Chargepoint technologies are developing quickly, increasing in power and reducing in cost.
Chargepoints are primarily categorised by their power, measured in kilowatts (kW), reflecting the speed at which they can charge an EV. The most common categories are:
- 7kW or lower
- typically available in 3.5kW and 7kW power
- four to eight hours to fully recharge, depending on the vehicle and its battery size
- add between 10-25 miles of range per hour
- useful in locations where EVs are parked for a long time or overnight.
- between 7-22kW
- most fast chargepoints are 22kW
- two to four hours to fully recharge, depending on the vehicle
- provide up to around 75 miles of range per hour
- useful at destinations where EVs are parked for a few hours (eg shopping centres).
- between 43-50kW
- most rapid chargepoints are 50kW
- 25-40 minutes for 80% recharge, depending on the vehicle
- provide around 100 miles of range in half an hour
- useful for EVs parked for a quick break (eg service stations, taxis, commercial vehicles).
- over 50kW
- most ultra-rapid chargepoints are 100kW or 150kW, more powerful units available
- provide around 200 miles of range in half an hour
- at present, few EV models can accept an ultra-rapid charge
- many EVs on sale from 2020 onwards are likely to accept 100kW charging
- useful for EVs that need to refuel without a break, as if refuelling at a petrol station.
Chargepoints take a variety of forms and can be placed at on-street or off-street locations. Many public chargepoints are integrated into a free-standing column, similar in size to a bollard, whereas rapid chargers are more like a large parking payment machine. Chargepoints can also be integrated into some streetlights.