% of the time parked. That means 162 hours a week to charge your car!”

Charging Types

3 types of charging for your EV you need to know about:

RAPID Chargers – 50-150Kw typically and able to deliver a lot of charge very quickly into your car after a short charge stop on a long journey.

FAST Chargers 3-7Kw typically in public car parks or at home, where your car can be left parked for many hours to charge at a slower rate.

3-PIN Charging Leads– Portable slower 2.3kW charging leads that can be plugged into any normal 13amp socket and used anywhere.

The type of charger you use will be affected by where you are, what is available, and how much time you have. Rapid chargers however are what you will need to use on a long journey to extend the range of your EV.

3-Pin / EVSE / Granny Charging

This refers to charging using a portable charging lead that is plugged into a standard 13amp domestic power socket.

This will charge your EV at a slower rate (10amps / 2.3 kW typically), which will equate to the delivery of about 10 miles of range for an hour of charging time.

Despite being a slower charge rate, since most cars are charged overnight, and most peoples daily usage falls well below 100 miles, 3-pin charging is still perfectly adequate for many EV owners.

Charging using a 3-pin charging lead is the perfect way to charge away from home, for example when you are away on holiday or visiting friends or relatives.

(We provide all our cars with a 3-pin charging lead that can be used as a temporary and occasional, or permanent means of charging your EV.)

Fast Charging at Home

Fast Charging Is the next step up on the charging ladder from charging at home from a 3-pin plug. Fast Charging is the charging you will be able to do if you get a dedicated home charge point installed.

Fast charging simply allows you to charge your Car’s battery a lot quicker. Where budget permits, we advise that you install a dedicated EV fast charger at home, as this provides a very elegant means to charge your car, it enables quicker charging for when you need it and will provide greater charging capacity for households that intend to become 2 EV households.

Most home fast chargers deliver 32amps / 7kW of charge, which is about 25-30 miles of range for an hour of charging time for most EV’s.

Public Fast Charging

There is a huge network of public fast chargers. These typically charge at the same rate as your home charge point (7kW), giving 25-30 miles worth of charge for an hour of charging time. There are however some slower 3kW fast chargers out there which will take twice the time to deliver this level of charge. Public Fast Chargers tend to be located in places where you are likely to be parked for an extended period of time, such as a park and ride or a municipal car park.

They all have a type 2 socket, (which is a universal charge point socket), and should you wish, your EV can be provided with a cable that’s fits this connection at the charge point end, and then has either a type one or type 2 end to fit your car. You need to have your own cable to use these charge points. These types of charge points are useful for a bit of free charging (as most of them tend to be free to use) and may be useful to you if you cannot charge your car at home, however, they are not suitable for charging on a long journey due to the time they take to charge your car, as well as the fact that if a space is occupied it can be occupied for hours, or all day even.

(If you think you will want or need to use the public fast charger network we can provide you with the public charging lead required).

Rapid Charging

Rapid Charging is the fastest way to recharge your car, and how you would charge as part of a long journey. Most EVs are capable of rapid charging, although the amount of rapid charge they can accept will vary.

Typically, as a minimum, most vehicles, at most rapid charge points are able to gain about 80 miles worth of driving range charged back into the car in less than thirty minutes.

Whilst this is the ideal form of charging during a long journey, it is also useful if you are unable to charge at home, and need to top your car up using the public network. All Rapid chargers have a built-in lead so no separate lead is required.

You have to pay to use a rapid charger. There are multiple different charging network operators, many different ways you pay for your charging, and several different rapid charging connections, so be sure to watch our public charging guide video to find out more.

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