Types of EV Chargers

Electric Vehicles and Plug-In Hybrids both require charging via one of several different charging methods. The easiest and most common time to charge an EV is at Home with either a standard 3-pin plug (included with most electric vehicles) or by using an installed dedicated Home Charger.

When you want to charge outside of the home, there are two main types of chargers - Tethered and Untethered Units. Universal sockets connect with all EV cars but are un-tethered and will require you to bring and use your own charge connector. Typically Fast Chargers are tethered with multiple connector sockets available. Fast Chargers are usually found in public spaces, shopping centres and workplaces. Rapid Chargers however are tethered with a few different cables and are found on most motorway service stations.

Type Speed Time ConnectorsConnection Type
Slow Charging Up to 3.6kW Approx 6-12 hours Standard Plug (3-pin)
Type 1 - 3kW (5-pin)
Type 2 - 3kw (7-pin)
Universal or tethered cables
Fast Charging 7 - 22kW Approx 3-4 hours Type 1 - 22kW (5-pin)
Type 2 - 22kW (7-pin)
Majority are untethered
Rapid Charging 43 - 50kW Approx 30 mins Type 2 - 43kW AC (7-pin)
CHAdemo - 50kW DC (4-pin)
CCS - 50kW DC
Majority are tethered   

RAPID CHARGER (50kW)

This is the quickest way to charge your electric vehicle when you’re doing a longer journey. Typically they will charge the car from 0-80% in around 30-45 minutes. The chargers are often located at motorway services, or close to main roads.

They charge faster than other chargers, because they put the power in at up to 400Volts DC, at 125 Amps (50kW). The charging cable is fixed to the charger, although often there will be a couple of different cables to suit different manufacturers of EV.

Read more about Charging in Public

FAST CHARGER (7kW)

These chargers are typically found at destinations, such as public car parks, workplaces, and shopping centres. They provide 220-240 Volts AC, at up to 32 Amps (7kW). Charging times will vary depending on the unit speed and vehicle, but will typically charge from 0 -100% in around 3-5 hours.

The vast majority of these chargers are “untethered” - this means that you need to provide your own charging cable to use them. The socket on these chargers is usually a “Type 2” socket—which has 7 pins. Very often there will be two sockets per post, allowing two cars to charge simultaneously.

Read more about Charging in Public

SLOW CHARGER (2-3kW)

Slow charging is the most common method of charging electric vehicles, used by many owners to charge at home overnight. They provide 220-240 Volts at up to 16 Amps (3kW). This can take 8-12 hours to charge a vehicle.

While slow charging can be carried out via a three-pin socket too using a standard 3-pin socket, because of the higher current demands of EVs and the longer amount of time spent charging, it is strongly recommended that those who need to charge regularly at home or the workplace get a dedicated EV charging unit installed by an accredited installer

Read more about Charging at Home

How far can you go in an EV? And where can you charge an EV?
The UK has one of the largest public charging networks in Europe, with over 17,000 chargepoint available
Plug in and charge your EV overnight at home whilst you sleep
Government grants for businesses can reduce the cost of having an EV charge point installed at their premises