About Us
Vehicles
Charging
Service
Parts
Downloads
Contact Us

Charging

Electric
                  vehicle chargingThe key to simple and enjoyable use of an Electric Vehicle is safe, reliable & convenient recharging. An EV will need to charge regularly at its normal 'home' or base, but we must not think of an EV as just another electrical 'appliance.' Whilst most EVs can be recharged using normal household mains electricity, connecting a large, mobile, metal-bodied vehicle to the mains, often outdoors in adverse weather, raises several issues which need to be addressed. Normal domestic plugs and sockets were never designed to transfer the high levels of power for the long periods of time that most EVs require and, in some cases, can present significant safety hazards due to the way in which houses are wired and electrical supplies are provided. An EV should be supplied on a separate circuit via a special connection to address not just electrical issues but also physical safety issues, such as avoiding trip hazards from cables. (Read more in Downloads)

EVs typically recharge in around 3 to 8 hours, usually overnight (on a cheaper "economy" tariff) when the vehicle would not be used anyway and therefore there is no time imperative. Starting each day with a full charge means no untimely detours to petrol stations. Charging Stations may be used at other locations such as at shops, restaurants, offices, on-street (at the kerbside) or in other public parking areas to add extra miles of driving during the day whilst doing other things and some vehicles can also recharge quickly from special Rapid Charge stations, the equivalent of filling station fuel pumps for conventional vehicles, to extend their daily 'range' - recovering up to 90 miles' worth of charge in as little as 30 minutes! These are now being deployed in parts of the UK, mainly through the Plugged In Places schemes.

Some vehicle manufacturers supply a cable with their vehicle to use with a normal socket, but this must not be interpreted as it being suitable for plugging into any socket.  It should only be used at public charging stations and sockets specifically installed and approved for charging an EV.  We are glad to see manufacturers now moving away from supplying these cables in favour of new, dedicated EV charging plugs.  At home (or at the vehicle's normal charging location for a fleet vehicle) it is much safer (and faster to charge) to use a 'wallbox' installed on its own circuit, just like a cooker, with an attached cable since this avoids the daily need to UK socketretrieve the portable cable from the boot and connect it at both ends: simply get out of the car, grab the connector and plug it into the charging port on the vehicle. When you do this everyday, sometimes more than once a day, it is far more convenient and adds up to save a LOT of time! It also means that you can keep the portable cable in the vehicle and avoid the temptation to leave it at home - and risk having no means to charge your car whilst out and about!

warningCharging of small vehicles like moto-scooters and Urban Compacts, such as Renault Twizy, requires far less power for a shorter time because of the smaller batteries in these vehicles. Therefore they generally DO use domestic plugs for economy and their smaller physical size, with cables permanently attached to the vehicle BUT great care must be exercised when charging them.  You should not connect them to just any socket outlet simply because 'the plug fits.'  At home, the electrical installation must be checked for suitability and a new socket on a dedicated circuit may be required with special protective devices and 'earthing.'  Extension cables must never be used.

ALL other larger EVs should only use a normal socket at an existing dedicated charging station.

We design and install Charging Stations for all situations, from economical socket outlets for home use for scooters and Urban Compacts, to high-power stations for cars and vans, to robust, vandal-resistant installations with lighting and signage for public use in car parks and other similar locations.

We also produce and supply replacement and additional portable charging cables for production EVs with a variety of connectors such as the 'Type 1' (or J1772) for Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroen (and similar) vehicles, the 'Type 2' connection for new European vehicles and the 'MarĂ©chal' connector used on older production EV models. These are PAT tested before dispatch and we can test these regularly to maintain equipment registers for continued Duty of Care and insurance requirements.

OEM, Trade and Local Authority enquiries welcome.

Please contact us for anything related to charging at charging@eco-drive.co.uk or click on contact us.