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Charging & Range

Charging and range of your electric car

Flexible charging on the road or at home

Everything you need to know about charging your electric car

Charge up your knowledge here

How do you stay mobile with your electric car? Quite simply by charging the battery regularly! How easy it is, what different options are available, what you need to bear in mind, how often it's best to charge and how much time you should plan for it? Get all the answers here.
The difference between direct current and alternating current

Almost all of our household appliances are powered by alternating current, because this is the current provided by the European grid. However, devices with built-in batteries must be charged with direct current. This includes mobile phones - and also electric cars.

The European electricity grid is based on alternating current because this allows the electrical charge to be transported more efficiently over long distances - the flow of electricity constantly changes direction.

 

However, the lithium-ion battery in your electric car does not need alternating current, but direct current. Regardless of whether this current comes from a household socket or a wallbox - it must first be converted into direct current inside the vehicle using an on-board charger. And that takes time. Charging is therefore faster at a direct current fast charging station. The alternating current from the mains is converted into direct current and can be fed directly into the battery. Direct current fast charging stations are currently only available in public areas, but you can charge your electric car faster there than at any other power source.

 
What are phases? and why are three best?
In Europe, electrical energy is distributed via a 3-phase grid, so there are three lines that carry the electrical current. These are called phases. For most household appliances, one phase is sufficient, which is why all conventional household sockets are single-phase.
 

Larger appliances, such as those used in industry - but also the oven in the kitchen - are usually connected to three-phase alternating current. This so-called heavy current offers correspondingly higher power.

 

In some countries (e.g. France), private households are only connected to a single-phase network. Others, like Germany, are connected to a three-phase alternating current - which can of course also be used to charge your electric car. The charging speed increases significantly compared to single-phase charging.

What do kw and kwh stand for?
Kilowatt (kW) describes power output: namely, how much energy you consume or generates in a given moment. In contrast, the kilowatt hour is a measure of the amount of energy that is consumed or generated at a certain power level over a certain period of time.
 
No matter whether it is a television or an electric heater: almost all household appliances use kilowatts (kW). A kilowatt hour (kWh) corresponds to the energy that an electrical device (e.g. machine, light bulb) with a power of 1,000 watts absorbs or emits in one hour. That is why the battery size of an electric car is also given in kilowatt hours (kWh). For example, an Opel Corsa has a 50 kWh battery. And the power consumption per 100 km is also given in kWh.

You can charge your electric car practically anywhere

Charging systems for any requirement

Do you only charge your Opel electric car at home - or often on the move? Can you always take your time when charging - or does it have to be fast? We tell you which accessories suit your individual needs and where you can get them.

More about charging: costs, time, consumption

Why is there AC and DC charging, the difference between them - and how does it affect charging time and costs? Compare the charging times of different charging options and find out much more!
Solar power
With a photovoltaic system on your roof, you make yourself independent of electricity tariffs or public charging stations. However, if you want to charge with pure solar power, your photovoltaic system must be large enough and be able to provide at least 1.4 kW of solar power in addition to your current power consumption. If it produces less electricity, the rest is automatically drawn from the public grid during the charging process.
 
Charging at work
Is it possible to charge your private electric car or plug-in hybrid at your workplace? Why don't you ask? If employees can charge their cars at a permanently installed facility in the company, the charging current is even tax-exempt. If your employer doesn't offer this yet, it's worth asking. Not only does it score points in terms of environmental protection and sustainability - it can even earn money if it is made available to the public.
 
What about thunder and lightning?
You can charge your electric car in the rain and even during thunderstorms. Even when parked outside, it is equipped with a surge protection device - just like private and public charging stations. So there is no danger, even in the highly unlikely event that lightning strikes the charging station or your car. Nevertheless, you should still exercise the usual caution during a thunderstorm.
 

More on charging and range

HOW DOES THE ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING WORK?

All modern electric cars are powered by a lithium-ion battery. This stores direct current (DC). However, our European electricity grid only supplies alternating current (AC), which is why the on-board charger in the vehicle takes care of the conversion to direct current. This is different with a DC fast charging station: here, the alternating current from the grid is converted directly into direct current - which is why the charging process is so much faster.

HOW DO I CHARGE MY ELECTRIC CAR AT HOME?

For charging at home, we recommend installing an AC wallbox. Even with an energy transfer rate of up to 11 kW, charging is much faster than at a household socket, which is not really designed for such a high electrical output over an extended period. But it can come in useful if you are atfriend's house and need to charge your car for the return journey.

HOW CAN YOU CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR AT A MAINS SOCKET?

All you need to charge your electric car at a conventional socket is the standard type 2 charging cable that comes with your Opel. With a power socket, you always have a charging option close by, for example when you visit friends or family. However, the better way to charge your electric car at home is with a 3-phase wallbox. It makes charging safer and also significantly faster.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

You can charge your electric car particularly cheaply at a wallbox at home, because then you pay the currently valid electricity price per kilowatt hour. At a public charging station, the costs depend on the tariff of the energy supplier or provider and also on whether you are charging with alternating current or direct current. At a DC fast charging station, you can charge your battery to 80% in around 30 minutes - but this costs significantly more.