Guide to electric vehicles charging

Guide to electric vehicles charging

Questions & Answers

When charging your car at public power points, you will need:

  • A charging cable
  • A power point (public charging station)
  • An ID device (depending on the service provider, you can use a card or an app)

When charging your car at a home power point, you will need:

  • A charging cable
  • A power point (private charging station)
  • A card to activate the charge (depending on whether you own or lease the charging station)

 

No, there is no need to run the battery down to zero power and then recharge it. Modern lithium batteries, used in vehicles, benefit more from short cycles and partial charging.

Most electric cars allow short, partial charges if the vehicle battery is not fully discharged. This can cut charging times even further.

You can monitor the charge status with the app issued by the operator you have selected for charging, if that function is available.

Yes, some operators offer a reservation service using their app, to ensure the availability of a charging station when you arrive. Or just head to charging station to see whether it is available and charge your car. Many types of station can be used by several cars at once.

Charging stations in public places are offered by a number of operators (Mobility Service Providers). All operators allow clients to check their network infrastructure on their websites and apps. You can also normally check the status of the charge points: whether they are occupied, reserved, available, or under maintenance. Enel X Map 

Charging time depends on the power of the charger (number of kW provided by the charging station), the maximum power that the vehicle’s onboard systems can handle, the type of cable used, and of course how much charge the car’s battery can take, and its charge level at the start.

A typical car with a 30 kWh battery needs:

  • 8 hours of home charging (at an average power level of 3.5 kW)
  • 2 to 4 hours of charging at faster power points (rated at 7.0 to 22 kW)
  • 30 minutes of charging at high-speed power points (rated at 43 to 50 kW)

 

A dedicated charging station guarantees maximum safety, and offers clients extra functions such as:

  • Charge consumption and cost monitoring
  • Option to adjust the charge power used (like reducing the power level to ensure that other electrical goods in the home get enough electricity)
  • Remote programming, based on hourly charging costs or other needs, when permitted under electricity regulations
  • Real-time information on charge status
  • Charge optimization coordinated with the power generated by the user’s own solar panels

 

There is no need for a new meter when you connect to your home electricity service.

When the power supply to the meter is limited (like to 3kW), you can use a smart charging station to limit the current, or charge during the nighttime, when other high-power devices in the home are turned off. If you have other needs, you will have to request an increase in electricity meter power. 

The cable supplied with your electric car will have a fitting that connects to your car’s power socket, and a fitting to connect with a specific type of fitting on a charging station.

Cable are provided with the following types of AC charging connections, which fit into charger classes:

Mode 1 and Mode 2 - Mode 3 home socket - type 1 and type 2 sockets

In the United States and Japan, AC chargers use a type 1 connector known as a “Yazaki”, for single-phase AC charging with power levels of up to a maximum of 7.0kW.

The type 2 connector cable, known as a “Mennekes”, is more frequently used in Europe. It can be used for single-phase or three-phase AC charging, with power levels of up to 22kW at the charging socket, and up to 43kW with a cable connector plugged into the charging infrastructure.

The following connector are used for charging with DC infrastructure:

  • Mode 4 – CHAdeMO connector
  • Mode 4 – Combined Charging System (CCS), COMBO 1 and CCS COMBO 2

The CHAdeMO socket is most common global standard for DC quick charging, and is used by brands such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, and Citroën. It currently operates with international charging infrastructure operating at up to 50kW, but is compatible with even higher charge power levels.

The CCS COMBO2 socket is used by some European manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen, while CCS COMBO1 is mainly used by American and Japanese manufacturers. CCS COMBO2 allows DC quick charging and AC trickle charging, and is currently installed in international DC infrastructure at up to 50kW, but is compatible with even higher charge power levels. The same power ratings are possible with AC charging under the Type 2 standard. Car manufacturers decide the maximum power levels their vehicles will support.

Another standard exists, used exclusively by Tesla, with a simple Type 2 connector used for both AC and DC charging. With DC current is operates solely with the Tesla Supercharger, based on a proprietary protocol.

A number of electric vehicle charging cables are available. Each car model comes with a cable than connects the car to its charger, for power input.

A wide range of international standards exist here, for different types of connection to the electrical network.

Most home charging uses Mode 1, Mode 2, or Mode 3 AC chargers, which are subject to nation regulations and restrictions. All manufacturer-supplied cables can be used. Electric vehicles can also be charged at public AC charging stations (using Mode 2 or 3 in Italy), or at DC stations (Mode 4).

The first step is to check the compatibility between the car’s socket and the charging station. When you buy a new car, the manufacturer will provide you with one or two cables, which can be used with the corresponding charging stations.

When you buy or lease an electric car, it will come equipped with a charging cable. If you want to buy another cable, compatible with other socket types, you can do so at the Enel online store or at a dealership. Prices vary depending on power level, ranging between 150,000 and 300,000 Chilean pesos.

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