EV Charging options
Hydrogen and biofuel-powered vehicles can be refuelled in a similar timescale as petrol or diesel vehicles. However, EVs currently take from between 30 minutes to 12 hours to charge, depending on the charger and the battery capacity. Battery and charging technologies are advancing rapidly, so it is expected that within a decade it will be possible to recharge a large-battery EV within 10 minutes.
- Rapid chargers (private only): Rapid chargers are high-power AC or DC chargers outputting 43 kW AC, and 50 kW or 120 kW DC directly into the EV battery. They utilise a tethered cable, specially designed for safely delivering the power to the vehicle and to provide two-way communication between the charger and vehicle. Chargers usually have three types of cable and connector to allow the various car makes to charge according to their rapid charging socket.
This type of charger is primarily used when on longer journeys, where rapid charging is a necessity. Due to the cost of installing this type of charger and the amount of power it can deliver in a short time, it is often common to pay a premium price to charge, sometimes on par with petrol price equivalent. Rapid charging parking spaces must only be used during charging, e.g. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Fast charging stations (public, workplace and domestic): Fast charging stations allow EV drivers to connect 7 – 22 kW power to the EV’s on-board charger. These stations are sometimes used for destination charging, allowing drivers to stay for as long as they need to utilise the parking space. The EV must be moved when the time expires.
Some of these charging points have signs specifying a parking/charging time limit, e.g. 4 hours. Drivers therefore cannot rely on there being a space for charging, even in instances where a car occupying a charging space has finished charging. In these cases, green/red signs would be useful, as queuing drivers would be able to see when the occupier of the space might be returning, or could contact them to find out their expected return time.
- Slow charging stations (public, workplace and domestic): Slow charging points allow EV drivers to connect to a socket or dedicated station that delivers up to 3 kW (10 A). These are usually classed as destination charging stations, mainly because they take up to 12 hours to charge. As with public fast charging stations, drivers searching for a public slow charging station should not rely on there being a space for charging, even if the car occupying the space has finished charging.