How to charge your electric vehicle

Charging an electric vehicle at home

Charging at home is the most convenient and cost effective way to charge your EV. However, absence to off-street parking can be a significant barrier to charging at home.

Where you have access to off-street parking, charging can be as simple as plugging a suitable cable into a standard domestic 3-pin socket. This may not be sufficient to fully charge some EVs, even when left to charge all night. For this reason 7kW wall mounted fast chargers are becoming the preferred option, especially with OLEV’s £500 HCS grant. Need an OLEV approved fast charger for your home? Coventry City Council have partnered with EO Charging to make the process easier for Coventry residents.

Don’t have access to off-street parking? Coventry have deployed a network of on-street residential charging stations. View the interactive map of Coventry’s on-street residential charging stations to find one near you.

Charging at work

The workplace is another convenient location to charge EVs as vehicles tend to be stationary for most of the day. Many businesses base their fleet vehicles at work overnight, which makes it the natural place to charge them. Workplace chargers can also play a role in attracting customers to visit your business.

There are a variety of EV charging systems available to businesses, depending on what they need. These include specialist systems for managing your EV fleet, workplace systems for your staff and visitors, and destination systems for generating revenue from visitors to your site.

Similar to home chargers, OLEV have a grant available for installing workplace charging systems at your business. Coventry City Council have partnered with EO Charging to help Coventry’s businesses get their own workplace charging system.

EV Charging - the tricky bits

The car controls how much power to take from the charger to protect the battery. So, even if you connect your EV to a 7kW charger, your vehicle may not accept the full 7kW charging rate. This may be for a number of reasons, perhaps you have driven a long way, or it is a particularly hot day, and your vehicle may limit the charge rate to protect the battery.

Another important distinction is between AC and DC charging. To recap - Slow and Fast charging is typically AC, and Rapid charging is typically DC. EV battery’s charge with DC electricity. To allow charge with AC, EVs have an on-board charger to convert the AC electricity to DC before it goes into the battery. This on-board charger will have a limit to how much it can convert at any one time. What does this mean for you when charging your EV? If your EV has an on-board charger capable of converting a maximum of 7kW then this is the fastest charge rate you’ll be able to accept from any AC charger. Be sure to ask your dealer about the on-board charger when buying your next EV!