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Electric car charging: complete guide 

Electric car charging: complete guide 

In a press release, ADEME, the Ecological Transition Agency, noted the transition of the private vehicle market and the exponential growth of electric vehicles. Innovation from car manufacturers and subsidies from public authorities contribute to the adoption of more carbon-free mobility.

If the network of service stations supplying thermal vehicles is dense enough to meet needs, what solutions are available for recharging your electric car and making your travel safer?


How to recharge your electric car?

On average, the range of an electric car varies between 200 and 500 km. Depending on the model, the battery storage capacity and the number of daily kilometers, managing the charging of an electric car should not be left to chance. You can charge your electric car in several places, but the terminals differ.


Electric car charging at home

The simplest and most accessible option if you live in a private home is to recharge your electric car on the home network or at a wall charging station. The home network is the most economical solution but the least secure, because it requires a long charging time (on average between 8 and 10 hours for a full charge on a network limited to around ten amps). As the performance of the load is directly linked to the contract with your energy supplier, it is important to specify this use to adapt your contract, otherwise the operation of your domestic electricity network risks being impacted.  

Installing a charging station is the best option in individual housing or in private parking on a condominium (collective infrastructure). Installation must be carried out by an IRVE certified technician (charging infrastructure for electric vehicles) who guarantees the quality, speed of charging and safety of the dedicated equipment (terminal and cable supporting an electrical load of 16 A).


Electric car charging at the workplace

You can also take advantage of collective or semi-private electric charging stations , installed in the private parking lots of certain companies. This free service (supported by companies) allows you to recharge your batteries during your working time from more powerful and secure equipment.


Electric vehicle charging at public terminals

With nearly 70,000 terminals installed across the country, the network is substantial and continues to expand to support the increase in the number of electric vehicles in circulation. These terminals installed on the roads are managed by communities and municipalities via departmental unions. 

Access to these electric car charging stations is free, but your car and your cable must be compatible and have an accepted means of payment (subscription card, bank card, etc.). This paid normal or fast charging service combines the cost of the connection, the minute or hour of charging and the price of parking. There are also terminals at gas stations.


Electric car charging modes and times: what do you need to know?

When you switch to an electric vehicle, the question of energy arises differently. Thus, the time required to recharge the battery depends on its storage capacity but above all on the charging method used. There are four charging modes:


Mode 1

The car is connected to the home network via a grounded socket. The charge is limited to around ten amps to avoid overheating of the network, and the recharge time is slow, between 8 and 12 hours .


Mode 2

Here too the car is plugged into a domestic socket, but using a cable fitted with an electronic box to control the charge and interrupt it in the event of a problem. The charging time is not improved, but this cable is compatible with 32 A terminals, allowing standard or even fast charging .


Mode 3

The load safety module is placed on a wall box equipped with a specific socket. These installations found at home are connected to an electrical circuit independent of the domestic network and offer greater charging power (more than 3 kW and 16 A, for 1 to 8 hours of charging ). This intelligent charging method is also found in public spaces.


Mode 4

Available in public spaces and gas stations, these fast charging stations operate on direct current (modes 1, 2 and 3 are on alternating current), for a power of 50 kW, 120 A, and approximately 30 minutes of time recharge.


Read also  :  When to change your car battery?


What are the types of sockets for charging your electric car?

There are different formats of electric car charging sockets:


Domestic socket

It is the most common since it equips the charging cables distributed in series to allow charging of your electric car at home. The domestic socket is a European standard E/F earth socket. It is used in charging modes 1 and 2 .


Type 1 socket

The Type 1 socket, mainly used for Japanese cars until 2020, supports a power of 3 to 7 kW in alternative mode . Used in mode 3 (wall box, public terminal for electric car charging), it gradually disappears in favor of the Type 2 socket.


Type 2 socket

It has become the European standard for electric car charging with alternating current. This socket, found on public and wall terminals, accepts higher power of up to 100 kW and ensures rapid charging time. It adapts to the power of the terminal and the capacity of the charger on the car side.


Type 3 socket

The Type 3 socket has also disappeared from new car models in favor of Type 2. It allowed fast charging, up to 22 kW in alternating current.


Type 4 socket – CHAdeMO

The Japanese CHAdeMO socket is the first fast charging standard for electric cars that can accept up to 400 kW. It is equipped with a specific connector for alternating current charging and is compatible with V2G technology. But this standard is also gradually being abandoned and replaced by the Combo CCS socket.


Type 5 socket – CCS Combo

The Combo CCS socket is the European standard for fast DC charging . It is present on fast charging stations and accepts electrical power greater than 100 kW, or even 250 kW for the most efficient models.

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