Electric cars have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. However, one of the challenges of owning an electric car is finding a place to charge it. While many public places now offer charging stations, some require payment for use.
When you need to use a public charging point, you can be confused, at first, about how to pay. This guide will help clear up the process so you can quickly and easily get your car back on the road.
What are Public Chargers?
A public charger is an electric car charging station that is available for use by the general public. These electric car chargers are typically found in parking garages, public parks, and other highly trafficked areas. However, you may need to have your own cable as most units do not have a charging cable left in public places.
While some public chargers are free to use, many now require payment. The cost of using a public charger can vary depending on the location and the type of charger.
Some public chargers are level 2, which means they charge your car more slowly than a level 3 charger. Level 3 chargers are also known as DC fast chargers and can charge an electric car in a matter of minutes.
Types of Public Chargers for Electric Cars
There are different types of public charging points. Being able to understand each type and how it works is imperative even before getting to the actual use. The main types of public chargers are:
- On-the-road Chargers
- Destination Chargers
On-the-road chargers are made for EV drivers who want to stop and charge their cars while they are on a road trip. These types of chargers are often found at gas stations, cafes, and rest stops.
Some on-the-road chargers are free to use, while others require payment. If you do have to pay to use an on-the-road charger, you can typically do so with a credit card or through a smartphone app.
Destination chargers are electric car charging stations that are located at destinations, such as hotels, shopping malls, car parks and restaurants. Motorway service stations are a good example of destination chargers. These types of chargers are meant for drivers who are visiting a specific location and need to charge their car while they are there.
Like on-the-road chargers, some destination chargers are free to use while others require payment. If you do have to pay to use a destination charger, you can typically do so with a credit card or through a smartphone app. Different public EV charging networks have various features to offer.
What are Rapid Chargers?
Rapid chargers are electric car charging stations that can charge an electric car in a matter of minutes. Rapid chargers are also known as level 3 chargers or DC fast chargers.
Not all public chargers are rapid chargers, so it is important to check the type of electric charger before you try to use it. If you try to use a level 2 charger with a car that can only charge on a level 3 charger, you will not be able to charge your car.
Benefits of Rapid Charging
Rapid charging is a great way to quickly and easily charge your electric car. However, there are some important things to keep in mind before using a rapid charger.
First, not all-electric vehicles can use a rapid charger. You need to have a car that is compatible with the type of charger you are using.
Second, rapid chargers can be expensive to use. The cost of using a rapid charger can vary depending on the location and the type of charger.
Finally, not all rapid chargers are created equal. Some chargers provide more power than others, so it is important to check the specifications before you start charging your car.
How to Pay for Public Charging
Now that you understand the different types of public chargers, let’s take a look at how to pay for them.
There are a few different ways that you can pay for public charging:
Many public chargers accept credit cards as payment. When you’re ready to charge your electric car, simply insert your credit card into the charger and follow the prompts.
If you’re using a level 3 charger, you may have to pay for the charge upfront before you can begin charging. Once you’ve paid, the charger will start automatically and will stop when your car is fully charged.
Some public chargers can be paid for with a smartphone app. To use this method, you’ll need to download the app associated with the charger before you can begin charging.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can typically pay for your charge by entering your credit card information into the app. Once you’ve paid, the charger will start automatically and will stop when your car is fully charged.
RFID, or radio-frequency identification, cards are another way to pay for public charging. RFID cards are typically provided by the company that owns the charger.
To use an RFID card, you’ll need to hold it up to the charger. The charger will then start automatically and will stop when your car is fully charged.
Important Electric Vehicle Charging Tips
Now that you know how to pay for public charging, here are a few tips to help make the process smoother:
- Always have your credit card or RFID card handy, so you can start charging as quickly as possible
- Be aware of the different types of chargers and know which one you need for your car
- Make sure to have a full battery before starting your road trip, so you can use on-the-road chargers if needed
- Plan ahead and check the availability of public chargers ahead of time, so you’re not left stranded without a charge
Charging your electric car can be easy and convenient with the right knowledge. By understanding the different types of chargers and how to pay for them, you’ll be able to charge your car wherever you go.
How Much Does it Cost to Charge Electric Cars?
The cost of charging electric cars can vary depending on the type of charger, the location, and the electricity rates.
For example, the cost to charge a car at a public rapid charger can be anywhere from £6 to £7 per 30 minutes.
Home charging is typically much cheaper, with most homeowners paying between 10 and 14 pence per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
To get an estimate of how much it will cost to charge your car, you can use an online calculator like this one from the Department of Energy.
No matter where you charge your electric car, the cost of EV charging is usually cheaper than fueling a petrol or diesel vehicle.
With the information above, you are now in a better place and know how to pay for electric vehicle charging. There are many different types of chargers and each comes with a different price.
Be sure to do your research before travelling to make sure you have a full battery when leaving. Charging an electric car at home is typically the cheapest, but for those on the go, public chargers are more accessible and do not inflate your electricity bill.