How do you charge an electric car?

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If you want to charge your car at home, most people do so overnight by using a dedicated EV charger. These types of chargers typically provide about 7kW of power, which is then inserted into the vehicle and left until the battery is fully recharged.

The charging speed is determined by the current type (DC/AC), rated power (kw), connector type and mode.   The voltage and charge current (amps) are used to determine the rated power, with either a direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). Most homes have a standard domestic single phased (230V) supply, which limits charging to around 7kW. If you use a rapid DC charger this could be increased to anywhere between 50kW and 120kW. A cable links the car and charge point, which also features a connector that fits into the car inlet socket and another that connects to the charger outlet. There are ‘tethered’ and ‘untethered’ options: the former has a cable constantly attached to the charger, and the latter requires you to attach the cable every time you wish to use it. There are some non-plug-in hybrid models that partially recharge themselves via regenerative braking, or via an internal generator. Currently, there are no fully self-charging electric cars available to buy.

Charging modes

You will know which type of charger suits your car based on the model and cable provided by the manufacturer. Most EVs come with at least two cables with different connector outlets, so you may be able to charge with either DC or AC. All cars can connect to a ‘Type 2’ socket, even If they have a type 1 inlet.

Where to charge your electric car

Not everyone has a dedicated electric car charger at home and instead rely on alternatives. As of May 2020 there were over 31,000 public charge points at over 11,000 different locations in the UK. These can be anywhere from car parks and service stations, to supermarkets or at the side of the road. An increasing number of businesses and homeowners are taking advantage of the Government’s various discount initiatives (Workplace Charging Scheme or OLEV grant) which reduce the installation cost. This enables people to charge their cars while at home or work, so their car is always charged and ready to go.

Thinking of installing an EV home charge point?

AAC are OLEV-approved installers of electric car chargers for home and business owners. To find out more about our range of electric car charger services, and to organise a free survey and quote, email or call 01707 32 55 66.
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