Charging electric cars: What should you look out for when finding a public charging station?

With more and more people switching to electric cars, finding a public charging station has become essential for charging your car when you are away from home or the office. However, finding a public charging station can be tricky, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. In this blog, we explain how to find a public charging station and what to look out for when using it.

Search online for public charging stations

One of the easiest ways to find a public charging station is to search online. There are several websites and apps available that provide information on the location of public charging stations, such as the municipality’s website or the grid operator’s website. There are also apps such as the ‘EVBox Charge’ app or ‘ChargeMap’ that can help you find public charging stations. By entering your location, you can find the nearest public charging stations and get information on their availability and tariffs.

Check the availability of the charge post

Once you have found a public charging station, it is important to check if it is available. Some public charging stations are available 24/7, while others are only accessible during certain hours. In addition, public charging stations may be occupied by other electric cars, making charging your car impossible. It is therefore important to check whether the charging station is available before you go there.

Check the charging capacity of the charge post

Every public charging station has a charging capacity, which indicates how fast your car will be charged. This can range from 3.7 kW to 350 kW, depending on the type of charging station and the car you drive. It is therefore important to check what charging capacity the charge post has and whether it matches the charging capacity of your car. If your car has a faster charging capacity, it is better to look for a charge post with a higher charging capacity.

Payment method and costs

Most public charging stations nowadays have a payment system. Some charging stations only accept a charging card, while others accept payment via an app or credit card. It is therefore important to check which payment method is available and whether it is compatible with your payment method. In addition, you may have to pay to use the charging station. Charges can range from free to a few euros per hour.
It is important to check these charges before you start charging. Some charging stations have higher rates during peak hours, while others charge a flat rate per hour. Also note any transaction fees charged for using a charging card or app.

Pay attention to parking time

When using a public charging station, you should take into account that your car will remain parked while charging. It is therefore important to check how long your car may remain parked at the location of the charging station. Some municipalities have rules for parking electric cars at charging stations, such as a maximum parking time or an obligation to move the car after charging. It is important to know these rules to avoid any fines or parking problems.

Check site safety

When using a public charging station, it is also important to check the safety of the location. Make sure the location is well-lit and safe, especially if you need to charge in the evening or at night. Also, avoid remote areas or areas where crime is prevalent. If you don’t feel safe at the charging station location, find another location to charge.
In short, finding a public charging station can be challenging, but by searching online and considering availability, charging capacity, payment method and cost, parking time and safety of the location, you can make charging your electric car more efficient and safe.