How to Charge an Electric Car
The ultimate guide on how to charge your electric car, from home charging to topping up your battery on the road. It’s all covered in this handy guide.
Whats in this post
What is electric car charging?
Electric car charging is when you plug the vehicle into an energy source to replenish the battery, storing energy in the built in battery enables the driver to use that stored energy at will.
These energy sources are known as Charging Points, they can be connected to solar and battery storage systems and also connected to the Grid. You can find these at home, work, service stations and in public locations.
Charging an electric car at home
The most convenient place to charge your electric car is at home, usually plugged in overnight. If you have off-street parking, you can have a dedicated home charger installed.
Dedicated home chargers range from small and compact to full featured smart charging units.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the features to look out for:
- A dedicated home charging point will charge on average at a rate of 7kW, this equals around 30 miles of range per hour when plugged in.
- Most Electric cars in the UK will have the Type 2 fitting, but some come with the Type 1 fitment. You will need to know the fitment type when purchasing some home chargers. If you are unsure you can also read our guide to car charging sockets.
- Home chargers come with either a cable attached (Tethered) or you plug your charging cable into the home charger and into the vehicle (Socketed).
- Every smart home charger is Wi-Fi enabled, has access to additional smart features and over-the-air software updates. These smart chargers have a host of features from scheduled charging to energy usage statistics and user access control.
Electric cars can be plugged into a standard 3-pin plug, however this method of charging is only recommended for emergency use as the charging cable is not designed for charging over extended periods of time. It also takes longer to charge (10 miles range per 1 hour of charging) and the sockets do not have the required safety features of a dedicated charger.
Tip: You could save money by installing a dedicated home charger that pairs up with the solar panels on your roof.
Charging at Work
Workplace charging is becoming more popular as the rise in electric vehicle owners increase. Having your vehicle plugged in and charging at work makes sense as it will be stationary for extended periods.
Businesses throughout the UK are pioneering the green initiative and are offering charging solutions to staff and visitors. Some are even switching their fleet to all electric.
- Workplace chargers are similar to home chargers but they are mainly Socketed Type 2 charging points. This means that you will need to provide your own cable to use these chargers.
- Security features may be present to allow for selective access to charging.You may need to swipe an RFID card, use a dedicated app or just plug and charge. This will all depend on the businesses preference.
Tip: Frequent top-ups mean that you don’t run low or have to wait while your battery recharges from empty.
Charging in public locations
Public locations also offer access to electric vehicle charging solutions like the local supermarket, council car park’s or retail park’s. This is ideal for topping up your vehicle whilst doing a little shopping or visiting the local cinema.
- Public location charging stations offer 7kW charging, giving around 30 miles of range per hour plugged in.
- Many public location charging stations are free because businesses who install them incentivise visit’s to their premises.
- Don’t forget to bring your own charging cable and you may also need to install a smartphone app to begin the charging process.
Tip: We recommend checking some of the chargers in the local area, sometimes they may be out of order or may need special access via an app or RFID card. Once downloaded or RFID requested you can be ready to charge if in the emergency that your battery is empty.
Long distance journeys
Sometimes you may find that your journey is longer than the range of your battery, when this happens you can plan ahead and navigate to a stop off point to use a high power rapid charger. There are a number of these stations usually found at motorways and and other service stations throughout the UK.
- Rapid chargers are convenient for charging batteries with very little charge left
- You will have to pay to use a rapid charger.
- You will have recharged 80% of the battery within 30 – 40 minutes.
- The cables are always tethered to the rapid chargers, but it’s always a good idea to take your charging cable with you at all times.
Considering whether you would like a home, workplace or public charge point?
We can help you decide which product suits you.
If you would like to request a free quote, please get in touch here.
McNally Electrical (Yorkshire) Ltd are accredited to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC). This means we are signed up to a high standard of conduct, including providing good information about your installation.