How to find the charging stations that are compatible with my car?
Here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
On which connectors can I plug my car?
Use the search filters to show only the charging stations that are compatible with your vehicle. Before going on a trip, check that your charging cables are in your car.
Does my car sustain the maximum power delivered by the station?
Example: I drive a Nissan Leaf, the car can charge at 50 kW in DC current (Chademo plug) and 6,6 kW in AC current (Typ 2 or Typ 1 plug for the first generation of the Leaf). So I look for Chademo plugs in priority on Chargemap to get the fastest charging station, and the speed of charge 7-11 kW to get the mid-accelerated charging stations.
If you drive a vehicle that does not accept the fast charge (from 43kW to 350kW), avoid using the fast charger because you will block it as it could be more useful to others, you will need more time than them to charge your car and the charging might be more expensive for you because some of these stations bill the charge by the time spent plugged in at the station.
To know for sure the capacity of charge of your vehicle, you can check this website which list each specificity of each electric car(it is in french, but all you need to do is type the brand of your car in the search engine to find its technical file, and click on "Recharge" to know everything about the charging of you car): https://www.automobile-propre.com/voitures/
What is the level of my battery?
If your battery in 80% full, we discourage that you start a charge, because it will take a lot of time to get to 100%, the power of charging decreases from 80% of your battery so it suffers no damages.
If the level of autonomy left on your battery is lower than 20%, you can use fast charging station in you are in a hurry, and that your vehicle can accept 43kW in AC current or 50kW in DC current (30min of charge in average), but prefer the mid-accelerated (<= 16kW) or accelerated (<=22kW) chargers if you have more time to spend (1 to 2h of charge in average).
Do not wait until your car indicate that the level of your battery is low. We advise that you look for a charge point as soon as your battery level approaches or goes under the 20% left.
Can I charge at a charging station at the same time than another car?
Some charging stations allows two car to charge at the same time. The power is then split between the vehicles, so you will not be able to charge at full speed.
For instance, if you charge your Renault Zoé on a 22kW station: if you are alone, you will get 22kW. If another vehicle comes and starts charging, both of you will be able to get 11kW tops.
How long will I have to charge?
The time needed to charge a car depends on the capacity of the station and of your vehicle. In order to avoid bad surprises (expensive charges because the station bills at the time spent and the power is not adapted to your car), use a simulator of time for charging, it will allow you to estimate the time needed for your electric or hybrid car to get a full charge according to these criteria.
It is also good to know that the power delivered by a station might also depend on the temperature of your battery. During winter, it is normal that the power delivered is lower than expected. So estimate that the time needed to charge you battery will be extended if the outside temperature is around 0°C (32°F) or below.