A quick guide EV charging

Do you know your BEV from your PHEV? Our quick guide to EVs and EV charging is here to help you navigate the world of sustainable transport.

Electric vehicle (EV) categories

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Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

A fully-electric vehicle that is recharged by connecting to a mains supply. Battery electric vehicles store electricity onboard with high-capacity battery packs. Their battery power is used to run the electric motor and all onboard electronics. BEVs do not emit any harmful emissions and hazards caused by traditional petrol or diesel vehicles.

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Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

A vehicle with a combination of a traditional combustion engine and a rechargeable battery. PHEV’s can recharge their battery through both regenerative braking and by plugging into an external source of electricity.

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Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

HEVs are powered by both petrol and electricity. The electric energy is generated by the car’s own braking system to recharge the battery, it cannot be charged by plugging into an electrical supply. This is called ‘regenerative braking’, a process where the electric motor helps to slow the vehicle and uses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.

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Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

Unlike BEV, PHEV and HEV, the term ICE refers to the engine itself, rather than the type of car. Petrol and diesel cars have internal combustion engines. The fossil fuels burned inside an ICE contribute to both air pollution and global warming, a key factor in the adoption of EVs.

EV charging guide 

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Kilowatt-hours (kWh)

Just as conventional cars have big or small fuel tanks, lithium-ion batteries for electric cars also come in different sizes. Rather than litres of fuel, their capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

1 kilowatt hour is typically 3-4 miles of range so a 40kWh battery in a mainstream electric car might be enough to power it for 150 miles or more.

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Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)

Used to supply electric energy to recharge BEVs and PHEVs, EVSE enables two-way communication between a charging station and an electric vehicle. Basically, it controls the safe current flow between the charger and your EV.

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Slow EV Charging

Most slow charging units are rated at up to 3kW with a full charge taking typically 6-12 hours. While slow charging can be carried out via a three-pin socket, because of the higher current demands of EVs and the longer amount of time spent charging, it is strongly recommended that those who need to charge regularly at home get a dedicated EV charger installed. 

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Fast EV Charging

Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7kW or 22kW. Charging times do vary, but a 7kW charger can recharge an EV with a 40kWh battery in 4-6 hours, and a 22kW charger in 1-2 hours. Charging rates when using a fast charger will depend on the car’s on-board charger, with not all models able to accept 7kW or more. Often found at car parks or supermarkets, fast chargers can also be installed at home for convenient EV charging. 

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Rapid EV Charging

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge an EV, often found at motorway services or locations close to main routes. Depending on the model, EVs can be recharged to 80% in as little as 20 minutes, though an average new EV would take around an hour on a standard 50 kW rapid charge point. 

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Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)

The team working across government to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles. OLEV grant schemes include the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and Workplace Charging Scheme, both which can reduce the upfront costs of purchasing and installing EV chargepoints.

Reliability is everything

When it comes to EV charging, reliability is everything – so we only install EV chargers that we’re confident won’t let you down. Our hand picked range of electric vehicle chargers have been through our rigorous testing and due diligence.

Find out more about our EV charging solutions for the home, the workplace, fleet and destination charging.