Are you a new electric vehicle (EV) owner trying to navigate the complex world of EV charging solutions? With so many charging options available, it can be challenging to determine the best option for your needs. This guide will provide you with an overview of the different types of charging options, along with the costs, charging times, and available infrastructure providers in the UK.
As more households and businesses turn to EVs, it’s essential to understand the various EV charging solutions available in the UK. These options include home charging, workplace charging, and public charging points. According to EV industry data, there are now over 500,000 EVs on UK roads, with more charging points available every day.
Understanding the different types of chargers, the costs associated with them, and the available infrastructure providers is essential to help you choose the right charging solution. So let’s dive deeper into this topic and explore the different ways to charge your electric car in the UK.
Different Charging Options
There are several ways to charge an electric car in the UK, including:
- Home charging: Home charging is the most common way to charge EVs in the UK. It is convenient, inexpensive, and reliable. You can even get government grants through the OLEV grant scheme, covering up to 75% of the installation cost of a home charger. It is worth noting that home charging also has the added benefit of allowing drivers to charge at off-peak times when electricity rates are lower, making it a more cost-effective option.
- Workplace charging: The Workplace Charging Scheme was established by the UK government to encourage employers to provide EV charging for their employees. Employers can receive up to £350 per charging point for up to 40 charging points. This offers employees the convenience of charging their vehicles while at work, extending the range of their journeys.
- Public charging points: Public charging points are available across the UK in various locations like car parks, motorway service stations, and supermarkets. With over 31,000 connectors on over 13,000 public chargers, the number of public charging points is rapidly increasing.
Each of these charging options has its benefits and drawbacks, and they vary in charging times and cost. Depending on the location and the car’s battery size, charging times can take from 30 minutes to several hours or overnight. We will be discussing this in more detail in the following section.
Charging Costs and Times
The cost of charging an electric car in the UK varies depending on the electricity rate and the type of charger. It is worth noting that the cost per kWh is cheaper during off-peak hours, which is typically during the night. The cost of electricity is generally around 32p per kWh, but it can vary depending on the region. One of the significant benefits of home charging is that it can significantly reduce charging costs compared to public charging.
The charging times will depend on the size of the vehicle battery and the charger’s power rating. EV batteries have become more efficient, meaning that larger batteries allow for longer ranges on a single charge. There are different types of chargers that offer varying charging speeds:
- Slow chargers (up to 3kW): These come in two types: 3-pin plugs and a universal EV charger cable that can be used on any available charging type 2 sockets. Slow charges usually take between 8 and 12 hours for a full charge.
- Fast chargers (7kW-22kW): These usually take between 3 to 4 hours for a full charge.
- Rapid chargers (50kW-350kW): These, in comparison, offer ultra-fast charging and usually take between 30 minutes and an hour for a full charge. Some of the latest models can charge up to 80% in just 15 minutes.
Most EVs have a charging point built-in, and an increasing number of public charging stations are being built with universal charging adapters that can work with many different models, increasing the availability of public charging.
Charging Infrastructure Providers
There are several charging infrastructure providers available in the UK that offer both public and home charging solutions. Some of the well-known providers include:
- Pod Point: Provides charging solutions to homes, businesses, and public charging networks.
- Zap- Map: Offers tools to help EV drivers find charging points and plan their journeys.
- BP Pulse: Part of BP, BP Pulse provides and operates EV charging solutions and provides charging for fleets.
Several private and public-sector companies are currently providing public charging solutions across the country. Each of these companies has its networks of chargepoints, app-based tools or memberships, and payment options.
As the EV industry continues to grow, so does the demand for EV charging solutions. The good news is that there are various options to suit your needs and budget. It is essential to consider your charging behavior and choose the most convenient and cost-effective solution for your lifestyle. By opting for smart charging and Eco-driving techniques, you can further reduce your charging costs and enjoy the benefits of electric mobility.
In conclusion, understanding the different charging options, costs and the available infrastructure providers can help you make informed decisions about the best way to charge your EV in the UK. With the government grants for home charging installation and increasing public charging infrastructure, you can quickly and conveniently keep your EV charged and ready to hit the road. It is an exciting time for the EV community as the UK is rapidly expanding its charging capabilities. So why not join the movement and help power the future, one electric car at a time?