EVs are taking the world by storm and with the potential for chargepoints to overtake petrol stations by 2020, many are choosing to purchase an electric car and have their own home electric car charging points. With three types of charges available and new developing technology, it’s now easier than ever to find one that’s suited perfectly to your needs. 

But with an influx of technical jargon about the ins and outs of EVs, current funding and lots of random bibs and bobs about chargepoints, how do you decipher the key information you actually need?

To help you understand the basics of home electric car charging points, here’s what you need to know…

What Is A Charging Station?

In basic terms, a charging station is a collection of chargepoints that can usually be found in large car parks, supermarkets and motorway services. It generally includes two or more chargepoints that section off an area of the parking spaces. 

One of the easiest ways to work out where your local chargepoint is, is by using the ZapMap’s live map, or on particular dealerships their own websites. So if you’re looking for your local Tesla charging station, you can simply drive on over to their website and check their live map. The same goes for other mainstream EVs like the Nissan Leaf, you can find your local chargepoint on their website too. 

What Are The Types Of Chargers?

Currently, there are three main types of chargers for your EV. They all take various amounts of time to charge your electric car, simply because they have different power outputs. The three main types include:

  1. Slow chargers
  2. Fast chargers
  3. Rapid chargers

Slow Chargers…

Slow chargers as the name states, take the longest amount of time to charge your EV. If you want to use a slow charger, it would be best to use it overnight as it usually takes between 6 and 12 hours for a full battery. However, in saying that it only takes between 2 and 4 hours to charge a PHEV up to full battery. They usually require a 3-pin or Type 2 socket and a power output of up to 3kW. 

This is often the best way to charge your electric car at home or at work. You can simply plug in and then when you’re ready to go back out again, its battery will be charged.

Fast Chargers…

Fast chargers have a power output of between 7kW and 22kW, which means that the charging time is a lot quicker than a slow charger. It can take between 3 to 4 hours to get your battery to full. 

Instead, these usually need either a Type 1 or Type 2 socket. These are typically found at your local supermarket or larger car parks, which you may have to pay for.

Rapid Chargers…

These can differ depending on what type you have, either AC or DC. AC chargers have a power output of 43kW compared to DC at only 50kW. But in the space of 30-60 minutes, they can charge your EV up to 80%. They are ultimately the quickest way to charge an EV and the majority of the time are found at motorway service stations. 

If you are looking to purchase a Tesla, your chargers will be slightly different. They’re called rapid DC chargers which have a power output of 120kW. 

AC chargers use a Type 2 connector whereas DC use CCS, CHAdeMO or Tesla Type 2.

The Best Charging Etiquette…

One thing to remember if you are out and about and wanting to use a public chargepoint, it may cost you to charge it and there is a certain etiquette that comes with it. Luckily for you, we’ve already written another blog about the cost of charging your EV so go check that out for more information on that. 

But in case you’re a new EV user or looking to purchase an EV here’s our top tips on charging etiquette…

  1. Never block the charger. Just like in school when someone was hogging the ball in PE, never hog the charging station. If you’re not going to use the chargepoint, don’t just park in the space or block the entrance, as this can cause a few problems in the EV community. 
  2. On that note, once you’re done charging move on. After all, chargepoints are for charging, not for parking! You may find that if you continue to park in a bay after you’ve fully charged your battery, you may incur a fee. So just be careful in future. 
  3. Never unplug others. This is another big no-no for EV users, it can be very rude to unplug other cars. The only exception would be if you were really desperate and need to get a quick energy boost. What you can do is follow rule two and three, and leave a note to let people know your car can be unplugged after a full charge. 
  4. Sometimes you don’t always need 100%. We’ve mentioned this before in our previous blog, your battery will depreciate over time and to slow it down you can simply charge to 80%. Consider other EV users in the community, if you’re at a high percentage, let someone else charge their EV. 
  5. Leave the charging station as you found it. The most basic rule, that is often learnt from a young age. Make sure the charger and cables are put back properly to avoid other vehicles running over them. 

The Best Way To Avoid Charging Etiquette…

One of the easiest ways to avoid charging etiquette is to have your own chargepoint installed at home. You can have your own dedicated homecharge unit which allows you to plug in your EV whenever is most convenient for you. 

There’s no maximum amount of time you can charge your EV for and no restrictions on how often you can do it. You can plug in your EV whenever you like so you always have that protection of a full battery. It is recommended to charge your EV overnight, especially if you have a slow charger so that your battery is full for the next morning. 

Home Electric Car Charging Points In The UK…

The very first thing that always comes into mind when the topic of chargepoints is the overall price. According to UK Power, the average domestic rate to charge for electric car charging at home is about 14p kWh, and a 60kWh EV would cost you roughly £7.80 for a full charge.

The cost to install a charging station is around £1,000 but you can actually get a £500 Government grant to help with funding, and potentially a further £300 from the Energy Saving Trust if you live in Scotland. 

How To Install Car Charger…

Depending on how many chargepoints need to be installed and what kind of requirements you’re looking for, the installation should take around 3 hours. The process involves mounting the chargepoint to an exterior wall or garage and then connecting that to the mains electricity. You should then be able to plug in at the correct distance and safely charge your EV. 

You will need an expert to install your chargepoint for you and make sure it is safe for you to use. If you’re looking to get funding for your chargepoint, you’ll need to find an OLEV approved installation company who can work with you and your needs. Based in Middlewich, we can support you in installing your chargepoint across the North West and Cheshire. Our knowledgeable and professional team can install your EV chargepoint to the highest standard and answer any questions you have. Simply get in touch today for a free consultation, and find out if you’re eligible for funding…