Charging an electric car is similar to charging a mobile phone – give it a full charge when you can, for example at home overnight, and top it up during the day if you need to. There are three ways to charge an electric car:
Rapid charging between 5-45 minutes
Rapid charge points are located in motorway services, fuel stations and at key destinations. Accessed via apps or contactless, they supply power at 50kW – at ultra rapid charging locations it’s 150kW – or more. At 100kW you can expect to add 90 miles of range every 15 minutes. It’s not the cheapest way to charge your car but gives the opportunity to travel beyond its range. If you’re going to rapid charge regularly it is worth creating an account with the chargepoint provider to access their cheapest rates and plan your journey on zap-map.com.
Rapid chargepoints have their own cables and all offer rapid charging through a CCS connection. Some EVs (eg a Nissan Leaf) use the CHAdeMO system – most banks of rapid chargepoints have at least one CHAdeMO connector. It is worth checking in advance if your car does not use CCS. Tesla have opened up 15 of their UK supercharging destinations for non-Tesla vehicles – check out our news and insights from December 2022 to get more details on how to use these facilities.
Fast charging between 6-12 hours
This is the most cost effective way to charge EVs. Widely available on-street and at supermarkets, leisure facilities and car parks, these units are either wall mounted or short columns and you need to bring your own cable. You can expect to add up to 25 miles of range an hour. We also recommend installing a unit at your home and can help you find a local installer. Join a charging network and download their app so finding a charge unit and paying is simple and quick. It’s also worth keeping your cable in your car, or buying a spare, so you are always able to take advantage of a free chargepoint.
Trickle charging between 12-24 hours
An overnight charging solution plugging in to a standard household 3-pin wall socket. This is useful when you first get home with your EV and when staying away or visiting friends and family. We do recommend that customers install a home charging unit to fast charge their EV. Don’t forget to pack the lead when you go to stay with friends and plug directly into a wall socket rather than an extension lead.
Finding EV chargepoints and paying for your charge
Check out our help and advice article on the apps you might need to run your EV which details the different ways of finding chargepoints and payment methods. https://www.evexperts.co.uk/ev-help-and-advice/how-many-apps-do-you-really-need-for-an-ev/