It would be senseless to introduce an electric car if that car could only be charged at a specialist station. That is why EV buyers can easily power up their vehicles using a dedicated home charging point installed in the garage or on the driveway. All EV’s come with a basic charging cable that plugs into a domestic 13amp socket but really these should only be used as a last resort or until a purpose-made Type 1 or Type 2 (whichever is correct for the car in question) charging cable is purchased, to work in conjunction with a professionally installed home charging station.
The Home Charging Station
EV drivers should ideally choose a weather-proof home charging point. This provides the additional benefit of faster charging speeds, built-in electrical safety and in some better featured examples, the ability to control the unit remotely via an app. A grant is available for this installation in some cases and it is worth investigating. You can read more about smart charging stations here.
It’s now a well-known fact that cars are usually charged overnight to take advantage of cheaper fuel but it is not essential. Top-ups are usual at public charging stations and these often have the added advantage of being very fast in use.
Rapid chargers provide power at 50kW, and use either the CHAdeMO or CCS charging standards. This is usual and both typically charge an EV to 80% in as little as twenty minutes. This is why some drivers buy a rapid charging cable for use in these circumstances in addition to the regular cable used at home. Rapid charging can however only be as rapid as the individual car permits. This information should be supplied with the EV.
It is also possible to find charging hubs that are described as Ultra-Rapid, providing power at 100kW or more. These are very likely to be the chargers of the future, much like the exclusive Tesla Supercharger hubs available to owners of that brand of car. It seems that where Tesla leads, the world follows.
Rapid Charging At Home
When it comes to saving time on a home charge however there’s a catch. No matter what rate of charge an EV will take, the speed at which it can be charged at home is governed by the fact that most domestic properties only have single-phase power. So regardless of any other parameters a vehicle can only be fuelled at a maximum charging rate of 7kW. Anything more powerful than that will likely only be found at commercial properties and businesses where there is perhaps a three-phase electricity supply, if your car is capable of three phase charging, it is recommended you choose a three phase ev charging cable, you can read more about choosing the perfect charging cable for your car here .
This lack of home rapid charging is not a reason to despair. Our electric cars can be topping up while we sleep and an overnight charge will be more than sufficient for the average day ahead. When a top-up is required, say on a longer trip, then the public rapid charging facilities can be deployed. It’s straightforward to find the nearest hub via the miracle of the internet.
It’s a win-win situation. Top up for the most part on cheaper home electricity in the knowledge that should it be needed, rapid charging is available and it is still less expensive than petrol!