How to charge an Electric Car

Changing our habits to reduce the effects of climate change has never been more important. The UK has promised to commit to reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2025, and to net emissions by 2050, meaning we all have a part to play to help to reach this figure.

Over the last decade, there has been a lot of focus on how the cars on our roads impact the environment, and with electric vehicle sales on the rise - over 100,000 were sold in the UK domestic market in 2020 - this positive shift in behaviour can only benefit our planet.

Alongside the obvious benefits to the environment, electric vehicles offer low running costs and are much quieter on the roads. With more domestic manufacturers than ever before making dedicated electric vehicles available at reasonable prices, more people than ever are switching to an EV.

There can be some hesitation from prospective owners though, as there can be some uncertainty around how to charge an electric car. Much like traditional petrol or diesel vehicles needing fuel to run, EV’s need to be charged in order to complete journeys. So, how do you charge an electric vehicle?

There are several options when choosing how to charge your electric car, you can either use a public charging station, or charge using your domestic electricity supply with an at-home charger. For each option, there are a few things to take into account.

Public charging stations

Public charging stations work in a similar way to petrol stations, in the sense that you drive to them, fill up, and leave. One thing to bear in mind as an EV owner is how long it takes for your electric car to charge as this may impact your decision of how to charge an electric car.

Public charging stations are often best used when you’re undertaking a long motorway journey, and charging at home won’t reach your destination. Making use of the rapidly growing network of public chargers will come in handy.

Across the UK, there are now around 7,000 locations offering public charging, with around 200 new ones being added each month.

How do I use a public charging station?

As you’d expect, for most public charging stations there is a fee to pay for their use. Many of them will ask you to download an app, or to use their providers’ swipecard, which will unlock the charging cable for your use. Prices can vary depending on the brand of charger so it’s important to do some research before setting off.

If you’re undertaking a long journey, it’s worth checking where the public charging stations are located along your route. This will not only avoid the danger of running low on your battery, it’ll also help you work out the most economic charging point.

When using public charging stations, you can consider rapid charging which will cut your charging time significantly but may incur higher costs.

Charging at home

When considering how to charge an electric car, home charging is often the easiest and most convenient option. Your charger will be at your home, so you’re able to charge whenever the car is parked on the driveway.

Many people find it is cheaper to charge your electric car overnight, but fully charging your car at any point shouldn’t cost you more than a few pounds, a significantly reduced cost in comparison to a petrol or diesel car.

If the cost of installing an at-home charger is on your mind, you may be able to benefit from the OLEV funding grant. The grant, also referred to as the EVHS was updated last year to offer a grant of up to £350, which covers 75% of the installation costs of a new charger. This grant is also available to employers, who can access £350 funding through the workplace charging scheme.

In the context of charging an electric car, the time it takes to charge an EV at home can come into question. Dedicated at-home chargers will offer the best charging speeds, without the inconvenience of having to travel to a public station to do so. As you’d expect, charging speeds will vary, depending on the type of car you have and how much charge is required.

Home charging options

When deciding how to charge an electric car, choosing the right home charging system for your needs can seem daunting. There are two common chargers used by the majority of EV owners, AC charging and, DC charging.

As 80% of EV charging is completed at home, AC chargers are the most popular option. Providing you have a garage or driveway, your car can charge overnight without a large increase in your electricity bill. Discover the best AC charger options available here.

DC charging, however, is an option if you need to charge quickly and often. A faster charging model, DC chargers are often larger in size to handle the additional power but can charge your electric car up to 80% in roughly an hour. Find out more about DC charging options here.

Throughout your time as an EV owner, you’ll most likely find the use of both home and public charging when deciding how to charge an electric car. However, for convenience and cost-effectiveness, you may wish to install a charger for your home. Find out more about our home charging options by getting in touch today.

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