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Lets set charging straight….

One of the most common questions I get is how to I charge my cars. Quite simply we are fortunate to have two 7KW chargers at home so we can top up our cars with ease but pretty much every EV I have owned even the plug-in hybrids I could charge from a domestic socket

Sorry for the long read but I think its the best way to explain it all! One day I will get a cool table done, this is also because I want to put costs on there too and compare providers! Also, use different types of car as our Leaf can charge in as little as 4 hours at home but the Tesla can be over 7! The easiest way I help people is do you not plug your smartphone in before bed most days, whats the difference in doing this with the car every few days.

Overall there are two major types of charger which are AC (Alternating Current) of which we get at home or work and DC (Direct Current) which you may see in power supplies or batteries! You then get the different types of connections such as Type 1, Type 2, CHAdeMO, CCS (Combined Charging System) oh and of course the Tesla Superchargers

The final piece to the puzzle is then the power bands 10amp, 16amp, 32amp, Single Phase, Three Phase and the KWs they can do. I am going to try and provide a few examples below to help out

So in my setup I have some domestic sockets as backup then a Type 2 Tethered Type 2 cable in the middle by Tesla (they do work on any type 2 Vehicle, permitting it’s not got a red 3 phase sign near it if you are out an about!) and finally on the right out PodPoint which is a type 2 untethered. We are hoping to get a third or replace one with a Zappi that will divert our excess solar energy when we have the cars plugged in. Oh and the little box on the wall is another post but it allows me to remotley control the amperage on the Tesla charger

The reason we did this was for flexibility as I will explain now as we have EVs that have Type 1 and Type 2 cables. It does appear most cars now are standardising on Type 2 sockets at the time of writing this.

Firstly let’s debunk a myth that you have to have a special charger, you don’t. It just will not charge as fast but it will work and with some cars, you need a good Earth and to not extend them too far with extension leads. At the end of the day its electrical safety you would put a massive tablet or phone device and heaters on the end of several extension leads

Our Leaf uses the Type 1 Cable and socket which is the socket on the right and the one on the left is the CHAdeMO for fast public charging

The cable looks like this

We then have the Tesla which uses a Type 2 like the other cars I have driven

Below is what the cable looks, the plug on the left is Type 2 and the plug on the right is common across most unteatherd cables

Overall most of the above solutions do not go above single phase or 32amps (7KW) unless you have a 3 phase charger of which then is on average (21kw) usually installed in a business or car garages.

Next up we have the DC charging, I briefly showed the port on the Leaf for CHAdeMO so I will start with that

These connections can deliver up to 1000v and around 60Kw in ideal conditions. For instance, it can charge our little Leaf to 80% in around 20 minutes for a low charge and even with the tail off not been at a post more than 40 minutes from empty to full.

Of course this then also introduces the first adaptor which is the Tesla one to allow you to use these if you are not near a Tesla Super Charger.

We then next have CCS which now appears to be the major format in fast DC charging

With this as you can see the upper half is based on the Type 2 but the lower half helps deliver that DC high voltage straight into the car. Again generally this can charge the smaller cars within 30 minutes, some of the new cars like the Audi E-Tron this may be longer but can also handle up to 150KW. Tesla also seem to be going this way with their Model 3 and newer models comoing with a a CCS adaptor.

Finally we have the Tesla Super Chargers which look like the below

Image courtesy of https://www.evclicks.co.uk/

In general, I have found as a little as a 30-minute charge will get me onto my next destination. Usually, I go for a 40-50 minute charge but to be fair by the time we all get out, go to the loo, get a drink and yet usually another trip to the loo we get back and we are pretty much fully charged ready to go

The only final one is an adapter shown below from my Tesla as an example but other manufactures do them

This is a 32amp commando socket not to be confused with a 16amp one found on campsites. Some people go for these as they again are fairly universal and also much cheaper for an electrician to install. As I am coming to the end of my post anyway its something I need to follow up with at Fully Charged this week as the OLEV grants are changing and all chargers will need to be smart soon. But these can be installed as little as £100 whereas current chargers even with grants can be £150 and all the way up to £700

This is my poor summary table just to close but I need to illustrate this in another post showing different variants of cars, I have used my Tesla (100KW) with example times from empty to nearly full, the CCS is what is going to be expected of which I will follow up. For example, the Leaf on the 32amp (7KW) take max 4 hours to full!

10amp16amp32amp21KW50kw100kw150kw
Type 224 Hours +19 Hr10 Hr6 Hr2 to 31
CCS2 to 3140 Mins
CHAdeMO2 to 340 Mins

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