The difference between fast charging and smart charging - Clarifying the concepts

Having good access to charging opportunities is a prerequisite for flexible and smooth electric car ownership. Let smart charging be the foundation of your charging routine and consider fast charging along the roads as a supplement and a spice for long journeys. This advice comes from Kurt Högnelid, CEO of Waybler.

Smart charging is the regular charging you do at home or at work. Smart charging entails charging solutions that enable as many people as possible to drive an electric car in a cost-effective manner.

“An average passenger car is parked 95 percent of the 24 hours in a day. Smart charging is about utilizing that time as efficiently as possible to achieve optimal and cost-effective charging. Moreover, the majority of all car trips are between home and work or when running errands in the local area. In daily life, smart charging is fully sufficient for the vast majority of electric car owners,” says Kurt Högnelid.

Fast charging is time-efficient but more expensive

Fast charging refers to the charging options offered along the roads when electric car owners embark on longer journeys. A fully charged electric car needs to be charged again after an average of 300 kilometers, which means that a long trip of, for example, 600 kilometers from Stockholm to Malmö requires a charging stop along the way.

“Fast charging is considerably more expensive than smart charging, simply because fast charging stations offer time-efficient charging for those on the road. It’s possible to charge the battery to almost full in just over 20 minutes. Although fast charging costs significantly more than smart charging, it should still be considered an important supplement, especially for those going on summer vacations. Even if the occasional charging costs a bit more than usual, the cost of electricity for driving an electric car is always much lower than for a gasoline-powered car,” says Kurt Högnelid.

Planning enables smart charging even while on the move

Currently, there is a powerful expansion of the Swedish fast charging network underway, which is, of course, positive and provides increased freedom for all electric car owners in the country. At the same time, the smart charging network is expanding, making it easier for those driving longer distances to also charge smartly.

“With a little planning, such as checking the smart charging possibilities at the hotels you’ll be staying at, it’s entirely possible to charge smartly even on the move,” says Kurt Högnelid.

“The majority of electric car owners attest to how convenient it is to avoid going to the gas station to refuel their cars. It saves time in everyday life and allows you to focus on things other than searching for the nearest gas station or taking a detour to refuel. For new electric car owners, it’s about changing their mindset. Many are used to constantly having to check how much gas is left in the tank and plan their driving patterns accordingly. Charging electric cars is best done when the car is parked for a longer period. If you apply the same charging pattern to your electric car as you do to your computer or mobile phone, you’re on the right track,” says Kurt Högnelid.

To sum up flexible and smooth electric car ownership, the key is planning. When possible, it’s both cost-effective and time-saving to utilize smart charging, meaning charging for an extended period at a designated destination. Sometimes, of course, it’s necessary to use fast charging during longer journeys. Therefore, before longer trips with your electric car, it’s a good idea to review your charging options during the journey using the various services available for this purpose.

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