EV Charging Basics
Electric vehicles can be divided in two larger groups - battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The following information applies to battery EVs.
Usually, for EVs there is possibilty to use normal or slow charging and fast charging. Exceptions are some older models which has only slow charging possible. When buying used EV, check if fast charging is possible if it is important for you.
Normal charging power mostly is in the range of 3.5 to 7 kW. At such power 1 hour charging will replenish EV battery for 20-35km range. Power of normal charging depends on EVs onboard charger. Therefore, normal charging is ideally suited for night charging at home or at parkings where car will stay for longer period.
EVs can have two different inlets for the normal charging - Type 1 or Type 2.
When purchasing a home charger, make sure that you choose wallbox with tethered cable with appropriate plug type of your car. In order to charge your EV at public chargers , you will need your own cable with approriate plug. Now, for many brand new cars such cable is already included from factory.
Plug-in hybrids normally have only slow charging possible at 3.5kW power.
Fast charging allows to replenish battery much faster. Charging power varies for different models, and is about 50kW at peak. 30 minute charge at fast charger will replenish battery for 80-100km range. Power of fast charging is not linear. It decreases while battery state of charge increases. This is determined by car's battery management system. This graph shows example of charging power.
Fast charging will be considerably slower during winter time, when battery temperature is low. Therefore, it is useful to charge EV after the trip when battery is warmer rather than in the morning when battery is cold.
EVs can have two different fast charge inlets - Chademo or CCS (Combo 2).
EV fast charging in Baltic region
In Estonia, there are more than 160 fast chargers throughout the country. A map of all the public chargers is available here. Instructions of use and registration can be found on ELMO website. Please note that Estonian fast charger network has only Chademo and AC 22kW connectors for now. Therefore, for example, VW or Hyundai cars will not be able to use the fast charging option in Estonia.
In Latvia, there are more than 70 fast chargers throughout the country. Charger map is available here. Foreign travelers can use Plugsurfing mobile app to pay for charging.
In Lithuania, fast charge network is growing steadily. Charger map is available on Plugshare website. Many fast chargers are free to use. However, it is recommended to register on autoPilDYK website to be able to access all fast chargers.
For more information about charging of particular EV models, feel free to visit car manufacturer websites: