hand holding an ev charger

Charging Your Electric Vehicle

If you’re interested in hybrid or electric vehicles, you may be wondering – how long does they take to charge and how far do they go?

Hybrid and Electric Car Charging

If you’re interested in hybrid or electric vehicles, you may be wondering – how long does it take to charge electric cars? This is a perfectly valid question, of course, as you need to know the practicalities of the vehicle you’re buying, including charging times and how long a vehicle can travel without needing an energy top-up.

At Swansway Group, we’re here to answer your questions, so here are some important details to help with your buying journey.

How to charge your hybrid or electric vehicle:

Types of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles that don’t need to be plugged in:

Full hybrid electric vehicles (FHEVs) and mild hybrid electric vehicles (MEVs) both charge their electric batteries via their internal combustion engines, whilst the fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) use hydrogen fuel.

Where to charge your electric vehicle

If you do opt for an EV or a plug-in hybrid that you want to run on pure electric power, then the next thing to think about is where you're going to charge it. Options for where to charge your electric vehicle:

  • Charging at home - Can be the most convenient option, you can choose whether to have a wallbox installed, which offers faster charging, or use a three-pin plug.
  • Charging in public - Perfect for when you're out and about, public chargers such as those on shop car parks allow you to charge whilst enjoying your day.
  • Charging at work - If your workplace offers charging stations at work you can charge up while in the office ready for your journey home.
  • Charging on the street - If you don't have a driveway street charging is one to consider

How to use a public charging point for Electric Vehicles

1. Find a charger

Most EVs have these locations automatically built into their sat-navs, so they’ll be able to direct you in the right direction. If you’re planning your trip beforehand, then you can use websites such as Zap Map to plot out your route with charging stops programmed in.

2. Ensure your car is compatible with the charger

You need to ensure that you’ve got the right adapter. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of charger you need, or - again - ZapMap will be able to tell you both the type of connection a charger offers and the one your car accepts too.

3. Sign in or register

Once you’ve found the correct charger for you, it’s time to read the instructions. Once registered, most machines require you to use your mobile phone close to an RFID reader on the machine itself, and it’ll unlock and allow you to charge. Once finished, it’ll take payment automatically.

Some companies issue a small card instead, which you can loop onto your car keys. Tap this against the reader and it’ll unlock the machine, linking up to your account automatically via the card, but by far the simplest way to charge is via contactless car, allowing you to unlock a charger and start adding charge simply by tapping your credit or debit card.

4. Plug in

Once you’re all logged in and ready to go, lift the plug up and attach it to your car. It should sit firmly into place. Check the machine’s screen to check that a charge is being delivered and have a look on your car’s main screen to ensure that it too is registering a charge. If you’re planning on leaving your car there, then remember to lock it before you go.

5. Ending a charge

Added enough charge and want to get on the move again? It’s now a simple case of reversing the above. Follow the instructions on the screen to end the charge and it’ll also show you how much the session has cost. Once ended, you’ll be able to remove the plug from your car and return it to the charger.

line up of peugeot hybrid vehicles
Other Electric Services Got a question or need help with an electric vehicle? If you're looking for your next vehicle, our teams across the country will be happy to assist to help meet and exceed your requirements. Click on the link below to get in contact with your local retailer.

What is the range of a fully charged EV?


Most electric vehicles can travel between 100 and 200+ miles before they need to be recharged. This can vary from model-to-model, however, so it’s important to eye up all the specifications before making a purchase.

How can you get the longest range out of your EV battery?


  • Reduce rolling resistance – make sure your EV is fitted with low rolling resistance tyres and keep tyre pressure spot on.
  • Decelerate don’t brake – in an EV deceleration recoups energy so using your brakes will waste energy.
  • Drive smoothly – smooth acceleration and measured deceleration use less energy.
  • Reduce air resistance – the faster you drive the higher the air resistance; keep to 50-55mph.
  • Limit your climate control usage – Heating or cooling your EV can be expensive in terms of energy usage, keep it a minimum to maximise your battery’s range.
  • Stay local – most journeys will be well within your EV battery range, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Can Air Conditioning affect EV range?


Ancillary power use such as that required by the air-conditioning will affect the range a little but radio, lights and windscreen wipers have no noticeable effect on the range. To minimise the effect, where it is possible, pre-heating or pre-cooling the vehicle whilst connected to a charger will help retain battery range.