EV Charging devices really are very much similar to phone charging cables, car charging cables tend to have two connectors, one that plugs into the vehicle socket and the other into the chargepoint itself. The type of connector you need varies by vehicle and the power rating (“speed”) of the chargepoint. This is a massive part of EV Charging as we see it and know of it today. These connector types fit into the socket on your vehicle and can be thought of the same as the phone-side charging connectors on your Apple or Android phone charging cable. Depending on which phone/car you have, different connectors will fit into your phone/car socket.
Slow & Fast Charging speeds
Typically used for top-up charging at home, work and destinations, there are two types of AC vehicle-side connectors. Three-phase power is relatively rare in the UK. There is almost no three-phase in homes, but there is some in a few larger commercial buildings. Most public chargepoints are single-phase 7kW devices. This is for sure worth noting when you are looking into different devices and undertaking your research also. Rapid Charging is also now very much the new in thing in terms of offerings across the EV Charging sector and the offerings also out there too.
What are the different methods of charging an electric vehicle?
There are a number of different ways to charge your electric car’s battery pack. Being faced with normal and fast charging methods, and different connector types, can be a little daunting at first. But in fact it is much more straightforward than it first appears! In this short guide we’ll let you in on all the key information you need to know. Essentially, it comes down to two main considerations: WHERE you decide to charge and HOW FAST you decide to charge. These are interconnected, and the charging speed will depend on which particular EV you own, its battery capacity and what sort of charging system you are using. Another key thing to know from the outset: There are three categories or types of charging: Trickle Charge, AC Charge and DC Charge. In the automotive sector, these devices are very much game changing.
Home vs. public charging
You have two options – charging your EV at home using your own domestic mains electricity supply, or making use of public charging stations. This will affect the types (and speeds) of charging available to you. Around 80% of all EV charging is currently done at home. Usually overnight while owners sleep – waking to a fully charged battery the next morning that almost always provides more than enough EV range for most people’s daily travel needs. Public Charging as a concept and offering is increasingly convenient thanks to the ever-growing network, these stations can often be located throughout urban centres in particular and allow you to top up your battery on the go if you need to travel longer distances.
Home charging on new builds soon to be a compulsory requirement
The British government has introduced legislation that will require all newly built homes and offices to feature electric vehicle chargers in England. New homes and buildings such as supermarkets and workplaces, as well as those undergoing major renovation, will be required to install electric vehicle charge points from next year, under new legislation announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. For installers, this could and should look to be big business as more and more people will have the need for these devices to be installed. The same too can be said too for property developers also.
Specifically, all new homes and offices will have to feature “smart” charging devices that can automatically charge vehicles during off-peak periods. New office blocks will need to install a charge point for every five parking spaces. The new law will make England the first country in the world to require all new homes to have EV chargers. It will also boost confidence in helping those who transition from gas cars to overcome range anxiety, as so many homes in England don’t have off-street parking or garages. The proposal is part of the movement to rapidly boost the number of chargers across England ahead of the UK’s 2030 ban of new fossil-fuel vehicles. The government originally announced a proposal to mandate that all new homes have a charge point with a parking space in 2019.
How to charge your car at home?
Make sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for charging your car. These can typically be found in the car handbook. The EV charger you’ve had installed at home may also come with instructions which you should make sure to follow.
Generally, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Park your vehicle in your driveway or garage close to the home charger.
- Plug the connecting cable into the sockets in your car and EV charger.
- Unplug the vehicle once the battery has gained enough charge (if you have a smart charger, you might be able to stop charging using you connected device, like a phone or tablet).
Important – does EV charging raise your bills at home?
As your electric car charger will be connected to your mains electricity, charging your EV regularly will result in an increase to your electric bill. You can use the formula below to calculate roughly how much a car will cost to charge at home. But it’s worth remembering that this formula will give you the cost of charging an empty battery to full charge, which is unusual (you’ll likely just be topping it up on a regular basis). The amount added to your electricity bill depends on how much you use your car – the more you use it, the more often you’ll need to charge it. Some home charging units have smart options that help you save money by charging at cheaper times of the day. They can also be connected to devices via Bluetooth so you can choose when to charge your EV via your phone or tablet.
Can you charge an electric car at home with no driveway or garage?
Most EV chargers are installed in driveways or garages as it’s easier to connect to the mains electricity of the property and be close enough to the parked EV. But there are many people in the UK who don’t have access to off-street parking. While there are public chargepoints available, setting up one at home is often more convenient for EV drivers.
As well as new build properties, there will be other major and massive points to consider too. Wireless electric car charging will become even more of a big point in the future too. Electric cars, taxis and buses charging their batteries wirelessly in public came a step closer recently when a trial of wireless charging technology for taxis was announced in Nottingham. The move came following the announcement of Government plans to invest £40 million into dedicated to wireless charging research in the UK. There are many questions that electric cars still have to answer, but perhaps the biggest remains where and for how long must potential owners charge an EV? Technology is due to change and from this, this is how the devices will alter also in time to come. Much of this will come from the overall continued investment in the actual technology itself.