What Are Electronic Car Charging Points & Stations?
Electronic Car Charging Points, also known as charging stations, are specialist appliances created with the sole intention of providing power/electricity for electric vehicles. There are different kinds of charging stations which provide different charging times and differ in terms of cost from car to car. They are often found in supermarkets, shopping centres and service stations, who offer EV drivers the chance to charge their car whilst they shop for an affordable fee. You can also have a car charging station installed at home for some vehicles such as Tesla to speed up the charging process, as dedicated stations provide more power than a standard plug does.
The different charging station types can be seen below:
Home Charging Stations
A home charging station is an electrical output which can be installed at your home for a standalone fee. More information on home charging stations can be found below
Public Charging Stations
Public charging stations can be found in places such as supermarkets and shopping centres and are perfect for EV drivers who like to shop. They allow the driver to plug their car into the station and pay a fee (sometimes free) to then return to a charged car ready to drive away. You will find dedicated charging stations in car parks left unattended so it really is as simple as plugging it in.
Dedicated Charging Stations
In some places across the UK, you will find dedicated charging stations which have been created with the sole intention of charging a large number of vehicles. These dedicated stations allow a variety of EV drivers to quickly charge their car ready for a journey, whilst they shop or just simply wait for their car to be ready. You can use the map below to find a charging station near you.
Workplace Charging Stations
Workplace charging stations offer EV drivers the chance to charge their vehicles whilst on a workday and be ready (full charged) to drive away at the end of the day. Whilst they aren't common, workplaces are overcoming societal norms by pushing for electric charging points, especially in city centres and busy towns in a bid to advance towards the electronic driving era sooner rather than later.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?
Based on ev-database.uk stats
The time it takes to charge an electric vehicle is dependent upon a series of different factors. Vehicles differ in terms of size, power and efficiency and cannot all be expected to have the same results. Most commonly, the length of time it takes to charge an electric car will be based on:
- Battery Size
- Power Rating Of The Charger
- Type Of Charger/Connector Used
- Your Location
- Type Of Charging Point
Average time to charge an electric car: 6hrs 45 mins (standard charge)
List of all-electric cars and charging times (based on lower-spec vehicles with a full charge - mile range will differ from vehicle to vehicle): (Other Models May Differ)
|Vehicle||Standard Charge||Rapid Charge|
|Audi E-Tron||7 hours||26 mins|
|BMW I3||4 hours 15 mins||36 mins|
|BMW IX3||8 hours||27 mins|
|Hyundai Ioniq||6 hours 15 mins||47 mins|
|Mercedes-Benz EQC||12 hours 45 mins||35 mins|
|Mini Electric||3 hours 15 mins||29 mins|
|Nissan Leaf||6 hours 30 mins||40 mins|
|Porsche Taycan||9 hours||20 mins|
|Honda E||5 hours 15 mins||36 mins|
|Jaguar I-Pace||9 hours 15 mins||44 mins|
|Kia E-Niro||10 hours 30 mins||44 mins|
|Renault Zoe||3 hours||56 mins|
|Tesla Model 3||5 hours 15 mins||20 mins|
|Tesla Model X||7 hours||38 mins|
|Tesla Model S||7 hours||38 mins|
|Volkswagen ID.3||6 hours 15 mins||30 mins|
|Volkswagen e-Up||5 hours 30 mins||48 mins|
|Volkswagen e-Golf||5 hours 15 mins||36 mins|
|Polestar 2||7 hours 45 mins||31 mins|
Types Of Electronic Car Charging Sockets
Below are the different types of electronic car charging sockets that you can use to charge your Electronic Car.
A DC Rapid charger is an electronic car charging socket which provides a direct current straight to the vehicle. It differs from AC sockets in that there is no need for the converter, meaning that charging is much quicker and more efficient. They are more expensive than other car charging sockets but provide much quicker charging meaning that you will save much more time.
Ultra-Rapid DC is a more expensive version of the Rapid DC, and that's because it's even more powerful! These chargers provide power of over 100kW and are used in a wide variety of new EVâ€™s.
Tesla's a step-ahead when it comes to cars and technology so it shouldn't surprise you that their fast-charging stations are one of the best in the industry. The Tesla Supercharger is a 480 volt DC socket made solely for Tesla vehicles and was first available in 2012.
Rapid AC (Converts):
Rapid AC differs from other sockets in that the current is converted and then sent to the vehicle, as opposed to the current being direct.
Whilst they aren't available and in production yet, wireless car charging is in development and likely to be with us in the near future. EV's of the future will likely be compatible with wireless charging meaning that there won't be any need for connectors and charging plugs.
Electronic Car Charging Connectors
AC Connectors - Alternating Current:
Type 1 - North America (SAE J1772):
single-phase plug which allows charging of up to 7.4 kW - used in North america.
Type 2 - Europe (Mennekes, IEC 62196): UK 3-pin (BS 1363):
Standard 3-pin plug used in UK which connects the vehicle to the wall (Slowest Way Of Charging)
Also used in conjunction with a home-installed unit.
DC Connectors - Direct Current (Straight Into The Battery):
Tesla Proprietary supercharger connector: Third-Party Rapid DC Connector which can only be used for Tesla's
CCS - Combined Charging System (Type 2 Plug in the UK): Very capable system of charging
CHAdeMO - Japanese JEVS (Japanese Cars + North America): rapid-charging standard used in vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and other Japanese models.
How To Find Electronic Car Charging points
There was a point in time where electric cars were on the rise but there weren't many places outside of your home to actually charge them; nowadays the UK is completely littered with electronic charging points open for the public to use. You are likely to find electronic car charging points in the most common of places. Places like supermarkets, town squares, garages and motorway services play host to charging ports the majority of the time. You can use the map below to identify electronic car charging points near your home if you are thinking of leasing an electric vehicle. Do remember though that you can get a charging point installed at home to charge your vehicle overnight.
Fact - Ev Drivers are able to charge at around 20% of all Asda locations.
Home charging is widely available...
If you're looking at investing in an electric vehicle, you should definitely consider having a charging port installed at your home. Although the port may seem expensive at first, in the long run, it will actually save you a lot of money in comparison to petrol and diesel vehicles. This is because it's much cheaper to run a vehicle on electricity as opposed to gas.
The process was normalised by EV pioneer, Tesla, who pushed for their customers to have superchargers installed at their homes so that they can charge their vehicles quicker than you can on the mains, with some chargers being able to fully charge the vehicle in around 20 minutes! Most EV charging will be done at home, meaning that if you have a home charging station installed, you will not only save money but be able to charge your car overnight ready for work in the morning.
Electric Car Charging Point Grant
A strategy has been introduced by the UK government called the OLEV scheme, which allows businesses and local authorities to claim back 75% of the cost of each electronic charging point in a bid to increase the number of EV drivers. This allows businesses to install more charging points around their premises for workers for a reduced cost whilst the government are able to slowly install and make town and city centres more EV compatible.
Wallbox reduced from £1000 to around £350 with OLEV Grant
How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?
The cost of charging an electric car is much less than you may have initially thought; however it does change depending upon the type of charger you use, the vehicle you drive, and where you are physically charging the vehicle. More information can be seen below.
According to Podpoint, the average cost to charge an electric vehicle should cost around £8.40. Cost per mile will differ from vehicle to vehicle but an average electric vehicle on full charge will last around 150 miles, (Some more and some less) therefore costing around 18p per mile.
You may find that many businesses will offer free charging on electric vehicles during the day. If not, rates will be similar to that of public charging stations
Public charging can be free in supermarkets/town centres for the duration that you stay, however, you may find that you will spend similar to home charging if you have to pay for the service.
Depending upon power rating, rapid charging usually costs around £6 for 30 minutes of charging, which will provide very decent mileage.
Best Electronic Car Charging Point Providers
based upon autoexpress.co.uk ratings
1. Tesla - 92.94%
As expected, EV pioneer Tesla takes the top of the list for the best electronic charging point. Not only is charging incredibly quick and simple to use, but it's also quite cheap as well. The Tesla Supercharger is a 480 volt DC socket made solely for Tesla vehicles and was first made available in 2012. The only drawback with the supercharger is the fact that it can only be used for Tesla vehicles.
If you own a Tesla, be sure to have a supercharger installed at your home.
2. Instavolt - 85.11%
Instavolt, headquartered out of Hampshire, is one of the largest electronic car charging point companies in the UK. You can find their charging stations in many locations throughout the country where they offer Chademo and CCS appliances. They have taken 2nd place on the list due to the fact that they are powerful, quick, and easy to use, but are one of the most expensive in terms of charging costs.
3. Chargeplace Scotland - 81.36%
Chargeplace is the key charging provider in Scotland and is actually run by the government. Their charging points are simple to use and are relatively cheap, however, you may find that they aren't as quick as other providers. Overall very good!
4. Shell Recharge - 79.44%
Multinational oil company Shell also provides an electronic car charging point service at most garages throughout the UK. Shell customers say that their charging points are simple to use and are decent in both charging costs and charging times.
5. Pod Point - 79.24%
Pod Point is well known in the EV world for their nifty home-charging appliances, however, they do also offer various charging stations. Charging speeds are reportedly slower than other providers but they are reliable, easy to use, and fairly cheap.
6. Polar (BP) - 79.14%
Polar offers both a subscription and pay as you go service for their charging points. The idea of having a subscription service is great for those drivers who don’t want to continuously pull change out of their pocket to recharge their vehicle. Their charging points are simple to use, however, they aren't the most reliable and don't have the best charging times.
7. Engenie - 78.65%
Engenie is unique in that they are committed to supplying energy from renewable resources and have pledged to install around 2000 charging points in the next few years. Their charging points are fairly-well priced, aren’t difficult to use, and charge relatively well.
8. Geniepoint - 76.83%
Genie Point is supermarket Morrisons, EV charging partner, so you may have seen their car charging points before at a number of different Morrisons supermarkets. They are fairly average when it comes to charging, cost and reliability.
9. Charge Your Car - 76.23%
The Charge Your Car network is a fast-growing electronic charging station company owned by local councils. The charging points aren’t as well developed as other point providers so in-turn doesn’t offer the best charging, cost, and reliability. All in all, they are pretty average.
10. Ecotricity - 64.05%
At the bottom of the list sits Ecotricity. They are amazing in that they are a green energy supplier that focuses on renewable energy, however, their charging points aren’t as great as any of the other companies.