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UK and Ireland Small Business Owners: Which Electric Car Charger is Best for Me?

Want to create a unique benefit to your customers? Want to differentiate yourself from your local competitors? Join other UK and Irish businesses providing more than 13,000 public charging points.

EU Electric Car Charger Plug Types

Methods for charging an electric car vary depending upon region. In general, the largest regions are North America, EU, and China - all with different types of charging plugs. Regardless of plug type, all EV chargers operate on either DC (fast charging) or AC (relatively slower charging) current sources.

The primary DC charger plug types in the UK and Ireland are the CCS (Combined Charging System) also known as the Combo Charger, driven by the EU consortium of manufacturers and government, and the CHAdeMO introduced by Japan car manufacturers. The CCS DC charger type is more predominant in the UK and Ireland and its defining technical feature is that it combines both AC and DC charging capability into a single form factor (thus receiving the name CCS - Combined Charging System). Even though DC charging is much faster than AC charging, there are many more AC chargers as they are adequate for all electric cars and may be reasonably purchased and installed by both residential and small business entities.

The subset of the CCS plug type that is AC-only is the Type 2 Mennekes. Depending on where you search, it may be called just a Type 2 or IEC 62196. This charger type is supported by EU regulators as the future type to replace older charger types. A Type 2 three-phase can handle up to 32A, however, the charger can be derated to supply a lower current closer to 13A if energy is a concern for the business. If the business can afford to supply only 13A, a Type 1 single phase charger can be installed or simply a standard BS1363 3-pin outlet. Regardless of the energy allowance, installation of the Type 2 Mennekes charger would be able to meet future demands and compatibility, whereas, the Type 1 and BS1363 3-pin outlet would not.

The charger of choice for the small business in the UK and Ireland is the Type 2 Mennekes.

Many electric cars are compatible with the Type 2 Mennekes including cars from the manufacturers BMW, Daimler, Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen Group, Renault, General Motors, FCA, Kia and Hyundai. Additionally, Tesla also supports the Mennekes charger plug in these regions.

Most regions have a supply of various charger systems, but fortunately for UK and Ireland business owners, the Type 2 Mennekes charger would accommodate the vast majority of customers. Assuming a range characteristic of 300W-hrs/mile for an electric car, the charger will add a variable amount of range to the battery depending upon the power supplied as shown in the table below. Currently, fully charged car batteries have a range of between 100 miles and 370 miles with the typical being closer to the lower end. In the table below, if customers reside at the charger for 3 hours, a Type 2 Mennekes charger will add approximately 70 miles of range to the electric car battery. In general, customers will be happy to receive any top-up of their battery and will appreciate the convenience and thoughtfulness of the business providing the service.

Electric Car battery range added as a function of power supplied by electric car charger

Once the decision has been made to install a charger, some operating decisions will need to be made such as the following:

1) should customers be charged a fee for using the charger?

2) will the charger be accessible to the general public?

3) should the charger be networked to a third-party or be kept as private?

4) what is the typical customer dwell time and how does the charger potentially influence the business process?

For help with these types of concerns when installing an electric charger, see the case study and other guides in the EVHotels App website. If your business is a hotel, validate any charger details you have in the EVHotels App so it may be found by travelers searching for EV friendly hotels.

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