Public Charging

Whilst most EV drivers charge at home, it’s likely you’ll still need to use a public chargepoint at some point during your lease. Whether you're going away on a long journey or simply running errands, it’s important to plan ahead so you are prepared for your journey, wherever or whatever it may be.

Plan Ahead

We have found Zapmap to be a particularly useful tool when planning journeys and looking for nearby chargers.

Zapmap app can help you find the best places for you and your EV to recharge, just bare in mind charging an electric car will take longer than refuelling a petrol or diesel car.

Public Charging

There are over 42,000 charge points across the UK, made up of what are called 'networks'.

Each network has its own charging points, payment methods and costs which may vary, depending on how you choose to pay – for example, whether you pay a subscription or pay-as-you-go. Connection fees sometimes apply and you may be required to download an app to access charging (payment information can be saved in some cases).

The speed of the charger and where the chargepoint is can also affect the cost – for example, motorway service stations tend to be more expensive, but they also usually have faster chargers.

Once you have found the chargers and networks closest to your home the process becomes very simple. However, when travelling long journeys you may not always be passing a charger on the same network you use near home, so the most important thing to do is plan your journey and take into consideration any time it may take to set up any new payment methods or apps.

Charging Speeds and Types

Kilowatts (kW) relate to how fast your car battery charges up, the higher the kW, the quicker your car will charge. But do remember - the faster a charger is, the more expensive it’s likely to be.

Make sure you check the charger you’re using suits the model of your car, as not every car is compatible with an ultra-rapid charger. You can use your car’s manual or manufacturer’s website to find out if your car is compatible.

3kW: home electric socket

Most EVs usually come with a plug that lets you charge from a standard home electric socket (3-pin plug). This is very slow compared to other charging methods, so it’s only really useful for occasional or emergency use.
Average time to charge a battery from empty: 12 hours

7kW: home EV charger

Most (not all) EVs also come with a charging wire for 7kW chargers. 
Average time to charge a battery from empty: 6-8 hours

22kW: fast public charger

You’ll find 22kW chargers in public places like car parks, supermarkets, and motorway service stations. These technically are possible to be installed at home but are very costly and require permission DNO. 
Average time to charge a battery from empty: 3 hours​

50kW: rapid public charger

Rapid charging is especially handy if you’re driving a long distance. These chargers quickly fill your EV to 80%, then slow down the rate of charging for the last 20% to protect the health of your battery.
Time to charge a battery to 80%: 40 mins

350kW: ultra-rapid public charger

You may occasionally see ultra-rapid chargers that offer speeds of up to 350kW – although EVs can actually charge at this speed but that should change as technology evolves. 
Average time to charge a battery to 80%: 20 mins

If you have any questions about EVs on the Motability Scheme or charging, contact us here.