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Are you looking to lease an electric vehicle or a Plug in Hybrid vehicle as your next car or van? If so you may be wondering how you would go about charging the vehicle? How long will the charging process take, What chargers are available and what infrastructure can I use to charge my vehicle? 

 

All vehicles are different and different models will have different capacity of batteries and charging times however we try to explain about the charging of electric vehicles and how this could affect you if you decide to go down the electric route next for your next personal car or business fleet vehicles. 

 

There are three main categories of charger for electric vehicles. These are Slow, Fast and Rapid. These categories are determined due to the capacity of the current that the charger can be transmitted to the vehicle.

Slow Charging

Slow Chargers are rated between 3KW and 6KW and are the mainstay of charging for home charging. Most 3 Pin EV chargers are rated at approximately 2.3W or 10Amps and are with tethered cables and are unearthed.

These slow chargers are also installed at some work places and lamppost chargers. Slow chargers normally charge the typical Electric vehicle between 6 and 14 hours but this time is dependent on the size of the vehicle battery and capacity to be added.

For home charging we would recommend a dedicated charger to be installed at your home address. More Details can be found (here) You would need to research these times with the vehicle manufacturer and we will of course be able to discuss these times with you when you enquire.

Fast Chargers

Fast Chargers are rated at anywhere between 7KW and 22KW however most chargers are either one of the above ratings. These chargers are part of the public charging infrastructure found at on street, hotels, carparks and motorway service stations. These charging points can also be seen at 25KW but will work with the 7 & 22KW charging cables.

Please note however that if you use a higher capacity charger than the charging rating of your vehicle then the charge speed will be capped to the maximum that the vehicle can handle. This is done automatically by the charging module within the vehicle. For example if you plugged your vehicle into a 22KW charger and the max charge your vehicle could take is 15KW the vehicle would charge at 15KW.

Rapid Chargers

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge your electric vehicle and these chargers are normally found at service stations or close to the main route network. There are different types of rapid chargers and come in AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct current) The charging times vary depending on vehicle model and charging module however some of these rapid chargers can charge an Electric vehicle from 0-80% in as little as 20 minutes to an hour for a full charge. These chargers charging speeds drop off when the charge level reaches 80% to protect the battery.

The types of rapid chargers are as follows:-

Rapid DC - These are rated at 50KW and are the mainstay of the chargers found in the public network at service stations. They have been the standard for the last 6-8 years or so and can typically charge at the the speeds detailed above. 

Ultra Rapid DC -  These are the newer range of rapid chargers and can be rated at up to 100KW plus. They are either 100KW, 150KW or 350KW. These have been developed to keep the charging speeds down even though the battery capacities are increasing on vehicles. Vehicles that have a charging speed rating less than 100KW can still use these chargers and the vehicle will charge at the maximum speed that the module within the vehicle can allow. This will increase charging time however. 

Tesla Supercharger - Tesla have a network of superchargers where Tesla users can charge their vehicles. These can charge up to 150KW and can charge to the same level as Ultra Rapid DC chargers. 

Rapid AC Chargers - Rapid AC Chargers are rated up to 43KW and can charge from 0-80% in as little as 20-40 minutes, These chargers use a tethered cable that is attached to the charging unit.