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  • Writer's pictureNick Lundie

How EV Chargers Work

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular and understanding how to charge them is crucial for both current and prospective owners. EV chargers supply electric energy to recharge EV batteries. Let’s break down how they work in simple terms for the UK market.

Types of EV Chargers |

In the UK, there are four main types of EV chargers: Mode 1, Mode 2, Mode 3, and Mode 4.

Mode 1 chargers use a standard 230-volt outlet, which you find in most homes. They are convenient but charge slowly, adding about 2-5 miles of range per hour. Mode 2 chargers also use a 230-volt outlet but come with an in-cable control box for added safety, offering a slightly faster charge.

Mode 3 chargers are dedicated EV charging points that use a 230 or 400-volt supply, adding 10-60 miles of range per hour and are commonly installed in

homes and workplaces.

Mode 4 chargers are rapid DC chargers that can charge an EV up to 80% in 20-30 minutes, typically found at motorway service stations and other commercial locations.

The Charging Process |

Charging an EV is quite straightforward. You plug the charger into your vehicle and it starts to transfer electricity to the battery. The EV’s onboard charger, which is part of the vehicle, converts the AC (alternating current) from the charger into DC (direct current) needed to charge the battery. For Mode 4 chargers, this conversion happens outside the car, allowing for much quicker charging times.

Safety and Smart Features |

Modern EV chargers come with a variety of safety features to protect both the vehicle and the user. These include protections against overcharging, overheating and short circuits. Many chargers also have smart features, such as the ability to schedule charging during off-peak hours to save on electricity costs, monitor charging status via a smartphone app, and integrate with home energy management systems.

The Future of EV Charging |

As technology advances, EV charging is becoming faster and more accessible. Wireless charging and ultra-fast chargers are being developed to make the process even more convenient. Additionally, expanding the network of public charging stations will make it easier for EV owners to travel long distances without worrying about finding a place to recharge.

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