Why should charging speeds be part of EV Fleet Management?

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Understanding where your fleet or business electric vehicles will get most of their power from should be an essential part of your EV Fleet Management strategy.

There’s no point investing in EVs and then finding they spend many working hours sitting idle in charging spaces, because that could have a detrimental impact on their cost-effectiveness and the company’s productivity.

So, it pays to plan how much charging can be done at home, probably overnight, or at work - in the car park or a compound.

A question to ask is: when are the vehicles going to be needed? Then you can plan a charging strategy, so the batteries are full and the vehicles are ready to go. Also, you need to know how long they must be charged, and their real-life battery range too in case they need a top-up during working hours.

To really get a clear picture, it’s important to know charging speeds. There are three main types of EV charging: rapid, fast, and slow. Where you can access these, and the charging times for them, may inform who gets EVs, and in what sort of role.

The power of charging is measured in kilowatts (kW). Battery capacity is rated in kilowatt-hours (kWh). So, to keep it simple, a 50 kWh capacity battery charging at a 50 kW point will take an hour to fill. On a 100 kW point, it would take 30 minutes. On a 25 kW, it would take two hours. You get the picture…

Various locations will have different types of chargers and speeds too. Here is what you can expect to find:

Rapid & Ultra Rapid | Location: public/workplace | 50-150 kW

These offer significantly reduced charging times and usually have a tethered cable. Charging times can depend on usage at the location, and therefore how much power each point draws.

Fast Chargers | Location: public/home/workplace | 7-22 kW

Home chargers usually supply an alternating current at around 7 kW, while many standard public chargers offer 22 kW. There are three connector types available, but the predominant one is a Type 2 seven pin socket. Units often require the driver to use their own cable.

Slow Chargers | Location: public/on-street/homes without wallboxes |3-6 kW

Slow charging below 7 kW usually means a cable plugged into the mains using a three-pin plug and running at 3.6 kW, or roadside lamppost charging at around 5-6 kW. It’s fine if you park overnight, or urgently need a top-up, but slow chargers are not fast enough for regular use.

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