When deciding to purchase an electric vehicle, one of the first concerns is the charging procedure. How do you charge an EV, how long does it takes, and where you do it. Don’t worry, charging an electric vehicle is not complicated as filling the car with petrol and there are many places in the UK where you can do it.
Where to Charge
At the moment, there are 35,000 places in the UK where you can charge your electric vehicle. In fact, there are more charging points than petrol stations, which is very convenient for EV users. Most charging stations are located in urban areas or near major roads and motorways, but there are more and more points in rural areas as well. As you probably know, a lot of shopping centers are offering charging points, which are very convenient, and the metropolitan regions of big cities have designated parking spaces where you can park and charge.
Of course, if you want, you can charge at your home, and all you need to do is install a home charging device that attaches to your home’s electricity system so you can charge your vehicle overnight. This is the perfect solution if you own an EV with a smaller battery pack and you want to have a car fully charged in the morning.
Type of Chargers
There are three basic types of charging points – Slow, Fast, and Rapid. Slow chargers are your home devices, and they take about 8 to 10 hours to charge the average car battery fully. Fast is significantly more powerful (7 to 22 kW) and takes about 3 to 7 hours to fully charge a car, depending on the battery size, of course. The rapid chargers are the most powerful of the bunch, and they have 43 kW+ capacity, which means that they can do 80% of capacity in just 20 to 40 minutes, which almost matches the time you need to fill your car with fuel. Those rapid chargers are often found along the main motorways or in big shopping centers.
How to Charge
Easy, just park your car in the designated space, connect the vehicle with the charger with the cable, and that is pretty much it. Of course, be sure that the charging cable is the same shape and type as the socket in your car, be sure that the cable is appropriately plugged-in and start charging. Some vehicles use a standard three-pin plug, which is used in home appliances. If that case, you can charge your car where this socket is available. Most modern EVs use Type 1 or Type 2 cable, which is better suited for high voltage electric vehicle chargers operate on and safer.
Price of Charging
As we explained, the price of charging an electric vehicle is much cheaper than filling your car with petrol or diesel. Currently, 1 kWh ranges from 12 p to 30 p, which means that fully charging an average electric vehicle costs from 6 to 30 pounds. Simultaneously, prices for one liter of petrol or diesel in the US are 1.25 to 1.30 pounds, which means that one full tank of fuel is over 60 pounds.
The location of the charger makes a big difference in prices. The best solution is a home charger, and it is well worth the investment. Charging at public charging stations is more expensive, but it only solutions for people who live in an apartment, and there are no charging points in the parking lot. However, you can charge your car for free, and most prominent shopping centers offer free charging for customers who shop there. Of course, there are often time limits, or you need to bring proof of purchase (receipt), but it is a very convenient way of charging your car while doing the weekly shopping. However, those free charging points are always regular slow chargers, so don’t expect the same performance and charging times you would have with fast or rapid chargers.