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Charge an electric car at home or at a charging station? What you need to know

26 August, 2022

If the car's battery is discharged, the car stops. At least if you only have electric drive. Therefore, it can be good to know where to find charging stations for the electric car if you are going a longer distance. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available online and in various apps you can download. Here you get a little help along the way.

The number of electric cars on the road is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that there will be around 2.5 million electric cars on Swedish roads in 2030. As the number of electric cars increases, we also see more and more charging stations being installed, both in the cities and out on the roads. This makes it easier for you who need to charge the electric car to find a charging station.

More and more networks and companies are entering the industry and offering road users to charge the electric car. E-ON, Cirkle K, OKQ8, Recharge Infra, Vattenfall InCharge, Ionity, Laddkoll, Easy Park are some examples, alongside a number of local energy companies.

In many places you can even charge the car completely free of charge. But how do you find a charging station for your electric car?

Where are charging stations near me?

Maps with information on where charging stations are located can be found on a variety of websites. They also offer several extra functions, such as:

  • Filter by vehicle and contact type

  • Route planning

  • Available charging points

  • Reviews

  • Range of food and shopping nearby

  • Find free chargers

Some examples of the largest websites are ChargeFinder , Uppladding.nu and ChargeMap . There you will find all possible information to be able to plan your journey in the best way.

There are also a number of apps to download. Some examples:

  • Plugshare - over 300,000 charging stations

  • ChargeMap – one of the leading apps for electric car owners

  • ChargeFinder – comprehensive electric car charging map

  • It's common to be able to pay for uploads directly in the app, and you can see in most apps which ones offer free uploads

Fast car charging - that's how it works

To charge a car, it is necessary to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). And on the market there are both AC and DC chargers. The main difference between the two is where the conversion to DC takes place.

The most common type of charger is the AC charger. When you charge with AC, the conversion to DC takes place inside the vehicle's own converter. A vehicle's converter can deliver a charging capacity of between approx. 1.4 kW and 43 kW.

A DC charger, on the other hand, converts the alternating current into direct current already in the charger itself. As a result, the car's battery can be charged much faster – up to 350 kW. So if you often need fast charging, you should use a DC charging station.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

The lower capacity a charging station can deliver, the longer it takes to charge your electric car. It also depends on the size of your car battery. Here is a table showing approximately how long it can take with different types of charging stations.

Laddbox Column BTid för att ladda ett 40kW-batteri Ca räckvidd per laddtimme
AC2,2-3 kW13-18 timmar11-15 km
AC3,8 kW11 timmar19 km
AC7 kW6 timmar35 km
AC11 kW4 timmar55 km
AC22 kW2 timmar110 km
DC Snabbladdare*50 kWCa 50 minuter290 km
Högeffektsladdare*150 kWCa 20-30 minuterCa 860 km

*For the latter two, the figures apply to charging up to 80% of the battery.

Install a charging post at home?

Installing a charging post at home is entirely possible, but it is common for these to be installed at businesses, condominium associations and parking lots. Setting up a charging post at home is not really recommended, mainly because of the price.

There are charging posts and there are charging boxes. Charging posts usually require ground work as well as wiring electricity, while a charging box is mounted on, for example, the garage wall at home, which is usually cheaper.

Charging post – cost to install

The price of a charging post with installation ends up at between SEK 13,000 and 55,000, while a charging box is significantly cheaper, between SEK 12,000 and 25,000. This usually includes the installation of the charging equipment and the extraction of electricity. You can currently (2022) receive government support, the so-called Tax Reduction for green technology, to install a charging post or a charging box. It covers half the cost, provided you buy both equipment and installation from the same supplier. The tax reduction is a maximum of SEK 50,000 per person per year.

Can you charge an electric car in an engine heater outlet?

You can, but for safety reasons you shouldn't, except for very short periods of time. In addition, you should keep an eye on the equipment, as cables and other components are not adapted to charge for several hours via the engine heater outlet.

Charging the electric car in the engine heater socket can lead to an overload in both the socket and in the electrical centre. And in the worst case, it can start a fire. In addition, it is not certain that the earth fault circuit breaker will react, unless it is specially adapted for charging electric cars.

We therefore do not recommend this method except in extreme cases of emergency. And DO NOT use power strips or extension cords if you do.

Charging box with three phase

There are many companies that offer charging boxes with three phases, and more and more electric car owners are choosing charging boxes with three phases, to future-proof their solution for the day they get a new electric car. Three-phase gives up to 22 kW, compared to single-phase which gives an effect of 3.7 - 11 kW. There are also three-phase portable charging boxes.

In your wall socket, you have 230 volt single-phase cables, although it is actually standard to bring in three-phase from the mains to properties. In a three-phase line, you get 400 volts instead, and stoves and washing machines often run on three-phase. 3-phase charging boxes fit most European cars. All cars can charge on single phase, but not all can handle three phase, so they charge on single phase even if you have a charging box with three phase. Some examples of cars that can handle 3-phase are Tesla's models S, X and 3 , Audi e-tron , Renault Zoe and BMW i3 .

Best charger for electric car – which one to choose?

Many tests have been done to find the best charger for electric cars. And you'll find different winners depending on where you look. One site has Wallbox Pulsar Plus, another says Zaptec Go is the best charger for electric cars. A test at Laddsmart from January 2022 gives the following results:

  1. Easee Home 22 kW: Rating 5. Reason: Most affordable and fully loaded with technology.

  2. Wallbox Pulsar Plus: Rating 4.5. Reason: Small and intelligent.

  3. Zappi V2 22 kW: Rating 4. Reason: Best option for you with solar cells.

New electric car chargers are launched regularly

However, development is going at breakneck speed, and today's range is significantly larger than just six months ago. Whoever is considered the best today may not even be on the top 10 list in a few months. More and more charging boxes now also come with the option to let others pay to charge the car in your charging box.

What should you look for when choosing a charging station for your electric car? We list 6 things that may be good to keep in mind before you choose.

  1. Effect. Most are fine at 3.7kW, which uses 16A. These can be used without problems by most people, as a house fuse is usually 20A or 25A.

  2. Award. There is a wide range of prices for charging boxes. Everything from about SEK 6,000 and up to over SEK 25,000. Functions, number of sockets and design are some things that affect the price.

  3. Does the charging box have load balancing? Load balancing is a function that protects your electricity network. It adapts the consumption so that it is not overloaded. Some have the function built in, with others it is optional.

  4. Number of withdrawals. An important detail if you have more than one electric car, to be able to charge both at the same time.

  5. Functions. Today's modern charging stations are equipped with various smart functions, such as charging when electricity is cheapest, connecting with WiFi and RFID tags - a protection against intrusion.

  6. Design. Some manufacturers focus heavily on the design. For many it is an unimportant detail, but for others it is important that it fits into the home environment.

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