Electric Driving: That’s How You Know Which Charging Station You Should Have
Electric driving is on the rise, and as a result, the number of charging stations in the Netherlands is also increasing. But how does that work? Which plugs do you need and what do you pay? And how do you get such a pole at your house?
More and more you see them, especially in a big cities: parked electric cars next to a charging station.
Because the number of plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles is increasing, partly due to tax benefits, the number of charging stations in the Netherlands is also rising. Although the installation of charging stations according to the leading Foundation is not fast enough, there are now almost 6,000 charging stations where owners of electric cars can ‘refuel.’
Of these, there are over 3,500 public charging points that are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number of semi-public charging points, for example, supermarkets, is about 2,250. The availability depends on opening hours.
The number of fast-charging stations, where batteries can be charged within half an hour, is still very limited in the Netherlands, with just over 100 units around the turn of the year.
Where the charging stations are located, you can find on the site Oplaadpalen.nl, which also has apps for iOS and Android. You can use the corresponding route planner to map out a route from spot A to B that runs along charging stations so that you do not get stranded along the way.
You can also find out which charging stations are suitable for your car. Some electric vehicles can charge fast with direct current, such as the Nissan Leaf. Others can do that with alternating current, such as the Renault Zoe. Different charging stations are required for both cars, with different plugs and various capacities.
How do you know which charging station you should have? To make this clear, an explanation of the different charging methods is necessary.
Four Different Charging Methods
With electrical charging, you often come across the designation ‘modes.’ This means the technique that is used for charging. There are four different modes, the first three of which work with alternating current coming from the socket. Method 4 works with direct current.
- Mode 1 is charging with a standard 220 Volt power supply with a maximum of 10 Amps. This is not used for charging electric cars in principle, because no current limiter limits the load on the network. This makes it relatively unsafe.
- Mode 2 is charging with a fixed current limiter. This usually takes place at a standard socket or via a charging station at home. In the cable supplied with the car, a box with a current limiter is usually installed.
- Mode 3 is checked loading. Communication takes place between the car and the charger and only when a suitable charging current is ‘agreed’ between the car, and the charging pole is voltage applied to the socket. Mode 3 loading is therefore much safer than mode two loading.
- Mode 4 is charging with direct current. The charging port is in direct contact with the car battery and determines the entire charging process. Because the electricity network supplies alternating current, there is an inverter in the charging station. In mode 1, 2 and three the inverter is in the car itself.