Which electric recharging point to choose?

Electric car charging

Choosing the right electric charging station requires in-depth knowledge of the ancillary components involved in recharging. The need for charging stations is driven by the ever-increasing sales of electric cars.

In 2020, sales of new electric and hybrid cars increased 3-fold compared with 2019, reaching 21.5% of total registrations. To give you more up-to-date figures, in March 2024, the 1.7 million mark was reached, representing a market share of 24.5%. Indeed, these promising figures underline the growing interest in electromobility for both business and private use.

With this growth comes the need for electric charging stations. So it's vital to understand how charging works.

What type of bollard? What power? What cable? We give you all the information you need to make the right choice.

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What is an electric charging station?

An electric charging station is a device for recharging an electric vehicle.

To make the right choice, you first need to understand how refilling works, and then choose a product that is adapted and safe for your needs, so as to be efficient and profitable. 

Currently, France had 1 charging point for around 15 vehicle charging sessions (electric and plug-in hybrid) in April 2024, according to Avere France. All in all, this represents almost 130,000 charging points open and accessible to the public.

  • For personal use, you need to find the right electric charging station for your vehicle to optimize your costs and get a high-performance charge that suits your lifestyle. 
  • Installing an electric charging station on company premises enables employees to recharge their vehicles, or even the electric vehicles in the company fleet. In this way, you can support your staff in their transition to green mobility and offer your customers a recharging solution.
  • For stores, hotels and restaurants, installing recharging stations not only attracts new customers, but also builds loyalty among electric car customers.

Private customers can take full advantage of the public and private charging station network. That's why a lower-power terminal is sufficient for the home.

Companies are are key players in the emergence of electric vehicles. By setting up recharging infrastructures, they encourage their employees to opt for this "cleaner" mode of transport.

Understanding recharging means first and foremost mastering the factors that influence recharging: recharging modes, types of cables/plugs. This enables you to determine the right charging power and time, and thus make the right choice for your business. We explain it all!

Become an electric ace

To help you choosing your electric charging charging station is the right one for you, you need to be familiar with the various concepts that influence recharging.

 

Power output (kW) = tap water flow rate

-> Example: An 11 kW AC three-phase charging station.

Electric vehicle recharging capacities today generally range from 3 to 350 kW. 

Capacity (kWh) = capacity of a bathtub in L. It corresponds to the quantity of energy consumed by the terminal and supplied to the electric vehicle in kWh. 

In theory, if I plug my vehicle into a 22 kW AC terminal for one hour, I've recovered 22 kWh.

 

For example: the maximum charging capacity of the Kia eNiro is 11 kWh. In this case, a mode 3 charge via a single-phase wallbox: 11 kW is sufficient and gives arange gain of 70 km per hour of charging. The Kia recovers 11 kWh in one hour. However, if the Kia eNiro is connected to a three-phase AC terminal delivering 22 kW, the Kia will only be able to recover 11 kWh per hour of charging. It will take around 6 hours to recharge the battery.

 

What's the difference between AC and DC current?

AC charging

The alternating current corresponds to the current in the electrical network. However, the the battery of an electric vehicle can only store electricity in direct current (DC) CURRENT.

 
 

AC/DC converter

To remedy this, an AC/DC converter converter under the hood of the vehicle and converts alternating current into direct current before it is stored in the battery. This is why recharging takes longer. AC AC charging charging stations generally offer charging at higher speeds (up to 22 kW), but can sometimes be up to 43 kW.

 
 

DC charging

Terminals delivering direct current offer fast to ultra-fast charging (up to 350 kW). The AC/DC converter is directly integrated into the terminal, delivering direct current and powering the vehicle's battery instantly.

 
 

What are the different types of cable?

To ensure that there's something for everyone, we need to know about the different types of cable so that we can offer the most suitable ones for businesses or public parking lots, and whether or not to invest in home charging for private individuals.

→ If the cable used for recharging is not suitable, power may also be restricted.

→ On DC terminals, a cable must be attached to the terminal.

charging cable types

Type 1 and type 3 plugs are no longer used in France!

 

Socket type 2: Standardized European socket (max. power 43 kW)

Europe has decided to make the type 2 plug the standard model. It delivers power ranging from 3 to 43 kW (from 3 to 22 kW for private spaces).

Versatile, it can be used for all common recharging scenarios, including home wallboxes and public fast-charging stations. 

 
 
type2-beev

Note that the Type 2 plug is the most widely used model and has replaced the Type 3 plug since January 2016. 

This cable accepts both single-phase and three-phase alternating current. The car can respond to all types of charging, whether at home, at public charging points, at rental outlets or in parking lots. The type 2 socket is compatible with normal to accelerated charging.

 

Type 4 or CHAdeMO socket (max. power 100 kW)

CHAdeMO-beev socket

The type 4 socket, also known as CHAdeMO, is used for fast charging. This fast-charging system was developed in Japan and enables charging capacities of up to 100 kW at appropriate public charging stations.

 

CCS combo socket - Combined Charging System (max. power 350 kW)

This plug combines the advantages of the Type 2 plug with those of the CHAdeMO plug. It enables fast recharging up to 350 kW.

 
 
Prise-CCS-beev

Type 1 socket: The most widespread in the world, but not in Europe

This plug is widespread in Asia and the USA, but not very common in Europe. It delivers up to 7.4 kW (230 V, 32 A), which prevents rapid recharging. Recharging is therefore either slow or accelerated, using single-phase alternating current (32 Amps for 230 Volts).

 
 
 
 

Type 3 socket: on the verge of extinction

This type of plug is rarely used, as it corresponds to the old standard in France before the arrival of Type 2. Europeans favor Type 2. There are, however, some Type 3 terminals.

 

Would you like to install a charging station?

The 4 charging modes

charging modes-beev

Slow charging from domestic socket (max. power 2.3 kW)

Slow charging from a household socket. This is a mode 2 recharge that takes place on a non-dedicated socket, i.e. you plug your electric vehicle into any electrical outlet. Recharging takes place on alternating current, with maximum power at 2.3 kW. Every electric car can be plugged into a domestic socket, but charging time is very slow because there is no circuit to intensify the power delivered to the car.

 

Who's it for? Ideal for private customers with an electric vehicle with a medium range

What are they used for? Recharging at night or when the car is parked for a long time

Tip: Have your electrical system checked by a professional (risk of overheating plugs and cables).

Range recovered per hour of recharging: 10 km

Normal charge on Green'Up socket (max. power 3.7 kW)

Mode 2 charging also involves charging on a non-dedicated socket, i.e. you also plug your vehicle into a domestic socket. The Green'Up is a charging solution halfway between a household socket and a Wallbox. It looks like a standard household socket, but with a few improvements in terms of strength and power handling. The Green'Up's power rating is 3.7kW on AC current. 

 

Who's it for? Medium-range vehicles. Ideal for home recharging.

What are they used for? Recharging at night or when the car is parked for a long time 

Range recovered per hour of recharging: 15-20 km

 

Normal charging with a wallbox (up to 22 kW)

Normal recharging with acceleration is mode 3 recharging, which delivers 

3 power ratings from 3.7 kW, through 11 kW to 22 kW. 

The Wallbox is a wall-mounted box for recharging an electric car. It includes an electronic box that controls all aspects of recharging. With programming options available, the Wallbox has a dedicated electrical circuit capable of delivering more than twice the power of a standard household socket.

A wide range of products is available, offering options such as power adjustment, remote control, consumption data recording and consultation via an integrated display, locking and access control.

 

How is it used? During the day, when your vehicle is parked. Usage depends on the power selected. 7.4 kW for parking for several hours

Autonomy recovered per hour : 

3.7 kW: 15-20km

7.4 kW: 30-40 km

11 kW: 60-70 km

22 kW: 100-150km

Installation? Professional installation

is not mandatory but strongly recommended

Who is it for? Individuals or professionals

Fast charging with a terminal (up to 350 kW)

Fast recharging corresponds to mode 4 and is carried out via a "totem", a stand-mounted terminal. 

It can also be recharged in direct current (DC), resulting in rapid recharging. In this case, you'll need a CCS or CHAdeMO cable. 

This type of charging station can be found in public places and parking lots. As the price of the charging station is high, the cost of recharging is also higher, but allows you to recharge your vehicle in a very short time.

How can I use it? Very short parking times

Autonomy recovered per hour : 

over 200 km (between 200 and 2000 km)

Who is it for? Professionals and local authorities in public or company parking lots whose vehicles vehicles do not have time to park for long periods

Installation? Professional installation is mandatory

 

For what type of vehicle?

Today's charging stations are all equipped with a Type 2 socket for normal charging or a CCS socket for fast charging, the European standards for electric vehicle charging. However, French law also preserves CHAdeMO, a Japanese standard used on the first electric vehicles (on no new vehicle in Europe except the Lexus ux300e and Nissan Leaf) until 2024. The electric charging station you install, whether a wallbox or a terminal, will therefore be compatible with all electric cars on the market.

 
 

How to choose the right charging station?

An electric charging point can recharge up to 10 times faster than a household socket, and in complete safety. It's therefore important to choose sturdy equipment from well-known brands, as charging stations installed in a company are subject to intense use. For home recharging, a green'up plug (3.7 kW) is sufficient if you want to recharge at night. If your parking time is short, you can opt for a low-power wallbox (7.4 kW). 

 

Does the charging point depend on the electric vehicle?

Yes, it is necessary to take into account the information explained above (recharging capacity, recharging cable, etc.).

What type of charging station should I choose?

At home, the domestic socket, the green'up socket or a low-power wallbox can be solutions. You'll need to think about how long you can park your vehicle.  

For office sites, wall-mounted or free-standing wallboxes are recommended. Easy to install and taking up very little space, they are very popular with companies. 2 electric cars can be charged at the same time!

For shopping malls or high-traffic sites, we recommend totem-type charging stations. These kiosks offer up to two charging points, with additional features such as payment charging session by credit card.

Conclusion

Electric cars mean electric charging stations! Here's how you can opt for charging you need! Assistance are available to facilitate the purchase of an electric charging station.

 
 
Picture of Adrien-Maxime MENSAH
Adrien-Maxime MENSAH

If you believe in the electrification of vehicles, you're already halfway towards your ecological transition. That's why I'm offering you some content on the electric vehicle environment.

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