Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly replacing fuel-based vehicles across the UK. The growing demand for EVs can be understood from the fact that the total market share for new cars registered with a plug-in in 2023 stood at 23.9%. The rise in the number of EVs on UK roads means that vehicle owners should start learning about the maintenance of electric vehicles, particularly EV chargers. If you own an electric vehicle and are interested in knowing how to take care of your EV charger, here’s our all-in-one guide covering the most important maintenance tips for EV chargers.
Types of EV Chargers
Before we get down to maintenance tips for EV chargers, let’s discuss the types of EV chargers available in the UK. Here are the most popular EV chargers available on the market:
Rapid and Ultra-Rapid Chargers
Rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are DC chargers with a capacity of around 50 kW. These electric car chargers can refill the battery to 80% in 40 minutes. However, these are not installed at homes but are commonly located at roadside and highway service stations.
Fast chargers, which have a capacity of around 7kW to 22kW, are commonly used at home and on the public charging network. These are the most popular chargers in the UK and one of the best home EV chargers in the UK. A 7kW charger takes six to eight hours. On the other hand, a 22kW connection takes three hours to charge an empty EV battery.
Last but not least, we have slow chargers in the UK. These chargers have a capacity of up to 6kW. These charges are commonly found in lamp posts on residential streets. Slow chargers are the second most popular chargers in the country and can take up to 12 hours to recharge an empty EV battery.
Tesla has set up its own charging setup around the country. The superchargers are rated at up to 150 kW and can charge the EV vehicles’ batteries to 80% in just 30 minutes. However, these chargers are exclusive to Tesla owners.
Choosing the Right Charger
By now, you know about all the types of chargers available to charge your electric car in the UK. You can decide which charger to use based on a certain number of factors. Here are a few things to consider before choosing the right charger for electric vehicles:
One of the most important factors in relation to EV chargers is charging speed. The charging speed will determine how much time you need to keep aside for charging your vehicle. You can choose from slow home chargers, fast public chargers, and ultra-rapid options.
You want your charger to be compatible with your electric vehicle. For this, you will need to consider the type of charging connector and the vehicle’s charging specifications. These details are usually provided with a manual that comes with EVs.
You can also check the availability of proper charging infrastructure in your area before buying a separate home charger. Based on the options available, you can easily decide whether you need a home charger or rely on public charging stations.
Some of the chargers come with subscription fees, while others are mostly free. So, if you are buying a charger for your EV, you need to decide which type of charger is suitable for your needs. You also need to keep in mind the cost of installing an electric car charger at your home.
Installation and Maintenance
You will need to consider the ease of installation for home chargers. You might also need to seek professional assistance in certain cases, which would come at an additional cost. You should rely on a trusted electrical contractor to get this work done.
Installation of a home charger for refilling the battery of your EV involves several steps. Here’s how to do an EV charger installation at home:
- First of all, you will need to find the site at which the charger will be installed.
- You will then need to seek permits and approvals for the home charger.
- Upon receiving approval and upgrading the electric panel, you can start the installation of the charging equipment. You can electrical services from a professional for the installation.
- Once installed, you will then need to do proper wiring, which involves connecting the charger to the power grid.
- You can now start testing the charger to ensure that it’s working properly. It involves proper electrical testing and inspections.
Now that you know how to install an electric car charger, it’s time to learn about some of the crucial maintenance tips to ensure that your charger works at full efficiency without any breakdowns.
- You should periodically inspect your electric car chargers to ensure that there is no potential fault.
- You should protect your electric car charger from dust, rain, and dirt to ensure its longevity.
- Focus on cable health by periodically looking for any cuts or breakages.
- If you have a smart car charger at home, you should check the features that come with it to ensure that it is functioning properly.
- You should also check that the charger is receiving a proper power supply without any fluctuations that could harm the device.
- Periodically, call a professional electrician to assess the health of your charger.
- In case of any crisis, you should ensure that you are in touch with a 24/7 emergency electrician.
- You should follow the guidelines provided by the charger manufacturer properly to make sure that you are not causing any harm to the charger.
When it comes to electric vehicles, there have been several technological changes that have changed the world for good. From slow charging to fast charging to superfast charging, EVs have indeed come a long way.
But as owners of EV cars, it’s important to keep tabs on future trends in electric vehicle charging. Here are some of the trends that may become reality in the future:
- Wireless charging is already a reality for smartphones and other smart devices. It could soon come for electric vehicles.
- Standardisation of chargers is something that can happen in the coming few years, as it will help save costs for both manufacturers and customers.
- In the years to come, automated charging, which involves robotic systems that can autonomously connect and disconnect charging cables, could become a reality.
- Last but not least, increased charging speed is something that is on the radar of all the OEMs and is in the works.
- Smart charging solutions will gain more popularity.