EV Charging Guide

EV Charging Guide
All About Charging

For those new to electric cars, charging can seem like a confusing and alien idea. The reality is that moving to an electric car will in most cases make “refilling” your car quicker and easier. The majority of electric car owners charge their vehicle at home whilst they are asleep without ever worrying about how to charge in public.

Even so, we think it is time to break down the details of charging your electric car in a simple and easy to understand way to prepare you for your EV driving future.

The 2 (or maybe 3) types of charging

You will hear lots of terms used to describe charging however charging can realistically be broken down into 2 or 3 main categories.

“Slow/Fast Charging” and “Rapid Charging”

The confusion is most often caused by the overlap in terms between different people. In simple terms; Slow/Fast Charging is typically up to a power of 7kW. Rapid Charging is typically at a rate of 50+ kW.

Most electric car drivers will use primarily slow/fast charge at home; either using a home chargepoint (up to 7kW) or a standard household plug (approx. 2.4kW.)

Rapid charging is used when out on the road and wanting a quick top up. Typical charging times are 25 – 45 minutes for an 80% rapid charge.

Understanding your car’s capabilities

Electric cars have a variety of different charging speeds. In most cases, the charging speed discussed is related to the speed the car can rapid charge.

The slow/fast charging speed of a car is less relevant as this type of charging typically happens at home, over many hours. Most EVs are capable of charging at around 7kW at home which is the maximum rate a home chargepoint can offer. In most cases, you do not need to worry about how fast your car can charge at home.

When you do want to charge on a public rapid charger, it is good to understand your car’s capabilities. You can do this by looking at your car’s owner’s handbook or speaking with one of our after sales team. Most of our used cars can charge at around 50kW on a rapid charger however some of our newer cars may be capable of ultra rapid charging on modern 150kW chargers. If you have a newer car with increased charging capabilities, you can find chargers that offer this option.

What type of EV charging connection do I have?

Knowing which connections your electric car has is useful. This enables you to quickly locate and connect to the chargers appropriate for your car. You can find out about EV charging connectors in our Guide to EV Charging Connectors.

The great thing with electric car charging is that you cannot put the wrong connection in. Only the right socket fits.

Do you really need to charge?

This is the big question when looking for your new electric car. How often will you actually need to charge your car away from home?

The average EV owner hardly ever needs to charge their car away from home

In most cases, your electric car will easily cover your daily driving miles without needing to be charged. You can then charge the car up overnight at home for a minimal cost.

You only need to charge your electric car in public if you go further than your car’s range. For many modern cars this range can be between 130 and 250 miles. We find that most driver’s cover between 20 – 60 miles per day so they hardly ever need to charge anywhere but home.

Finding a chargepoint

If you do need to take a longer trip, then it is always nice to know how to find a charger. For this, our current recommendation would be Zap-Map. This is available as a website map here or you can download it as an app on your phone.

The service is free and it shows all of the public charging points available to you. Information is included about price, location, and access making it easy to plan your route.

If you have any further questions about charging your electric car, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our EV specialists.

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