Charging an electric car

EV charging for beginners

Your guide to EV charging

I wanna know what charge is

So, how does charging an electric car work then? On a basic level, it's EXACTLY like charging up your phone; plug it in, wait for it to charge. When and how often you do it is up to your and your driving habits (*hint: we like to plug it in overnight and wake up to a lovely 100% charge each day).

We get that it's a change in mindset when you've got to think about charging a car rather than visiting a petrol station ad hoc. We also get that it can get confusing with all the different charging manufacturers out there. That's why we're here to help you through it all. Talk to real life EV nerds about it all by dropping us a note or giving us a call on 020 8012 8190.

Charge at home

Recharge your batteries

It's just like plugging in your phone. 

Before you start

There are a few things you need to take into consideration before installing a home charging point:


  • See whether it is safe to add a charging point into the current demands on your electricity supply. This is usually done by submitting a few photos to the charging company.
  • Check if you require planning permission if you live within a conservation area or in a listed building. 
  • The charging company will need to see if you have a suitable location for the charger, e.g. a fixed permanent structure like a brick wall. 

Electric vehicle homecharge scheme

Free money from the Government!
Sounds good, right? Well, the first time you install a home charging socket you can apply to OLEV (the Office of Low Emission Vehicles) to get money from the EVHS. They'll give you up to 75% off the cost of installation of a smart charger (up to £350).

Charge in public

Charging on the go

A great excuse to go shopping.  

A little note about charging points

There are three main connector types you need to know about. Which one you use depends on your car, and also the charging point you use. Do it once, and it will all make sense. But before you do, give us a call on 020 8012 8190 and we can explain exactly what you need depending on your car.


  1. 3-pin plug: You can plug your EV into any 3-pin plug using a 13-amp socket. We don't recommend this. (Expensive, and slow).
  2. Socketed: This is a charging point where you have to plug in both ends – into the charger and your car.
  3. Tethered: This is a charging point with a cable already attached. Simply choose one compatible with your car, and plug in. 

Tesla Superchargers

Musk has done it again with his genius Supercharger network. Numbering at over 2,000 Supercharger stations with 20,000+ Superchargers worldwide (and over 500 in the UK), each station delivers energy rapidly, before gradually slowing down as your battery fills to conserve power – and be economic. It charges Teslas with 150kW of power, usually taking only 20 mins to charge to 50%. But now there's a new player on the forecourt: Tesla V3 Supercharging. This shocks your Tesla battery with 250kW, giving around 75 miles of range in just 5 minutes. Unfortunately, for now it's a Tesla-only club.

Charge at work

Drive to work. Work to drive.

The more hours you put in, the more charge you'll get. 

Now this is the dream scenario: a workplace with chargers installed specially for their staff. Enjoy a zero-emission drive to work in an electric car that makes your commute bearable (fun, even), then plug in to charge up to 100% while you're sat at your desk dreaming of getting back in your car again. 

If your workplace doesn't offer charging, then you might want to point them in the direction of the Workplace Charging Scheme. This covers up to 75% of the cost per charger (up to £350), for a maximum of 40 charge points across workplace sites. Sounds like a win win to me. 

While we're talking about work, we think you should take a look at our Salary Sacrifice page. It could save you and your business £1,000s a year. Just sayin'.

Electric car charging FAQS

Where are electric charging points near me?

Many electric cars now have charging locations in-built into their smart navigation systems (like the Mercedes EQC and Tesla Model 3). Otherwise, check out charging maps like Zap Map. It's a one stop shop with every single charge point on a handy map that also shows you prices and which points are occupied.  

Can I charge my electric car in the rain?

Yes. EVs are built very carefully to ensure there is no chance of water leakage causing any electric shocks for the lovely car-owner. Rest assured, these things are super waterproof and safe to charge up no matter what the weather is doing.

Is it difficult to pay for public charging?

Paying for public charging is super easy. But, there are looooots of different public charging providers and networks. So payment methods differ depending on which you use. Some EVs also come with memberships of different charge networks, which is another way you might be able to pay. Give us a call on 020 8012 8190 and we can find your nearest charging points and help you set up an account if necessary. 

Can I charge my electric car in hot weather?

Charging an electric car in hot weather doesn't affect how quickly your car will charge, but it can affect how long your range lasts. Hotter weather can lengthen your range just as colder weather in the winter can shorten your range – it's all to do with the energy required to heat up the battery (trust us, it's really not that noticeable).  

How long does it take to charge up an electric car?

How long it takes to charge your electric car depends on three things: 1) The size of your car battery (in kWh) 2) What percentage of charge you started with 3) The power rating of the charger you're using (and if your car is rapid charge compatible). 

How do Tesla Superchargers work and can I use one?

Tesla superchargers supply Direct Current (DC) directly to your car battery, which is why they work so quickly. Usually, EV chargers supply Alternating Current (AC) which has to be converted to DC inside the car. This process of converting AC to DC is what slows down the charging process. Unfortunately, Tesla Superchargers can only be used by Teslas at the moment. But different EVs have access to different networks of charge points, so you should check those out when looking at the model you’re interested in.

What happens if I run out of charge in my electric car?

Running out of charge is one of the biggest fears people have when thinking about getting an electric car. But put it this way: how often do you run out of petrol completely? I’d hazard a guess that it’s almost never. Charging up your car is exactly like topping up your fuel, so as long as you keep on top of it you’ll never completely run out of charge. If you do run out of charge, then your car will have to be towed by your breakdown provider. And you should let them know it’s an EV as it may require flatbed towing to avoid damage to the motors within the car.

 

If we haven't answered something here, then drop us a note or give us a call on 020 8012 8190.