If you drive an electric vehicle (EV), you know how convenient it is to charge your vehicle at home.
However, there are a couple of different ways to do it. Electricity is becoming more popular as technology improves and more individuals are switching to it.
If you’ve switched to electricity, you’ll need to know how to recharge your car. This guide will teach you about charging your EV.
What Are EV Charging Stations, and How Do They Work?
Electric vehicles receive electricity from specific charging facilities known as EV charging stations (EV).
EVs can be charged using electricity, unlike traditional gasoline-powered automobiles. Electric vehicles (EVs) can be powered by electricity produced by power plants or, in some situations, even solar panels.
Electric cars, neighbourhood EVs, and plug-in hybrids may all recharge at an EV charging station, a piece of equipment connecting an EV to an electrical source. An electric vehicle can access the grid by plugging it into a charging station.
They store electricity in rechargeable batteries to drive an electric motor that turns the wheels. Because they accelerate more quickly than cars with traditional fuel engines, electric vehicles feel lighter to drive.
There may be less pollution produced by electric cars compared to gasoline-powered ones. Electric vehicles also require less maintenance and are less noisy than gas-powered vehicles.
These factors contribute to the global increase in the popularity of electric vehicles.
Types of EV Charging Stations
Charging stations come in a few distinct varieties.
The type you require will all depend on the charging cables, which all have different connectors that you put into the electric vehicle and the charging station. Depending on your vehicle and the charge point’s power rating, you can use various charging connectors.
The following is a list of five plug types used in the UK:
1. Type 1 Connector:
The type-1 plug electric vehicle charger has a single phase output at 3-7kW AC, Single Phase (Slow/Fast Charge), and an approximate range of 12 miles per 30 minutes of charging time.
It is the least common type of electric vehicle charger used today. Most modern electric cars are not equipped with this type of charger, and when it is connected to the supply, it has no locking mechanism.
This charger is usually used at workplaces or public locations where the charger is hardwired to a power source.
2. The Type 2 Connector:
This kind is becoming more and more common in Europe as a typical charging connector for electric vehicles.
When connected to the power supply, the type 2 charging connector’s built-in locking mechanism secures the connector. It uses a standardised power rating of 3–42 kW AC for both single-phase and three-phase energy supplies.
The type 2 AC connector, which can handle power values of up to 600V, is presently the most widely used electrical connector in Europe. A type 2 connector is currently standard on most new European cars.
It provides roughly 75 miles of range after 30 minutes of charging, and Tesla has a type 2 version with a 120 kW DC output.
3. The UK’s Three-Pin Plug:
The three-pin plug used in the UK is a single-phase (standard charge) device with a power rating of 2.3 to 3 kW AC and provides around 5 miles of range in 30 minutes.
This is a typical residential electrical socket found in the UK and is not intended for the extended use required to charge an electric vehicle completely. It has a 3 kW maximum power output and charges quite slowly.
4. The CCS (Combined Charging System) Plug:
The CCS plug is rapid charging and has a power output of 50–350kW DC, providing a range of around 85–200 miles in 30 minutes.
It is one of the most flexible quick-charging connectors and will probably overtake other DC connector standards in popularity. Because of this, larger ultra-rapid chargers can support higher power ratings.
5. The CHAdeMO Plug:
According to the organisation, shorthand for “Charging de MOve” is often known as “charging for moving.” “o CHA deMO ikaga desuka” (おちゃでもいかがですか), which translates to “How about a cup of tea?”, which is a phrase that is used to describe how long it takes to charge a car.
To compete with China’s GB/T charging standard, Tesla’s proprietary connector used by its Supercharger network outside of Europe, and the Combined Charging System (CCS), which has been mandated for electric vehicles sold in the European Union since 2021, the Tokyo Electric Power Company and five significant Japanese automakers founded the CHAdeMO Association in 2010. The CHAdeMO plug is a three-phase quick charging plug with a 50 kW DC power rating.
It employs an older style of charging cable connector for rapid charging and provides a range of about 85 miles for every 30 minutes of charge. However, it is compatible with Japanese vehicles.
Due to the success of the Nissan Leaf, it is one of the most popular forms of quick connector.
How Can You Select the Best Electric Vehicle Charging Station for Your Needs?
Charging stations are rated by the amount of electricity they output.
There is no standard rating system for EV charging stations yet. However, in the United States, level 1 charging stations in the United States have a maximum power output of 120 volts.
Level 1 can charge an electric vehicle at about half the speed of Level 2 charging stations, which output around 240 volts. A vehicle at this level will need about eight to twelve hours to recharge.
However, wheel-mounted level two chargers allow for quicker charging. Level 3 charging stations output around 480 volts and are about ten times the speed of Level 1 and Level 2. Level 3 charging stations supply enough electricity to recharge an electric vehicle in a few hours fully.
However, they are less common than either Level 1 or Level 2 stations. This flexibility of EV charging speeds means that the same charging station can be used for different purposes depending on the needs of the electric vehicle owner.
An EV can be charged in as little as 30 minutes and 8 to 10 hours. Your electric car’s battery size, how many miles you travel between charges, your charging routine, and the charger’s power rating affect how long it takes to charge.
Three basic categories of chargers exist:
- Slow Chargers: These chargers typically have a 3kW rating and are primarily done overnight at home or work. 8–10 hours are needed to charge it completely.
- Fast Chargers: They are fast-rated at either 7kW or 22kW and are commonly found in parking lots, supermarkets, and recreation centres. A full charge takes 3–4 hours.
- Rapid Chargers: At motorway service stations, gas stations, and supermarkets, you can find rapid chargers—typically rated at 43kW. It is only compatible with EVs with a rapid-charging mode and takes 30 to 60 minutes to charge fully.
Power is measured in kilowatts (kW), which is how much energy a device needs to work.
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) measures the amount of energy that has been used; for instance, a 100-watt lamp burns 0.1 kWh each hour. 3,100 kWh is the typical annual energy use for a home.
An electric automobile uses around 2,000 kWh of energy annually.
- Your electric car uses different amounts of energy depending on the weather, and the range is bigger in the summer and smaller in the winter.
- You can download the “Zap-Map” app from the App Store. While you’re out and about, you can use it to find the nearest charging station.
Installation Tips for EV Charging Stations
Here are some installation tips for your EV charging station:
- The better the initial installation, the safer it will remain throughout its life. Qualified electricians should install your installation.
- An EV charging station is usually installed indoors because it requires a properly grounded electrical supply. This means you must dig out a trench and attach the conduit to the trunk line.
- Home chargers are usually installed in the garage, and the garage size can limit the range size. Therefore, it is essential to install solar panels to provide pre-heated or cooled air to your electric car so that it does not overheat during the summer and doesn’t freeze during the winter.
- If you’re wondering if you can set up an EV charging station on your own, the answer is no. Don’t try to install an EV charger yourself unless you are an electrician with experience doing so. Always work with a qualified and experienced installation. Although it can cost more upfront, it’s crucial to ensure that your charger is installed correctly, safely, and by all laws. You don’t want to take a chance because some EV charging stations would lose their warranty if not installed by a licensed electrician.
Choosing the Right Location of a Home EV Charging Station
Here are a few things to take into account while picking a location for your charge point:
- Be sure to account for the charging cable’s length. A cable can be a dangerous trip hazard, even on a private drive.
- Is it better to have the charge point visible or hidden? It makes a difference whether the charge station is tethered or untethered in this case. You may not want the tethered wire to look like a coiled garden hose in front of your house.
- To use the smart features, such as remote charging and access to off-peak energy rates, the charger will also need to be able to connect to your home wifi connection, so it might not want to be located in the area farthest from your router.
- Where is your EV’s charging port? Others are on the side or even further back, where you typically find a fuel filling cap. Some are simple enough to find—right on the front.
Here is another list containing some of the most crucial things to think about while selecting installation services for your EV charging station:
- The installation of EV charging stations places a high focus on safety. Therefore, the installers need to have a proper understanding of local building codes as well as the rules and regulations of the utility company.
- Check your charger’s entire certification. Confirm that the car manufacturer authorises the installer to install the unit in question on your specific car model.
- Cost: determining the cost of installing EV chargers. Prices vary based on many variables, including location and job complexity.
- Expertise and services: Look for specialised services and all-inclusive pricing. Some electricians might charge extra for things such as permits and inspections, while others include them for free in their price estimate.
What Steps Exactly Are Involved in Installing My EV Charger?
Step 1: Compare Chargers Before Purchasing an EV Charging Station
Step 2: Choose an Installation Company
Step 3: Inquire About a Company Visit
- The engineer should take measurements.
- By looking up the fuse box location, you can find the optimum location for the charging station in your house.
- Ask the engineer to provide you with details on the installation and operation of the EV charging station.
- Ask them to give you a price estimate for the work.
Step 4: Schedule the installation.
Step 5: Install the EV Charging Station.
Step 6: Ask the installation engineer to walk you through how to operate the charging station and any related apps.
That’s it! Enjoy your new EV charging station.
Where Can I Find the Best Installation Company for EV Charging Stations?
Once you have an EV charger, you’ll undoubtedly want to know how to install it.
Using an installer suggested by the manufacturer of your EV charger is the simplest method to discover one. Alternatively, you can contact a professional installation company or even make up your plans and install the unit yourself.
However, it is best to consult a professional installation engineer to avoid potential dangers. Here at MJH Electrical Services Ltd, we pride ourselves on offering a service to help you install your EV charging stations and get up and running in no time.
Our expert engineers are well-equipped to install, maintain, and service your electric car charger, whatever model it is. We can recommend the most common models from other manufacturers and help you make the best choice for your needs.
You can also find out how to keep your charger running smoothly and efficiently with maintenance and service. Specialised services are also available to help you comply with safety requirements.
We provide services to local homeowners as well as commercial clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your electric vehicle charging station.
Maintenance and Safety Tips for EV Charging Stations
Below is a list of maintenance and safety tips for your EV charging stations:
- It is highly recommended to have the cables and connectors of your EV charger inspected and checked regularly to avert any failure.
- Always check on your charging points regularly to ensure they are working the way they should.
- Maintaining and servicing your EV charger regularly will prolong its life and performance. Have a maintenance plan for your electric car chargers to ensure that they perform well at all times.
- Consider an annual safety test/service for your electric vehicle charging equipment to safeguard its integrity and prevent any injuries or accidents caused by faulty equipment.
- Never overlook potential problems with your charging equipment, no matter how small they may seem, as doing so can lead to bigger problems in the future that can become costly to repair or replace.
- Always use a trusted installer for scheduled maintenance to ensure your peace of mind and safety.
FAQs About EV Charging Stations
Here are some of the most common questions that have been asked regarding EV charging stations and the answers to those questions:
When Will My Vehicle Be Fully Charged?
It depends on the size and strength of your car’s battery and your charging station. Typically, plug-in hybrids (such as the Golf GTE and Prius) charge at a rate of 3.7 kW and reach full capacity in 3 hours. Although they have a significantly larger battery, fully electric automobiles (like Tesla) can charge at a rate of 7.4kW on a single-phase supply. Ten hours would be needed to completely charge a 75 kWh Tesla Model S. A 7.4kW charge would charge at a rate of roughly 24mph compared to a 3.7kW battery’s approximate 12mph charge speed.
Do Various EVs Require Various Chargers?
There are two common connectors that many EV models employ (Type 1 and Type 2). Although Type 2 charging points are increasingly the norm in the market, Type 1 to Type 2 converter cables are also available.
How long will it take to install an electric vehicle charger?
It usually takes a half-day to complete an installation. Installation may take a bit longer if wires need to be run through internal rooms or if your fuse box is far from the location of the charging point.
Are EV Charging Stations Free in the UK?
Many supermarkets, retail malls, public parking lots, hotels, and even gas stations are home to hundreds of free electric vehicle charging stations in the UK.
Can You Use Any Electric Charging Stations in the Uk?
In the UK, most EVs and chargers are compatible. Non-rapid charging, on the other hand, normally necessitates using your own cable, which comes with and is stored inside the car. EVs in the UK will have either the Type mentioned above 1 inlet socket or a Type 2 inlet socket for non-rapid charging.
Is it Necessary to Pay for Parking When Charging Your Electric Vehicle?
There are on-street charging stations and specific EV spaces where you can park for free while you charge.
Can More Than One Car Use the Same Charging Station?
You can charge two automobiles simultaneously. However, this may imply that the cars are charged at different rates, with one charging point taking precedence over the other.
Is It Necessary to Obtain Permission to Install an EV Charger?
If certain conditions are met, planning approval is not required to install wall-mounted electric car charging outlets in areas lawfully utilised for off-street parking. The electrical outlet must be larger than 0.2 cubic metres and not face or be within two metres of a highway.
Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on electric vehicle charging stations. We hope you find this material useful and instructive. If you have any questions or queries, or if you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us here at MJH Electrical Services Ltd.