What are the differences between slow and fast charging EV Chargers?


The government has announced that from 2030, the selling of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned to encourage individuals to switch to EV vehicles. Although some EV cars can be expensive, it is expected that most people will make the switch to electric either with the next car purchase or the one after that.

One challenge with electric vehicles is the speed of charging them. Unlike a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle that can be filled up in a matter of minutes, EV’s can take up to 14 hours of charging time to achieve a full battery, which can be an inconvenience if you are constantly on the road. There are currently three types of EV chargers, Rapid, Fast and Slow; all of which have different charge speeds. We have put together this piece to explain the difference between the types of chargers and which would be most suitable for your business.

Slow EV Chargers
Slow charging units are called ‘untethered’, which means you will need to connect your car to the charge point using a cable you carry in the vehicle. The charger’s speed will depend on the amount of kW that are being used; slow chargers range between 2.3 kW and 3kW. Reaching full charge on 3kW can take between 10-14 hours, which is suitable if this type of charger is outside your home, office or anywhere that you will be for an extended period, but if this was located at a site you would typically only visit for a short space of time, it would not be able to be used to charge to full battery.

Where would you use a slow charger?
Slow chargers are beneficial if you stay somewhere for several hours, such as your home, hotels, or work premises.

Fast EV Chargers
Fast chargers charging times vary on unit speed and the vehicle, a 7-kW charger will recharge a compatible EV in 4-6 hours, and a 22-kW charger in 1-2 hours. Fast chargers tend to be located in car parks, supermarkets, or leisure centres, where you are likely to be parked for an hour or more. The majority of fast chargers are 7 kW and untethered. If your charger is tethered (with a cable attached), you would only be able to charge your vehicle if that were compatible with that type of connector. This can be more difficult when you are out and about as you may not have access to a suitable cable for your vehicle.

Where would you use a fast charger?
Fast chargers are usually found in urban areas, such as supermarkets and on-road parking, which are convenient if you are going somewhere for a short while. As EVs become more popular, we will begin to see them at more and more locations , from car parks to school drop off spaces.

Rapid EV chargers
Rapid EV chargers use high power to make the vehicle charge as quickly as possible; they can get your vehicle to 80% in 20-30 minutes. These chargers use a large amount of power, so they are currently available in motorway service stations and rest stops.

Where would you use a rapid charger?
Rapid chargers appeal to people as they demonstrate how fast you can receive a full charge, but as mentioned, they’re only available in places where you would be for a short while and often used for people conducting long journeys.

It is also important to note that whilst a rapid charger may appear desirable, your car may limit the maximum power drawn from the charger therefore a 125kW charger may only provide 40kW if limited by the vehicle you have chosen.

Should my business be looking into installing EV chargers?
The short answer to this is, yes. Electric vehicles will soon take over petrol and diesel cars; it’s likely many employees have either got an electric car or have begun researching which is best for them. The government have launched their very own ‘plug in grant’ back in 2011 to encourage people to purchase electric vehicles. The grant has been given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers who will discount the price of the vehicle. Once employees do get these vehicles, they will need to be able to park somewhere with a charger as they will be in their work premises for several hours.

Once an EV charger is installed on your premises, your business will be included on smartphone apps that show EV drivers the closest charging stations or areas they will be travelling to. Installing EV chargers will also bring down your organisation’s carbon footprint as your business will be encouraging the use of electric vehicles which can be used when carbon reporting. 

The Plug-in grant
The government have opened a scheme called ‘The Plug-in Grant’; this is where the government offer a discount on the cost of buying a new electric vehicle. You don’t need to do anything to receive this grant; the grant is given directly to the dealer; however, this grant doesn’t apply to all EVs, only those approved by the government, such as…

  • Electric cars with a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £32,000 or under – £1500 off the purchase price
  • Electric vans of 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) or less – £2,500 off the purchase price
  • Electric vans of 2-3.5 tonnes GVW –£5000 off the purchase price
  • Electric vans over 3.5 tonnes GVW – £20,000 off the purchase price
  • Electric motorbikes and mopeds with an RRP of £10,000 or under –£500 and £150 off the purchase price respectively

How can eEnergy help?
At eEnergy, we can support your business’s journey to become more energy-efficient and reach your net zero goals. Our team can help you identify which EV Charging solution would be best for your premises and also ensure that it is powered by renewable energy. No matter which procurement approach you would like to take, whether fixed, flexible or basket, our team will find the right renewable energy procurement strategy for you.

To find out more about green energy procurement, please contact us on info@eenergyplc.com and we will be happy to help you