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  • Mar 20, 2024

  • 5 min read


A guide to using EV charging stations

The Public charging infrastructure is growing rapidly. And with 60,000* (and counting) charging connectors out there, there seems to be plenty of chargers to choose from.

Charging somewhere other than home can seem a little overwhelming, but trust us. With this guide, you’ll be a public charging pro in no time!

So let’s break down how exactly to charge your EV on the road:

First things first, you’re going to need to find the nearest suitable charger.

How do I find the right public charger?

When looking for the right public charge point, you’ll need to think about:

  • Which cables are available at that specific charging station.
  • How close it is (and how the distance affects your journey).
  • Whether it’s a charger you have an account/card for (i.e. Electroverse)

What cables do I use for charging my EV in public?

Your EV most likely comes with a CCS charger and a Type 2 charger. In some cases, you may have an EV with a CHAdemo charger, though these are being slowly phased out.

Your CCS charger is used for fast and rapid (DC) charging (over 50k W/h) and your Type 2 is used for slower (AC) charging (usually 7 kW/h and 22 kW/h).

CCS cables are attached to the charging station, whereas Type 2’s are provided with your EV and you’ll often need to have this with you when charging (we recommend keeping it in your boot when not charging).

How do I find my nearest EV charging station?

There’s a few ways to find your nearest charging station:

  1. Browse your favourite navigation app and look for chargers around you.
  2. Use Apps like the Electroverse. With the Electroverse app, not only can you search all chargers around you (and see whether they’re available) you can also put in your current charge %, location, and destination, and it will show you where the best place is to charge at.

How do I use an electric car charging point?

Once you’re at the charger, grab your Type 2 cable or CCS cable.

Then follow the instructions on the charger or your chosen App.

When it’s time to plug in:

  • If it’s CCS, then you plug it into your car straight away.
  • If you’re using your Type 2 (and there’s not already a Type 2 cable attached to the charger), then plug the larger end of your cable into your EV and the smaller end into the socket on the charge point.

Check out our video on how to use electric car charging points:

How do I stop a charge at an EV charge point?

In most cases, stopping a charge is as simple as following the instructions on the charge point screen, or in the app you’ve used. For example, in the Electroverse app, you can head to your current charge and just slide to stop.In case of emergencies, all charge points are fitted with Emergency stop buttons.

How long will it take to charge my car on the road?

Charging your car can take anywhere from 20 minutes to eight hours, depending on the type of charger you’re using and your car’s battery percentage.You can find out more about how long it takes to charge your EV in our blog; How long does it take to charge an EV?

What do I do if an EV charge point isn’t working?

There might be some cases where your charger isn’t working. If you’ve plugged it in and followed all the instructions and something still doesn’t seem to be working, it’s time to contact the number on the charge point. And they’ll lead you through getting it fixed, or help you find another one close by if the issues aren’t resolved.

If it’s working but not charging as fast as you expected, this could be down to quite a few things. Head over to our blog, 5 reasons why your EV isn’t charging as expected, to find out more.

How much does it cost to charge your EV on the road?

All EV charging points charge different amounts. Some slow chargers will cost as little as 34p per kWh, and some rapid chargers will cost as much as 90p per kWh.

You can check pricing on each charge point provider's website.

How do I pay at an EV charging station?

There’s a few ways to pay at an EV charging station, including:

  1. Just tap your debit/credit card - they’ll often hold a deposit of between £25 and £40 and then refund you (or increase it) so that you are charged the actual amount.
  2. Tap your charging card - some charging providers offer charging cards that you can tap at their specific chargers and get billed monthly. Electroverse offers this ability at numerous chargers all over the UK and Europe. The costs can all be added to your monthly Octopus Energy bill too.
  3. Pay via the app - this works similarly to charging cards. And if you’re using the app, you’re likely to be asked for payment info when signing up.

Got more questions about charging? Head over to our Charging Hub.

*Data correct at the time of publishing.