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Local charge points are appearing in more and more public spaces to help more people keep their electric vehicles charged – especially if they can’t charge from home.
Often these are Fast or Rapid chargers that feed a Direct Current (DC) directly into the car battery.
To find the closest charging point, the best option is to download an App for your smartphone or use a desktop map such as this provided by Zap Map. This will also help you find the public charging points available if you take your car away on holiday.
Home charging points
As driving electric becomes more mainstream, more and more people are choosing to have a home charging unit installed at their property.
A good option for most customers is a 3.6kW charger. This works by feeding an Alternating Current (AC) into the vehicle’s onboard charging system which then converts the AC to the DC needed for the battery.
These can be used during off-peak electricity periods such as overnight and will get your car ready for the week ahead. It’s simple to set the charging start time to coincide with your off-peak electricity rate using the car’s on-board charging timer.
This charger point just needs a simple registration to Guernsey Electricity with no need to submit a request for additional electricity load.
In need of a faster charge? Some people use their car so regularly that they need it to be charged within a few hours. These chargers need an application to Guernsey Electricity to make sure there is enough capacity on the electricity network to support the higher electricity load a 7kW or larger charger needs.
Guernsey Electricity has been making substantial changes to meet the growing demand for electricity as more people switch to electrical solutions such as electric vehicles.
Electricity substations and fusing points across the island are being replaced, upgraded and modernised. Where necessary, areas are also being supplemented with additional substations to make sure they’re ready to meet the future demand.
Will you need more electrical load to power your new car charging point?
The answer is likely to be yes.
This means an application must be sent to Guernsey Electricity to find out if the current network cables supplying your property have enough capacity to power your new product(s).
However, if the charging point is 3.6kW or less, you will only need to register the installation with Guernsey Electricity.
Often the easiest and cheapest option for a customer is to upgrade their electricity supply during a property renovation. If you think you’ll be using an electric vehicle in the future, it’s worth preparing your home in advance.
The charging speed of your electric vehicle depends on the vehicle model and the type of charger you use.
Many people use Home Charger units that are up to 3.6kW and can take around 8 hours on average to charge a vehicle. This is usually done overnight during the off-peak electricity tariff and means a customer can charge their battery slowly and cheaply. A typical charge in Guernsey can last for a week or more.
Simply register this home charger point with Guernsey Electricity and you’re ready to go!
If your lifestyle means you need your car to be charged at home more quickly, a Fast Charger may be more suitable however it is generally more than the average householder needs.
If you have an electric vehicle, it’s definitely worth downloading a free App for your smartphone which will tell you where public charging points are located, if they’re available or in use, and how to charge your car.
Zap Map provides an up-to-date map which is also available on your desktop.
Many of the local supermarkets, hotels and restaurants now also provide public charging for electric vehicles.
If most charging is done at home using a 3.6kW home charger, the occasional fast charge in places such as supermarkets or motorway stations is unlikely to damage your battery. Most home chargers work together with vehicle’s onboard charging system converting an Alternating Current (AC) to DC.
Faster car charging units rely on DC (Direct Current) electricity to charge the car rapidly. Provided the DC charging is not the main source of your electric vehicle’s charging – which is unlikely for the average driver – it should have little impact on your battery’s lifespan.
It’s a common misconception is that electric vehicles will run out of charge quickly on longer journeys, often known as range anxiety.
In the UK and Europe there are plenty of Fast and Rapid car charging points available. It’s always worth planning your journey ahead and finding charging stop-off points by using map software such as Zap Map. This will pinpoint where to find the closest charging point on your journey.
Faster charging points available in many forecourts mean that you can stop for lunch on your journey and quickly charge your car. Some off-island forecourts now provide 350kW charging points which means subject to your car’s compatibility, you can be charged and ready to go within 20 minutes – just enough time for a coffee!
Find your EV Charging Point Installer
It pays to plan ahead. Electrical installations are an investment and can take time to complete. Contact your preferred installer as early as possible for a quote and to find out what you need to do.