PUBLIC CHARGING NETWORKS
Most EV users conduct the majority of their charging at home or work, but public charging networks provide additional EV charging support, which can extend the range of a journey. Most networks offer a mix of charging options.
Zap Map provides a detailed list of the network operators, including any cross-network agreements, allowing you to find charge point locations, access types, and information on pricing.
TYPES OF CHARGEPOINT
Plug-N-Go charge points are all AC connected (although we can offer the DC range) as the batteries on board all vehicles are DC devices, delivering DC and requiring DC to recharge, use of an AC unit means that an ‘on-board charger’ is built into the EV.
DC charging points perform this ‘off board’ the vehicle and is in the charging unit. This is why they are often larger and most costly to manufacture. The advantage, however, is that the vehicle can be charged more quickly.
Charge Points are categorised according to their power (in kW), a measure of how quickly they can charge an EV. The four main EV charging speeds are:
Slow AC charging (up to 3.6kW) which is best suited for 6-8 hours overnight;
Fast AC charging (7.2 – 11 & 22kW) which can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours;
Rapid AC charging units (typically around 43kW) which can charge some EVs in less than an hour;
Rapid DC charging units (typically around 50kW) which are able to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes.
The speed at which an EV can be recharged is dependant on 3 factors (point to note for example, an EV with a 3kW on-board charger connected to a 7kW charging point can only charge at 3kW)
• The on-board vehicle charger size (power rating
• The model specification of the vehicle (same make/model can differ)
• The capacity of the battery in the vehicle
FAQs WITH DIAGRAMS
DO YOU NEED SPECIAL EQUIPMENT TO CHARGE AN EV FROM HOME?
No, but it is advisable. Electric vehicles are able to charge from a standard household 3-pin socket, but we advise using a specially designed EV cable (that may have been supplied with your vehicle) which will allow you to use a majority of the charging solutions and will give you a much quicker charge.
HOW DO I ACCESS PUBLIC CHARGING POINTS?
In most cases, to access a public charging point you will need to download the relevant app on to a Smartphone (if it is not already installed) and register your details. Then connect the vehicle using the charging cable and scan the QR code on the side of the charger or tap location on the app. Select the duration of charge required and confirm the selection.
At the end of the session tap ‘disconnect’ to end the charging session and disconnect the charging cable. You will then receive an invoice for the amount that has been charged.
Each network/scheme has a unique way of accessing its points; you can sign up to a local network, or join a pay-as-you-go scheme. Some are accessible via a swipe or RFID card, obtained by registering on the networks website.
IS MY EV COMPATIBLE WITH EVERY CHARGER TYPE?
It’s very unlikely. What charger you can use depends on your vehicle’s specifications (including the vehicle inlet sockets and on-board charger) and whether you have the right connecting cable. The easiest way to find out which types of charging point your EV is compatible with is by using the Zap Map online connector selector guide.
This standard UK plug type connector / charger is often standard with most vehicles but typically lacks the safety and speed.
Five-pin plug that also features a clip.
This connector is typically found on Asian brand manufacturers.
Seven-pin connector is found on electric cars manufactured by European companies.
This round four-pin
connector is only used for rapid charging points, typically compatible with EV’s manufactured by Asian brands.
Combined Charging System (CCS)
Standardised EU connector is only used for rapid charging points typically compatible with EV’s manufactured by European brands.
The time it takes to charge depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.
• A typical electric car can takes 4 hours to charge from empty with a 7.2kW charge point.
• 3.6kW charge point provides about 15 miles per hour of charge.
• 7.2kW charge point provides about 30 miles per hour of charge.
• A rapid charger at motorway service stations can charge your car to full in about 30 minutes and is ideal for long distance journeys.
Charging rates can differ based on the ambient temperature, the state of the battery (e.g. empty or half full) and the maximum charging rate of the vehicle.
HOW TO FIND A CHARGE POINT
Most of the later vehicles now have linked sat nav to your nearest charge points
Or go to either of the following charge point sites for up to date information, including number, size, speed, connector type, cost to charge and availability are: