Guide to electric vehicle charging

Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:6th January 2023

electric vehicle charging

Sometimes it good to go back to basics. If you have recently switched to an electric vehicle or want a recap on how to charge an EV, this guide will show you through the steps to ensure effective charging of your EV.

How to Charge an Electric Car

1. Check what charging plug your vehicle uses & that it is compatible with the charging point.

Depending on the make/model of your car you may have a Type 1 charger, or a Type 2 charger. Most public charging points feature a Type 2 charging socket so if you have a Type 1 socket on your car then you should ensure you have a ‘Type 2-to-Type 1’ cable on hand.

Rapid chargers will use different types of sockets, the CCS and CHAdeMO chargers. The first combines a CCS DS socket with the Type 2 socket. The second is less common than the first, however, it’s important that you check which type your vehicle uses.

2. Attach your cable to the charging point and then to your vehicle.

Your vehicle’s charging socket may be located in the same location as traditional fuel caps, or it may be located at the front of the vehicle.

3. Your vehicle will have a light to show the vehicle has begun charging.

This is usually green or blue. Your dashboard will tell you how long until the vehicle is fully charged. Your car won’t be able to start up whilst charging and the cable will be locked in when the car is locked to prevent theft of the cable or the charging point.

4. When you are finished charging or are ready to leave, unlock your car, disconnect your cable, pack it away, and you are ready to go.

Man charging an electric car

Public Charge Points

There are 35,778 charge points at 21,378 charging locations, making public charging points easy to access for EV drivers across the UK.

Types of Charging Points

  • Slow charge points
  • Fast charge points
  • Rapid charge points
  • Ultra-Rapid charge points

Electric Vehicle Charging at Work

If you are introducing EVs to your fleet or are encouraging the uptake of EVs by your staff, then it’s worth investing in charging infrastructure. There are a range of different types of charging point that are perfect for workplace charging, and some fit the criteria for the Workplace Charging Scheme.

These charge points will be used following the same or similar step-by-step process outlined above, but it’s important to check the requirements of each individual model to ensure effective charging and to avoid damage either to your EV or the charge point.

Electric Vehicle Charging at Home

As with workplace charging, there are a range of home charge points to choose from. Home charging is the most convenient and often most cost-effective way of charging electric vehicles. If you are looking to install a charging point at your home, it’s worth researching the various types of charger you can choose to find the one that suits your needs.

Wallbox Chargers

Whilst you can charge an EV from the wall sockets in your home, wallbox providers can offer faster and safer charging. The EV charge point grant can help to cover up to 75% of the cost of installing smart charge points at domestic properties across the UK.

EV Charge Cards

When charging fleet electric vehicles, an EV charge card is an effective option for saving on costs, benefitting from perks, and managing fleet finances. If you are unsure which EV charge card is right for your fleet’s needs then head over to our EV Hub where you can find guidance on the types of EV charge card on offer as well as other useful information.