A Guide to Whether Private or Public EV Charging is Right for You.
In this article
Private and public charging for electric vehicles each come with their pros and cons, depending on what solution you’re looking for.
Fleets, employees, and individuals all have different needs when it comes to charging their EVs; figuring out which is right for you can help keep costs down and improve a driver’s experience.
How Does Public EV Charging Work?
“Public EV Charging” refers to any charge points along roadsides, in car parks, and at businesses such as supermarkets and restaurants.
There are public charging points all across the UK. You can find your nearest point using a chargepoint map whenever you need to.
To begin charging, you simply need to plug the connector into your vehicle, then sign into your app, use your contactless card, or a relevant RFID card. These charge points may use tethered or untethered cables, and will have varying charging speeds dependent on the provider.
Pros of Public EV Charging
The biggest benefit of public charging stations is their flexibility.
No matter where you, your employee, or your fleet may be, you will still be able to charge your vehicle as you need.
You can access rapid charge points, find the cheapest charging point near to you, or preemptively find a charge point to leave your car at while you wander around town.
Cons Public EV Charging
The cons? The lack of stability. Costs, charging speed, and availability can vary depending on the point you’re using.
You might only have 30 minutes to charge but find all the rapid charging points are in use, or the charging cost at the available charging station may be higher than you were expecting.
Who can Benefit from Public EV Charging?
Flexibility and stability are direct trade-offs.
If you’re an individual driver and are used to having to refuel at varying costs and locations already, the flexibility of public charging will be an enormous benefit.
However, if you’re a business looking for a fleet solution, the instability of public charging can cause issues. Not being able to predict monthly costs, and having drivers charge at different times, can quickly become unmanageable.
How Does Private EV Charging Work?
Private EV Charging refers to any charge points that are not accessible by the general public – this could be a home charge point, charge points for your employees at your place of business, or charging stations designated for your fleet.
You can charge exactly as you would from a public chargepoint, although it’s dependent on the kind of charge point you have installed.
You know how much your chargepoint will cost you to use every time you use it, and your chargepoint will always be available for you to use.
There are helpful apps, including our Fleet Charging Portal, that allow you to create charging schedules; this means that you’ll never be caught out and have to use public charge points on top of your private charging.
Cons of Private EV Charging
The biggest con of private charging is the upfront cost and requirements.
If you’re an individual, it’s not necessarily feasible to have a charge point installed at your home. Even for businesses and fleet charging, having charge points installed is an investment in both time and costs that not all businesses are ready for.
Who can Benefit from Private Charging?
If you’re looking for a charging solution as a business, private charging is likely the most sustainable way forward.
If you lease electric vehicles to your employees, or if you’re looking for a fleet solution, installing private charging points allows you to assess usage and ROI with ease. In combination with the back office solutions that come with fleet & workplace charging installations, private charging gives you an enormous amount of control and information that you can use to keep your business strong.
Whether you’re part of a team choosing to procure charging installation through an existing framework, running your own tender or exploring options, this checklist will help you identify what you need to know before stepping into EV charging infrastructure project.
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