Charging Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (EV & PHEV) are electric vehicles which have a battery that requires charging, there are some different options when it comes to electric vehicle charging including:

Home Charging

Standard home charging will be limited to 13 amps on standard mains wiring with a three-pin plug, this equates to about 3kW.  This charging rate will usually be sufficient to reach the 80% capacity charge for a small-medium vehicle overnight.  Larger vehicles or vehicles with larger ranges may take longer to reach 80% capacity.  For quicker home charging, fast charge points can be installed, and these allow vehicles to charge at 32 amps or 7.5kw, allowing most vehicles to charge to 80% or more overnight.

Network Charging

Network charge stations are available with a wide range of charging capacities (speed of charging), and a wide range of costs.  It’s desirable to be able to charge at the highest speed available, although many vehicles are not capable of using the faster chargers.  Drivers can download different apps to enable them to locate their nearest charging station but unfortunately, these are not always reliable and cannot guarantee that the charger will be available when the driver arrives. 

Despite these challenges, this is a rapidly growing area, with more charging stations being installed at a variety of places, by an increasing number of suppliers.  There are ‘convenience’ chargers – e.g.  at supermarkets, where you can charge while you shop.  There are large purpose built electric charging stations being built, as well as car park charging and also on-street chargers available in some towns and cities, so the expectation is that supply will more easily meet demand over time.

Points to Consider about Charging Electric Vehicles

  • Network charge points may show as being available on the apps but may not be by the time the drivers gets there
  • Rapid chargers may not be able to supply the stated charge capacity at a given time due to demand on the local electricity grid
  • Charge capacity may be shared between vehicles where there is more than one charge point at the station and even when fast charge rates are not available, the cost is not adjusted

Questions to consider

  • Can recharging be guaranteed for enough time at a sufficient rate at one or more of your destinations?
  • Can recharging be guaranteed for enough time at a sufficient rate during the working day?
  • Can time be built into the day to allow for charging?
  • Can the vehicle be left anywhere to charge whilst the driver continues their job?

All of these considerations may mean altering your own/your employees’ plans and journey times to accommodate vehicle charging requirements.  Any of the above considerations may require you to plan your working day, or that of your employees around the charging capabilities and resources available.