Understanding the Different Types of Electric Car Charging Points

electric car charging points

Investing in an EV is more expensive than its fossil fuel alternative but can be cheaper in the long run, due to the lower cost of electricity compared to petrol or diesel. Especially recharging at home(overnight) will normally result in the greatest cost savings. Electric car charging points can be installed in homes with a garage or driveway, at workplaces, on residential streets, in town centres, public car parks and at destinations, such as shopping centres or motorway service stations. We’re going to look at the different types of car charging points available and how they can benefit you.

Types of Electric Car Charging Points

There are a few types of electric car charging points available in UK :

  • Slow charge points (3kW) are usually the cheapest to use and are great when vehicles are parked for several hours, like during working hours or overnight.
  • Fast charge points (7-22kW) are better suited when the EV can be parked up for a few hours.
  • Rapid charge points Rapid (50kW+) is the quickest way to recharge a vehicle, typically recharging a vehicle to 80% in around 30 minutes.

Rapid charge points can be the most expensive to use. Due to the power they require, you won’t be able to have one of these fitted at home.

To charge a 60kWh battery from empty to its 80% charge will take:

  • 16 hours on a Slow charge point
  • 2-7 hours on a Fast charge point
  • 1 hour on a Rapid charge point

electric car charging points

Electric car charging at home

If you have a driveway or garage, then you can have a dedicated electric car charging point installed at home. This will be the most cost-effective way to charge your car. This way, the majority of charging your vehicle will be done at home, usually overnight.

If you comply with the requirements then the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV)’s home charging point grant covers up to 75% of the costs of installing a home charge point, up to a limit of £350.

Where possible we recommend a dedicated charge point connection but you may be able to use a regular UK three-pin socket. However, by not going with a dedicated charge point your recharge will be much slower and may involve running charging cables from inside your home. Under no circumstances should extension cables be used.

On-street charging

If you don’t have off-street parking, charging an EV near your home is more challenging.

The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme gives local authorities access to a funding pot for on-street charge points in areas without off-street parking.

Only local authorities can apply for this type of funding, but you can ask your local council to consider installing a charge point near your home. This may help the council to forecast demand for charge points and decide the best locations.

Electric car charging points for businesses in UK

Businesses have been some of the earliest adopters of EV charging points. You may already be able to charge your electric car at work as many businesses install charge points at their premises for their employees and fleets of EV’s.

There is a lot of impetus for businesses to support EVs with businesses and public-sector organisations able to apply for funding for charge points through the workplace charging scheme just like the homecharge scheme.

If the requirements can be met, then OZEV will cover the costs of installing charge points up to 75% of the total cost up to a limit of £350 per charge point fitted up to a maximum of 40 charge points.

electric car charging points

Destination Charging

These chargers are positioned at destinations that you may go for only for a few hours but are an ideal place to get a quick charge while you’re there. You can expect to find them at shops, shopping centres, hotels and other public parking areas. Like the public chargers below you will be charged for the use of them so use them sparingly.

Public charging networks

The network of public charge points is rapidly expanding across the UK, mostly in towns and cities. These are vital for electric vehicle drivers without off-street parking or workplace charging and can be useful for other EV drivers, who want to ‘top-up’ while away from home or undertaking longer journeys.

You can search for charge points on a range of websites including:

Zap-Map, Plugshare and Open Charge Map.

New electric vehicles have up to a 300-mile range on a single charge however it’s best to plan for longer journeys and aim for services or locations where you can top up your charge while taking a break.

Accessing and paying at public charge points

Chargepoint networks in the UK include Pod Point, Chargemaster, Ecotricity and Charge your Car.

Access to charging is usually through a smartphone app or radio frequency identification (RFID) card, although an increasing number of charge points accept contactless credit or debit card payments.

Expect to pay a standard connection fee, plus the amount of electricity consumed, multiplied by the charge point supplier’s or network’s electricity tariff (price per kWh).

If you use a particular network regularly and are a member then they may give you cheaper rates so it’s in your benefit to research the service providers, their costs, and their coverage.

electric car charging points

Home versus public charging versus petrol/diesel costs

The cost to charge your car will depend upon the model of your vehicle and its battery size. Expect it to be cheaper for Plug-in hybrids as they have smaller batteries however you’ll need to balance this with the cost of fuel when not running on electricity.

See a typical cost comparison below:

  • Charging the battery at home for 10,000 miles per year £568.00
  • Charging the battery at a public charge point for 10,000 miles per year £1,297.78
  • Battery Charging 70% of the time at home and 30% at a public charge point £786.78
  • Annual fuel cost for petrol Nissan Micra £1,415.00
  • Example charging costs for a petrol Nissan Micra. Average petrol cost: 114.5p/litre

We hope this article is helpful and answers some of your burning questions about electric vehicles and vehicle charging points. At Trent VC we install and maintain charging points across several sights from residential charging points to company parking, services and more. If you’re interested in finding out more about our services or want to book a free survey contact us today.