Electric Cars / Employee

EV Charging Questions Answered

Charging questions answered


Driving a new EV as part of a Tusker scheme comes with many advantages from enjoying a brand new car at an affordable monthly cost, to saving money on tax and helping the environment.

However, we know that if you are looking at ordering your first ever EV, while you are no doubt excited, you may have some questions. In reality an EV isn’t very complicated, but there are differences between charging a car, and filling it with fuel.

We have put together a handy guide to some of the most common questions we are asked about charging, so that you can get on with enjoying your new car, safe in the knowledge that you are up to speed with everything charging related.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

Charging an EV can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 10 hours! It all depends on how big the battery is that you have in your car and the power of the charger you are using. There are four main types of charger in the UK, and this can give you a good idea as to charging times.

Slow charging: 3kW to 7kW charging is normally found in home wallbox chargers, workplace chargers or some supermarkets.  These are great for when you won’t be using your car for longer periods of time – many EV drivers charge overnight for example, which also enables them to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates. A full charge can take 10 hours, so slow public charges are best used for an opportunistic top-up.

Fast Charging: 22kW to 43kW chargers are becoming increasingly common in public spaces such as supermarkets, shopping centres and tourist attractions. Having access to such chargers while you’re off attending a gym class or enjoying dinner out makes topping up quick and easy. Charging via this method should achieve good results in just over an hour.

Rapid Charging: 50kW to 80kW Rapid chargers can quickly get you on your way in as little as 40 minutes and use DC current as opposed to the AC of slower chargers. The good news is that these chargers are quickly becoming more common and often replace older units on motorways, service stations and leading supermarket chains.

Ultra Rapid Charging: While not as widespread as other units, these 100kW to 350kW chargers are the rocket-ships of battery replenishment. Dependent upon your car, you could get a 20-80% done in as little as 20 minutes. Hubs with rapid chargers are cropping up across the country on major motorway networks and while often more expensive than their slower counterparts, they mean less time waiting for your car to charge.

What’s the difference between a tethered and untethered charger?

In short, the difference between a tethered and untethered charger is that with a tethered charger, the charging cable is attached to the unit. With an untethered charger, the cable can be plugged-in or unplugged.

The upside of a tethered charger are that if it is on your wall at home, you will usually only ever need one length of cable, and it is less likely to be stolen.

However, with an untethered charger, it provides you the flexibility to choose cable lengths, and a wider range of connection types, which may be important if you change cars frequently.

What is a smart home charger and should I get one?

Unlike a standard wall-charger, which charges your car whenever you plug it in, a smart charger allows you to choose when your vehicle charges while it’s plugged in. This means that you can take advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs, and only charge your car using the cheaper electricity which is available at off-peak times.

Basic smart chargers will allow you to set a timer to choose when your vehicle charges, while the latest and most advanced units can also be controlled by an app and communicate with your energy provider, allowing them to manage your charge remotely, or even give some electricity back to the grid when needed – saving you money.


How do off-peak EV tariffs work?

Some energy providers charge you less if use electricity at certain times of day or night. This is normally at quieter times for the grid (often at night) when less people need power, so to encourage users to help take the strain off the power supply, you can be rewarded for this with cheaper electricity.

To take advantage of these off peak tariffs, you will need to have a smart meter fitted to your home, so that this can monitor when you use your power. You will then be able to select an electricity tariff from your supplier which will give you access to cheaper rates. Charging your car at these times could save you a lot of money over the course of a year, so it’s worth doing.

Can I use solar panels to charge my car?

Absolutely, if you have a suitable roof on which to install solar panels, then you can charge your car using the power that is produced in a totally sustainable and free (at the point of use) manner.

If you have a solar panel that powers the charger directly, it will usually be able to generate 4kW of power, which will be enough to charge your car in around 8 hours. If you have a solar panel system that feeds power into a battery, you can store the power for when you need it, and some systems will let you sell electricity back to the grid as well.

 What is EV Vehicle to Grid charging?

While your EV is a car, it can also be used as a giant power pack, similar to ones you might charge your phone with while out and about, only much bigger. Vehicle to Grid, or V2G as it’s often known, is a relatively new technology that allows you to feed the energy stored in your car’s battery back to the grid at times when you don’t need it, but the grid does. It means that at peak times, when the grid needs all the power it can get, if you don’t need a fully charged car, you can sell your electricity back, and often for a good rate. Some drivers have reported saving up to £800 a year by using this technology, and as you can always override the system if you need your car unexpectedly, you need never be caught out.

What is Vehicle to Home charging for EVs?

Vehicle to Home (V2H) technology works in the same way as V2G, but instead of selling your electricity back to the grid, you can use it to power your home instead. For example, if you are at home, and using a lot of power, but don’t need your car, rather than using electricity from the grid to power your vacuum, washing machine and TV, you can draw power from your car instead. Then, when you have finished, you can recharge your car’s battery using a cheap, off-peak tariff to save you money.

If you still have questions, or want to know more about how to charge your EV, you can get in touch with us at Tusker, we are always happy to help.

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