How easy it is to refuel an electric car

Anyone who has driven an electric car feels the fascination: they accelerate great, are extremely quiet and drive with zero emissions. But how do you actually fill up an e-car? Vattenfall presents the possibilities and explains how to fill up with electricity at a charging station.

Where do I charge an electric car?

At home: power socket or wall charging station

At the socket

Charging an electric car is basically possible, but many experts advise against it. An electrical outlet heats up considerably during several hours of continuous charging. If it is not installed properly or is defective, it can overheat, melt or catch fire. However, if this method of charging is used, car manufacturers recommend that the condition of the socket and the power supply system be checked by a technician.

Apart from that, the charging process for an electric car at the household socket takes considerably longer than charging with a wallbox, for example. This is simply more efficient when charging with higher power.

At the wallbox

Wall-mounted charging stations are available from various manufacturers in different designs and features. They are particularly suitable for homeowners or apartment owners with a parking space in a collective garage. But since 2020, there is also the “right to wallbox” for tenants , which should simplify the purchase and installation of their own charging station. Probably the biggest advantage of a home charging station: You can do without trips to the (electricity) filling station in your everyday mobile life. In addition, wallboxes are designed for high continuous charging power and thus ensure efficient and safe charging at home with significantly shorter charging times. Take advantage of our expert tips and read what to consider when buying a wallbox.

Electric car: why the wallbox is more efficient?

During the charging process, additional systems are activated in the electric car, for example battery monitoring. These systems also consume energy during the charging time, but independently of the charging power. A wall charging station shortens the charging time, which means that such systems are deactivated more quickly and use less energy.

Another aspect is that the energy loss is lowest at high charging power. The effect of the charger depends on its load, i.e. the ratio between current and maximum charging power. The efficiency is therefore significantly worse at low utilization than at maximum charging power.

How to charge an electric car?

On the road at the charging station: Refueling with an electric car at a public charging station is basically similar to “normal” refueling: pull up to the pump, fill up, continue driving. Quite simple. The charging process requires a charging cable, which is either part of the equipment of an electric car or is already permanently installed at the charging station. There are charging cables with different plug types. The prerequisite for refueling is that the plug fits into the socket at the charging station or that you have a suitable adapter with you.

In Germany, the Type 2 plug is established, also called Mennekes plug. It can be found at most charging stations. The EU states have agreed that this type of plug will become the uniform standard for public charging stations in Europe.

A suitable charging card or charging app is also required for refueling. This is required to unlock the charging station. Since the charging station ordinance issued in 2017, it has also been possible for consumers to use newly constructed charging stations from different providers with their charging card. There are now more than 35.000 charging points in Germany and the expansion has just really begun.

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