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How Do EV Charging Stations Work in the UK?

An all-inclusive guide to charging your electric vehicle across the UK.

public ev charging

EV charging stations offer ‘plug-in’ electrical charge to your vehicle through a cable, which charges the battery, enabling your car to drive and function.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are most commonly situated at the users home, however users can also charge their vehicle on public streets, at petrol stations and at workplace charging stations.

 

  • Depending on which charging station you are using, you may be required to have your own EV charging cable with you in order to charge. This is common with on-street ev charging in a city or town for example. These cables are usually supplied with the vehicle upon purchase.
  • Ensure you know which cable your electric vehicle uses; this plug is most commonly either a Type 1 or Type 2 AC socket.
  • For long journeys it is important to ensure you are aware of your EV charging options en-route to avoid any complications. Where possible, it’s advised to keep your electric vehicle topped up whenever your vehicle is parked to ensure you always have sufficient battery to complete your journey.

 

How do Public EV Charging Stations Work?

To begin charging your vehicle at the majority of public ev charging points in the UK, you can either simply plug the connector from the charge point to your vehicle, sign into your app, use your contactless card or use a charge card. UK Public charge points will use either tethered or untethered cables to charge electric vehicles, this will usually depend on the type of charge point you want to use, such as fast, rapid or ultra-rapid charging.

 

Public Fast EV Charging Points

Fast EV charging stations are most suitable for:

  • Drivers who are able to stay parked for a few hours of more
  • Providing charging power from 3.7kW to 22kW
  • Those who might wish to charge multiple Electric Vehicles at once
  • Small hardware, minimal installation work

 

Public Rapid EV Charging Points

For public rapid charging, the majority of petrol station charging points in the UK offer the two most common rapid charge connectors (CCS & CHAdeMO).

Rapid EV charging stations are most suitable for:

  • EV drivers who need quick top-ups in charge.
  • EV drivers looking for charging power from 50kW.
  • Load balanced DC charging and battery back up chargers
  • AC and DC sockets
  • Those who would like to use contactless payment options

 

Public Ultra-Rapid EV Charging Points

Ultra-Rapid EV charging is the fastest option when looking to charge your electric vehicle. Ultra-Rapid charging stations are most suitable for:

  • EV drivers who require the fastest charging option available
  • Offering 200 miles of charge in around 20 minutes
  • EV drivers looking for charging power up to 350kW
  • Load balanced DC charging and battery back up chargers
  • AC and DC sockets
  • Those who would like to use contactless payment options

public ev charging

 

How do Private EV Charging Stations Work?

Charging your electric vehicle at home requires an EV charger to be installed often to the outside of your home within charging distance of your vehicle. There are various options in regards to speed of charge with the most common EV charging option for private use being 7kW.

 

7kw Home EV Charging Point

7kW charging points for the home are the most common options due to the fact that most homes can already support this charging option (single phase power supply). For every hour your vehicle is charging, a 7kW charge point will offer around 30 miles of charge.

7kW charge points can typically charge a standard electric vehicle to full battery overnight or in over an 8 hour period.

 

22kW Home EV Charging Point

22kW charging points offer the fastest charging point options for home installation. However, your home must be compatible with three-phase power supply and in addition, your electric vehicle must also accept 22kW.

Although this is a faster charging option, the vast majority of home EV charging points are used to charge a driver’s vehicle overnight and therefore the noticeable difference is somewhat marginal to a user’s everyday use.

  • Ensure you check that your home and vehicle are compatible with 22kW power before deciding which option is best for you.

 

Tethered or Untethered EV Charging for Home?

There are a few factors that could determine whether you choose a tethered or untethered ev charging solution for your at home ev charging, however for most it’s a simple choice between whether having the cable attached to the charging station permanently (tethered) or choosing to use a separate cable to attach and detach each time you start and finish charging.

 

Benefits of using an tethered EV charging station at home

  • Ease of use
  • Faster to pack up and plug in

 

Benefits of using an untethered EV charging station at home

  • Often looks tidier aesthetically when attached to a building
  • If you were to change your vehicle or in future EV charger cables changed somewhat, you could simply swap out for the new cable

 

Ultimately both charging units have the same purpose, but depending on how you use your charger, it’s placement, and your opinions on what will be important to consider in order to future-proof your EV charger will help determine which is best for you.

public ev charging

 

How do Workplace EV Charging Stations Work?

Workplace EV charging can be implemented in a variety of ways to suit the business or employees who may wish to use the workplace charging points.

Some businesses choose to offer unlimited free charging to their employees or a number of hours free charging followed by a fixed hourly rate after the threshold is reached. Either way, workplace EV charging can be adapted to suit the business’s needs.

 

7.4kW to 22kW Fast EV Charging for Workplaces

Mer offers fast EV charging points for workplaces, which aim to charge vehicles over the course of  a few hours – ideal for businesses and employees.

 

Benefits of Workplace EV Charging Points from Mer UK

  • 100% zero carbon renewable energy supply
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Reporting tools for ev charging point management
  • Internet enabled smart charging
  • Multiple user type compatibility

 

For more information on workplace charging, get in touch with our team.

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