Charging and EV guide
Before investing in a charging solution you should consider:
Before committing to a charging solution it is best to consider the following four points: mains connection, charging station, charging cable and electric vehicle – which must be observed if you are aiming for the shortest possible charging times. If just one of these four factors is rated at a lower capacity than the rest, the charging time of your electric vehicle will increase according to the weakest link in the charging chain.
IEC 62196 is an international standard for charging plug Types and charging modes for electric vehicles. This is regulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The standard is valid in Germany as DIN standard DIN EN 62196.The standard consists of several parts, which have been passed gradually. The third part was published in June 2014. The standardisation process started in June 2015 for part 4 (plug-in connectors for electric vehicles). The IEC 61851 definition was adopted by the DIN standard DIN EN 62196. The charging station and the charging cable remain de-energized until an electric vehicle is connected. During the charging process, the vehicle is also disabled.
What different plug types are available?
Alternating current (AC)
Direct current (DC)
Type 1 & Type 2 connector Types have established themselves as a standard in charging cables, wall boxes, charging plugs and charging sockets for electric vehicles. Type 1 charging plugs are mainly used in electric vehicles manufactured by Japanese and American automakers. Electric vehicles from European vehicle manufacturers usually have a Type 2 charging plug. Mennekes, a company based in Germany, developed the Type 2 charging plug, revolutionising the eMobility market. This is evident as vehicle manufacturers increasingly rely on the Type 2 charging plugs which are now readily available worldwide. The Type 1 charging plug, on the other hand, is increasingly losing market share. This is due to the fact that Type 1 chargers only support single phase charging. The Type 2 charging connector allows single-phase, two-phase and even three-phase charging, thus significantly reducing the time required to charge electric vehicles.
As mentioned before, the Type 2 charging plug allows 3-phase charging and with a maximum of 63 amperes. The time savings become clear when calculating the maximum power of the two charging plugs. Charging power is always measured in kilowatts (kW). For a Type 1 charging plug only L1, ie the first phase with up to 32 A is supported. On the other hand, the Type 2 charging plug has 3 phases; namely L1, L2 and L3. In addition, with the Type 2 charging plug, each phase can be charged with up to 63 amps or 44 kW instead of just 32 A or 7.4 kW as with the Type 1 charging plug. Theoretically, charging with a Type 2 charging plug is almost 6x faster. However, not every electric vehicle supports charging with 44 kW. But in practice this is not a problem, because every electric vehicle draws only as much power when charging as it needs to charge the batteries. However, if less energy is available than the electric vehicle requires to charge at optimum speeds, the charging time will be longer.
Now that you have some insight as to why vehicle manufacturers are putting more and more emphasis on the Type 2 charging plug, it is worth considering the fact that it makes sense to charge with the newer Type 2 charging plug, even if you still have a Type 1 electric vehicle. Purchasing a Type 2 charging solution now could save you money down the track as they are relatively the same price as Type 1 solutions. Type 1 electric vehicles can also be charged from any Type 2 ‘socket’ charger. You simply require a Type 2 to Type 1 charging cable. In order to be prepared for future electric vehicles, we therefore always advise customers to purchase a Type 2 charging station. But beware: not every Type 2 charging station allows you to connect a Type 2 to Type 1 charging cable. If your Type 2 charging station has a permanently connected charging cable with charging plug, you cannot connect a Type 1 electric vehicle.
eMobility charging cables and charging plugs are considered to be particularly safe. Fortunately, electric shocks or fatal accidents involving electric vehicles are not heard of to date. This is because the potentially lethal line voltage will only be released if the charging plug has been securely locked in the electric vehicle and there is no fault. The charging station communicates with the electric vehicle via two signal contacts located in the charging cable. Should a malfunction occur on the part of the electric vehicle, the charging cable or the charging station, the connection is cut off in a fraction of a second. So for instance, driving your vehicle over the charging cable whilst it is unplugged, or an unplugged and damaged cable gets wet it should pose no immediate danger. It should also be mentioned that it is extremely rare to damage a charging cable by driving over it as they are much more durable than normal power cables. You have to be creative to do something wrong when handling charging equipment. But even in very rare cases, there are additional safety precautions that protect you from the dangers of an electric shock, such as the statutory circuit breaker and residual current device.
There are several things to consider that can limit the maximum charging speed of an electric vehicle. This includes the electric vehicle itself, the charging cable or its maximum current or charging station and its power supply. An EV will only charge as fast as the weakest component allows. This is because the charging station communicates with the electric vehicle via the charging cable and automatically starts charging with the correct current or kW. However, the assumption that the charging station limits the power is wrong, because it shares the maximum permissible charging power with the charger installed in the vehicle and not vice versa.
Your charging cable should match or exceed the maximum charge capacity the electric vehicle can accept. This guarantees that you will load each wallbox with the maximum possible charging current. If you use a charging cable designed to charge only up to 16 amps for charging your electric vehicle, supporting charges up to 32 amperes, as well as your charging station and its power supply, the maximum charging power will also be limited to 16 amps.
No. A charging cable is only necessary if the charging station does not have a permanently connected charging cable. There are no charging stations with Type 1 charging sockets. If you want to charge your Type 1 or Type 2 electric vehicle to a Type 2 charging station, you will need a Type 2 to Type 1 charging cable or a Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable. Some on-the-go mobile chargers, also known as ICCBs, come with an optional Type 2 adapter. This adapter provides the same function as a full charge cable. However, Type 2 adapters are much cheaper than full-size charging cables. Also a Type 2 adapter is much lighter and more manageable than an ordinary charging cable. All you have to do is connect the Type 2 adapter to the infrastructure with the mobile charger and your ICCB will become a charging cable. The current bypasses the ICCBs electronics.
The Combined AC / DC Charging System, CCS is a charging connector for electric vehicles that allows both DC and AC charging. Selected vehicle manufacturers have been using this technique for some time. For example, BMW introduced the Type 2 CSS charging plug as part of the i3. In Italy, Type 1 CSS charging plugs are still common. However, in the European Union, the Type 2 CSS standard has now prevailed over Type 1.
The function of the signal contacts is described in the DIN standard DIN EN 62196. All Mode 2 charging plugs designed for charging with alternating current must have two additional signal contacts. The first signal contact is called the CP (Control Pilot), also called pilot contact, and controls the load release. However, this has no function for the end customer and can only be found in shortened charging plugs of eMobility test devices. The PP (Proximity Pilot) also called Proximity switch is the second signal contact. This is used for communication between charging stations and electric vehicle or the built-in charger in the vehicle. The charger built into the vehicle needs to know how much power it can feed the vehicle battery without damaging the charging station or the charging cable due to excessive currents. Technically, this is achieved with two electrical resistors, which are soldered into both charging plugs of a charging cable between PP and PE.
Energy quantities are always given in kWh. A kilo-watt-hour (kWh) tells you how much energy was charged or used for one hour. A 22 kW charging station therefore has a power requirement of 22 kW per hour. This corresponds to the power requirement of 220 100watt light bulbs burning for 1 hour.
Its not only electrical energy that is measured in kWh. The energy density for fuel is also given in kWh. The calorific value of 1 kg of diesel equals 11.8 kWh / kg. Gasoline has a slightly lower energy density with 11.1 kWh / kg per litre of fuel.
In Australia, depending on state and tariff the average electricity cost is between 27c and 43c per kWh. A distinction is often made between the on-peak and off-peak tariff. If you charge your electric vehicle during off peak times, you benefit from a cheaper electricity price per kWh. However, not all electricity providers distinguish between on-peak and off-peak rates. Larger companies often negotiate a special electricity tariff with their energy supplier.
In order to calculate the amount of energy used by your charging station over a 12 month period, simply multiply power consumption in watts or kilowatts by the number of operating hours over the year.
If you charge your electric vehicle for an average of three quarters of an hour at night on your 22 kW charging station, this results in an annual energy consumption of 6022.5 kWh = 0.75 h x 22 kW x 365 days . After you have determined the annual energy consumption, simply multiply the amount of energy with the electricity tariff of your energy provider. At a rate of 15 cents per kWh, the annual electricity costs amount to around $903.38. (or 6022.5 kWh x $0.15)
For the sake of simplicity, we have not factored in the power loss in the above example. This results from the fact that each charger and each accumulator has an individual efficiency. The effective energy costs can therefore be up to 10% higher, depending on the respective efficiency of the charging infrastructure used and the power electronics installed in the electric vehicle.
Volt x Ampere = Watt. This is the best-known formula of electrical engineering. Using this simple formula, you can find any value you want from two predefined values.
Not all mobile chargers, also called emergency chargers, have an integrated energy meter however some models offer the possibility to read the measurements via smartphone app. So-called in-box energy meters enable the uncomplicated measurement of charged energy. Charging Stations with CEE plugs can also be easily connected with an in-box energy meter. The advantage is that your Charging Station remains “portable” because there are no installation-related changes required. In-box energy meters are therefore a cheap and practical alternative to energy meters which are permanently installed in the fuse box.
Many modern electric vehicles already have 100 kW of battery capacity. The trend towards ever larger and more powerful batteries is gaining momentum. However, this does not result in significantly higher consumption. The main factor in electricity consumption of an electric vehicle comes from air resistance. At high speeds consumption is particularly high, because the resistance of the air increases in line with the vehicles speed. In cities and at low speeds, electric vehicles are therefore particularly economical. For the sake of range, Electric Vehicle batteries are getting steadily larger. Unlike air resistance, the weight of a larger battery does not have significant impacts on an Electric Vehicles efficiency. The only important thing is that rolling resistance is relatively low.
Charging mode 1 describes charging the battery of an electric vehicle without any monitoring. Charges can be up to a maximum of 16 amps single-phase and three-phase. This mode requires no additional signal contacts in the charging cable. A charging station is not needed. The charger is permanently installed in the vehicle.
This refers to mobile chargers on the go. These are often referred to as ICCB. Electric vehicles can also be charged without a wallbox or charging station in a cable charge box. Everything you need for this is brought to you by the ICCB itself. This includes the charging cable which is firmly connected on one side to the mobile charger. On the side of the power plug is often an adapter system, which allows the connection of various power plugs. Mobile chargers are becoming increasingly popular due to their small size.
This charging mode describes charging at a domestic wallbox or public charging station. This usually requires a separate Type 2 to Type 1 charging cable or a Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable. The charge takes place by means of alternating current. The Charging Station communicates with the electric vehicle via the charging cable. The cable is live only after the charging cable has been properly connected to the electric vehicle. This makes handling of the charging cable safer.
Fast charging with direct current usually takes place according to mode 4 charging-function principle. So you don’t need a big heavy charger in your electric vehicle that converts AC into DC, engineers have decided to make quick-charging stations modular. Often, the actual chargers are not at the charging station or the charge plug itself. Today’s DC converters are still too big and too loud. Therefore, these are usually housed in a well-ventilated room. Type 2 to Type 1 charging cables and Type 2 to Type 2 charging cables are not suitable for DC (direct current) charges. The charging cable is always firmly connected to the charging station due to the very high cross section. Starting at 250 amps DC charging cables are usually cooled by means of an integrated liquid cooling system.
The consumption of an electric vehicle is usually specified between 15 and 25 kWh/100 km. Unfortunately, the energy consumption of electric vehicles is often not achieved in practice, as is the case with petrol/diesel powered vehicles. The series of tests in which the consumption of an electric vehicle is determined generally take place under laboratory conditions, so it is advisable to look at the manufacturer’s information with some scepticism. We therefore advise you to compare the official consumption values with the experiences of other eMobilists when buying an electric vehicle. Independent reviews and long-term tests can be found on the internet for every electric vehicle.
The temperature of the interior is always an issue for electric vehicles. In older electric vehicles they often have no heating or an ordinary heating element; Air conditioners were virtually non-existent. However, many innovations have now found application in the electromobility industry, so today most electric vehicles use heat pumps (similar to reverse cycle air conditioners) for temperature regulation. Heat pumps have a great advantage where they require up to 2/3’s less energy than a normal heating element. Heat pumps are mainly operated with refrigerant that evaporates at low pressure and condenses when compressed to a higher pressure with release the of heat. Thus, it is also possible to use a heat pump not only for heating, but also vice versa, for cooling. A heat pump is a very environmentally friendly heating and cooling method, because no heat or cold is produced, it is simply transferred from the outside of the car to the inside and vice versa. Despite the development of more efficient heat pumps, these devices still require a relatively large amount of energy. Depending on the Type of electric vehicle, you may need to plan for up to 15% of the total battery life for the heater and up to 20% for the operation of the air conditioner whilst driving.
In contrast to vehicles with internal combustion engines, which usually can be operated most economically at around 80 km/h, an electric vehicle needs more energy the faster it drives. This is because vehicles with an internal combustion engine have a high thermal loss as the combustion engine also produces unused waste heat when stationary. By contrast, an electric vehicle has practically no thermal loss, ie it consumes almost no energy at low speeds. Almost the entire stored energy is therefore available for driving. However, it is the case that air flow resistance behaves exponentially to the speed. So if you are not sure if you can still reach your destination with your electric vehicle, it is advisable to drive as slow as possible and switch off unnecessary extras.
Unfortunately, lithium batteries generally lose capacity with time. Even if the electric vehicle has had little use, this does not stop battery degradation. Due to chemical reasons, batteries lose capacity at low outdoor temperatures. This can even result in a deep discharge. For example, when you park your vehicle after a long drive with a low battery and do not plug it in to recharge. As the battery cools down overnight, the voltage drops. When this happens, you risk a major battery failure. Furthermore, it is not advisable to heavily charge a virtually empty battery, this can damage the cells of a battery.
If you are in the market for a second-hand electric vehicle it is advisable to have a battery degradation test conducted. This is because the battery capacity specified by the manufacturer applies only to brand new electric vehicles.
To maintain batteries of electric vehicles to last as long as possible, they should neither be fully charged nor fully discharged. Many manufacturers recommend only using the capacity between 20% and 80%. Which of course reduces the effective range. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say in general terms how the specific degradation behaves over the life of a battery.
All known manufacturers of electric vehicles have a separate warranty on the vehicle battery. Normally, the warranty is 8 years or 100,000 km (the first value reached). Batteries are by definition, not considered defective until the capacity of the battery has dropped below 70%. The current most used battery technology is lithium-ion technology. Today, the well-known memory effect is only noticeable in lead-acid batteries.
Nevertheless, you should make sure that the battery does not remain heavily discharged for a long period of time. It is recommended to charge the battery according to your daily driving profile. This significantly reduces battery degradation. If possible, you should also avoid fast chargers as the resulting heat can damage the battery cells. Battery cells also do not like cold, and certainly lose output at low outside temperatures. By consciously handling the vehicle or the battery, you can avoid premature ageing of battery cells.
Pure electric vehicles consume considerably more electrical energy than comparable plug-in hybrid vehicles. Because the entire electrical energy of the battery is required for driving, air conditioning etc. The charging of the batteries takes a correspondingly long time. Hence, it is all the more important to correctly size match your charging station with your vehicle. This is the only way to ensure that your electric vehicle is charged in a reasonable period of time. If you only have an ordinary household power socket, the charging process of a Tesla P100D can easily take over 40 hours. A 22 kW charging station will do the same job in just 4.5 hours.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles can be charged very quickly compared to fully electric vehicles. They use the same charging stations as fully electric vehicles, but they have big differences in terms of charging power. If your hybrid vehicle can only be charged with a maximum of 3.7kW on single-phase, a three-phase 22 kW charging station would be an overkill. Technically, it is of course possible to easily charge a hybrid vehicle at larger sized charging stations. However, the loading time will not be shortened. Because the limiting factor is in most cases the hybrid vehicle itself. We therefore recommend that you pay attention to a good balance between charging performance and price when purchasing a charging station.
Whether you are interested in stationary AC wallboxes, mobile AC chargers, public AC or DC fast charging stations; you can rely on our team to supply and fit an appropriate charging solution to suit your vehicle, premises and budget.
We offer a suitable charging solution for every electric vehicle of the well-known vehicle manufacturer. Are you also looking for a charging cable, a charging station or a mobile charger? Visit our shop and browse our eMobility range.