There are many charging solutions available for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
As EVs and PHEVs grow ever-popular, so does the expansion of public charging points. Currently, there are 42,000-plus public connectors all around the UK, in more than 15,500 locations. These charging points vary in terms of the output they offer and the amount of time it takes to fully charge a vehicle, with options ranging from a 50kW super-fast charging point to more standard 3kW options.
Finding a suitable charging point out in public is becoming simpler by the day, with the UK-wide network adding more and more locations. At present, you will be able to visit petrol stations and service stops, supermarkets and selected car parks that offer charging solutions. And, when using the services of Zap Map, you can always easily locate the nearest point of charging, making it simple to plan routes or top up when on the go.
You can charge your EV or PHEV at home using a standard three-pin power supply. This, however, is the slowest charging solution and will often require you to keep the vehicle on charge overnight when electricity costs are least expensive. There’s also the convenience of being able to charge from the comfort of home - something that is unavailable to those living in built-up urban environments without off-road parking.
An alternative solution to the standard three-pin plug is to have a dedicated charging point installed at home. A dedicated wallbox will deliver much quicker results, and buying electric car charging stations for domestic environments is a worthwhile investment. Until recently, government grants were available to help fund the installation of such charging points, but with the cost being up to £800, there is undoubtedly a cost effective solution available.
Regardless of cost, it’s important you have a charging point installed by an OLEV professional who will be able to safely fit the system at your property.
For most people, their vehicle remains idle throughout the working day, meaning that being able to use this time to charge your vehicle is a preferred choice. As with home charging, you can charge your car at work using a three-pin power source. That said, many workplaces provide rapid-charging facilities. Indeed, government help is available for businesses, such as the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), which is provided by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEZ).
At present, workplaces are limited to a maximum of 20 charging points, but this limit is likely to be removed in the coming years. Various charging options are available, ranging from slower charging to rapid facilities; regardless of the charging point selected, it should be installed by a fully authorised OLEV installer to ensure safety and compliance.
There are three ways to charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car.
Charging times will vary according to the car you own, the size of its battery and the charging method.
Let’s look at the Nissan Ariya as an example:
3kW charger – 29 hours
7kW charger – 12.4 hours
22kW fast charger – 3.2 hours
50kW rapid charger – one hour
Please note: the above timings are approximate and are based on a zero-to-100-percent battery charge.
Hopefully, we’ve answered most if not all of your questions regarding EV/PHEV charging. If not, please check our frequently asked questions below – and don’t hesitate to contact your local Smiths Motor Group team if you require further assistance.
This will depend on the car and its battery. For example, at the time of writing, the Nissan Ariya costs £24 to charge (from zero to 100 percent).
Mild hybrid and full hybrid vehicles are self-charging, which is achieved via regenerative braking and cruising. This means that no charging is required on the owner’s part.
Rapid charging (50kW) is the quickest form of charging.
A Type 1 charger (five-pin) is used by many older EVs and PHEVs, such as the Nissan LEAF (2012-2017 model). Type 2 chargers (seven-pin) are now standard throughout Europe.
This goes by a number of names, including vehicle inlet port and charging inlet.
A fast charger (22kW) uses 32 amps.
A cable length of 7.5 metres is a good size: not too long, not too short.
This means charging when electricity demand is at its lowest (i.e. off-peak) – at night, for example.
A Combined Charging System (CCS) uses a power rating of 50-350 kW DC. It’s a rapid-charging system.