Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging

Charging Electric Vehicles is an area often surrounded by more myths than facts.  Here at SmartEv, we would like to help overcome this confusion with some simple facts below.
Let’s start with the basics.
Charging an Electric Vehicle is different from refilling a car!  A simple fact, but often overlooked.  Living with an EV is more akin to using a smartphone than planning your transport schedule around fuel stations.  Rest assured, it’s not a difficult transition to make, and very few owners ever return to using fossil-fuel powered vehicles again.
You can charge your car up at home.  Or at work.  Or in public.  You don’t need to visit a fuel station and stand outside for several minutes, and then go and pay.  The beauty of EV charging is that it is usually much more convenient to plug in wherever you stop.  In your garage at home.  In your car park at work.  Or in a public charging location, like Motorway services or shop car park.
Charging your car up takes longer than filling up with fuel – at present.  Using a public DC charger is the fastest way to charge, refiling the average EV to 80% 30 minutes for a 200+ miles range if your car is capable of that.  However, charging technologies are moving fast, so expect to see this drop on the latest generations of fast chargers and cars.
So that’s an outline.  Thinking of purchasing an EV or providing chargers for your company?  The following questions normally get asked
How long does it take to charge up an electric vehicle?
This depends on:
  1. The capacity of the car battery (measured in KwH).  Imagine it like the fuel tank of your vehicle.
  2. The speed of your charger.  Imagine it like the speed of the fuel pump at the filling station.
What does this mean in reality?
Take the new Nissan Leaf, for example.  It has a 40kwH battery (the fuel tank).  Charging with a 7kW home charger (a typical home charger) will take around 7 hours.
Or if you connect the vehicle to a public DC fast charger, typically you get 80% of the range in 30 minutes.
What’s the difference between AC and DC chargers?
AC chargers are suitable for most locations where a car is stopped for a duration, e.g. at home or work.  The chargers are compact, and can connect to a standard single-phase or three-phase electricity supply.  The on-board circuitry on the EV undertakes the AC to DC conversion necessary for the battery to charge.  AC chargers can transfer up to 22kW
DC chargers are capable of charging at much higher rates (sometimes more than 50kW).  Because they do AC-DC conversion in the charger itself, the car can handle the faster charging rates.  They are typically much larger floor-mounted devices, requiring high-capacity three-phase power connection.   Because of the higher costs involved, they are usually found only in public charging areas such as motorway services.
How much does it cost to charge up an electric vehicle?
If you are charging the car at home or work, this depends on the cost of your electricity, per kWh.
For instance, a complete charge of a 40kWh Nissan Leaf (155 miles range) will need 40kWh or electricity.  Current electricity supply costs for electricity are approximately £0.12 per kWh (uswitch, March 2018).  Or if you are on an Economy 7 tariff, this may drop to around £0.08 per kWh.
So a complete charge of a Nissan Leaf will cost around £4.80, for approximately 155 miles of range.  According to RAC reports, the average car commute distance to work in England is 9.9 miles (9.5 in Wales).  This would normally equate to around 3kWh of electricity, costing approximately £0.36.
If you need a fast charge in the public area, there are various public monthly and pay-as-you go schemes available (see  These obviously charge a premium for the speed and convenience – but the overall travel cost is still much more cost-effective than using a petrol or diesel-engine car.
What are the different types of charging types or speeds?
In Europe, there are two different types of AC charging connector, called (believe it or not),(J1772) and Type 2 (61296-2).  The connector type varies depending on the vehicle.  Both types have the same essential capacity, but Type 2 has greater future capacity, with additional connector pins and capable of transferring up to 43kW of power.  Contact us at SmartEv for more information.
There are also 2 different main types of DC charging connector.  As above, the type will vary depending on what the vehicle is equipped with.  The CHAdeMO connector is found in Nissan, Mitsubishi and Kia models, and the CCS connector in BMW, VW and Hyundai.  Most public DC stations are equipped with both types of connector.
Any further questions, or want a quote for EV chargers?   Don’t hesitate to call us on 01707 443 179 or email for a quick response and helpful advice.

2018 – the year of the electric car?

Industry insiders are predicting 2018 to be the tipping point for electric vehicles as the desire for sustainable living increases … so what can we expect in the next year?

As awareness grows in the construction industry about making provisions for a future of EV charging, there’s an urgent call to meet demand with the production of long range electric cars and charging stations to accommodate them.

There are to be a minimum of 6 new EV models released in the next two years. This includes the first production of battery-electric cars from many major car manufacturers, all competing to produce the best and longest-range electric car. The Audi e-tron, BMW i5, Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQ and the Porsche Mission E are all set for launch in 2018-19, paving way for an electric vehicle surge.

Jaguar I-PACE

The cost of driving an electric car is one of the main concerns, however with Tesla’s long-awaited Model 3, the most affordable electric car in their range so far, being rolled out to the public there is potential to open up the niche EV driving market to the masses. Another anticipated model, the new Nissan Leaf, is set to be on sale from February of this year. Leaf 1.0 is the world’s bestselling electric car cumulatively to date, with Nissan recently announcing their 300,000th sale.

2018 Nissan Leaf

Tesla also recently announced that they would be adding a Semi Truck to their range, as well as a Roadster, with both going into production in 2019. CEO Elon Musk said the Tesla roadster would be “the fastest production car ever” made.

Buses are going electric too… they already account for around 10% of U.S. transit agency orders in 2017. In fact, sales of electric buses rose by 40% from 2016 to 2017, and is only set to climb further over the next twelve months, hinting towards the future of transport and the move towards more efficient driving practices.

BYD Electric Coach

Further fuelling the demand, the government is having to address the issues surrounding the unsafe amounts of pollution produced by diesel vehicles. In a recent high court meeting current plans to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis were deemed so poor they actually broke the law, signalling the need to reduce emissions dramatically.

The most likely measure to address this? The introduction of charges to deter drivers from ‘clear air zones’ in urban centres. These could be in place as early as next year in London, as well as several other major UK cities. This is likely to put the future of diesel cars in even more jeopardy as people are encouraged to switch to a greener alternative.

With ground-breaking launches looming and an urge to push green initiatives, the motor industry is undoubtedly reaching tipping point. Many in the construction industry are being forced to wonder: Are electric cars the future of driving? It seems the time to prepare for the electric future is, in fact, now.

To discuss how SmartEv can support your Charge Point Projects, contact us today.

01707 443179

SmartEv announce supplier agreement with Barwood Homes and McGoff Group

SmartEv are delighted to announce that we are the supplier of Electric Vehicle Charging Points to all Barwood Homes developments.

To Barwood Homes, each detail and every aspect of everything they do has been carefully thought through to deliver the best possible design and quality.

They aim to be different from, and better than, any of their competitors, delivering unique homes that will set them apart from the rest, building homes that people aspire to live in.  They pride themselves in delivering an experience which is second to none.

McGoff Facilities Services will be completing all the Barwood Homes installations on behalf of SmartEv. The McGoff Group is a multi-faceted collection of like-minded businesses whose primary aim is to remove the speculation associated with development.

A natural extension to the Groups’ service offering is the total facilities management solution provided by McGoff Group Facilities Services Limited (MGFS) enabling a seamless range of additional services post construction and for the life of the operational asset.

MGFS deliver reactive repairs, planned maintenance, quoted installation works and refurbishment services in all aspects of building fabric, electrical and mechanical systems. MGFS is an NICEIC approved commercial and domestic electrical contractor and an approved installer of electrical vehicle charging points for SmartEv.

We are looking forward to seeing this working relationship progress!


IHS 2017

We’re delighted to announce that SmartEv will be exhibiting at the Independent Hotels Show 2017, on the 17-18 October 2017, at Kensington Olympia.  Meet us at Stand 157 to discuss Electric Vehicle charging!