The Netherlands is working hard to improve the charging infrastructure for electric cars. There are now more than 500 fast chargers that can give most electric cars a range of over 100km in just half an hour of charging. We will go deeper into detail about this later. First we will discuss the differences in charging time.
The battery capacity of a car is expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh). With this power an electric car is able to cover a certain number of kilometers. This is called the ‘radius of action’ or ‘range’. Now back to the basics: electrical power is expressed in Watts. To calculate the amount of power a charging station can supply we multiply Volt and Ampère with each other. With these results we can calculate how long it takes to charge the batteries. In the following calculation example we use a socket that supplies 230V.
- 1-Phase 16A charging station: 16 * 230V = 3.7kW
- 1-phase 32A charging station: 32 * 230V = 7.4KW
- 3-phase 16A charging station: (3 * 16) * 230V = 11kW
- 3-phase 32A charging station: (3 * 32) * 230V = 22kW
Batteries can only store DC (direct current) power. If an electric car is charged on AC power (alternating current), it must be converted to DC power inside the vehicle. The inverter in the car thus determines how much kW can be charged per hour, this is called AC charge capacity. Example: the Nissan Leaf has a battery capacity of 40kWh, and an AC charge capacity of 6.6kW. This means that the car can charge 6.6kW per hour:
- 1-phase 32A 7.4kW: charging time of 7 hours
- 3-phase 16A 11kW: charging time of 12 hours
- 3-phase 32A 22kW: charging time of 7 hours
Because of the minor price difference, we often advise to buy the 22kW output version. When you switch to a different car with a higher charging speed you can still use the same charging station.
Choosing the right charging solution
These factors therefore determine to a large extent which charging station you can install best. And then we also have the electrical connection in the meter cupboard to take into account. Most households have a 1-phase connection. It is important to have the installation done by a professional installer to prevent all plugs from fusing during charging. A professional installer can apply dynamic load balancing to the charging station. This is helpful for when less power is available (by using a lot of household appliances, for example) at the moment that you are charging.
Settle the charging costs with your employer
Do you want to register or settle charge sessions? Then you can opt for an E-Flux subscription to the management system. We take care of all support in cooperation with the installer. And we arrange the settlement and invoicing of the charging sessions. Because our system works independently of the charging station (comparable to a mobile provider), you always have the flexibility to choose a suitable solution.
In contrast to AC chargers, DC chargers instantly supply direct current to the car, making the batteries charge faster. Just as the AC load capacity, an electric car also has a maximum DC load capacity. Most DC chargers in the Netherlands have a capacity of 50kW, but in several European country’s investments are made in fast chargers that deliver a capacity between 175 – 350kW. These are prepared for the newer models that can charge quickly on higher capacities. If several cars are charging at the same time, it can affect the payload. The available power is simply divided among the number of charging cars. Because of this you cannot always assume that you can charge at full capacity.
Do you want to drive an electric car? Take a good look at the distances you travel. Driving abroad with an electric car is becoming easier but planning a route along charging points is certainly important.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.