Electric mobility is going to have a lasting impact on how we refuel our vehicles. Ultimately, you no longer need to drive to a petrol station. You can charge the battery in your electric car almost anywhere: at home from a domestic/Schuko socket, from a Wallbox, at public charging points or rapid charging stations. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll soon find that it is almost as easy as charging your smartphone.
A Wallbox is a high-power socket that is mounted on the wall for use at home. This is an optional extra and currently supplies you with a maximum charging output of 11 kW. If you charge your electric car at an optional Wallbox, you simply need to connect the plug of the charging cable to the socket on your vehicle and it will start to charge. It is equally convenient to charge at charging stations, for example if your employer provides one. These usually have a tethered charging cable. If there is no tethered cable at a public charging station, you can simply use the charging cable supplied with your vehicle, which you should always carry in your boot.
Charging is also essentially divided into two types. With AC charging, the on-board AC/DC charger converts the power from the public AC grid into the required direct current.
With the second type of charging – DC charging – the alternating current is converted into direct current before it reaches the vehicle – for example in the charging station. The advantage of this is that it enables a higher output during charging – for example on the motorway – and this automatically reduces the time needed to charge.
Plug in, charge up, unlock and disconnect – it’s as easy as that to charge your electric car. In recent years, two types of charging connectors have become established as the standard in Europe.
The Mennekes connector (Type 2) is for slow charging and meets the European standard for AC charging. Most public charging stations have at least a Type 2 socket.
AC charging for the MEB operates at 7 to 11 kW. If you have a Wallbox at home, you can recharge the vehicle every night with 11 kW. You should also be able to recharge the energy needed for commuting during your day at work.
In Europe, CCS charging (Combined Charging System) is the standard for rapid charging. The relevant charging connector features additional contacts for DC rapid charging. The Combo 2 connector type allows you to charge at all public charging stations with a DC charging output of 22 kW or more.
Simple rule of thumb says: the higher the charging power, the faster the charging process. However, the time needed can vary considerably, depending on the battery charge state. When recharging the battery, conditions such as the ambient temperature or the battery temperature also play a role. If, for example, you charge your ID. at a domestic/Schuko socket, you can cover your daily needs with a convenient overnight charge at 2,3 kW per hour. A Wallbox or AC charging station is faster.
The fastest way to charge is to use High Power Charging (HPC) stations with a charging output of 100 kW or more. In general, we recommend that you do not charge your electric car fully every day. This protects the battery¹.
¹ The time to completely recharge your battery depends on the performance of the charging infrastructure and the charge status of your battery as well as the external temperatures. This applies for both AC charging (single phase or three phase) and DC charging (currently 50 kW to more than 100 kW). As a rule, we recommend that you don’t fully recharge the battery every time to optimise the battery’s service life.