Electric Vehicle Charging Technology

What recharging technology is available?

  1. Slow or Trickle charging: the majority of EVs in the UK are capable of taking charge known as ‘Slow or Trickle’ charging from an off-board 13Amp / 3kW power source. This is normally through a dedicated 13A supply. Trickle recharging will typically recharge a discharged car battery in around 8 hours.
  2. Fast charging: when a 3kW charge requirement is up-rated to 7kW single phase (32Amp), the 7kW charge rate is often referred to as ‘Fast Recharging’. Not all cars will be able to accept the higher charge and it is assumed that retrofitted 7kW and 3kW recharging posts will be needed for a few years yet. Fast recharging will typically recharge a discharged car battery in around 4 hours.
  3. Rapid charging: is a term generally used for a charge rate in excess of 50kW. A number of mainstream automotive manufacturers have worked closely with the Tokyo Electric Power Company to develop a solution to this technology. A stand-alone direct current fast charger has been designed to charge EVs from Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Citroen and Subaru. Rapid charging will typically recharge a discharged car battery in around 30 minutes.

The high cost of rapid rechargers (80% recharge in 30 minutes) means that these will be strategically sited on the East of England’s arterial road network to ensure motorists can top up if needed. A number of fast chargers will also be available at retail outlets, train stations, business car parks, multi-storey car parks, hospitals, tourism sites, hotels, ports and airports to provide similar ‘top up’ facilities.

How long do EVs need to be charged for?

On a standard dedicated 13A supply, full charge will be achieved in around 8 hours. Using the posts that will appear street side in the East of England, a full charge can be obtained in around 4 hours. A full charge uses around 25kWh of electricity.

How do EVs compare in terms of carbon emissions?

‘Well-to-wheel’ emissions of carbon dioxide for an EV are reduced by around 30-40% compared to conventional vehicles of the same size and weight, when using fossil fuel as the power source. When EVs are powered by renewable energy the savings are considerably greater.

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