Where and how to charge your electric car - The ultimate guide

CARIFY - July 16, 2021

#Elektromobilität #Elektroauto #AutoAbo #Plattform

Awesome that you encountered this post – it means that you are either interested in subscribing to an electric car or already have one. That’s great because electric cars offer many benefits for you and your environment. Before we go into how electric cars can be charged conveniently and cheaply, let’s have an overview of why electric mobility is one of the biggest trends and why you should be part of the revolution:

What you need to know about charging your electric car:

  • Find out where you can charge your electric car (hint: everywhere!)

  • Which costs are involved in electric charging

  • How charging works and how long it takes

  • How you can benefit from exclusive charging conditions with CARIFY

Where to charge your electric car: In public, at home or at your workplace

1. Charging stations in public are easily accessible

Switzerland alone has 5,700 public charging points dotted around cities, towns and villages (July 2021) – with more stations every single day! And numerous highspeed-charging stations that are already available at motorway rest areas and gas stations. The density of charging points per vehicle is well above the European average which makes Switzerland one of the most convenient countries to enjoy electric mobility. The charging stations run by different operating companies are aggregated in this map provided by the national electromobility infrastructure data collection (DIEMO). It gives you an overall picture of the network of charging stations in Switzerland.

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You want to travel outside of switzerland with your electric car? No worries, there are dozens of suitable electric charging options as well. To find your nearest charging station, use a website like PlugShare that provides a map of EV charging stations in Europe and around the world.

To use public charging stations, it’s often required to register with the operating company or utility. There are various ways to use them: with a membership number or code, a charge card, a smartphone app or a combination. As a CARIFY customer, you benefit from a free Explorer membership with evpass which lets you benefit from exclusive conditions with reduced charging prices. Evpass operates the largest network of public charging stations in Switzerland and works together with thousands of international charging stations.

2. How can I charge my car at home

Electric cars can be charged with different voltages. A Level 1 charger has a simple cord like any other household appliance and does not require special installation. With some cars these cables are included, in other cases you have to buy them yourself. Just be aware of the rather long charging times with Level 1. See more under “How long does it take to charge your electric car?” described below.

If your charging needs require a faster charging solution at your home, it is recommended to check out Level 2 charging installations. Level 2 chargers operate at a higher voltage and require a licensed professional electrician to perform a safe installation. Costs to set up a Level 2 home charger range between 1000 to 4000 CHF (including charger and installation).

If you are interested in installing a charger station at home, contact us to get exclusive conditions on products from our partner Greenmotion. They are experts and happy to support you in finding the perfect charging solution for your personal needs.

3. Find out if your workplace offers electric charging stations

Some employers provide workplace charging at no cost, while some have a fee-based structure to offset capital or operational costs. Ask your employer if there is a possibility for electric charging to add extra flexibility at your workplace. Charge your electric vehicle during working hours and always be ready to drive without even stopping by at gas stations!

How much does it cost to charge your electric car?

The cost to charge your electric cars depends on location, time and rates (electricity providers). However, without question, charging your electric car is significantly cheaper in comparison to refilling a gasoline-powered car.

Public Charging Costs:

A common electric car consumes a good 15 kWh per 100 km. Charging at a charging station from e.g. evpass (with an Explorer membership), the price is 0.45 CHF per kWh. A comparable gasoline-powered car on average consumes 7.8 liters per 100 km, and in Switzerland the average price of gasoline is currently around 1.55 CHF.

Assuming a driving distance of 15,000 kilometers per year, this results in consumption costs of about 1000 CHF for the electric car and about 1750 CHF for the gasoline-powered car, which is a whopping 75% more! For larger and heavier vehicles, the savings for the electric car are even higher.

Home Charging Costs:

When it comes to home charging, savings could be even higher compared to gasoline-powered cars. The electricity price per kWh at home is usually much cheaper than the one on the road. A fair comparison would need to involve installation costs of your charging station (if you need one) and your precise electricity price at home - as there are different tariffs (also day vs. night).

How long does it take to charge your electric car?

The charging time can vary a lot primarily depending on the following factors:

  • Level of charge (1, 2 or 3)

  • Charging rate of vehicle

  • Battery capacity

Different voltage levels equal different charging time:

The level of charge used (level 1, 2 or 3) to charge a battery will determine the speed at which an electric car can charge, but that's not the only deciding factor. It's important to note, too, that overall charging speed is limited by a vehicle's maximum charging rate. Different models have different maximum charging rates. For instance, if a vehicle has a maximum charging rate of 20kW per hour, and the charging station being used has a maximum charging rate of 40kW per hour, the vehicle will only charge at a maximum speed of 20kW per hour.

Level 1 - Home Charging: The simplest and most inexpensive way to charge your car. It also takes the longest. Many household appliances, from toasters to coffee makers, use this standard socket. With Level 1, most cars charge at the rate of 4-11 kilometers of range per hour. For instance, a 2020 Nissan Leaf with a 240 km range may take over 20 hours to fully charge. For people with short, local commutes, Level 1 charging should be enough.

Level 2 - Home & Public Charging: These chargers charge at a rate of 30-50 kilometers per hour. If we look at the same 2020 Nissan Leaf, recharging an empty battery to a full charge can take just 6 hours. Nissan, for instance, recommends installing a Level 2 charging station at home, but it may not be necessary depending on your daily commute.

Level 3 - Fast charging in Public: These chargers, also known as DC Fast Chargers (DCFC), can recharge an EV from zero to 80% in 30 minutes or even less. For instance, the 2020 Nissan Leaf mentioned above can use a DC Fast Charger and fully recharge in about 30 minutes. With the rapid technological advancements charging times are expected to decrease even more in the future. To keep up to date with such future benefits, a car subscription enables easy switching to newer models. Find more on other benefits of driving an electric car in a subscription

A battery's capacity is the limit for how much power a battery can physically store. Electric cars outfitted with large batteries can hold more power and go further between charges but require more time to recharge from zero to 100% than batteries designed to hold less power. Hence, it always depends on the car model how long it takes to charge your electric car.

Electric charging benefits you should not miss out on as a CARIFY customer:

  • Save 10% on your home charging station: If you are interested in installing a charging station at home, contact us to get exclusive conditions on products from our partner Greenmotion.

Why to subscribe for an electric car in 2021

  • Zero emissions (and clean energy with e.g. evpass charging stations)

  • Low operating costs and cheap charging

  • No engine noise or exhaust fumes

  • Charging everywhere – while sleeping, working or buying groceries

  • Powerful driving experience (Ever felt the incredible acceleration?!)

Find out more about the benefits of e-subscriptions!

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