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Electric vehicle charging point

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If you’re new to the world of e-mobility, you’ve probably wondered how electric vehicle charging points work. This quick guide will take you through the basics as you explore whether electri­fic­ation is right for your fleet.

Most electric cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries. An EV charging point is a machine that recharges these batteries with electricity. As EVs become more common on roads, new charging infra­structure is being developed to keep up with this growth.

Types of EV charging points

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Types of EV charging points

EVs generally charge from power outlets or dedicated charging stations. There are three main types of electric vehicle charging points:

Home charging points

  • Drivers who keep their vehicles overnight might have dedicated EV charging points installed at their homes.

Business charging points

  • Businesses with electric fleets may have electric vehicle charging points on their own premises.

Public charging points

  • You can often find public charging points at public car parks, shopping centres, super­markets or service stations.
  • Commercial EV drivers who have long journeys may need to rely on public charging points to recharge their vehicles in between trips.

How does an electric vehicle charging point work?

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How does an electric vehicle charging point work?

  • Charging works by connecting a cable between the electric vehicle and the charging point.
  • Depending on the socket type or charge speed, vehicles may need their own cable to attach to the charging point.
  • Rapid chargers have attached cables.

How long does it take to charge at an EV charging point?

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How long does it take to charge at an EV charging point?

The time it takes to charge an EV depends on the battery size, the weather and the speed of the EV charging point. Larger batteries take longer to charge, and colder weather may slow down the charge speed. Public charging points may have varying speed levels depending on peak hours.

Electric vehicle charging points have four types of charging speeds:

Slow

  • Charging time: 6-12 hours.
  • Power rating: Up to 3 kilowatts (kW).
  • This charge speed is usually used for overnight charging.

Fast

  • Charging time: 3-7 hours.
  • Power rating: 7kW-22kW.
  • This charge speed is usually found at public EV charging points.

Rapid

  • Charging time: 0.5-1 hour
  • Power rating: 43kW+.
  • This charge speed only works for EVs with rapid charging capab­il­ities.

Ultra-rapid

  • Charging time: Less than 30 minutes
  • Power rating: 150kW-350kW.
  • This charge speed only works for EVs with ultra-rapid charging capab­il­ities.

Where to find public electric vehicle charging points?

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Where to find public electric vehicle charging points?

  • As of 1 April 2021, there were over 22,000 public EV charging points in the UK1, with over 4,259 of these being rapid chargers.
  • There are over 250,000 public slow chargers and 38,000 public fast chargers across Europe2.
  • Webfleet Solutions’ PRO Driver Terminals have EV map coverage. They show drivers the locations of electric vehicle charging points in over 50 countries across Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Are public EV charging points free?

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Are public EV charging points free?

  • Some countries have national policies such as free public charging in urban areas.
  • Other EV charging points require payment per hour or per charging session.
  • You may need a pass to charge an EV at public charging points. If applicable, drivers will also have to pay the standard parking charges.
  • The tariffs for rapid and ultra-rapid charging are often higher and can differ depending on the operator.

Can you install electric vehicle charging points for your fleet?

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Can you install electric vehicle charging points for your fleet?

If you plan to introduce EVs to your fleet, you may want to consider electric vehicle charging point install­ation on your business premises.

The UK’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers government grants to help businesses install charging points. The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)3 provides financial support for organ­isa­tions that meet specific criteria. EV charging point install­ation must be done by a certified charging provider.

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EVS and commercial fleets

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Curious about what EVs mean for commercial fleets and how telematics can help?

Get the full guide

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