How do EV Chargers Work? MAC’s Complete Guide
As of November 2023, there were nearly a million electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads, and that number is growing rapidly – more than 265,000 battery EVs were registered on UK roads in 2022 alone. Correspondingly, as of November 2023, there were more than 53,000 EV charging points across the country – a 46% rise since November of the previous year.
So, with both EVs and their charging points becoming ever more prevalent, we’re going to be answering a few key questions, including what are the different kinds of EV chargers? How does an EV charger work? What kind of EV charger do I need? How much does a home EV charger cost? And how can I charge my EV without a drive or garage?
What are the different kinds of EV chargers?
Domestic and workplace EV chargers
EV Chargers fitted at home or the workplace usually supply relatively low wattages of power and are designed to charge gradually over extended periods of time, such as during the workday or overnight.
Public charging stations are designed to offer shorter charging times, and charge using higher wattages in order to achieve this. These EV charging points will require you to register for charging payment schemes.
Fast chargers are found increasingly amongst public charging points and deliver enough power to add roughly 100 miles in less than 40 minutes.
Rapid chargers are the very latest in EV charging tech and can take a battery from empty to 80% in 20-40 minutes depending on the size. These chargers are more challenging to install and require full site surveys, designs and a dedicated electricity supply from the distribution network operator.
How does an EV charger work?
If you’re prepping to install a home EV charger and integrate a new electrical device into your domestic network, you might be wondering ‘How does an EV charger work?’ Well, EV chargers are designed specifically to charge the large-capacity batteries that power EVs. They work by delivering between 3.7kW and 350kW of either Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC).
AC is the most commonly used option, as it was the charging tech that was used when EVs were first released and is now embedded in the majority of our charging infrastructure. However, because the current is alternating, and not direct, it’s slower to charge than newer DC chargers.
With the use of DC, newer fast and ultra-fast chargers deliver high-wattage current directly to the car’s battery, allowing for 80% charges in well under an hour. With the increasing use of ever-larger batteries, and rising demands for faster charging times to make EVs more convenient to own, DC chargers are set to become the new dominating tech.
Regardless of charging tech, how fast your car can charge will be limited by its internal capacity, meaning that if your EV can only handle 100kW charging and you plug it into a 350kW charger, it’ll only charge at 100kW.
What kind of EV charger do I need?
There are a few different kinds of EV charger connectors, including Type 1, Type 2, CHAdeMO, and the Combined Charging System (CCS).
The CCS type is becoming the most popular system, as it allows for the fastest charging speeds, the CHAdeMO is the connector of choice for many Japanese and Korean car makers, the majority of modern EVs feature Type 2 chargers, and a few of the very first EVs, such as the first gen Nissan Leaf, carry Type 1 connectors.
Chances are, your modern EV features a Type 2, CCS, or CHAdeMO connector, and selecting the right charger is simply a matter of picking one that matches your car’s socket.
How much does a home EV charger cost?
The average cost to install a home EV charger is around £800, but it will vary from home to home, and from charger to charger. Some charging options offer higher charging speeds, and greater levels of smart technology integration, but for a higher cost.
The complexity of your installation will also affect the cost if your charger needs to be installed in a slightly awkward location, it can cost more in technician hours.
At MAC, we offer a free rapid quoting service via our website – check it out by clicking here.
How can I charge my EV with a driveway or a garage?
Just because you don’t have a drive or a garage where a home EV charger can be installed, doesn’t mean that an EV isn’t worth considering. You could take advantage of workplace chargers, or if your workplace doesn’t have one, you could encourage your employer to install one by taking advantage of the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme, whereby they can apply for vouchers.
You can also look into local public EV charging stations. These are increasingly common across the UK, and more and more are featuring faster charging options, meaning waiting times are constantly reducing. There are a few different public charging providers, however, you will need to register and set up an account with the relevant one for your area.
Interested in EV chargers? Contact the EV charger installation experts
Now you know the answer to ‘How does an EV charger work?’, as well as a few other key questions, you can start to look into your EV charging options. The ideal EV charging solution is a home charger, that will allow you to charge your car overnight from the comfort and safety of your own home.
At MAC, we provide a selection of the latest EV charging tech, backed by more than a decade of electrical installation expertise, and a 24/7 support line. You can browse our range of EV chargers here, and get an instant online quote for your installation here.