How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV at a Charging Station?
If eco-friendliness and cutting-edge design are essential factors in your quest for your dream car, then it’s very likely that you’ll choose an EV. 🍃 Like many EV users around the world, you may want to resort to one in order to save money and never have to drip stinky petrol all down your clothes ever again. Gone are the days of queuing up at never-ending petrol stations, and handing out over a hundred pounds just to fill your car up and go to work. 😱⛽
EVs are becoming cheaper to buy and easier to use by the minute, thanks to the increase in charging stations at petrol stations, workplaces, shopping centres, and other public locations. Government schemes and grants are also available as a further incentive to help you buy your EV.
Electric cars are promising. However, you might be put off by what seems to be a complicated charging process. EV charging can seem like a bit of a hassle - there are so many different ways to charge your electric car that it’s hard to know how it all works. So how long does it take to charge an electric car at a charging station? Are there enough charging stations for electric cars? Are electric car charging stations free? Let’s explore! 🔍
What Are the Factors That Affect Charging Speed?
There are many variables that can affect charging times. How long it will take you to charge your electric car might depend on what kind of energy you use, and what amount of electricity your electric vehicle can manage, for example. The typical EV can charge up to 80% (which is the recommended charge level) with a fast charger in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the charging source and battery capacity.
However, that isn't actually the norm. If you charge your electric car with the typical plugs present in the walls of most homes, you’ll most likely require up to a full day or night or even longer to charge a totally discharged electric car battery.
Other factors that might impact your EV’s charging speed are:
- The size of your battery. The rate at which typical outlets like those you use at home charge EV batteries is the slowest of all. You will need even more time to fully charge your car battery if your vehicle has a larger battery capacity (in kWh).
- Whether your battery is full or empty.
- The maximum charging rate for your car is, i.e. how much electricity your car can handle at once. You won't save time by charging your battery at a more powerful charging station because the maximum charge rate for your car is fixed.
- The climate where you live. When using rapid chargers, lower temperatures might reduce vehicle efficiency and increase charging times. On the other hand, hot weather can also have an impact on the efficiency of the thermal management systems in your electric car. The internal resistance of an electric car can be put to the test in hot weather, rising as battery charge levels do.
How Much to Charge Electric Car at Charging Station UK?
The cost of public charging varies greatly. What you’ll pay depends on the provider, which may also have different rates based on charging speed, location, and whether you have a subscription. If you take the BP Pulse subscription for example, which starts at £7.85 a month. You can sign up for a free basic membership if you don't want to subscribe, but you will have to pay a mid-rate tariff starting at 35p/kWh.
Without a free membership, you can connect to any BP Pulse ChargePoint as a visitor and use contactless payments, but you will be charged the highest rate, which starts at 45p/kWh.
And on the other hand if you are lucky enough to have a Tesla, some of the older models still get free charging at designated charging points!
Charging Your EV on the Motorway
Although there are increasingly more options available, you'll generally find Gridserve (previously Ecotricity) charging stations on the motorway. Customers of Gridserve pay 39p per kWh on a 22kW charger, and there is no membership fee.
You’ll pay 48p per kWh up to 60kW and 50p up to 350kW when you use Gridserve's network of quicker chargers. The company's chargers, which are intended for short top-ups to get you home or to your destination, are said to be able to give 80–240 miles of range in just 20 minutes.
Should You Subscribe to a Public Charging Network?
When possible, we would recommend that you stay away from public rapid chargers and instead rely on less expensive home charging stations or free destination chargers. A premium subscription, however, can be worth your while if you plan to frequently use one particular ChargePoint provider and log a lot of miles.
How Do Electric Car Charging Stations Work UK
The majority of public EV charging stations in the UK will allow you to start charging your car by simply plugging in the connector, logging into your app, using a contactless card, or using a charge card. We have a detailed article to help you understand the various ways of paying for your EV charge, feel free to check it out! UK Electric vehicles are charged at public charge stations using either tethered or untethered cables, depending on the type of charge point you want to use, such as quick, rapid, or ultra-rapid charging.
How to Save Money on Running Your Electric Car
There are actually many things you can do to reduce the cost of running an electric vehicle. For EVs, PHEVs, and full hybrids, the majority of basic advice for internal combustion engine cars still holds true, however, it can be useful to change how you plan your routes.
Make as much use of your car's regenerative braking system to increase battery charge as you can. The automobile can coast more economically than using the brake regeneration and then having to accelerate back up to speed, so avoid the trap of setting it to the most aggressive setting.
When compared to a traditional petrol or diesel car, your future electric car will be substantially cheaper to run. Of course, the initial investment might be a little bit heavier, but you’ll be able to offset that within months if you use your car enough.
With that comes many different methods of charging your car. Rapid charging is probably not going to be a regular part of your charging regimen as other chargers will likely meet the majority of your demands, usually at a lesser cost. For longer trips, access to strategically located rapid chargers is essential.
Our advice would be to use a mapping tool to locate charging stations, like Zap Map, and always remember to check the ChargePoint network's authentication policy before departing.
If you need more EV help, check out the Carmoola blog, we’re always coming up with new tips and tricks to help you navigate the lifestyle! 🙌 🎉