EV public charging is something many people talk and write about, but as a new or potential EV owner, it might not be something you have experienced. Here is a quick guide on how to use an EV public charger, so you can be prepared for when you need to charge your EV away from home.
EV Public Charging – What do public chargers look like?
EV public chargers come in a few different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – they have a charging port that is compatible with your EV. Some public chargers are standalone units, while others are integrated into parking meters or are found in supermarket car parks.
They are usually identified by a sign that says something like “EV Public Charging Point”, “Charging Point”, or similar. Some public charging points are identified by a sign with an image which may be of a vehicle and a lightning bolt, or sometimes an image of a wall plug that you would find at home. One of the more common signs shows the front of a car with a cable extending from the side and a plug on the end of the cable, just below a socket at the top of the sign.
The charger itself may look like a parking meter, a petrol pump, or something of a similar size and shape.
EV Public Charging – Where can you find public chargers?
There are EV public chargers in various locations, from on-street parking spaces to supermarket car parks and shopping centres. Service stations and airport car parks are other likely locations, along with some workplaces, hotels and other public buildings.
You can find out where your nearest EV public charger is by using an online search tool such as Zap-Map (https://www.zap-map.com/).
EV Public Charging – Where are 150kW chargers in Ireland?
There are several different types of EV public chargers, and those with a higher kW rating will charge your vehicle more quickly. EV public charging is more convenient with a faster charge, but not every charging point supports the higher rating.
Tesla Supercharger EV public charging points can supply up to 150kW, as can several other types of chargers. The most common locations in Ireland for 150kW chargers are on motorways. This is due to the requirements of motorway driving – most drivers will be travelling a good distance and only want to take a short break, so the faster their vehicle is charged, the better.
An online tool can help you find 150kW chargers near you as the type of connection and kW rating are usually shown in the search results.
How do you use a public charger?
The first thing you need to do is park your EV in the designated space and plug your EV into the charging point. Once it is plugged in, the charger will start automatically and begin charging your EV. The amount of time it takes to charge an EV will depend on the size of your EV’s battery and the charger’s power output.
You may need to provide some information to the charger, such as your name, contact details and vehicle registration number. This is so that the charge can be correctly billed to you. Some chargers will allow you to pay by card, while others may require you to pay online or over the phone.
Once your EV is fully charged, you can unplug it from the charger and be on your way. Remember to leave the parking space clear for other EV owners who may need to use the charger.
How much does it cost to fully charge an electric car?
The cost of charging an EV will depend on the price of electricity at the time you charge, as well as the size of your EV’s battery. Generally speaking, charging a small EV costs between €10 and €20, but this can vary.
If you are using a public charger, you may also have to pay a fee to use the charger itself. This fee is usually a set amount per hour; you will need to pay it even if your EV is not fully charged.
Chargers with a higher kW rating will charge your EV more quickly, but they may also be more expensive to use.
Is car charging free at Tesco?
In November 2018, Tesco announced the rollout of free EV public charging points across many of their stores. At the time of writing, their 7kW and 22kW chargers remain free for public use, while 50kW chargers attract a fee.
Is ALDI EV charging free?
As with Tesco, ALDI EV charging is free across their stores. ALDI Ireland EV public charging points are powered by 100% green electricity, making them great for the environment as well as for topping up your vehicle while you do some shopping.
Are LIDL charging points free?
Since July 2022, LIDL charging points have required payment to be used. AC chargers are priced at 40c per kWh, while DC chargers are 45c per kWh. Although the charging points are not free, they can provide a cost-effective and convenient way to top up your battery.
How many hours does it take to charge an electric car?
How long it takes to charge an EV will depend on the size of your EV’s battery and the power output of the charger. A small EV with a 24kW battery can be charged in as little as 1 hour, while a larger EV with a 100kW battery could take up to 4 hours to charge.
With 150kW chargers, the process will be faster.
Is EV public charging right for you?
Public EV chargers are a great way to charge your EV when you’re on the go. They are convenient and usually easy to use, and they can be found in a range of locations.
Before you use a public charger, it’s important to check that it is compatible with your EV. You should also familiarise yourself with the process of using a public charger so that you know what to expect.
Overall, EV public charging is a simple way to top up your battery and can extend your vehicle’s range while you are doing something else, such as shopping, visiting a gym, or getting something to eat.
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