Electric Car Charging

From different connectors, places to re-charge and variable rates charging electric cars seem complicated. Below we help you untangle the complexity of EV charging with our step by step guide explaining the key aspects of charging up.

One of the biggest questions when it comes to electric car ownership is how long will it take for an electric car to charge? There is no set answer, as it varies between different models, charging networks and charging types. There are three main types of EV charging – rapid, fast and slow. These represent the power output and charging speeds in kilowatts available.

  • Rapid chargers are the fastest and come in two types AC, rated at 43 kW and DC rated at 50kW. Both chargers are renounced for charging the majority of EV cars to around 80% in around an hour.
  • Fast chargers will provide power from 7kW to 22kW which typically charges your EV in 3-4 hours.
  • Slow units are up to 3kW and are best used for overnight charging. They usually take between 6 and 12 hours to charge. This is the basic charger supplied with most electric cars using a standard 13-amp three-pin plug.

You may wonder why manufacturers quote a charging time of 80% rather than 100%. This is because not fully charging your car extends the life of your battery.

Guide to EV charging

Charging at home is advisable and the most simple, convenient and cost-effective way to charge. You can get a home charger installed, with EV owners receiving a £500 government grant contributing to the cost and significantly reducing it. It is advisable to get a wall box fitted by a trained electrician, it is safer and quicker than using a domestic plug socket. It is important to note, that most home-based chargers require off-street parking to avoid trailing cables across footpaths.

There are more than 13,000 electric car charging stations throughout the UK, where you can top up your battery and this number is always increasing. Charging at a public electric car station should only cost you a few pounds in electricity rather than £20 or more on petrol or diesel. As of this year, it is a legal requirement for all large petrol stations to install charging points throughout the UK. Costs vary, some hotels and shopping centres give power away for free and others cost about £1.50 per hour, with rapid chargers more expensive.

If you are looking for a small city car such as the Renault Zoe you'll get a full charge in even as little as 6 hours with a 7kW charge. The Renault Zoe is also one of the best electric small electric cars on the market.

Top tips when charging

1. Get a home charger, it will save you lots of money!

2. Get a good electricity deal, check out suppliers’ prices and make an informed decision on a deal with the lowest price kWh and a high standing charge. If you know you will charge overnight, we recommend the Economy 7 metre as it has cheaper rates in early hours.

3. Download an app called Zap-Map, to find your closest charging points and lots more.

4. Plan ahead. You don’t want to find yourself stranded with no charge.

5. Enjoy! You are driving the new generation of cars, earning environmental brownie points and saving money!

For more information on buying an electric car or our current EV offers at John Clark Motor Group, contact us today.

Electric Car Charging