Torque Shop

On average, I drive 45 to 50km a day, which seems to be well within the range of most electric cars. What are the different schemes to replenish the battery pack and are there any special precautions owners must be aware of when charging their cars?

Most electric vehicles (EVs) today can easily travel 200km on a full battery. The range, of course, depends on driving habits and how much auxiliary power is consumed. For example, accelerating rapidly all the time will deplete the battery quickly.

EV battery systems are designed to maintain a charge of about 20 per cent, which means they will never deplete to zero. Similarly, when charging, the batteries achieve 80 per cent within a "reasonable" time while the last 20 per cent is at a markedly slower rate.

The authorised dealer of an EV model can supply a wall-mounted unit for home charging. Note, however, that a 230-volt single-phase residential line for EV charging must be a dedicated supply capable of 20amps. Charging this way takes between six and eight hours.

Public charging stations are growing in numbers here. An EV can be charged at any of the existing public stations, which are accessed via mobile phone app.

A few of these stations also offer fast charging, which can charge up to 90 per cent in less than half an hour.

Consult your dealer for details on charging time. Bear in mind that using the fast charger frequently could deplete the storage capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack over time.

In any case, if you have your own private charging wall-box, charging overnight will be more than sufficient.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2019, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe