EV Destination Charging: What It Is and How to Keep Your EV Ready to Drive
People refuse to buy electric cars for these reasons:
- 58% of all drivers don't buy electric vehicles because they worry about their lack of range.
- 49% of drivers stay away because of the perceived lack of EV charge points.
- 47% of people don't buy an electric vehicle because of the initial cost.
These figures from the Volvo survey reveal range anxiety is a real thing. How does range anxiety actually affect drivers?
- People worry about being too far from any EV charging stations and getting stranded.
- Others worry about not being able to travel far enough to go on family holidays.
Destination charging is the best way for EV drivers to plan their holidays and get out for longer trips.
What is Destination Charging?
In short, destination charging is when you charge your car at the end of a leg of a multi-day trip while you sleep. This can happen at or near a hotel, Airbnb, or the home of a friend or family member.
To better understand this, it's best to know the three most common EV charging places and how EV drivers can use each one most efficiently.
- Most EV drivers use home charge points. These are convenient and allow overnight charging.
- Public charging stations are also widely used. These can charge a car in a few hours. EV charging facilities are growing in number and popularity.
- DCFC points are the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle. These are Direct Current Fast Charging points.
Most people use EV chargers at home. It is by far the most common because it is at home and can charge the EV overnight. It is also the most convenient because it is easy to get to.
If you only need a quick charge once in a while, you can use public charging at Level 2 or DCFC speeds. These are very good for adding a few extra miles when you’re out and about. For example, charging your car while you eat lunch adds a few extra miles so you can drive home without any anxiety.
A note about terminology:
Levels 1, 2, and 3 are American labels. In Europe, there are a few different ways of referring to EV charging levels and speeds. These can include:
- Mode 1 - Slow charging or home charging with an extension cable
- Mode 2 - Home charging with an EV cable
- Mode 3 - Charging with a dedicated home charging box or public station
- Mode 4 - Fast charging or DC charging
The speeds available in each mode will vary based on the installation and charger. So, whatever you call it, the best way to understand the speed of the charging point is to look at kW delivered to your car.
Why Is EV Charging Overnight Important for EV Drivers?
By using destination charging, EV drivers can get where they're going much faster because their cars are fully charged overnight. This is much better than stopping at one or two more DCFC stations after leaving the hotel.
By planning a route with destination charging locations, EV owners can make longer trips much more efficient compared to trips without using destination chargers.
The Advantages of EV Chargers at Destinations
While home charging is hugely popular, most people recognise the need for more available power elsewhere. This could be at shopping centres, car parks, and other public places. Better destinations include hotels and overnight attractions so people can charge their cars fully.
Here are some of the big advantages of maximising the use of destination charging points.
- The convenience of being able to charge the car while the driver is doing something else.
- Getting rid of "range anxiety" by making sure drivers can charge their cars at their destination.
- The confidence to skip the long lines at the gas station for the fast chargers.
- Minimising the demand on the electric grid, since most destination charge points have slow chargers.
The vast majority of drivers can plan out their trips to make good use of publicly accessible charge points. Being able to recharge while in the shop or sleeping at a hotel adds miles to your EV range.
Why Businesses Should Welcome Electric Vehicle Charging Points
If you're a business owner, should you install an EV charging point? There are some very good reasons to make an investment into EV charging stations.
- Customers will stay or shop with you with EV charging taking place. They will pull up in your car park, plug in, and stay for some time at your location. Savvy businesses plan for engaging these customers while their charger is running.
- Some people will choose your business because of the added value of your EV charge points. This may be especially true in rural areas.
- An EV charging point outside your business is also a strong, visible symbol of your commitment to sustainability. For some people, this is a factor in which businesses they support and which they avoid.
How to Find Destination Charge Points for Your Journey
When you're running out of juice or planning ahead to avoid a dead battery, being able to find the right EV chargers is important. Thankfully, there are many options.
Here are a few smartphone app choices to help you find the nearest charge point in the network:
- Zap-Map: This is one of the more popular charging point locators. There are free apps for Android and iOS.
- Open Charge Map: Drivers can find charging locations through the Open Charge Map website. Developers can also build their own charging point apps.
- Plugsurfing: EV owners can use Plugsurfing to plan their routes and find destination chargers. This app is especially good at showing the cost to charge.
Carwow is another option but doesn't have a smartphone app. Drivers can visit the Carwow website, enter their location, and browse nearby stations.
Some electric vehicles have integrated their onboard navigation system with an EV charger locator app. Volkswagen, for example, uses the We Charge network of chargers. Drivers with the network card can charge at any of these stations.
Destination Charging Summary
Here's a quick recap of what we've mentioned about destination charging:
- EV charging at specific journey points extends range and reduces anxiety.
- Planning your journey in advance to include destination charging will reduce overall journey time.
- Businesses, especially hotels, should consider installing charging points for electric vehicles.
Those are the key points. If you're still thinking of questions, you can check out the rest of our glossary for more definitions of the EV charging industry.