Drive Green

The Ultimate Guide to Charging Your EV in the UK

Whether you’re doing your research, or are a new owner of an EV, or even if you’ve had an electric car for a while, you may have questions about charging your EV. That’s why we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to Charging Your EV.

We’re answering the most common questions about EV batteries, charging times, charging stations, and the future of electric vehicle development in the UK, so let’s get it started!

What makes an EV battery different from batteries in fossil-fuelled cars?

Traditional petrol or diesel cars depend on 12V lead-acid batteries to initially start the internal combustion engine. Electric cars that are completely battery-powered depend on lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used in cellphones and laptops. These lightweight, high-capacity batteries are ideal for electric vehicles because they are rechargeable and hold a charge for a long time.

Hybrid-electric vehicles that run on a combination of fuel and battery power primarily use nickel-metal hydride batteries, which rely on fuel to recharge the battery.

How long does it take to charge an electric car in the UK?

Charging times for electric vehicles vary depending upon the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the specifics of the charging station. For example, charging an “empty” electric car battery on a 3.7kW charging station could take from 4 to 21 hours depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Using a 50kW charging station could take between 45 minutes and 2 hours for a full charge. While there are advanced rapid 100kW charging boxes newly being released, some electric cars are not able to use them so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for your next EV.

How long it takes to charge your EV will depend upon the size of the car’s battery, the maximum charge it can except and the charging output of the charge point you are connected to.

How many miles do you get to a charge on an EV battery and how much does it cost?

Mileage varies greatly between different makes and models of electric vehicles. For example, the 2018 Nissan LEAF claims a range of 140 miles per charge, while the Tesla Model S 100D boasts a 375-mile range. The cost of charging at home will vary depending on your energy provider, but with an average of around £0.11 pence per kWh, that should equate to around £11 to charge your Tesla 100kWh Battery from 0 to 100%, and £4.40 for the Leaf.

How do I charge my electric car at home?

If you’re just tossing around the idea of buying an electric car, you may be wondering whether you can charge your EV by plugging it into a regular outlet in the UK.

Even though most EVs come with a specialized charging cable that can fit the average three-pin domestic plug socket, using a professionally installed dedicated EV charging wall box will significantly reduce charging time. These home charging stations could cost upwards of £1,000, but the cost can be offset with a government grant, towards the cost of your charge point installation.  Check to see how much the grant is at the time you purchase your car as the grant is reducing over time.

Where can I charge my EV when I’m away from home?

Various websites and apps provide interactive maps showing thousands of charging points across the UK such as Zap Map, along with a wealth of associated information and tools for EV users. Many employers are also now installing EV charging stations as a convenience for employees who are making the switch to electric cars.

What is the future of EV batteries and charging?

Just a few of the latest breakthroughs in battery technology include a silicon-enhanced lithium-ion battery shown to improve performance 3-fold, which car companies Daimler and BMW have made solid investments in. Toyota is said to be developing a solid-state lithium-ion battery said to charge or discharge completely in only seven minutes.  EV’s and batteries are the future and as a result, a huge amount of investment is going into their future development and improvement,

Yet another exciting technological advancement is an aluminium-air battery that allows EVs to drive over 1,100 miles on a single charge.

It’s safe to say that EV development is in its infancy, but the financial and environmental benefits are already strong enough to justify becoming an early-adopter. Charging your EV is becoming easier, cleaner, and more convenient every day.