Which charger to choose for your electric vehicle?
You’ve just bought a new electric car and now you’re wondering how to recharge it.
Among all the information circulating about recharging electric cars, finding the right solution seems complex to you.
Some information is contradictory or not clear enough.
It is difficult in this context to know exactly what you need to recharge your vehicle.
Here’s where to start and the right questions to ask yourself before deciding to buy an electric charging station:
How many kilometers do you drive per day with your electric car?
It is obvious that if you occasionally drive 20km or 30km a day, the recharging solution you will need will be a little different from the one for someone who drives 300km a day.
What is the range of your electric vehicle?
Knowing the actual range of your electric vehicle is very important in order to choose your recharging solution. We mean here the real range, not the average theoretical range indicated by the manufacturer.
If the real range of your electric vehicle is, for example, 300km and you work 150km from home, it is imperative to find a recharging solution for your home, but also at your workplace. This charging process will take place on a daily basis.
If, on the other hand, you travel 20 km per day – and your electric vehicle has a range of 300 km – charging at home will be more than sufficient.
Do you use your electric car every day?
A very important question is how often you use your vehicle. If you use it every day, your charging station should be able to recharge at least as much range energy as you need for your daily trips.
An electric vehicle driver who only uses his car on weekends for example, will need less charging power than someone who makes long trips every day.
Do you have a garage or parking space with access to your electrical circuit?
Installing your own charging station is very interesting, and even essential in some cases.
However, you still need to have a place to park your vehicle during the charging process.
If you have a garage or a reserved space in the parking lot of your home, installing a “Wallbox” type charging station will be very simple.
However, if you have to park on the street, far from home, you will have to find another solution, like: charging at your workplace, at a public charging station or at a friend’s house, etc.
Do you simply have access to an electrical outlet at your home or workplace?
If you have access to an electric outlet and your charging needs are not very demanding (short routes, sufficient range, etc.), the solution for you is probably a mobile charger.
Easily stored in the trunk of your car, a mobile charger will allow you to charge from any standard household outlet.
It is true that charging will be slower than on a dedicated terminal, but if the range recovered in this way is sufficient for your daily trips, this solution will be perfect for you.
To fully recharge your electric car, depending on its capacity, simply leave it connected during your working hours if you charge at the office, or at night, if you do it at home.
I only have access to a standard electrical outlet, how can I charge my car?
If you only have access to a standard electrical outlet, that’s fine!
A portable charger will be able to charge your vehicle with a power of up to 3,7kW. This is the power delivered by a standard domestic socket capable to supply a current of 16 amps at 230 volts, which is quite common in almost any conventional electrical circuit in a home.
This mobile charger will also be used to charge your vehicle while you are on the move. It will thus be easy to plug your electric car into a standard outlet at a friend’s house, restaurant, hotel, for example, or any other place where you have access to a simple domestic socket.
Charging station or portable charger?
- the range of your electric car
- the number of kilometers travelled daily
- the capacity of your electrical installation
- where you park your vehicle
- the cost of installing a charging station (Wallbox) is higher and sometimes involves a change of the subscription type from your energy supplier, or requires a modification of your installation
- a portable charger is certainly the cheapest and most versatile charging solution, as it can be used wherever you find a standard domestic socket
Advantages of one solution over the other:
- More power (faster charging)
- Dedicated electrical circuit (more comfort)
- Possibility of greater automation depending on the chosen options, such as :
- dynamic power management: automatic variation of the charging power of the terminal according to the capacity of your electric circuit and the consumption of other devices that are connected to it
- automatic launch during off-peak hours: to start the charge during the night for instance
- a separate current meter to calculate the cost of charging
- It plugs into a simple household outlet (depending on the model)
- Also available with other types of sockets and more power
- Can be connected to an outlet installed on a dedicated circuit (for more convenience)
- Transportable, it will accompany you everywhere to charge your EV during your trips: vacation spot, visit with friends, hotel, etc.
- Operational immediately: no installation or other costs, no modification of your electric circuit is necessary.
- Compact, it takes up very little space and will always be with you, in the trunk of your car.
- Robust and water resistant, it can charge your car even in the pouring rain.
- With adjustable power, this charger will allow you to adapt the charging current to the electric circuit on which it will be connected. It can thus avoid overloading a weak circuit or take full advantage of the power of a more efficient electric installation.
The ABC of electromobility
In conclusion, given the today’s density of the public charging stations network and the charging capacities combined with the range of the electric cars, it will always be necessary to think about charging as soon as it is possible.
This is called the ABC of electromobility, which comes from Always Be Charging, and means that when you are not driving your electric vehicle, it is better to have it connected and charging.
You might as well foresee the possibility of charging every time that you stop during your journey, whether it is on a wall charging station or a mobile charger.