How to Choose the Right Electric Van Charging Solution

How to Choose the Right Electric Van Charging Solution

Choosing the right electric van charging solution depends on your business needs and the size of your fleet’s batteries. Businesses driving long distances will use the charging devices available at motorway service areas, service stations, and electric forecourts. Those travelling short distances within a city area generally recharge overnight at their business base. 

Statistics published in October 2023 by the Department for Transport, in collaboration with Zapmap, highlight the following:

49,220 Number of public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK 

52.6% of devices were fast charging 

28.9% of devices were slow charging

10.7% of devices were rapid charging

7.8% of devices were ultra rapid charging  

Best practice indicates that slow charging is currently the best option for electric vehicle batteries. We look at the various charging solutions and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.  

Slow Charging Solution (3kW to 6kW)

Slow charging solutions use alternating current (AC) from the national grid to recharge your electric van. They are suited for overnight charging and found at homes or workplaces where vehicles park for extended periods. You can use a standard 3-pin plug to recharge your vehicle, but it is better to install a dedicated wallbox.  

Advantage: Slow charging is better for your van’s battery as it generates less heat.

Disadvantage: It can take from 8 to 24 hours to recharge, depending on the battery size and vehicle. A 3-pin plug EV charger could be a fire risk.    

Fast Charging Solution (7kW to 22kW) 

Fast charging solutions also use AC to recharge your electric van. They are the most commonly available public charging solution and seen as a destination charging device – somewhere a driver might stop for an extended period. You find them at retail car parks, car parks, leisure and education areas.

Advantage: There are more of them publicly available, and they charge at higher speeds than slow charging solutions.

Disadvantage: They take up to 5 hours to recharge your electric van’s battery and longer if you need to charge a low battery.

Rapid Charging Solution (25kW to 100kW)  

Rapid charging solutions use direct current (DC) delivered directly to the van’s battery. When the charge reaches 80%, it slows down to protect the battery from damage. Charging the final 20% to get to one hundred could take another hour. These devices are available at ferry terminals, electric forecourts, motorway service areas, and service stations. 

Advantage: It takes only 20 to 45 minutes to recharge the battery. 

Disadvantage: It generates more heat, causing the lithium-ion battery running your van to degrade and lose capacity over time.

Ultra Rapid Charging Solution (100kW and above)  

Ultra rapid charging solutions also use DC to charge a vehicle’s battery directly and are available in motorway service areas and alongside major roads. Drivers should check what speed of charge their vehicle can take before using ultra rapid charging.

Advantage: It can charge the battery to 80% in 20 minutes, depending on the make and model of the electric vehicle and the charger’s power. 

Disadvantage: Ultra rapid charging is not ideal for the average electric vehicle but is used by premium and luxury cars due to its charge strength.  

Wireless EV Charging  

Wireless electric vehicle charging would be ideal for businesses once it becomes available for general use. Your electric fleet vans will recharge while waiting for their load. It might take a while before wireless EV charging becomes publicly available, as the technology is new. Innovate UK is funding various research initiatives, including that of the Nottingham City Council and Heriot-Watt University.   

Advantage: You don’t need to get out and plug a charging cable into your vehicle. 

Disadvantage: Wireless EV charging is a new technology.

Maxus commercial electric vans have various battery sizes to accommodate your needs, and you can find us at over 60 dealers in the UK. Contact Maxus today to discuss which electric van charging solution is best for your business. 

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