Your guide to EV charging

Elisha Keep | 03/02/2022

Want to know your BEV from your PHEV? Our quick guide to electric vehicles and charging is here to help you wrap your head around the world of sustainable transport

At a Glance

We explain the difference between slow, fast and rapid EV charging in our quick EV charging guide

Find out what all those pesky acronyms stand for too and what the key differences are between them

Want to know your BEV from your PHEV? We know there’s a lot of acronyms floating around in the world of electric cars and vehicles - and it might feel a little overwhelming if you’re trying to decide which option is best for you.

Our quick guide to electric vehicles and charging is here to help you wrap your head around the world of sustainable transport, so you’re ready to make an informed switch.

How we categorise electric vehicles

Here’s the types of electric vehicles (EVs), what those pesky acronyms stand for and what the key differences are between them

Battery electric vehicle (BEV)

A battery electric vehicle (also known as a BEV) is a  fully-electric vehicle that’s recharged by connecting it to a mains supply.

BEVs store electricity onboard with high-capacity battery packs. The power from the battery is then used to run the motor and all the onboard electronics. 

BEVs don’t give off any harmful emissions you’d usually get from traditional petrol or diesel vehicles. 

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)

You’ve definitely heard of hybrid cars - and now you may have seen ads for plug-in hybrids on TV, or seen them cruising around on the road with PHEV on the back. PHEV sounds super fancy, right? But what does it actually mean? 

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses a combination of a traditional combustion engine and a rechargeable battery. PHEVs recharge their battery by both braking and by plugging into an external source of electricity.

Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)

HEVs are powered by both petrol and electricity, but as the difference in name suggests, these are hybrids that don’t need to be plugged into a charger. 

Electric energy is generated by the car’s braking system which recharges the battery. This is called ‘regenerative braking’; the electric motor slows the vehicle and uses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.

Internal combustion engine (ICE)

Unlike BEV, PHEV and HEV, ICE is talking about the engine itself. 

Your standard petrol and diesel cars have internal combustion engines. However, the fossil fuels burned inside an ICE are a big culprit of both air pollution and global warming. 

This is one of the big reasons more and more people are deciding to switch to an EV. 

EV charging guide

Kilowatt-hours (kWh)

Just as conventional cars have different sized fuel tanks, batteries in electric cars also come in different sizes. Instead of litres of fuel, their capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

1 kilowatt hour is typically 3-4 miles of range. For example, a 40kWh battery in a mainstream electric car could power it for 150 miles or more.

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)

Used to supply electric energy to recharge BEVs and PHEVs, EVSE is the bridge between your charging station and your electric vehicle. 

Your EVSE ensures the safe current flow between the charger and your EV.

Slow EV charging

Most slow charging units are rated at up to 3kW. A full charge will typically take between 6-12 hours. 

While slow charging can be done with a three-pin socket, we’d highly recommend getting a dedicated EV charger installed at home if you know you’re going to need to be charging up regularly. And with our EV Charger Plan, you’ll have no up-front installation costs and maintenance included with Egg Plus.

Fast EV charging

Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7kW or 22kW. 

Charging times do vary. A 7kW charger can recharge an EV with a 40kWh battery in 4-6 hours, and a 22kW charger in 1-2 hours. 

How long your EV will take to charge with a fast charger will depend on your vehicle’s onboard charger. Not all models are able to accept 7kW or more. 

You’ll often find these types of chargers in car parks or at supermarkets, but fast chargers can also be installed at home for convenient EV charging. 

Rapid EV charging

Rapid chargers are easily the fastest way to charge an EV. You’ll have seen these at motorway services or locations close to main routes. 

Depending on the model, EVs can be recharged to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. No wonder they’re called rapid chargers, right? The average new EV would take around an hour on a standard 50 kW rapid charge point. 

Office for zero low emission vehicles (OZLEV)

This is the government team supporting the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles. 

OZLEV grant schemes include the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and Workplace Charging Scheme. Both reduce the upfront costs of purchasing and installing EV charge points.

Reliability is everything

When it comes to EV charging, reliability is everything. 

At Egg, we only install EV chargers that we’re confident won’t let you down. Our hand picked range of electric vehicle chargers have been through our rigorous testing and due diligence.

Find out more about EV charging for your home, workplace, fleet and destination charging. 

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In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)

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© 2022 Egg - All Rights Reserved; A Liberty Global plc company. Registered address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, W6 8BS. Company number: 07477370; VAT number: GB109695779. In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)