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With technology constantly moving forwards to compliment a fast-paced digital world, the automotive industry has made relative changes to adapt. As Electric Vehicles quickly make an impact on the market, the automotive industry is seeing a move to electrification, meeting both sustainability and modern day comfort needs of consumers across the world. If you’re considering making the change to an electric vehicle, you may feel overwhelmed by not only the choice of vehicles available, but the different EV chargers you could have installed. To help clear things up, we’ve looked at the different types of charger available to you, and broken down their features and benefits.
There are currently three main types of EV chargers on the market – slow charging, fast charging and rapid charging. But which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at each type to determine which most fits your requirements.
SLOW CHARGING EV CHARGERS
Being the second most popular charging system in the UK, slow chargers typically have a power rating of 2.3kW and 3kW. They use alternating current (AC) from the national grid to power up your EV.
Slow chargers are exactly what their name states; a slow charging option for your EV. Depending on the particular charger, it can take around 10 to 16 hours to fully charge your electric vehicle. Although not the speediest option, it is the cheapest way to charge your car. Slow chargers are mainly found in homes or smaller workplaces, and are a good option for places where you could leave your car to charge overnight. They’re a low cost option that work well if you have a lower daily mileage or an EV with a relatively small battery. Most units for slow charging are ‘untethered,’ meaning to charge your EV you’ll need a cable to plug into the charge point. Don’t worry, most EVs come with charging cables.
SLOW CHARGER COMPATIBLE CONNECTORS
UK three-pin plug: Most EVs will come with a three-pin charging cable, which has a power rating of 2.3-3kW. Three-pin chargers are widely recommended against, and advised to only be used in emergencies as they can be a fire hazard. The socket is used at its maximum capacity of 3kW, putting a serious strain on the circuit and increasing the risk of fire.
Type 1 charger: Has a power rating of 3-6kW AC.
Type 2 charger: The most common charger for UK EVs. Power rating of 3-6kW AC
FAST CHARGING EV CHARGERS
The most common type of EV charging system in the UK, fast charging EV chargers offer charging speeds of 7kW and 22kW. Charging times are dependent on unit speed and vehicle, but as an estimate, a 7 kW charger will recharge a compatible EV with a 40 kWh battery in 4-6 hours, and a 22 kW charger in 1-2 hours. Much like slow chargers, fast chargers use alternating current (AC) to power your EV. Most fast charger units are ‘untethered,’ meaning you’ll need detachable cables to charge your EV.
If opting for a 22kW EV charger, it’s important to first check whether your home electricity supply can accommodate it. These chargers require a ‘three-phase’ electricity supply rather than the single-phase supply that most households have.
FAST CHARGER COMPATIBLE CONNECTORS
Type 1: Power rating of 7kW AC
Type 2: Power rating of 7-22 kW AC
RAPID CHARGING EV CHARGERS
The speediest way of charging your EV is with a rapid charger. Rapid chargers power at around 45kW to 50kW and use direct current (DC) electricity to charge your car, meaning a full charge can take as little as 30 minutes. Rapid Chargers are only compatible with rapid-charging function EVs, and are commonly found at motorway service stations, petrol stations and supermarkets.
It is strongly recommended to only charge your car up to 80% with a rapid charger, as after that it could potentially be harmful to your EVs battery life. Although rapid chargers are quick and convenient, you shouldn’t make rapid chargers your main outlet for charging, as they could damage your battery. Rapid chargers are not suitable for home installation.
RAPID CHARGER COMPATIBLE CONNECTORS
CHAdeMO: Power rating of 50kW DC
Combined system charging plug: Power rating between 50-350 DC
SMART VS BASIC EV CHARGERS
A smart EV charger offers a range of features that many users find beneficial. Smart chargers pair with a smartphone app to allow you to choose when to charge your car, see stats around your usage, or ensure batteries are charged by a certain time. This means you can choose to use electricity at a cheaper rate, such as overnight, without having to manually plug in your vehicle at specific times.
WANT FURTHER ADVICE ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHARGER?
If you’re looking to book your EV charger installation with Yü Charge, and are still unsure which charger is right for you, our friendly team are here to help. Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01204 327281