Charging & range

How do you charge an electric car?

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This is one of the main questions people ask about electric cars. Thankfully, the answer is not as complicated as you might think:

Charging at home

You are able to plug in your car whenever you’re parked up with a chargepoint and forget about it. Your car will then be ready for your next journey. And charging at home is surprisingly cost effective too!

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Discover how little it costs to charge at home, and how long it takes, with our Home Charging Tool.

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Charging at work

More and more companies are installing charging points for their staff, meaning you can simply plug-in when you arrive, using the cable that comes with your car. Job done!

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Charging when out and about

The UK has a growing public charging network of over 13,000 chargepoint connectors, making it easy to top-up your charge when you’re out. Use your car’s charging cable to plug in, activate the charge point (usually via either a contactless RFID card or mobile app) and leave the car to do the rest.

If you’re not sure where your nearest charging points are, use our interactive Charging Point Map.

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Rapid charging

Rapid chargers are a lot more powerful than regular chargers, meaning they can charge up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. That’s perfect when you’re making a longer journey in a pure electric car – which is why they can be found at 96% of motorway service stations. Rapid chargers are being added to other key locations all the time, making quick charging even easier.

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Sockets and cables

Here’s what you need to know:

Not all pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars and vans have the same charging socket; there are three main types. However, the cable that comes with your car will fit this socket. At the other end, all standard cables have a ‘Type Two’ plug, which connects with the universal ‘Type Two’ sockets found on the latest charging points. In other words, plugging in to charge should be easy.

Rapid chargers don’t have sockets, but have the cables built in, so you simply use the one for your car to connect up. Homecharge units can be specified with either a Type Two socket, or with a cable already attached. It’s your choice.

Some cars also come with charging cables that connect to a standard 13 amp socket. A dedicated homecharge unit is the preferred method of charging at home.

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