So How Exactly Do You Charge an Electric Vehicle?
Thinking of joining the 126,000 people that have joined the electric car revolution?
You’re no doubt exploring in your mind the practical changes an electric vehicle would bring to your life. No more road tax, no engine, and no more stopping to throw £20 petrol in to cover your commute to work.
So how exactly do you “fill up”, well at McNally Electrical we’ve put together a guide so you know exactly how to give your vehicle the power it needs to get you from A to B.
Install a chargepoint at home
Electric cars can be plugged into your standard three pin-plug at home. Most drivers however do tend to opt for a unit attached to a wall, designed specifically for the purpose of charging a car. These are more commonly known as “wallpods”.
Both serve the same purpose of charging your vehicle, but with this said, a home chargepoint can mean faster charging, and provides more safety features.
We can generally look at a 3kW or a 7kW for your home chargepoint, depending on the electric vehicle.
A 3kW will take between 6-8 hours to fully charge a vehicle on average, with a 7kW taking between 3-4 hours.
When looking for a homecharge point, you’ll have the choice of a tethered unit, or a socketed unit.
A tethered unit is one that comes with the cable attached to the charger. You will not have to provide a cable.
This unit comes with a universal socket in the unit, and you will need to provide a cable with it, that is compatible with your vehicle.
It’s recommended that you purchase a charging cable, even if you opt for a tethered unit. This is because you can use the cable at chargepoints up
As standard there is the UK Three-pin.
This connector can be used to charge the majority of electric vehicles.
This however is not the safest, or quickest method to charge your vehicle.
This connector has 5 pins, that also features a clip.
These connectors are generally found on Asian manufacturers such as Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan etc.
This is a 7 pin plug that has a flat edge.
This connector is generally found on European vehicles such as Volvo, Tesla, BMW etc.
This is the slowest type of charging available. A trickle charge is best reserved for long overnight charges at home and tends to be provided by a standard 3 pin plug, which isn’t as safe as a charger designed specifically for electric vehicle charging.
This is a slightly more convenient option for home charging, as this does allow both top ups, and also overnight charging with a specifically designed electric vehicle charger.
This is ideal for top up charging, and can generally provide up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging, or can give a full charge in a few hours. Fast chargers are ideal for keeping your vehicle topped up with charge, whilst you’re out and about.
Can I Charge My Vehicle in The Rain?
Absolutely. The power only starts flowing once the charger within the vehicle and EVSE communicate with each other. The chargers we provide are completely weatherproof and are suitable for the outdoors.
Charging Your Electric Car At Work
Talk to your employers about a workplace charge-point. Charging at work could be extremely convenient, as you can leave your car to charge whilst at work.
The concept of charging at work, is very similar to that of charging at home. You will need to get your employers to install charging points first however.
It’s recommended that you find out whether any of your colleagues have electric vehicles and would benefit from workplace charging. You could then potentially propose the install to your employers.
You could also get in touch with us, and we will contact your employer to anonymously discuss the benefits of implementing electric vehicle chargers.
Charging on the go
There will be times when you’ll need to charge your vehicle when you’re out and about. You could potentially find the need to charge at a supermarket, cinema, or even on a long distance journey. In these situations you will need to use a public charge point.
You can use specifically designed electric car charging maps to locate a charge point. To locate a charge point, there are a variety of apps and software available. An example of this would be ZapMap.
In looking for the location of a charge point, you will come across Rapid Chargers from time to time.
Charging with Rapid Chargers
Rapid chargers bypass the electric vehicles onboard charging system, to charge the battery directly.
What are the benefits?
Rapid chargers can charge up to 50kW. It’s estimated a Rapid Charger can give you 80% charge in 30 minutes.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations
A charging point that provides a charge of around 7Kw can generally be found at Supermarkets, Retail Parks, and Airports.
A higher Kw of charge of around 50kW tend to be found on motorways, car dealerships, and service stations.
Different types of Rapid Chargers
Alternative Current option is a relatively new development, and tends to only be available on one or two electric vehicle models in the UK.
Because of their high power, these units tend to be equipped with a non-removable tethered cable.
This is the fastest, and most powerful. It uses direct a direct current instead of Alternative Current.
Still need to get your head around it all?
Give us a call!