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Electric Vehicle Basics: Types of Chargers

As we all become more conscious of our carbon footprints and do our best to reduce our impact on the earth, more and more of us are looking into the logistics of owning an electric vehicle. What’s more, now that EVs have been around long enough that the used electric vehicle market is starting to flourish, there is more opportunity for people to buy EVs at a more affordable price. Last week we looked at the challenges of charging EVs. This week, we take a look at the types of charger, and what that means for charging time.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

The length of time it takes to fully charge an EV depends on three things: the size of the battery, the charging power and, of course, how full the battery is. Assuming the battery is pretty much flat, the time can be calculated using a simple sum: Battery size / charging power.

Types of charger

There are over 20,000 public chargers in the UK, with some areas way ahead in chargers per capita than others. These chargers are subdivided into three categories:

Slow charging

Slow charging is usually done using the normal three-pin plug that we are familiar with using at home. While most slow charging is done by EV owners at their own home, with an output of 2-3kWh, public slow charging points offer up to 5kWh.

Slow-charging a vehicle with the average battery size of 80kWh at a public slow charging point could take up to 16 hours – so it is probably most sensible for top ups. Slow charging at home, meanwhile, can take up to 40 hours – so you had better not be in a rush!

Fast charging

Fast chargers can be installed on private properties or in public places. Most public chargers are fast chargers, offering between 7kWh (for home fast chargers) and 22kWh (for public chargers). Most public chargers are fast and untethered – so you will need the cable that comes with your EV.

Based on 22kWh, it will take your average 80kWh car just over 3.5 hours to fully charge.

Rapid charging

There are 4,000 rapid chargers throughout the UK, with more appearing as demand rises. These superfast chargers produce power between 50 and 350kWh. Rapid chargers have their own tethers so no need to use the ones supplied with your vehicle.

Based on a whopping 350kWh, an 80kWh car will take less than 14 minutes to charge, while the more common, 100kWh will take 48 minutes to fully charge.

There was a time when owning an electric vehicle was something very niche; you had to have the budget, the charging capacity, and possibly a second vehicle to use while your electric one was charging. However, with rapid charging being the future, and a rising market for second hand EVs as original owners upgrade to the latest model, electric vehicle ownership is becoming more mainstream, more affordable and more accessible. If you want to explore the world of EVs or hybrid vehicles, get in touch with your local car dealership for advice and availability. For more tips and advice, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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