Charging EVs

Driving an electric vehicle requires a bit more planning, since charging takes longer than fuelling a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. Know the range of your car and plan your route in advance so you know where the charging stations are along the way.

Give yourself a bit of a buffer in case a charging station is out of order or busy and maybe plan a meal or a shopping trip while your car is charging. Many supermarkets and shopping centres now have EV charging stations in their carparks.

EV Charge Types

Slow/standard: Charging at home using a three-pin plug or home charging unit. Takes 6-12 hours to charge an EV.

Fast (7kW-22kW): Found at workplaces and car parks. A full charge in 2-4 hours.

Rapid (25kW-99kW):  Found at large commercial sites, such as motorway service stations. An 80% charge in about 1 to 1.5 hours.

EV Charging Connector Types

Type 2 AC charger: For fast charging. A round 7-pin plug with one flat edge.

Combined Charging System (CCS): For rapid charging. Two DC pins below the Type 2 AC connector.

CHAdeMO:  For rapid charging only, mainly in cars from Japanese automobile manufacturers. A round four-pin plug.

Step by Step guide to Charging your EV

If you haven't driven an EV before, don't worry. Charging an EV has become a lot easier with the arrival of apps that aggregate all the charge points in the UK and allow you to pay for multiple participating networks.

1. Identify the type of charge needed for your car

Have a look at the different types of charge points above. Make sure you know the type of charge your EV supports, as well as the type of connector that works with your EV's charging port. 

2. Find your nearest charge point

Open the charging map app you have downloaded and put in your location, you can then filter by car make and connector type to find your nearest station. 

3. Once at the charging station

Park with the charging port on your car (usually front or side) nearest to the charge point.

4. Activate the charge point

Open the relevant charge point within the app to activate it and select your payment type, open the car's charging port cover and insert the charge point connector into the car port.

5. Charge

The app will let you know when to unplug the connector.  It is best to charge the battery to at least 80% and not to let the charge fall below 20%. EVs control the flow of energy into the battery and optimise charging.

If you are going on a longer trip you can map out your whole route on a charging map app. It will show you all the charge points along the way so you can plan your stops according to your car's average range.

Optimising Your Electric Hire Car's Range

Wondering about how to drive to maximise your electric vehicle's battery life? EV range is partially down to how you drive so it’s worth knowing how to get the most out of your charge.

  • Watch your speed ­– Just like with a conventional engine, travelling at lower speeds puts less drain on your battery.
  • Use regenerative braking – Taking advantage of regenerative settings in your EV’s setup will channel wasted energy into power.
  • Go easy with the climate control – Air conditioning and heating both drain battery so try to keep your use to a minimum while driving a EV hire.
  • Use cruise control - Unless you are in heavy traffic, making regular turns, or experiencing adverse weather conditions, using cruise control can help conserve energy and increase driving range.