What is the best way to charge my electric car?
Charging Options with Dribe.
Whether you're interested in an electric subscription, paying for power on the go, having your own charger, or just seeking more information about charging before transitioning to electric vehicles - keep reading.
Things you'll know in 10 minutes:
How to charge when you can't charge at home.
How to charge when you can charge at home.
How to determine if you need a subscription. Bonus:
Where there's money to be saved.
The most important information about charging types.
Electric cars in perspective.
How to charge when you can't charge at home:
If you can't install a charging box at home, you can use the many charging stations available in cities. You have two options:
You can choose to have a charging subscription, allowing you to charge as much as you want for a fixed amount each month.
Or you can choose to charge freely without a subscription and pay each time you charge.
Open charging networks:
Sperto offers charging in what they call an open charging network. Sperto does not offer subscription solutions but provides chargers for those with shorter driving needs, where it is cheaper not to have a subscription.
Is it a good solution? Yes, and maybe.
Yes, because Sperto offers competitive prices with a high-end slow-charging rate. You can get up to 24 kW speed for only 2.5 DKK/kWh or 3.5 DKK/kWh for everything above that (read more under 'Fast Charging').
Maybe, because Sperto doesn't have as many charging stations as Clever and E-on, so you might end up needing to charge at other providers anyway. Decide for yourself.
So, what should you choose?
The short answer is that it depends on your consumption. Read on for the longer answer.
Electricity on subscription:
Clever and E-on are the two largest providers in the market, and both offer either subscriptions or pay-per-use options for their charging stations.
For unlimited electric car charging, it costs 749 DKK/month for Clever and 649 DKK/month for E-on.
More and more providers are starting to offer subscriptions, which are great options for those who don't need unlimited charging. This makes the subscriptions more flexible and increases the likelihood of finding one that matches your needs.
With an electric subscription, you will receive a charging card that is used by swiping it over the charging box to start the charging process. Everything is managed through an app where you can track your charging and locate different charging stations.
Clever also offers an option called Clever Go, where you don't have a subscription, but you still get a charging card to use at their charging stations.
(Read more about the benefits of a subscription vs. no subscription under 'How to determine if you need a subscription.')
How to know if you need a subscription:
It primarily depends on your consumption. If it's not significant, a subscription may not be cost-effective. But if you have a normal driving need, not having a subscription can often become expensive.
How to charge when you can charge at home:
The advantage of home charging is that you can charge the car while not using it and save time at the gas station. So which charging station should you buy? Here are some brands that make charging stations for private use:
Clever (You probably know their electric subscription, but they also provide private charging stations)
Several of these, such as Clever and Easee, also offer installation included in the price. Payment for electricity and installation of the charging box? For example, at Easee, it costs between 8,000-10,000 DKK with installation and charging box, or 79 DKK per month. The charging box takes electricity directly from your home, so you will see the consumption on your electricity bill. Afterwards, you will be refunded an amount per kW used through the charging box. Easee provides a refund of 1.12 DKK per kW.
How fast should my home charger be?
The charging speed of a charging station is called charging power. Charging stations can have different charging powers, but they typically range from 3 kW to 22 kW in Denmark, which is considered slow charging. There are continuously more and more fast and rapid chargers. So how fast should your charger be? The larger the battery, the longer it takes. So if you can manage with charging overnight, you can use a slow charger. For larger needs, consider a faster charger.
Now it gets a bit more advanced:
It's not only the charging power of your charging box that determines how fast the charging goes. It also depends on how many phases you are charging on and how quickly your car's slow charging allows. (See more under 'The essential about charging types.')
How to charge at home with a "Granny charger":
'Granny charger' is an expression that comes from a time when you might need an emergency charge for your electric car when visiting grandma in the countryside – and it has stuck ever since. "Granny charger" often come with the car. It converts the power so you can charge your car at home without a charging box, and it is an easy and practical solution. We recommend that you set it to charge overnight when electricity is much cheaper, and you also relieve the electricity grid. And no, you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to plug in the cable. You simply set the system to charge at a specific time. It's that easy.
How to save money by charging smartly:
If you charge your car when electricity is cheapest, you will save money, of course. But when are the right times to charge? Typically, electricity is most expensive during the day and especially in the evening when everyone is at home and using energy-consuming appliances simultaneously. But at night, when people sleep, and few use electricity, it is typically the cheapest. Therefore, it is smart to set your charging box or car to charge at night. At publicly available charging stations, you do not need to time your charging to save money, as it does not affect your bill when you charge.
Now that we are talking about prices: See price comparisons on cars at Dribe VS Leasing and Purchase.
There you have it!
You are now equipped to make informed decisions about charging. If you are still hungry for knowledge, read on (in the maybe a bit nerdy section) below.
The essential about charging types:
Basically, there are three main charging speeds when it comes to charging electric cars: Slow charging, fast charging, and rapid charging. Slow charging is typically defined within 3.4 to 24 kW, Fast charging operates within 24-50 kW, and rapid charging is anything above that.
An electric car is typically equipped to charge both slowly and quickly, also called AC and DC. You will find that most of the time, you will use slow charging. Fast charging is usually used if you need to charge quickly during longer trips. "Why don't I just fast charge all the time?" A good question! There are several reasons for that. By charging your car slowly, you apply less stress to your battery, which means it retains its charge better. Additionally, you also spare the charging network by charging at a slower rate. As mentioned earlier, there's also no need to fast charge your car every day. Unless you have a very specific driving need, you'll find that your car stands still most of the time. That's the time your electric vehicle uses to charge slowly.
The three phases of slow charging:
In Denmark, it has been decided that home plugs can only operate on one phase. However, if you have a charging box that converts to multiple phases, it's only with the granny charger that the single-phase limitation affects charging time. Even if your car can charge at a speed of 7 kW, it is not guaranteed that you can charge it with more than, for example, 3-4 kW since home charging can only be done with one phase. Therefore, it's essential to know how many phases both the car and your charging box allow for slow charging, so you choose a car that matches your charging needs.
Fast charging allows your car to charge quickly without putting as much strain on the battery as rapid charging. In theory, a car with a 50 kWh battery could be charged in 1 hour. However, this does not hold true in practice as the battery only uses fast charging between 20-80%, not between 0-20% and 80-100%. So fast charging is rarely used for charging from 0-100%, but more often when you need to quickly top up a bit of extra power.
As mentioned earlier, rapid charging is typically used only for longer trips, and yes, rapid charging does put more strain on your battery than slow charging. However, that's precisely why it's smart not to use it every day. However, it would take a lot to damage your battery with rapid charging, so even if you use it weekly, it's not something you need to worry about. Most electric cars can charge with a rapid charging power of around 100 kW, but more and more can charge much faster. A Porsche Taycan, for example, can charge at a staggering 270 kW. This means it can charge about 300 km in just 15 minutes. Currently, some of the fastest charging stations in the world can provide power at an effect of around 350 kW. There is still no car that can receive power with that effect, but the chargers are ready when the technology allows for that kind of charging power in the cars.