CCS = Combined Charging System using AC and DC for faster charge
EV = Electric vehicle
Fast chargers = 7-22kWh AC charging. Ours is a type 2
Rapid chargers = 50kW DC charging or 43kW AC charging. There’s also a 100+ kWh but that’s not compatible with our car
RFID = radio-frequency identification charging card – hopefully being replaced now by apps.
Tethered = charging unit with a fixed charging cable
Untethered = bring your own cable!
Tethered versus untethered home charger
Tethered = Convenient to use as the cable is part of the unit and doesn’t have to be rolled up and stored in car or in garage. The cable is more secure as it can’t be stolen. It’s often cheaper to buy the combined unit and cable.
Untethered = You can take the lead in the car and use it out and about. If you need to change the lead for a longer one you don’t have to change whole unit. You can connect cars with different connections. The unit looks less cluttered as the lead’s not hanging down.
EV Charging apps and systems we’ve used
I will continue to update this as we venture more widely
BP Chargemaster – this app seems to operate the Polar charging network – which is possibly why I’ve been unsuccessful at signing up to Polar Plus (a subscription service – £7.85 per month with first three months free then 15p for kWh rapid charging). I’ve managed to sign up for Polar instant which is Pay as you go and 25p per kWh rapid charging. You have to load a minimum of £20 from your debit card to get started. They’re rolling out contactless charging at 40p per kWh. We’ve used successfully – once as contactless on debit card and once through BPChargemaster app.
Ecotricity/Electric Highway – covers motorway network. Free to register 30p per kWh used. Access through app or RFID card. We used successfully at Cobham Services.
Pod-Point – memberhip free and 15 minute emergency grace charging period. Have to add debit card and set up a credit. We’ve ordered our home charger through Pod-Point.
Polar – see BP Chargemaster above. Polar chargers at Toby Carvery on A27 and Polhill which might be useful on my regular trips.
Smoov – app is free. Doesn’t store payment details. Apparently you input them once you’ve started a session but we haven’t managed to get this app working as yet.
Source London – Subscription requires RFID card. You pay £4 per month then 9.5p per minute for 22 kWh, or a one-off £10 then 11.5p per minute for 22 kWh, or PAYG is 14.3p per minute for 22 kWh. I might try this in Chislehurst.
Zap-Map – great app for locating charging stations. You can filter to your specific car and then choose services, stations, etc… Invaluable information about EV charging. I strongly recommend you download.
A short note on charging types
Our car uses a Type 2 connection. It also takes a rapid charge from a CCS. It can’t use a Fast Charging AC connection or a CHA-de_MO or Tesla connection.