Electromobility is steadily gaining popularity. Besides Tesla, BMW and Nissan, many other brands – including VW, Renault and Opel – have also launched electric cars. Over 110,000 of the 4.7 million cars currently registered in Switzerland are fully electric – and this number is growing.
According to a study by Swiss eMobility, in 2035 over 2 million people in Switzerland will drive an electric car. Have you already made the switch, or are you thinking about doing it soon? Our facts about charging electric cars provide you with important information for making your decision.
Electric cars can drive without emissions, and due to their high level of efficiency and low operating costs, they also provide other incentives for drivers who are dissatisfied with combustion engines. However, its ultimate breakthrough on the market will depend heavily on how to charge electric cars, as charging with electricity still takes much longer.
Charging for electric cars can roughly be divided into two categories: Charging at home or at publicly available stations.
In Switzerland, there are already over 11,000 public charging stations, ten years prior there weren’t even 1,000. There are plans to have up to 20,000 charging stations by 2025.
The charging time depends on the battery’s size, whether or not it’s completely empty, and its maximum charging capacity. The outside temperature and the model of car also play a part. Charging from a conventional household mains socket takes the longest, and you should only do this if you have no other option. A home charging station is quicker, while a fast charging station is the quickest option of all.
How to calculate the charging time:
If you want enough charge for 200 km, and your car uses 20 kWh/100 km on average, you need 2 x 20 = 40 kWh.
Here’s how long it will take:
There are different types of charging technologies and they vary by feature and functionality. The two basic charging technologies are called AC and DC charging.
Standard household electricity is alternating current (AC). However, electric cars need direct current (DC). For this reason, the current has to be converted so that it can be used for electric vehicles.
At AC charging stations, the alternate current is converted directly in the car. DC charging stations complete this process prior to charging. That’s why the charging capacity of AC charging is usually lower than DC charging, and depending on the type of outlet, ranges between 2.3 and 22 kW. The advantage of AC charging is that the technology is cheaper. This remains standard for all typical wall boxes connected to a normal household. In the long term, slower AC charging is better for the battery because it places less stress on it.
Fast charging stations, in contrast, use DC charging. The charging capacity for this technology is significantly higher and can reach 50 kW or more. The advantage with DC charging is the significantly shorter charging time. For example, an average electric car can be charged from 0% to 80% within 30 minutes. However, a DC charging station is rarely installed for private use. It needs greater capacity, is more expensive and takes up more space. Overall, DC charging makes more sense for public charging stations, while a wall box for charging at home tends to use AC charging, which is slower but easier on the battery.
The price at a public charging station may include a one-time charging fee, a price per kWh, and/or a parking fee. Prices can vary from charging station to charging station. As a rule, the faster the charging station, the more you have to pay. In other words, slower AC charging stations are cheaper.
Here are some tips to help you charge your electric car more efficiently:
In Europe, there are typically two types of plugs: the type 2 plug (for AC charging) and the CCS plug (for DC charging). The type 2 plug is standard in Europe and is supported by almost all electric cars. The CCS plug is necessary if you want to use a fast charging station. In Asian car models, primarily CHAdeMO and type 1 plugs are used. A detailed overview of the various plug types is provided in the info graphic below.
Do you own a condominium, and are you planning to buy an electric car? Then you should note the following points when installing a charging station:
An electric car can be charged as often as required. However, it is not recommended to regularly charge the battery to 100%. Instead, between 20% and 80% is advised to maximize the battery life of your vehicle.
Usually, AC charging stations require you to bring your own charging cable, while DC fast charging stations often have a charging cable built in. Drivers of electric cars should always have a cable in their trunk to be on the safe side.
There is a slight possibility that a power outage could occur if you are charging your electric car at your wall box. However, this depends on various factors, such as the capacity of your energy supply, the capacity of your wall box, the current, how long your charging time is, and the total load that is being used in your household at the same time.
Depending on your connection options, the number of cars you want to charge, the type of charging station, and how you want to be billed, there are various options for planning and installing a home charging station. For example, swisscharge.ch offers individual solutions for private use as well as charging infrastructure and load management for landlords and companies.
This depends on a number of factors, including the amount of energy used to manufacture the car as well as the electricity needed to charge it. In Switzerland, approximately 70% of the electricity used through household sockets is from renewable energy sources. At many public charging stations, you can charge your vehicle up to 100% with certified green electricity. With swisscharge.ch, for example, this is possible at the following charging stations: