Charging electric cars

The main difference between electric and fuel cars is that you’ll need to charge at a charging point and it takes more time than filling up fuel.

Types of charge points

In the UK there are rapid, fast and slow charging points.

  • Ultra-Rapid 100kW public charging networks: approx. 45min for 80%
  • Rapid 50kW public charging networks: approx. 1.5h for 80%
  • Fast 7kW public charging networks: approx. 13h for 100%
  • Slow 3kW home plug: approx. 30h for 100%

You may notice that rapid charging time is stated as only 80% rather than 100%. This is because the charging speed reduces for the final 20% to protect the battery from overheating.

Finding public charge points

We recommend using Zapmap to find charge points on your route.

A few tips. You can filter your search by:

  • Connector type. For example, if you’re on the motorway and you need a rapid charge, you can find points with Rapid CCS Combo 50kW, 100kW, 150kW and 350kW (Tesla chargers won’t work) charging.
  • Contactless or debit payment

Or you can use A Better Route Planner which is a slightly simpler route planning tool/charge point finding tool.

Charging on a journey

You can find rapid, fast and slow charging points in public areas, whereas home chargers tend to be fast 7kW chargers. You can choose a charge point based on how much time you have.

For example, If you’re on a journey with the Jaguar I-PACE, it’s best to visit a rapid charging point, which are all 50 kW and above. Some chargers offer charging rates above 100kW, however, the I-PACE will only charge at a maximum rate of 100kW. You can still connect to one of these chargers and the car will automatically reduce the charge rate down to 100kW to protect the car hardware.

Do I have to sign up to a charging network to use its charge points?

Many networks now offer pay-as-you-go contactless payments. You’ll pay a bit extra to pay this way but it’s still far cheaper than the equivalent amount of fuel. Find charge points and filter by contactless or debit payment on Zap-Map.

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