Charging your car outside your home can rapidly become a source of stress if you don’t take the necessary precautions. If you have just purchased an electric vehicle and charging on the public charging networks is still a bit of a mystery to you – don’t panic! Chargemap is sharing 9 excellent tips with you that many EV drivers would have loved to have known before embarking on their first charging experiences.
1. Forget paying by bank card
Unlike petrol stations, most EV charging stations don’t actually operate with bank cards. To be able to charge your vehicle, you need to subscribe to a mobility operator like Chargemap.
An electric mobility operator is a service provider for EV drivers. The services provided include accessing charging stations via a badge or mobile app directly linked to your bank account details.
2. Check the rates applied by the mobility operator
Each mobility operator offers different rates. If you want to avoid an unpleasant surprise once you have topped up, check them out before you start.
The Chargemap application gives you access to a mine of information on the charging stations around you, including what rates are on offer. Charging fees can vary, so think about checking them every time before you plug in! To do this, you simply need to join the Chargemap community by downloading the app and creating an account.
If you have a Chargemap Pass, NEVER blindly trust the rates displayed on the charging station. You should ALWAYS consult the rates posted in the Chargemap app.
Rates as they are posted in the Chargemap app
For further details on the rates, read the article “How much does charging cost with the Chargemap Pass?”
3. Read the comments to make sure the charging station is accessible and operational
The Chargemap app gives you access to opinions and comments entered by users for each charging station. This information keeps you up to date with any technical hitches so you can act accordingly.
Examples of contributions in the Chargemap app:
make a check-in, add a comment, add a photo, etc.
4. Gear up! Don’t forget your charging cables
Most public charging stations aren’t equipped with cables to connect up to your vehicle. You should always keep a cable compatible with your EV for the charging station you’re going to in your car.
You can find the right cables for your vehicle and your requirements at the online shop Mister EV.
5. Make sure your car can charge at the right charging speed
Make sure you know your car’s limitations in terms of charging capacity. If you connect your car up to a charging station with a higher kW than your car can accept, the charging system will adapt to your car, but will automatically be slower than what’s indicated on the charging station. If the billing is based on charging time, this means you are paying for a service that your vehicle can’t cope with.
6. Don’t forget to activate your badge
This may seem obvious, but before you can charge up using your badge, it needs to be activated. Lots of users think that as soon as they receive the badge, it is automatically activated. It’s up to you to activate your pass by following the instructions.
Pack containing your Chargemap Pass
7. Always have a Plan B (and C)
Charging station occupied, out of order, car parked in front of charging station but not plugged in… these are all common occurrences and that’s why you should always have an alternative solution or two up your sleeve. This means you shouldn’t wait till the last moment to recharge your vehicle. When you select your charging station, have a look to see if there are any others on your route so that you can get to them fast if you need to.
8. Don’t leave your electric car plugged in once it’s fully charged
The logic behind EV etiquette is to allow the greatest number of people to have access to the charging network and therefore to encourage a rapid EV turnover at the stations. If you leave your vehicle hooked up when you don’t need to, you are monopolising the charging station and potentially preventing someone else from topping up.
What’s more, this can be an expensive error. Indeed, the charging station may well invoice connection time rather than charging time. In this case, if you leave your car plugged in after it has reached a 100% battery charge, the bill will continue clocking up.
9. Charge your battery up to 80%
If you want to gain time (especially if you’re using a rapid charging station), don’t wait until your battery is 100% full. About 50% of the charging time (depending on your battery and the charging station used) is spent getting your battery up to 80% full. The remaining 20% is reduced to a trickle, taking just as long or even more time.
Chargemap hopes that these tips will improve your charging experience. Don’t hesitate to be an active member of the Chargemap community by adding new charging stations, taking photos and providing us all with practical information etc.
Happy Charging! 🙂