How Do You Actually Charge an Electric Vehicle?

Electric Vehicle Charging

Electric cars can actually be plugged into your standard three pin plug at home.

However, most drivers do tend to have a unit attached to a wall, which is designed specifically for the purpose of charging a car. These are more commonly known as ‘wallpods'.

Installing a specific home charge-point does mean for faster charging and provides more safety features compared with a regular socket.

We can generally look at a 3kW or a 7kW for your home charge-point, depending on the electric vehicle you have purchased.

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 home charge-point, you’ll have the choice of two types of units - a tethered or a socketed unit.

Tethered Unit

A tethered unit is one that comes with the cable attached to the charger. The cable will be provided should you choose this option.

Socketed Unit

This unit comes with a universal socket in the unit but you will need to provide a cable to ensure it is compatible with your vehicle.

We recommend that you purchase a charging cable, even if you decide for a tethered unit. This is because you can then use the cable at other charge-points when not at your home.

Connector Types:

As standard there is the UK three pin, which can be used to charge the majority of electric vehicles. However, is not the safest or quickest method to charge your vehicle.

Type 1.

This connector has five pins and also features a clip. These connectors are generally found on cars made by Asian manufacturers such as Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan etc.

Type 2.

This is a seven pin plug with a flat edge, which is generally found on European vehicles such as Volvo, Tesla, BMW etc.

Charging Speeds

Trickle Charging

This is the slowest type of charging available. A trickle charge is best for long overnight charges at home. This tends to be provided by a standard three pin plug, which again isn’t the safest option compared with a charger designed specifically for electric vehicle charging.

Slow Charging

This is a slightly more convenient option for home charging, as this does allow both top ups and long overnight charging with a specifically designed electric vehicle charger.

Fast Charging

This is ideal for top up charging and can generally provide up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging. It can also provide a full charge in just 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 use outdoors.

Charging Your Electric Car At Work

Talk to your employers about installing a workplace charge-point. Charging at work could be extremely convenient, as you can leave your car to charge whilst you are working. The concept of charging at work, is very similar to that of charging at home. We recommended that you find out whether any of your colleagues have electric vehicle. You can then show your employers how many would benefit from workplace charging when proposing the install to your employers. Alternatively, 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 will need to charge your vehicle when you are 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 may come across Rapid Chargers from time to time.

Charging with Rapid Chargers

Rapid chargers often bypass the electric vehicles onboard charging system to charge the battery directly.

Different types of Rapid Chargers Alternating Current (AC)

The Alternating Current option is a relatively new development and tends to only be available on one or two electric vehicle models in the UK. This is due to their high power. These units tend to be equipped with a non-removable tethered cable.

Direct Current (DC)

This is the fastest and most powerful use of charging. It charges direct to the battery.

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 charge of around 50kW tend to be found on motorway service stations and car dealerships.

Still need some more help? Please feel free to give one of our knowledgeable staff a call on 01535 444101 or email info@mcnallyelectrical.co.uk.

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