Charge time / range
The amount of time it takes to charge an electric vehicle depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.
- A typical electric vehicle with a 60kWh battery takes just under nine hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.
- Home charging with a 7kW charging point will add up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging.
- Drivers often top up charge rather than waiting for their battery to recharge from empty-to-full.
- For many electric vehicles, you can add up to 100 miles of range in around 35 minutes with a 50kW rapid charger. The bigger the battery and the slower the charging point, the longer it takes to charge from empty to full.
The main ways to charge an electric vehicle are at home or using a public charge point. Some workplaces also provide charge points for employees.
Charging at home
Charging at home is the most convenient and cheapest option.
Installing a home charging point
To charge an electric vehicle at home, it is recommended to install a home charging point which will require off street parking. A home charging point is a compact weatherproof unit that mounts to a wall with a connected charging cable or a socket for plugging in a portable charging cable.
Dedicated home charging points are installed by qualified specialist installers. It is a legal obligation to notify Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) of the installation of a charge point. The installer will be required to provide capacity and testing information on the charger, so it is important to find a suitably qualified installer. NIE Networks has an Electric Vehicle Drivers Guide to Charging at Home which includes information on notifying NIE Networks of an electric vehicle charger installation.
The typical cost of a home charge point is around £800-£1500. Once installed, you only pay for the electricity you use to charge.
The electric vehicle chargepoint grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK. It is subject to criteria such as living in a flat or rented residential property.
Your electricity bill
If you are charging your electric vehicle at home, your electricity bills will increase. As an electric vehicle driver, it is therefore very important to shop around to make sure that you are on the right electricity tariff - check if your energy supplier has a specific electric vehicle tariff or time of use tariff available. For example, electric vehicle owners on time of use tariffs such as Economy 7 or Powershift can save money by charging the electric vehicle at night when electricity is cheaper. If you do change to a time of use tariff, make sure to check with your supplier what hours you get the cheaper rates.
The Consumer Council has an online price comparison tool that can help consumers shop around for the best electricity deals. Our tool doesn’t currently compare time of use tariffs, but you can find information about these tariffs on our price comparison tables to help you find the best prices.
Public charge points
Public charge points are located throughout Northern Ireland and are most useful for on-the-go charging or if you do not have a home charge point.
ESB currently operates the largest public charging network in Northern Ireland. Find your nearest ESB charging point.
The electric vehicle charging market is developing in Northern Ireland and other charge point operators for example include ChargePoint, EasyGo, Maxol and Weev.
Zapmap is a useful resource which helps you locate a charge point.
The main types of public charge points are slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid. There are also different types of connector: Type-1, Type-2, CHAdeM0, and CCS. It is important to understand the differences between charge point types and when is best to use each type.
|Power rating||3-6kW||7-22kW||50kW or higher||Typically either 100kW,|
150kW or 350kW
|AC||Usually AC, DC available at higher rates||DC||DC|
|Charge time||4-8 hours||2-4 hours||25-40 minutes|
(for a typical charge)
|Vehicle range added in 15 minutes||3-6 miles ||6-20 miles||35-40 miles|| |
|Type-1 (max 7kW)|
|CCS or CHAdeMO |
|Best use||Work/ home||Home/Work/on-the-go||On-the-go/long journeys||On-the-go/long journeys|
|All||All, some vehicles may charge slower than others||Dependent on the connector type. Not all battery electric vehicles and very few plug-in hybrid are capable of accepting a rapid charge.||An electric vehicle which is only able to accept a maximum of 50kW DC can still use ultra-rapid charge points. The power will be restricted according to what the vehicle can deal with.|
* Type-1 and CHAdeMO are now older standards and nearly all new cars now come with Type-2 or CCS.
More information on electric vehicle charging from Energy Saving Trust.