Where can you charge your vehicle?
Most drivers will require a fixed and reliable place to charge their car - normally this will be at home via a 3 pin charging cable or phase 2 wall charger. Alternatively this could be at their place of work. Some people doing lower mileages may well be happy charging their car once a week at the local supermarket or service station.
But, either way, you may find occasions where you need to charge your vehicle whilst on the move.
Route planning is essential when using a Pure Electric vehicle and although some manufacturers such as Tesla have their own route planning systems in their cars, others rely on the drivers to plan it themselves.
For this cause there are now many systems that will assist with route planning, whether by charging networks such as Polar (www.polar-network.com) or stand alone companies like Zap Map (www.zap-map.com). The most common way to utilise these systems is via your smartphone which can not only plan your route, but also be used to pay for the charge.
There are now around 20,000 devices on the UK public charging network, and with this figure is growing daily there should be no reason to worry about running out of power on your journey.
How Long Does it take to charge your vehicle?
Typically, there are 3 types of charging available: slow, fast and rapid.
Slow charging typically performs at 3kW. This is generally associated with charging via a 3-pin plug or by using converted lamp posts which allow vehicles to charge from them. Roughly you can expect to recover 10 – 15 miles worth of charge per hour, or 10 – 12 hours for a full charge.
Fast charging requires a type 2 cable and performs at between 7kW – 22kW. This gives you between 30 & 80 miles of charge per hour, commonly said to take 4 hours for a full charge. Fast charging requires a wall box charging unit which is fitted at home or work, and also often located at supermarkets, hotels, cinemas, pubs and restaurants.
Rapid charging performs at around 50kW, with some now getting up to 150kW. At 50kW you are recovering 150 miles of charge per hour - these charging stations are located at service stations across the UK and are perfect for use when driving long distances, allowing you to take a break and fully recharge your car at the same time.
Below shows examples of some of the most popular cars and the charging times associated with each type of charge. It also details the max range for each, based on WLTP data.