A car that runs on petrol or diesel will soon grind to a halt if you fail to top up your tank, and an electric vehicle will likewise stutter out and die if you don’t regularly charge it. This can feel like a burden to the EV driver, due to the need to charge up regularly, and the relatively difficult task of finding a charging station (compared to finding a petrol station).
Running out of charge mid-drive is every EV driver’s worst nightmare.
But the reality is that ICE drivers are considerably more limited, for while there may be more petrol stations than charging stations, EV drivers are fully capable of charging their cars in multiple locations, including home and work.
It’s not so easy to pump a tank full of petrol in your living room.
So where can you charge your electric car? Here’s everything you need to know…
Charge Your Car At Home…
The simplest way to keep your car charged is to top up the battery at home. The majority of EVs are supplied with basic charging units. These can be plugged into any standard 120-volt wall socket. This is known as “Level 1” charging, and will do in a pinch, however, it takes at least eight hours to achieve a full charge using a basic charger of this nature.
If you’re parked up at home overnight this might work for you, but the majority of us are impatient creatures who prefer the flexibility of knowing they can take their car out in the evening if needed.
The next step up is to have a dedicated 240-volt line installed at your home (either in your garage or on an exterior wall), with a “Level 2” charger.
Having a home chargepoint installed isn’t cheap, however, the additional upfront costs are offset by much quicker charging times. In fact, levelling up to a second tier charger will cut your charge time in half, and allow you to fully charge your EV in around four hours.
Home charging is the cheapest way of charging your EV, while also being extremely convenient and easy. Many EV drivers have a smartphone app that allows them to schedule their car’s charging times to specific hours that allow them to take advantage of discounted off-peak rates.
If the expense of an installation is off-putting, don’t worry, you can get funding to help cover the costs of installing a home chargepoint.
Take Advantage Of Workplace Chargings…
With many businesses going green to make green, the number of workplaces offering charging facilities is increasing. This gives you extra opportunities to charge your cars while you’re at working, using chargepoints in your office car park or garage. Generally speaking, workplace chargepoints offer Level 2 chargers, giving you plenty of time to fully charge your car while you’re working.
Even if the commute to work zaps everything your battery has stored, with a full charge at home and another at work, you will still be able to get back and forthing without any issue at all. While workplace charging isn’t particularly common yet, more and more companies are taking advantage of the imminent petrol and diesel ban, and are getting funding through the workplace charge scheme.
If you run a business, installing a charging station is a great way to not only ensure your team and clients are always fully charged, it’s also a great way to boost the eco-friendly profile of your brand. For help choosing the best EV station for your business check out our recent post…
Use Public Charging Points…
Despite the convenience of charging your EV at home or work, there will be times when you aren’t able to reach your destination without topping up your charge on the way. When this happens, you’ll need to take advantage of the UK’s rapidly expanding public charging station network.
Although still not as prevalent as petrol stations, EV charging stations are popping up more and more frequently across Britain. The number of chargepoints available for public use is (at the time of writing this) 6,764 and rising monthly.
The most likely places to find a public charging station are multi-story car parks, flat blocks, public parking garages, new car dealerships, and also certain urban street corners.
While most public charging stations off Level 2 chargepoints, and are capable of fully charging your battery in a few hours, it’s well working keeping an eye out for Level 3 charging points. These rapid charge points are capable of topping up your battery to 80% capacity in only 30 minutes.
Just be aware that some of the Level 3 chargers have differing connecting port configurations, and you will need to find one compatible with your car.
Charging Your EV On The Motorway…
If you’re on your travels down the motorway and find yourself in need of a charge top up, Ecotricity have over 50 charging stations that provide roughly 300 EV chargers across the country. While these were free to use not too long ago, they now come with a charge of £6 for 30 minutes of use, unless Ecotricity is your electricity supplier, in which case you will receive 52 free charges every year.
While the company has come under heavy fire for introducing fees to their charging stations, they have hit back by pointing out the charge has been introduced to prevent drivers of plug-in hybrid vehicles from hogging charge points, leaving purely electric cars without juice even though they’re capable of running on alternative fuel sources.
If you’re looking for the easiest and most convenient place to charge your EV, having a charger installed at your home, and a charging station installed at your work is definitely the way to go. Get in touch today for expert advice on the perfect charging solution for you, your car, and your lifestyle…