Electric Vehicle Smart Charging: Everything You Need To Know

Electric Vehicles

The world of electric vehicles can be daunting to newcomers. Especially if you know very little about what they are or how they work. If you are considering buying an EV, you’ll need to know all about electric vehicle smart charging and all the options out there to choose from for charging setups. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about electric vehicles and charging equipment so that you can make an educated decision for your own personal circumstances.


Why buy an electric vehicle?

If you are undecided about why you should buy an electric vehicle and are still researching why you should invest in one, read on!

The main reasons are:

  • They will save you money on buying traditional fossil fuels.
  • They can save you money on maintenance fees. Electric cars are newer, don’t use engine oil, and don’t have a catalytic converter (or any exhaust system) that needs to be serviced frequently. 
  • You can slash your own carbon emissions significantly.
  • Refuelling/charging may not cost you anything with a solar panel setup for your home.
  • Electric vehicles are safer to operate with no combustion needed for their function.


Need to know jargon 

Anyone new to the field of electric vehicles will need to know all about the jargon and terminology frequently used in the industry. Some terms to familiarise yourself with:

  • kWh – a unit of measurement (kilowatts per hour)
  • kW – a unit of measurement (kilowatts)
  • EV – a shortened version of electric vehicle. The term EV or electric vehicle is used to refer strictly to rechargeable battery-powered electric vehicles that don’t use combustion engines.
  • PHEV – short for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. These are vehicles that use both a combustion engine in combination with an electric battery.
  • Single Phase – a domestic power supply type.
  • Three Phase – a commercial or industrial power supply type.


What EV smart charging cable do you need?

When thinking about buying an electric vehicle, you’ll also need to think about what cables you’ll need to invest in. There are two main types of EV cable:

  • Type 1 EV charging cables
  • Type 2 EV charging cables

Both of these types of cable are used in the UK and Europe. However, type 2 is by far the most popular option. Out with the UK and Europe, Asia primarily uses type 1 rather than type 2, as does the United States. Both chargers and cars can use either a type 1 or type 2 connection, so it is important to look up both the charger and electric car specification sheets to make sure you are buying the right EV charging technology.


What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 charging?

Type 1 charging tends to be for older EV vehicles in the UK or for foreign EV car imports, and type 2 has been the standard for every charging station in the nation since 2018. From a technological standpoint, type 1 is only available for single-phase chargers with up to 7.4kW charging power in the UK.

Type 2 chargers are also available in single-phase up to 7.4kW. However, type 2 charging can also provide rapid charging options for up to 150kW using three-phase power supplies. The connector itself is also different, with type 1 chargers featuring a 5-pin configuration and type 2 connections featuring a 7-pin configuration. This makes the two charging types incompatible unless you use a type 1 to type 2 converter (also known as a type 1 to type 2 adapter).


What charger should you use?

For domestic settings, you’ll need to source a single-phase power supply. The general recommendation for homes is to invest in a single-phase 7.4kW charger, which offers the fastest charging times and the best value for money. Three-phase 22kW, 50kW, and 150kW chargers are available for commercial settings. Some high-quality charger brands to watch are Wallbox, Myenergi, Easee, and EVBox.

Do note that PHEVs cannot use rapid chargers due to their battery capacity and design.


What is the difference between tethered and untethered connections?

When choosing to invest in an EV charger, you’ll likely encounter two main charger connection types: 

  • Tethered
  • Untethered

This refers to how the smart charging cable works in conjunction with the charger. A tethered connection is where the EV charging cable is attached to the chassis of the charger and cannot be removed. An untethered connection type is the opposite. This type of connection will allow the cable and charger to be separate. A tethered connection is very similar to how a traditional fuel pump operates, while an untethered connection can allow you to transport your charging cable with your vehicle.


Summing up

Investing in an electric vehicle takes work. Knowing more about EV technology and smart charging can help you make the right decision. We hope our article has helped you understand electric vehicle smart charging!

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