How to charge electric vehicles at public car charging stations?

As electric mobility gains momentum, drivers are relishing the newfound freedom of charging their electric vehicles (EVs) in a multitude of locations. While home charging remains the primary and most convenient option for many, public charging infrastructure plays an indispensable role, especially for individuals who lack access to a private parking spot.

In urban environments, where parking spaces are at a premium, public car charging stations serve as essential hubs for EV owners. These stations are strategically placed in high-traffic areas, including shopping centers, office complexes, and residential neighborhoods, providing drivers with the assurance that they can conveniently recharge their vehicles while going about their daily routines.

What is public car charging?

Before delving into the specifics of utilizing a public EV charger, it’s important to grasp its fundamental concept. Public EV chargers, though diverse in types, generally refer to charging stations accessible to the general public. Unlike a home charging station, which is privately owned by the EV driver, a public charger is part of a network available for communal use.

This category encompasses an array of charging stations, ranging from swift chargers situated at motorway service stations to units located in public parking facilities and retail outlets. With this definition in mind, let’s explore the steps for effectively utilizing a public charger.

How to charge electric vehicles at public car charging stations?

Charging your electric vehicle (EV) at public locations, such as supermarkets, gyms, cinemas, retail parks, and town-center car parks, is convenient and efficient.

While it’s not typically required to fully charge your battery at these destinations, regular top-ups ensure you avoid running low or having to wait for a full recharge from an empty battery. This approach keeps your EV ready for the road whenever you need it.

Charging to 80 percent is also better for the life of your battery and more considerate to other EV drivers who may be waiting to use the charging station. Before you leave home to depart for your road trip, you should charge your EV to 100 percent. Once you arrive at your destination, you can use a public car charging station to charge the car to 100 percent once again.

How does public EV charging work?

EV charging works by connecting an electric vehicle to a charging station. The station transfers electrical energy to the vehicle’s battery, which stores it for later use. There are different types of chargers, ranging from level 2 public car charging stations to high-powered public car charging stations. The EV charging process involves authentication, communication between the charger and vehicle, and the conversion of electrical current to a form suitable for the vehicle’s battery. Charging times vary based on the charger type and the vehicle’s battery capacity.

The charging speed depends on the type of charger and the vehicle model. Level 2 chargers are relatively slow, while DC fast chargers are the fastest. Charging standards include Type, CCS, and CHAdeMO charging stations, among others.

It’s important to note that charging time and speed can vary based on the vehicle model, battery capacity, and charger power. For specific charging details, refer to the vehicle manual according to the specific circumstances.

Charging an electric car on long-distance journeys or in emergencies.

During extended journeys or in unforeseen circumstances, you might encounter situations where your remaining battery range may not suffice to reach your intended destination, necessitating an emergency charge. Rapid chargers serve as invaluable solutions in such scenarios. Even if you’re not in proximity to a motorway service station, you can conveniently locate these chargers in accessible locales like supermarket parking lots.

One noteworthy advantage of rapid chargers is their consistent availability. They are directly integrated into public car charging stations, eliminating the need for users to carry their own charging cables. This ensures a hassle-free and efficient charging experience.

It’s important to be aware that there are three distinct rapid charge connector types, each tailored to specific car models. Therefore, it’s prudent to acquaint yourself with the connector type compatible with your vehicle.

Learn more about rapid EV charger types.

Overall, the growing accessibility and convenience of public ev charging stations are pivotal in propelling the widespread adoption of electric mobility. It empowers drivers to embrace cleaner, more sustainable transportation options while seamlessly integrating EVs into their daily lives.

While public EV charging can be a new and unfamiliar experience, it unlocks incredible flexibility and can adapt to your life and habits. We hope this article has answered your questions about public EV charging and cleared up any doubts you might have had.

If you’d like to read more about EV charging, or are considering purchasing your first EV, feel free to reach out to us via email at

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