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Get charged and get back on the road

Charging an electric vehicle is extremely easy, but when you have not done it before it could appear overwhelming, but there is nothing to worry about and soon you will be plugging your car in like you do your kettle!

How do I charge my EV?

To charge your EV you will have car charging cables with two connectors – one that plugs into the vehicle socket and the other into the charge point which is no different to your phone charging cable. However, the type of connector required will vary dependent on the vehicle and the power rating of the charge point.

There are three options when it comes to charging your EV – Rapid, Fast and Slow. It’s quite straight forward really as they all represent power outputs and charging speeds.

Rapid

This is the fastest option available to you to ensure you can get on the road quickly. This type of charging unit can supply power direct or alternating current (DC or AC) and depending on the model your EV could be 80% charged in just 20 minutes. All Rapid units have charging cables tethered to the unit with both a CHAdeMO and CCS connector attached. But how do you know which cable to use? Well it is pretty easy, as the connector profiles are quite distinctive, but your vehicle manual will also provide you with this information. Although not as common there are also ultra rapid charging points too.

These units tend to be located at motorway service stations enabling you to stop and have quick break before heading back out on your journey.

Fast

These chargers are predominantly AC charging although a few networks are installing 25 kW DC chargers with CCS or CHAdeMO connectors. A fast charger tends to be either a 7kW or a 22kW and could charge a 40 kWh battery in 4-6 hours. You will tend to find this type of charger in car parks or supermarkets and some of them will have cables attached but some may not.

Slow

These units will predominantly be used by people at home, although they could also be found at a workplace or at public points (although this will be rare). They are units rated up to 3kW and therefore charging could take anything between 6 and 12 hours and they do not normally have cables tethered, so you will need a cable to connect to the charging point.

Connector Types

Aiming to simplify connectors for you is not the easiest thing to do, but rapid chargers tend to use CHAdeMO, CCS and Type 2 Connectors, whereas fast and slow units tend to use Type 1, Type2, commando or 3-pin plug outlets.

From a vehicle point of view most European models tend to have a Type 2 inlet and a CCS rapid as standard, plus they will be supplied with two cables for slow and fast charging. So, you should be able to charge at public stations and at home.

With the rapid charger, you will mainly use the tethered cable – you just need to ensure you choose a compatible connector for the car’s inlet port.

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