As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to pick up the pace, you may be looking to invest in an EV charging point. Whether you’re looking to install a charging point in your home or business, there are a few things you should know before making a decision.
The good news is that the majority of modern EV chargers, cables and connections are designed to work with most EV makes and models. However, naturally, you will want to double-check first!
A few things to consider when choosing your EV charger include the speed of charging, and whether or not the charging cable can be removed from the charging unit.
So, here’s our simple 4-step guide to help you to find the best EV charger for your needs.
There is a huge difference in charging speed, depending on what power rating you choose. Whilst the most powerful 22kW AC 3-phase chargers can fully charge a small electric car in as little as three hours, a residential 7kW AC single-phase does the same in eight and a half hours, whereas a budget 3kW AC single-phase devices take upwards of 16 hours and a wall plug will take over 26 hours. Rapid DC chargers such as a 40kW DC 3-phase unit will charge the same battery from 10% to 80% in under an hour.
Of course, high performance comes at a price, but ask yourself how important convenience and speed is to you? The extra spend may be a worthwhile investment, depending on your travel needs and circumstances.
Where are you looking to install your EV charger? Think about the distance from your charging point to your vehicle; it’s important to choose a cable that will reach easily and without any stretching.
Bear in mind that some EV chargers come with tethered cable connections – i.e., the cable is permanently fixed directly into the charging point. With a loose cable, untethered connections offer greater flexibility.
There are two main types of connectors for EV chargers – Type 1 and Type 2. Whilst Type 2 connectors are more commonly used by British and European drivers, universal EV adaptors are available to ensure connectivity – wherever you find yourself.
For rapid DC charging, there are also two types of connection. CCS and CHAdeMO. Most cars now use CCS in the UK and Europe.
AC and DC are the two different types of electrical current. Whereas AC (alternating current) is your regular home electricity supply and is used by household appliances, DC (direct current) used in batteries, is becoming more common as a means of drawing power.
DC enables much faster charging, with charging point and car-based technology working in tandem to convert the current.
AC chargers provide AC electricity to the car, which has a converter built-in that converts it to DC to store it in the battery. The size of the converter will limit the speed at which the battery can be charged from an AC charger.
DC chargers provide DC electricity directly to the battery without the conversion process, so it is much faster than an AC charger.
The latest EV charging points include state of the art apps and remote monitoring technology. This enables users to track stats and performance analytics – whenever and wherever you are.
This clever functionality is only available with WIFI-enabled devices, so look out for this in the product specification.
Benefits of smart technology integration include the ability to schedule, stop, pause and start charges, as well as viewing usage and performance data.
EV technology has evolved at a rapid pace over the last 5 years. However, as EV becomes more commonplace, it is important to understand what you need to look out for when choosing the right charging point.
If you’re to make the best possible decision for your needs and budget, you need to speak to a quality supplier with sufficient knowledge and experience.
At Westech Solar, we are able to offer you our expert advice and support in helping you to find the right EV charger, as well as any available government funding and grants.
Get in touch today – we’d be delighted to discuss with you!
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