Modern innovations in technology and the government’s ban on the manufacture of new petrol and diesel commercial vehicles by 2030, steer us towards an exciting future for electric cars. Now more popular than ever before, electric vehicles are making their way to the forefront of the automobile industry. With huge investments being made in UK charging infrastructure, the EV market is set to accelerate even faster.
However, like any form of technology, issues can rise unexpectedly, and the last thing you need is ‘range anxiety’. Which is why we want to prepare you for some of the most common issues you might come across. In this article we will provide you with the information you need to recognise these faults, and how they can be fixed.
Common problems when charging electric vehicles
With any electrical innovation, there are always a few common problems that can arise, and these can lead to frustration. However, if you know what to look out for, you will be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Some of the main problems drivers face when charging an electric car are:
- Incompatible cable connectors
- Unsure whether to use extension leads
- Faulty pod points
- Automatic timer settings
- Incorrect RFID cards
Let’s take a look at each of these issues.
What if my electric car cable is incompatible with my vehicle?
There are a few different kinds of charging connectors available, and you will have to check that your car is compatible with your chosen charging point. For example, home and public chargers are compatible with a portable cable, whereas rapid charge points always have a tethered cable.
If you find that the connector on your cable does not fit, then the chances are that you have the wrong fitting. If you are unsure whether you have the correct cable to charge your vehicle, you can double check with your manufacturer on their website, or by contacting a representative. Try our easy vehicle selection tool to find the right EV cable for your car.
Can I use an extension lead to charge my electric car?
The simple answer is no. As electric vehicles require more power to charge than electrical household appliances. Domestic extension leads should not be used to charge your EV. In some rare cases, serious damage or fires can be caused, however, the most likely scenario is that the connection will simply not work due to a loose/faulty circuit.
If you find that your EV cable does not stretch far enough, and you cannot park your car any closer, you might be interested in our 10 metre EV charging cable.
What should I do if I come across a faulty charging point?
One of the reasons your electric car is not charging could simply be that the charging point you are using is faulty, potentially due to overuse, as well as other issues. After checking your cable and connection, if you’re still unsure whether the point is working or not, you can run a simple diagnostic through your app, which will tell you if there is a problem with the charging point you have chosen.
If there is a problem, you should report the issue to the operator so that an engineer can come and have a look at it. Zap-Map have listed the main charging networks in the UK, along with their operators, locations, and fees.
What are automatic timers for electric cars?
When using an electric car charging app, you might pre-set your app to an automatic timer, this could prevent you from charging at certain times of the day. Automatic timers monitor the cheapest times to charge your car, usually overnight, according to your energy provider and tariff.
However, this can be easily fixed within a matter of seconds, all you need to do is check your settings and adjust your timer accordingly.
What is an RFID card?
As an alternative to using an app, an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card can be used to top-up your EV. This is linked to a payment account in your name. Like a pre-payment card, the RFID card requires topping up with funds before it can be used.
According to Which? there are a number of different RFID cards available for various charging networks, and station brands. With the rise in charging infrastructure, hopefully in the future RFID cards will become more universal. But until then, it is important to check beforehand that you have the correct card or app, that is compatible with your chosen charging station.
Why is my electric car slow at charging?
All electric vehicles charge quickly up to 80%. However, after an 80% charge has been achieved, your car will continue charging at a much slower pace. This feature helps sustain and protect the battery of your vehicle.The good news is that you will probably never need to charge your vehicle to 100% capacity.
On the other hand, if your EV is charging slowly below the 80% threshold, then there could be a problem with the charging port on your EV, or your cable connector. However, this could also just be an indication of the small battery capacity for your electric vehicle, so it might be worth checking with the manufacturer beforehand. Please see the RAC’s article on electric car charging speeds for more information.
Want to know more about charging electric cars? You might be interested in our previous posts: How long does it take to charge an electric car? & How to charge an electric car at home in 10 easy steps.