Whether you've got a full-on electric vehicle (EV) or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), chances are you're going to be plugging it in at any given opportunity in order to keep the battery charged - whether it's to maintain the range of your EV, or to reduce the fuel consumption of your PHEV.
As of now, chargEV has over 250 charging stations nationwide to help keep battery levels full, but naturally these charging points still aren't as common or as widely accessible as your average petrol station. With that in mind, it makes the most sense to charge an EV or PHEV battery overnight - when the car is not being used.
This usually means you have to charge your battery at home. Whether that's through a normal plug point or a dedicated fast charger, it is incredibly important that installation and usage is done properly so as to prevent electrical fires or other complications. This is some high voltage stuff!
We don't really have many regulations surrounding charging technology, but with the increase in EV and PHEV ownership you can expect the government to take public safety into consideration. To break it down, there are four main charging modes - three of which are available for public consumption here.
The first mode is fairly common - simply plugging a charger into a household three point plug outlet and hooking it up to your car. This is also the most dangerous form of charging and is banned in some countries, as the plug point outlet doesn't have sufficient electrical protection or hardening and can burst into flames or electrocute you.
One step up is a small wallbox charger which you can plug your cable into. This offers better regulation of power and has a rudimentary level of safety when it comes to voltage protection, and will usually come with most hybrid vehicle purchases.
The most sophisticated form of charging currently available is a standalone outlet, which is dedicated solely to charging your vehicle. These are rarely installed at home and most commonly found at public charging stations, such as those by chargEV.
It's important to understand the distinction and the safety concerns involved as wiring or socket failure can have incredibly dangerous results, and many household plug outlets are not designed with EV or PHEV charging in mind. Installation of charging outlets must include over current protection as well as electric shock and fire protection through a RCD, or residual current device, that comply with manufacturer recommendations.