Charging Stations for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Cars

Considering that more and more Romanians are interested in purchasing electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, this article will provide detailed information about an electric charging station.

There are still many misconceptions among the population regarding electric cars, including how and where they can be charged.

What is the difference between an electric car and a plug-in hybrid car?

Before discussing charging stations, it is crucial to understand the difference between an electric car and a plug-in hybrid car.

While an electric vehicle is powered 100% by an electric motor, a plug-in hybrid vehicle has two motors: one electric and one conventional gasoline-powered.

The electric motor can be recharged from an external source or while driving, through a generator that takes energy from the conventional engine.

Electric Charging Stations

Electric charging stations usually have between 2 and 5 charging points. You can find them in the parking lots of large shopping centers, such as Dedeman, Ikea, malls, Lidl, Kaufland, and others.

Like any market, the number of these charging stations will increase in the future based on the number of users. The more electric and plug-in hybrid car owners there are, the greater the number of stations will be.

On average, electric car owners travel around 30 km daily in Europe. As a result, they can charge their cars at home without the need to use other stations throughout the day. These stations are generally required for longer distances of 300+ km.

Charging Time for an Electric Car

The charging time for an electric car depends on two factors: the power of the charging station (kW) and the battery’s capacity to store this energy.

In general, charging stations fall into 4 types:

  1. Slow Charging stations have a power of approximately 3 kW. On average, a full charge at such a station from 0 can take up to 8 hours.
  2. Fast Charging stations have a power between 7-22 kW and are the most common. A full charge takes about 3-4 hours.
  3. Rapid Charging stations have a power of 43-50 kW, and not all cars are compatible with them. Such a station can charge a battery from 0 to 80% in less than 30 minutes. It should be noted that this type of stations is rarely found in Romania.
  4. Ultra-rapid charging stations are relatively rare at the European level, with a power of 100-350 kW.

When purchasing an electric car it is very important to look at the capacity of the battery. For example, only high-end electric cars are compatible for Rapid Charging stations, such as the Tesla Model S or the Kia Soul EV.

Use of charging stations. Etiquette rules.

There are some common sense rules when using a shared charging station:

  • Be sure to release the station if the battery has charged. Other drivers may also need it.
  • An unwritten rule says that a plug-in hybrid car driver should give priority to an electric car driver. This is because the plug-in hybrid car can be powered by the classic (thermal) engine in case of emergency.
  • Never disconnect someone else’s car from the station.