The UK’s electric car charging network is increasing all the time and there are currently more than 10,000 public charging locations and over 17,000 individual charging devices. If you’re leasing an electric car, or planning to, then it’s well worth familiarising yourself with charging points near and far.
Where are the nearest charging points?
The easiest way to locate your nearest charging point is by using What Car?’s electric charging station map. Simply click on the link, punch in your town or postcode and you’ll get a list of the closest ones illustrated on the map. The results will also tell you their charging speed – standard, fast, rapid AC and rapid DC.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
This mainly depends on the type of charger, although the car and its battery pack can have a bearing on it. The slowest way to top up an electric car’s battery is with a domestic, three-pin plug socket, which issues up to 3kW of electricity and can take more than 12 hours.
Dedicated electric car charging points are much quicker. These start with Type 2 fast chargers, which are typically found at workplaces or public locations. They have outputs of between 3.6kW and 22kW and a full charge usually takes between one and six hours.
Rapid chargers are even faster. They operate on both AC and DC currents, the former with an output of 43kW and the latter with 20kW-50kW and can fully charge a car in an hour or less. Even more powerful units exist, promising shorter charging times, and work is underway to introduce even faster ones to cut charging times to just a few minutes.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
It’s difficult to put an exact figure on the cost of charging, particularly when you’re using public charging points, because they are administered by different companies.
However, it is generally cheaper to charge your car at home than at a public facility. If you have a home charging point, then it will likely cost less than £5 for a full charge. It would not be unusual to pay somewhere between £10 and £20 for the same amount of time and energy at a public charging point, but again, this depends on the provider.
Whatever way you look at it though, electric cars are much cheaper to run than petrol or diesel equivalents.