Charging an electric car

Sähköauto latauksessa polkupyörän vieressä

The number of fully-electric vehicles and chargeable hybrid vehicles is increasing rapidly in Finland and around the world. The demand for good charging options is keeping pace. 

Up to 90% of charging is carried out in places the car is parked for the longest time, and for most people, that is the home or the workplace. On longer journeys, drivers can use the comprehensive network of rapid chargers available to the public.

Charging alternatives for electric cars

To find the best charging solution, it is important to identify the current status of your electricity connection and consider which type of charger is best suited to your mobility needs. 

The types of charger plugs vary depending on the car model. The charging powers vary depending on the electricity connection and the house's internal network. In general, there are five ways of charging an electric car.

Charging at home and at the workplace

Socket outlet (Schuko)

  • Charging at a rate of approximately 10 km per hour 
  • The general recommendation is to charge at up to 8 A  
  • Before charging, it is important to check that the socket outlet and internal network are in good condition and that the charging cable is compatible with the electricity system 
  • Enables 1.8 kW of charging power

Large current (three-phase socket outlet)

  • Charging at a rate of approximately 20–60 km per hour 
  • The available charging power depends on the model of socket outlet and the fuse sizes 
  • Enables 11 kW of charging power

Type 2

  • Charging at a rate of approximately 20–110 km per hour 
  • Enables single-phase and three-phase charging 
  • A standardised charger type compatible with most electric cars  
  • Enables 22 kW of charging power

Public charging points

Type 2

  • Charging at a rate of approximately 50–110 km per hour 
  • Enables single-phase and three-phase charging 
  • A standardised charging type for electric cars 
  • Enables 22 kW of charging power

CCS Combo

  • Charging at a rate of up to 600 km per hour 
  • Direct-current (DC) charging  
  • Suitable for cars from manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen and Tesla 
  • Enables 350 kW of charging power

Chademo

  • Charging at a rate of up to 315 km per hour 
  • Direct-current (DC) charging 
  • Suitable for cars from manufacturers such as Nissan and Mitsubishi 
  • Enables 62.5 kW of charging power
Carunan yhteiskäyttöauto parkkipaikalla

Finding the right charging solution

Detached house

In most cases, it is relatively easy to install a charging solution at a detached house because only 1–2 chargers are usually needed. 

The choice of charging solution depends on the condition of the house's internal network and the optimum placement of the charger. It is also good to bear in mind the impacts of the charging solution on the electricity connection's power requirement and what type of solution can be used with the current electricity connection. 

It is a good idea to ask an electrical engineer and/or contractor to analyse the suitable charging solutions.

Read more on Virtane.fi (in Finnish)

Housing company

People living in housing companies usually purchase a charging solution in cooperation with the housing company. 

The first thing to do is contact the building manager to analyse the charging possibilities for the housing company as a whole. The age of the electrical installations and the spare capacity in the electricity connection vary from one site to another. It is a good idea to consult an electrical contractor to carry out an initial survey of the state of the electricity network. 

Continue the constructive discussion at meetings of the Board of Directors and the shareholders' meeting, which will ultimately decide on the purchase. On the principle of equality, the costs of the installation work should be divided between the housing company and the owners of electric cars.

Read more on Virtane.fi (in Finnish)

Company

Companies should start by finding out how many of their personnel will need charging points in the near future and check the capacity of the electricity network on their real estate. In addition, it is worth considering whether to make the charging points available to people other than employees outside of office hours. For example, the charging points in Caruna's staff car park are available for public use outside of office hours. Find out about the Caruna charging heaven.

Read more on Virtane.fi (in Finnish)

Public charging or rapid charging

The number of public charging points is constantly increasing. According to the relevant EU directive, there should be one public charging point for every ten electric cars. Nowadays, many service stations and shopping centres have charging points. 

The easiest way to use public charging points is to get a user card for a charging station or a mobile app that enables charging. 

Before you drive up to a charging point, check whether it has a charging plug compatible with your car. This information is shown on the charging map.