How to manage electric vehicle charging

In 2020 around 3 million electric cars were registered across the world, a 43% increase over 2019, with Europe leading the way for EV (electric vehicle) adoption. In the first quarter of 2021, global EV sales rose by 140%, compared to the same period the previous year. Looking ahead, it is anticipated that this growth will continue and the number of EV on our roads will reach 145 million by 2030.

With much focus on cutting carbon emissions, many people are considering making the switch sooner rather than later. However, a common anxiety amongst potential electric vehicle owners is how to manage charging. How, where and cost are all concerns that we will explore in this article.

How does electric vehicle charging work?

Much like charging your smartphone battery, charging an EV battery involves plugging it into mains electricity either at home or at a public charging station.

  • Home charging

There are several options for charging your EV at home. You can simply use a normal socket and plug in as you would any other electrical device! However, using a dedicated EV home charger is often recommended as it can deliver more power, faster so that ‘filling’ up is less time consuming.

The cost of installing an EV home charging point varies. However, many governments are now offering EV owners grants to help with the costs of installing home charging devices so it is worth researching what financial support is available to help make the switch. For example, in the UK, the government is offering to cover up to 75% of this cost.

You may also like to consider which electricity provider you use as you may be able to cut costs by switching to a lower cost provider.

  • Public charging

You may have seen public charging points in service stations, supermarket car parks or even at dedicated charging stations. In 2020, there were roughly 285,800 public charging stations for electric vehicles in Europe.

Many of these public points offer rapid charging which can top up a battery to 80% in just thirty minutes, while you shop. In fact, many places now offer free charging stations as an incentive to stop in. However, most charging stations do require you to pay a fee, either as a one-off as you would at a conventional petrol station but some also offer subscription models. They often allow contactless card payment, though some require you to download a smartphone app and set up an account.

Costs for charging at public points do vary, however the cost to fill up a battery is a fraction of filling up a tank of petrol or diesel.

Off-grid charging stations are also becoming more widespread. These are powered by solar energy and run on battery. Off-grid charging stations are usually located away from densely populated areas, but you can find them at high-traffic rural areas such as educational and healthcare facilities. They can be used at times when the grid is offline and other EV chargers are down.

  • Work charging

It is worth noting that many employers now offer employees the opportunity to charge their cars at work in company car parks. Some employers even offer incentives for employees to make the switch to EV. It is worth asking your employer how they might support you to make the change as part of their commitment to lowering carbon emissions.

If you are interested in finding out more about how car technology is developing check out what’s the difference between an electric car, a connected car and a driverless car?