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How and where can I charge my electric vehicle?


Publication date: 23/01/24

When considering the possibility of buying an electric vehicle, one of the questions that arise is, "Where will I charge the car's battery?" A few years ago, the answer to this question generated more doubts than certainties, but the system has evolved, and there are now several solutions.

Learn how and where you can charge, and what costs you may incur with your electric vehicle.

Where can you charge your vehicle?

The positive aspect of owning an electric vehicle is that you can charge it at home or even in your condominium if you have that possibility. Home charging offers great comfort to electric vehicle users because they can charge their battery while at home, enabling them to leave for work the next day with more than enough range without having to spend time going to a petrol station or charging point.

If you can't use home charging, don't worry! In Portugal, there are already more than 2,000 public charging points (with exponential growth forecasts), not to mention the charging points that some establishments (such as supermarkets or shopping centres) are beginning to offer as a convenience to their customers.

You can check all these charging points on miio (iOS, Android, Web); just install the app and you will immediately see a map with all available points around you. You can also find out the price of these points, their exact location, availability, and much more information.

To use public charging points, you have two options:

  1. Have a physical card from an Electric Mobility Energy Supplier (CEME) to start and stop the charge;
  2. Use an app, like miio, to perform the charging and payment without the need for this card.

You can also compare all the existing Energy Suppliers in the market on miio, to choose and use the one that suits you best.

Among these more than 2,000 points in the public network (which can be called the MOBI.E network), we have Normal Charging Points (PCN), Fast Charging Points (PCR), and Ultra-Fast Charging Points (PCUR). Depending on your vehicle, you will be able to charge at different speeds; it may seem confusing at first, but if you use miio, you will always know the time it will take for your vehicle to charge, the price, the energy consumed, the battery percentage, and you will be automatically notified if your charging is completed, allowing you to remove your vehicle from the point.

Please note that keeping the vehicle at the point without charging is an infraction subject to a fine, as it is a civic duty to make way for other electric vehicle users to use the public network; moreover, some points charge for the time the vehicle is at the point, even if it's not consuming energy! So always keep an eye on your charging: monitor it through miio.

How can you know exactly how long it will take to charge a given vehicle?

Let's go to a practical example:

If a user buys a Renault ZOE, they can charge at a PCN with a maximum power of 22 kW, meaning that in one hour, the vehicle will charge 22 kWh; this speed is possible because the vehicle's internal charger is three-phase.

However, if the user opts for a Nissan Leaf 40kWh, they will only be able to charge at 6.6 kWh in a PCN, meaning that in one hour, the vehicle will charge 6.6 kWh because the vehicle's internal charger is single-phase and limits the charging speed.

If the user chooses to use a PCR, both vehicles mentioned above can charge up to 50 kW.

It is important to choose a vehicle with charging suitable for your needs.

If we are dealing with someone who travels short distances, it is feasible to choose a model that does not have fast charging (50kW) or that in normal charging can charge at 6.6kW. On the other hand, if it is someone who travels many kilometres a day, they will not be able to live peacefully if they choose a vehicle without fast charging, as they will need to make 2 to 3 charges to reach their destination in a timely manner.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

The correct answer is: it depends.

As with a combustion vehicle, it also depends on the user's driving. More aggressive driving leads to higher consumption and the opposite leads to more economical consumption.

In home charging, if the user has a tri or bi-hourly tariff, they can contract a price of €0.11 per kWh (including VAT). To travel 100 km, approximately 20 kWh is needed (average value); if we multiply this by the energy price, the user will pay €2.38/100 km, by choosing the off-peak period (usually at night).

As with a combustion vehicle, it also depends on the user's driving. More aggressive driving leads to higher consumption. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, can use regeneration to their advantage, practising more efficient and economical driving.

Additionally, depending on the type of charging point, there may be several compatible plugs with your vehicle, so you should check miio for the recommended plug, as each plug may have a different price.

In public charging, the values vary depending on the point, the vehicle's charging speed, and the time of day, so it is advisable to use miio to calculate your final price. It is important to note that the price displayed at the point is only the operation price, not the final price. To this price, the cost of energy, Special Consumption Tax, Network Access Fee, and VAT are added.

Let's go to a practical example:

For a Renault ZOE, in a PCR, charging the same 20kWh can cost between €6 and €10, on average, taking 25 minutes. In a PCN, the same 100km would cost between €4 and €5, taking 50 minutes.

How can you know exactly how much you will pay for a charge?

Understanding the exact cost of charging your electric vehicle can be straightforward with the right tools. Using applications like miio, you can monitor your charging session in real-time and also simulate the costs at each charging station beforehand. This way, you'll always be informed about how much you will pay.

During the charging process, miio allows you to track the progress and costs associated with your session. The app provides a detailed breakdown of the final price, showing each component that contributes to the total cost. This includes the base energy price, any applicable taxes such as the Special Consumption Tax, Network Access Fees, and VAT.

By inputting your vehicle's details and your charging needs into the app, you can simulate the price at different stations and times of day. This simulation will give you an accurate estimate of the total cost before you even start charging. Knowing the exact price components helps you make informed decisions about where and when to charge your vehicle.

EV Charging Simulation Tool

What is the maintenance of an electric vehicle?

Oil changes, belts, particle filters, and other components are a thing of the past.

In an electric vehicle, you only need to worry about the windscreen washer fluid and regular servicing (which may include brake pads, air conditioning filters, wiper blades, and little else).

Electric vehicles have regenerative braking (i.e., they generate energy while reducing speed, which, instead of wasting this energy as heat, uses it to extend the vehicle's range), meaning that the driver uses the brake less, reducing wear and tear; there is no gearbox, and with fewer moving parts, maintenance costs are also lower.

Currently, the offer for charging an electric vehicle is extensive, so it is no longer an excuse not to consider buying an electric car for your daily commute. The essential thing is to understand your consumption and regular charging needs. From there, your decision will be easier.

Find a Charging Station with the miio App

Written in partnership with Doutor Finanças

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