28 Sep 2023 Posted by Vital EV

Electric Van Charging Guide, Everything You Need to Know

Discover the ultimate electric van charging guide for all your charging needs. Whether you’re looking for information on public charging stations, charging networks, or fleet charging, we’ve got you covered. Learn about the convenience of charging at motorway service stations and the benefits of using RFID cards. Find out how to make the most of your charge time with rapid chargers and explore the different types of connectors, such as the Type 2 connector and DC rapid charging. Stay informed with our comprehensive guide and navigate the world of electric cars with confidence.

The Benefits and Ease of Home and Workplace Van Charging

Charging your electric van at home or work offers convenience and cost savings. If you have access to home or off-street parking, installing a wall box charger is the most practical option for recharging your van. Some electric vehicles even come with free charger installation, and grants are available. Alternatively, you can simply plug your electric van into a regular socket, although using a wall box charger is more efficient. Many electricity providers offer low-rate overnight tariffs, allowing you to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity prices and further reduce your motoring cost.

UK’s Public Charging Network for Electric Vans

If you’re planning to drive your electric van around all day, you may find yourself needing to charge it at a public charging point. The UK has been installing more public charging points, and currently, there are over 12,000 of them across the country. These charging points can be found at various locations such as petrol stations, supermarkets, leisure centres, and car parks.

Most electric vans today come equipped with built-in sat-nav systems that have a database of nearby charging stations. Alternatively, you can download apps like Zap Map or Open Charge Map to help you locate charging stations in your vicinity. These apps provide information on the availability and location of charging stations, making it convenient for electric van owners to find a suitable charging point while on the go.

How to Locate a Charging Point

For charging while on the go, most electric vans are equipped with a navigation system containing a database of nearby available charging stations. Additionally, you can use mobile applications like Zap Map or Open Charge Map to identify charging stations in your vicinity. These apps and websites provide information about station availability as well as estimated charging costs.

Decoding Duration and Efficiency for Electric Vans

To calculate the estimated time required for a full charge of an electric van, you can use a simple equation:

Battery Capacity in kWh / Charger Output in kW = Hours to Fully Charge

For example, if your electric van has a battery capacity of 60kWh and you are using a charging point with a power output of 30kW, the calculation would be as follows:

60kWh / 30kW = 2 hours

This means it would take approximately 2 hours to fully charge your electric van using this charging point.

Topping up an electric van with a quick charge is faster and more convenient than waiting for a complete charge cycle. This allows for shorter charge times, reducing the time it takes from hours to minutes. Therefore, many people prefer to top up their electric van’s battery rather than wait until it is almost depleted. The exact time required to fully charge an electric van from empty depends on the battery size and the power output of the charger being used. It can range from 2 to 12 hours, as mentioned in the previous statement.

What is the Cost of Charging an Electric Van?

Currently, the average cost of electricity is approximately 14p per kilowatt-hour on standard domestic tariffs. To illustrate using the Volkswagen e-Transporter as a reference, a complete charge of its 37.3kWh battery would amount to slightly over £5. However, when utilising public charging stations, the expenses are often higher, particularly for rapid chargers which significantly decrease the time needed to replenish your van’s battery. This convenience comes at a trade-off, with prices ranging between 20-40p per kilowatt-hour.

Naturally, if you have the option to charge your van at your workplace, this could lead to a substantial reduction in your operating costs, especially if you can take advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs. At Vital we also offer charger rentals which can be used for short term or long term use.

What Does an RFID Card Mean?

Though RFID technology has diverse uses, in the context of EV charging, RFID cards serve as a convenient payment method at charging stations. An RFID card facilitates the initiation of a charging session at a public charging point by simply tapping the card against a reader. Embedded within the card is distinctive data that gets transmitted to the charging station, enabling the station to recognize the user and commence the charging procedure.

Savings and Subsidies for Electric Vans in the UK

Electric vans currently receive a zero rating for Vehicle Excise Duty, commonly known as ‘road tax’. The government has intentions to implement fresh VED regulations for electric vehicles by 2025.

By driving an electric van in London, you could potentially save up to £3,915 per year on congestion charges. Moreover, if your current van does not comply with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards (Euro 5 or older), you might save an extra £3,262.50 annually.

All fully electric vans enjoy an exemption from both the London Congestion Charge and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) fee. Numerous other cities across the UK are also implementing their own emission zones and restrictions on non-electric vehicles’ access.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) grant aids enterprises in acquiring and setting up charging stations for their staff. It is accessible to most businesses, charitable organisations, and public entities. This grant lessens the expense of implementing workplace charging stations by a maximum of £14,000 (equivalent to £350 per point, for up to 40 points).

The plug-in vehicle grant applies to electric vans and serves as the primary governmental incentive for assisting businesses in transitioning to electric vehicles. The current grant rates for the plug-in vehicle grant stand at £5,000 for large vans and £2,500 for small vans. Each customer is eligible for up to 1,000 grants per year. This grant has gained significant popularity, with plug-in van grant requests in 2021 exceeding those in 2020 by more than 250%, underscoring the growing momentum for electric commercial vehicles.

What Types of Connectors are Found in Electric Vans?

Most modern electric vans are equipped with a Type 2 charging port. Back in 2014, the European Commission mandated that all public charging stations should incorporate a Type 2 connector. This same port is also compatible with a standard three-pin plug, if you have the appropriate cable on hand. It’s important to note, however, that depending on the battery size, using a three-pin plug can result in a significantly slower charging process for your van.

Furthermore, newer electric vans are designed to use DC rapid charging technology. For instance, a 50kW rapid-charging station can provide the e-Transporter with an 80% charge in approximately 45 minutes, which is notably faster compared to a 7kW home wall box charger.