Our FAQ’s help switching your fleet or vehicle to electric vehicle less daunting.

We recognise it can be very daunting when you first look to buy or lease an electric vehicle. Charging an electric vehicle is very different to refuelling a combustion engine vehicle, and you will no doubt have a lot more questions that you will have answers. We have listed some of the common EV charging FAQ’s that you are likely to wants answered as you embark on this new journey for either yourself or your business:

General FAQ’s


How and where can I charge my electric and vehicle?

You can charge your vehicle almost anywhere, in particular at home, at work or in public.  To find a public charging point, these can all be found on Zap Map


Do all charging points charge all electric vehicles?

Charging sockets have a type 2 sockets, and these are compatible with all types of electric vehicles.  Where you are using a tethered charger (fixed lead) or a rapid charger, you will need to use a charging outlet that is compatible with your vehicle.


Can my charging lead get stolen when I charge in public?

Some charging points have a locking function which prevents the charging lead being removed after the charge is completed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some manufacturers are unable to offer a lockable function for their public charging units.


How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

The charging times vary based on the AC and DC capacity of the vehicle itself.  Provided you vehicle has the capacity to charge at the below rates, these are the miles that can be added:
AC charging:
3.6kW = 15 miles added per hours charge
7.4kW = 30 miles added per hours charge
22kW = 90 miles added per hours charge
DC charging:
50kW = 180 miles added per hours charge
150kW = 400 miles added per hours charge


How do I know how quick my car or van can charge?

You need to establish the AC and DC onboard charging capacity for your vehicle, and this can be found on websites like ev-database.uk
For example, if your vehicle has an AC onboard charging capacity of 7.4kW and you plugged your vehicle into a 22kW AC charger – the vehicle will only draw 7.4kW


What is the difference between AC and DC charging points?

Most electric vehicles can charge with both AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current).  AC charging outputs are typically from 3.6kW to 22kW and can add between 15 and 90 miles per hour depending on the vehicles onboard capacity.
 DC charging is commonly known as rapid charging and offers outputs between 25kW and 300kW and can add between 90 and 600 miles per hour depending on the vehicles onboard capacity.


How much does it cost to charge my electric vehicle?

The cost to charge your electric vehicle will vary depending on whether you charge at home, work or in public. Charging tariffs are applied by different networks at different rates, and some are even free!
To add 100 miles using your home tariff may cost you about £2 – £3, whereas in public this could cost you £3 – £5.


Can I use solar PV to power my charging points?

Yes, there are various charging points that can link directly to your home solar PV systems, and domestic most charging points are compatible with battery storage units.


Do I need lots of accounts, apps and fobs to charge my car in public?

This used to be the case, but the industry is making huge strides towards making charging your vehicle in public hassle free.  Most rapid charging units offer either contactless card payments and/or roaming cards. Roaming is where you have an account with one of the current network providers, and you can then use this card for a charging point this is operated by another network. 

Charging at home


Can I use a standard plug socket to charge my vehicle?

Yes, but this is will charge very slowly and you cannot rely on this being a safe method for you to charge your electric vehicle


What does a smart charger actually mean?

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have been encouraging electric vehicle drivers to install smart home charging units. The purpose of ‘smart’ allows the unit to use power to charge your vehicle when it is most readily available, more often during off-peak times.


What’s the fastest charger I can have at home?

99% of UK homes have a single phase electrical circuit, which means that 7.4kW is highest charging output you have available.  Should your property have a three phase supply, you do have potential for a much faster charging output.


How do I claim for an OLEV grant for my home charger?

You don’t have to.  You simply need an OLEV approved installer and provided you meet the criteria, the installer will discount the grant funding from your invoice and it’s their responsibility to reclaim this.


How do I know if I’m eligible for a home charger?

The criteria is thankfully straight forward.  You need to drive an electric or plug-in hybrid and you need to have designated off road parking. 


Does the OLEV home grant apply to a used electric vehicle?

Yes


I don’t have off road parking how do I charge my car overnight?

In the first instance, you should contact your local council as it is likely they will have some plans to provide on street EV charging facilities for your local area. Charging at home will not be possible if it cannot be done safely, for example, the cable blocks public or private thoroughfare when connected to home and vehicle. As an interim, we encourage drivers to use the public charging network until such time your local authority implement a suitable charging solution near to your home.


How can I make my charger secure so someone to avoid someone charging without my permission?

Some smart charging units have an app that can allow you to prevent unpermitted use of your charging point. There are other methods that can be used (depending on the charge point) such as; keyswitch, key fob, pin code or an isolation switch inside your property.

Business and fleet charging


How and where would my company fleet charge if we switched to electric?

You can charge your fleet vehicles almost anywhere, in particular at home, at work or in public.  To find a public charging point, these can all be found on Zap Map


How does my business qualify for an OLEV workplace grant?

Businesses are entitled to a contribution towards the supply and install of charging points for staff or fleet use.  Other than the purpose of the charging units, there are no other significant criteria that businesses need to consider


How do we claim for an OLEV workplace grant?

The OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme is very easy to redeem and takes only minutes to complete.  OLEV will provide you with an automated voucher following a short online application.  You present the voucher to an OLEV approved installer who discount the voucher from their invoice.


My business has 240 volts, does this mean I can have a fast charger?

230v or 240v suggests that your business has a single phase supply and the fastest charging socket you can install on a single phase network is 7.4kW.  If your business requires a faster charging solution, we can make an application to upgrade your electric network operator for 400v supply.


How do I select the right vehicle for my fleet?

You need understand what type of mileage your fleet vehicle does on an average day, along with average dwell times (ie when the vehicle is stationary). Once you understand this information, you can identify an electric vehicle that can (a) complete the desired distances with minimal disruptions and (b) consider the charging infrastructure that you need to suit the time in which the vehicle is stationary.


How do I prevent anyone from using our company charger without permission?

There are multiple options available to business to make your charging point secure. 
Most commonly, charging points can use any of the below forms of activation:
Free to use [simple plug in and charge]
RFID card or fob
Keyswitch
Pin code
App or online confirmation
Payment

If you have any further questions that you would like help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Contact Us – Standard
First
Last