You're in Charge
How to Charge an Electric Car
Every new EV sold in the UK comes with a cable, allowing you to charge your vehicle at home with a domestic 3-pin plug. Charging on the move is becoming easier every day - Simply purchase the required cable from your manufacture or after-market retailer and choose from the 12,700 charging locations and 35,000 connectors across the UK.
The amount of time it takes to charge an EV depends on the charger you use and the capabilities of the car. There are three main types of charging – rapid, fast and slow. You can reach 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes using a rapid charger. Fast charges typically fully charge an EV in 3-4 hours and a slow unit will usually require 8-12 hours.
You can charge you vehicle at home using the cable provided with your car and a domestic 3-pin plug. As a faster and safer alternative, you can install a dedicated home-charging point. Almost all manufactures offer their own home-charging points or have an authorised partner/installer. Depending on which one you go for, you could be eligible for a Government Grant of up to 75% towards the cost of installing the EV chargepoint at home.
Types of Chargers
In terms of types of chargers you can either charge at home via the standard 3 pin plug which is supplied with most vehicles or by using an installed home charger which would generally sit on the outside wall of your building.
There are two main types of outside home chargers - Tethered and Untethered Units which can be fitted to your building as well as being found at other premises. Universal sockets connect with all EV cars but are un-tethered and will require you to bring and use your own charge connector. Typically Fast Chargers are tethered with multiple connector sockets available. Fast Chargers are usually found in public spaces, shopping centres and workplaces. Rapid Chargers however are tethered with a few different cables and are found on most motorway service stations.
In terms of the charge speed
Slow Charging (home 3pin socket): 6-12 hours
Fast Charging (home outside charger): 3-4 Hours
Rapid Charging (service stations etc): 30 mins
Charging at Home
Charging at home is extremely simple and will be the only type of charging you will need to do the majority of the time as an overnight charge will be sufficient for most daily driving distances. You can choose to do it eother a standard 3 pin plug which will take around 12-15 hours to charge. The best solution is to fit a home charger installation point which can sit on an outside wall of the property and generally charge your car to 100% in around 8-10 hours. Currently a £500 grant is available for the installation of a home charger unit making it very affordable. The main suppliers of the home chargers in the UK are Pod Point and Chargemaster and we have listed their websites below for you
Charging your car on the public network
Charging at home is extremely simple as we have already explained but a lot of people are anxious about charging publicly when really there is no need. In the UK there are now more electric charging locations than Fuel Stations! Log onto www.zap-map.com which will give you every single charging point in the UK, as well as what connections are available at any one time.
Public charging points will likley be one of 2 options. Fast chargers which are generally found at shopping centres, hotels etc and will most likely be untethered so you will need to bring your own cable. The second option will be a rapid charger which have fixed connector cables meaning you wont need to bring your own and can charge in roughly 30 minutes.
How much does it cost?
the cost really depends on where, when and how you charge your EV. The cheapest way will almost always be using a dedicated home-charging point. Many home energy suppliers offer EV specific tariffs with reduced rates for charging overnight. To give you an idea, fully charging a 60kWh EV will cost about £6 and will give you roughly 200 miles of range. This breaks down to only 3p per mile versus a standard size petrol car which come in at about 14p per mile - over 4 times as expensive.
How do i pay?
Charging networks offer monthly or annual subscriptions and some allow pas-as-you-go via contactless payments with your debit or credit card. The subscription comes with a RFID card (similar to a Tesco Clubcard keyring) that you simply wave up against the charging point to initiate charging. Almost all of them offer an Apple or Android App for your smart phone making it simple to manage and pay for your charging.
Charging your electric car in Scotland
Visit chargeplacescotland.org and opt to sign up to an annual subscription for £20 means you will have access to free charging for 90% of the charges in Scotland!