When it comes to charging an electric car or van, the first question for EV drivers is ‘what type of power train are you running on’?
There are currently 4 types of power train available: Mild Hybrid, Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and All-Electric. If helpful, we’ve created another blog discussing these, how they work and each benefit here.
First, there is regenerative braking. This allows the vehicle to convert the kinetic energy that would be wasted when braking into chemical energy that is stored in the battery to be used later - pretty impressive, right? In traditional braking, the brake pads create friction to slow and eventually stop the vehicle.
Regenerative braking works differently with the system that drives the vehicle, handling most of the work when braking. Rather than creating friction, the vehicle's electric motors are put into reverse mode causing them to run backwards. The motors then act as an electric generator which feeds into the battery.
Note: In a traditional hybrid, this is the only way the battery is filled.
Electric Vehicle Charging points
For Plug-In Hybrids and All-Electric vehicles, you are able to plug your vehicle into a charge point in order to fill the battery. Although public charging points have a cost to use, they may offer free periods in the beginning. You are either charged for the energy consumed (pence per kWh) or per charging time (pence per hour).
There are 4 types of charging points you will encounter with varying charging speeds:
Each of these charges the vehicle at different rates due to their power output:
- Ultra-Rapid: charges at 110+ kW (often between 150kW - 350 kW) on DC* only
- Rapid: charge sits at 50 kW DC, with 43 kW AC* rapid charging is often also available
- Fast: charging covers points from 7 kW to 22 kW. This is the most common charge point
- Slow: covers 3 kW to 6 kW
There are different types of plugs needed for different chargers. The question you need to ask is what your car has been provided with. For example, all Ford PHEV vehicles have the Type II connector which is the most commonly found one at public charge points. If you are ever stuck and looking for a charging point, there are apps available which allow you to find the closest one. These include PlugShare, NextCharge, ChargeMap, ZapMap and WattsUp!
Often the most cost-effective way is charging at home. There are Government grants available for installation of a home charge point with companies offering fixed rates on installation. Of course, this may be dependent on access to off-street parking and preventing cable wires across public right of way and pavements.
The Type II adapter is also perfect for home charging as it allows for use in a 13amp socket that everyone has at home. You must not use any extension leads with either plug type when charging.
If you would like a closer look at the electric vehicles we offer including the New Ford Puma and All-New Kuga, click here or contact one of our branches
*Alternating current (AC), alternatives the flow of the electrical current and periodically changes direction. Direct current (DC) only goes one way allowing for faster charge of a car battery.