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Different Types Of Electric Vehicle Chargers And How To Find Them In The UK

Traditionally, the limiting factor with the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) market has been the range of the vehicles and the lack of available charge points. In the last few years, each of these arguments have been resoundingly answered by rapidly-developing technology and an acceptance that accommodating infrastructure is required in order to make this a credible vehicle market.find ev chargers

There are now more EV charging points in the UK than there are traditional forecourt petrol and diesel pumps, with over 15,500 locations now able to be accessed using handy maps or Sat-Nav technology.

Now, all major cities have a number of charging points for rapid charging, and some of these are free. Charging points in supermarkets, shopping centres, leisure centres, hotels and service stations are often free to use, but on a condition of a time restriction or in return for being a purchasing customer or a patron of an establishment.

Different driving habits of EV drivers

How you charge an EV is obviously a big factor in how successful it is for you. Undoubtedly an EV driver will need to change some habits. You can leave an EV charging at home overnight, so time isn’t a factor, or you can charge it while you are shopping, in which case time really does matter. Convenience comes into this, because traditionally we will only visit a petrol station when we have to, ie. when the tank is nearly empty, and then we fill it up. Driving an EV inevitably leads to more frequent ‘topping-up’, because we might as well charge the car while we shop, or overnight at home, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be empty, or full when we finish.

This means we need to quickly build-up a knowledge of charging points and how long we need to charge for in order to have sufficient for certain journeys. Factors that can effect an EV’s range include the battery size, the range capability between charges of your particular EV, our charging habits (frequently ‘topping-up’ an EV may not be good for the long term capability of the battery, like a mobile phone) and the power rating of the charger.

Types of EV charging point

You can use a standard 3-pin 13A plug at home, which is convenient for charging overnight, but otherwise, chargers in public places will be socketed – this is a charge point where you can connect either a Type 1 or Type 2 cable - or tethered – this is a charge point with a cable attached with either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector.

In terms of charging time and range, these types of chargers can be categorised as:

  • Slow – Usually up to 3kW – used at home overnight or at work - can achieve full charge in around 8-10 hours
  • Fast – Usually either 7kW or 22kW – used in public places, but 7kW is the maximum you can have fitted as a wall-box connection at home – can achieve full charge in around 3-4 hours
  • Rapid – Usually from 43kW – this is compatible only with EVs with rapid-charging capabilities – can achieve full charge in between 30-60 mins

Of course, there is no set answer to how long it will take you to achieve full charge, and how far that will take you, because it varies according to the charger and the type of EV you have, but for example, a Nissan Leaf can achieve zero to full charge in 7 and a half hours with a 7kW charger. Which is therefore possible to achieve at home overnight.

TIS EVSE testing equipment

Clearly an EV driver has to develop habits and knowledge to judge where they are and what they are doing, and using maps and Sat-Nav notifications, you can plan a suitable journey to include where you are able to charge. The reliability of EVSE and charging points is also critical to this expanding market, and the EVSE testing equipment supplied by TIS is important, therefore, in providing robust EVSE infrastructure and subsequently contributing to this game-changing vehicle market which is already revolutionising motoring habits, but also reducing vehicle emissions at a time when we absolutely have to.

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