Fortum Charge & Drive

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Fortum Charge & Drive

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Oct 14, 2022·25 min read

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Everything you need to know about charging an electric car

Here you will learn everything about charging an electric car. You will learn how to charge your electric car at home, at work, in the housing cooperative or on the road. You will also find useful information about the kind of equipment you need, what sort of chargers to choose, the costs, and how you can make it easy to charge your electric car.

What does it cost to charge an electric car? 

When you charge your car at home, you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) used. Charging at home is cheaper than fast charging, which is a good option if you are going to drive a long distance. If you charge at a public charging station, you pay per minute, or a combination of the amount of energy (kWh) and the price per minute. 

Read the article: 33 reasons to own an electric car 

A simple rule of thumb is that home charging costs you around NOK 1 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). If you have an electric car with a battery capacity of around 30 kWh, it will cost you about NOK 30 to charge the battery from flat to full. Another rule of thumb is that it costs from NOK 1 to NOK 3 per 10 km when you have charged the electric car at home. This naturally depends on the car’s consumption. 

As most people charge at home on a daily basis, the monthly energy costs will be considerably lower than for petrol and diesel cars. 

Read the article: How to charge an electric car at the cabin 

When in the day does it make sense to charge the electric car? 

As the price of electricity varies through the day, it will be cheaper to charge when the price is low. Smart charging ensures that your car automatically charges in the “price troughs”, i.e. when electricity is cheapest. That way you can reduce your charging costs by up to 20%. 

Read the article: Smart charging reduces charging costs and is good for the environment 

Check out our popular smart charging service Fortum Smart Charging 

The electric car filling station 

When you have to drive a long way and don’t have access to a home charger, you can stop by the electric car ‘filling station’, i.e. a fast charger for electric cars. Fast charging transfers energy quicker than when you charge at home. Charging applications make it easy to find available charging stations along your route, but here it is important to check the prices from the different suppliers, as the pricing model varies. 

What are fast charging and ultra-fast charging? 

Fast charging is defined as a charging effect from 50 to 150 kWh, and ultra-fast charging from 150 kWh upwards. 

Read the article: Here you will find a list of all charging stations in Norway. 

Does it cost more to charge quickly? 

Yes, fast charging and ultra-fast charging cost more than home charging.  If you charge at home on a daily basis and use fast charging for longer trips, the total operating costs will still be far lower than with fossil fuels. 

Read the article: Watt? Do I have to pay by the minute for fast charging? 

Read more of what the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF) says about charging different types of electric vehicle 

A user is charging with Fortum charging key.

Charging and safety 

With the spread of electric cars in Norway, the need for charging points is also increasing. The cars need to be charged at home, at work and on the road. What implications does this have for electrical safety? 

Charging equipment for electric cars represents a new load on our electrical installations. If electric cars are to be charged in a safe and secure manner, it is important to lay down some rules. Here is some simple advice on safe charging of an electric car. 

A regular plug contact is not recommended The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) does not recommend charging from a normal socket with the charging cable supplied with your electric car. This should only be done as a last resort.  It is still legal to charge in this way, provided that the socket has its own fuse with a maximum of 10 A, and has a type B earth-fault circuit breaker. In any case, it is not a matter of plugging your electric car into just any socket.  If you use an approved socket for electric cars, you should also have a hook next to it to hang the charging cable so it does not hang loose and put unnecessary strain on the plug. Disadvantages of using a standard socket: 

  • Low output, takes a long time to charge. 

  • Can be a fire hazard if the system is not adapted for this use. 

  • Potential for misuse that puts a strain on the plug and may be a fire hazard. 

See also what electricians and the authorities say to NAF about charging via a socket Charging electric cars indoors is not dangerous This is a persistent myth that the fact-checkers at faktisk.no refuted in this article from 2020. 

The statistics show that electric cars catch fire far less often than petrol and diesel cars, whether or not they are charging. 

In the period 2016-2019, there were 60 electric car fires reported to DSB, against 2,651 fires recorded in petrol and diesel cars. 

DSB says there is no reason to prohibit the charging of electric cars indoors or in communal garages. On the contrary, DSB supports the introduction of electric cars and aims to promote good solutions for charging. 

See what the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection says about the fire risk with an electric car 

Is it dangerous to charge an electric car in the rain? 

It is not dangerous to charge the car in wet weather if you have an appropriately rated electrical system which has a separate circuit for the charging unit or matches the charging station. If you do not have a suitable, approved solution, this may be a fire hazard. 

Read the article: Smart charging reduces charging costs and is good for the environment 

Check out our popular smart charging service Fortum Smart Charging 

A user is charging his electric car at home

Technology for charging an electric car 

The various car manufacturers use different charging plugs in their electric cars, and most fast charging stations now have charging plugs that fit all electric cars. 

Charging terms: 

Standard plug and socket (Schuko) 

Most electric cars come with a cable for charging from a normal socket as standard. This charging method is relatively slow – around 2.3 kW per hour. It is also not designed to deliver a lot of power over a long period, and poor contact and dirt can lead to overheating. That is why charging cables with plugs are called emergency chargers, and they should not be used as a permanent charging solution. 

Charging standard Type 1 

Many Asian electric cars, such as the Kia Soul and older Nissan Leaf models, have this type of plug on the end of the cable that plugs into the car. It is common for charging cables to have a Type 1 plug at one end and a standard household plug (Schuko) or Type 2 plug at the other end.  

Type 1 - SAE J1772 model explanation

Charging standard Type 2 

Type 2 connectors are the new standard for charging electric cars, and are used by all European electric car manufacturers. They have a greater capacity for current transfer than Type 1 connectors. The Volkswagen eGolf, BMW i3 and Tesla are examples of cars with a Type 2 connector. With Type 2 you can charge at a much higher rate than with Type 1 or Schuko. 

Electric cars with a Type 1 connector can also use charging stations with a Type 2 connector, as long as you have a charging cable with a Type 1 on the end that plugs into the car and a Type 2 on the end that plugs into the charging station.  

Type 2-IEC 62196-2: EV charger explanation

Charging standard CHAdeMO 

Originally a Japanese charging standard, now also used by Peugeot, Citroen and Kia on their electric cars. Used today by Citroen C-Zero, Citroen Berlingo, Kia Soul, Nissan Leaf, Nissan e-NV200, Mitsubishi i-Miev, Peugeot Partner and Peugeot iOn. Tesla can also use this standard with the aid of an adapter, but charging will be slower than with Tesla’s own Supercharger. CHAdeMO can charge up to 63 kW per hour. 

Charging standard Combo/CCS 

As the name suggests, Combo/CCS is a combination solution, and this charging standard has been developed by American and European car manufacturers, and satisfies many users. When you use a fast charger, the plug uses both ports. One part (with three pins) communicates with the car, while the other transports the electricity. Combo/CCS is currently used by the BMW i3, Hyundai Ioniq, Opel Ampera-e, VW e-Golf and VW e-UP, among others. This can theoretically provide 100 kW per hour, but in practice it delivers around 50 kW per hour at public charging points. 

Read Teknisk Ukeblad’s guide to choosing the right charging cable here. 

Maintenance of the charging equipment for the electric car 

The charging equipment in the electric car needs regular maintenance, and both the technical components and software should be updated when necessary. Here are some good tips: 

  • Read through and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. 

  • Check the charging cable, plugs and sockets regularly for visible damage, cracks and signs of overheating (soot and brown marks on the plastic). Damaged equipment must not be used. 

  • If the plug gets abnormally hot when in use, both the plug and the socket must be checked for faults. Look for discoloration of the plastic on the moulded plug and the plastic around the contact holes in the socket. If this is brown or black, it must not be used. 

  • Do not make changes to the charging system and associated equipment. The charging system means everything from the socket in the wall through to the charging electronics/software in the car. 

See also Falck’s 10 useful tips on maintaining your electric car 

A lady is charging her electric car in a forest

Charging an electric car at home

Read this before ordering a home charging station for your electric car

What kind of electric car do you have? What kind of charger do you want? Are you going to charge one or two cars? Is the electrical system in the home sized for the load imposed by charging the electric car? And do you know the rules and guidelines for charging electric cars?

There are various suppliers and solutions, and it pays to talk to professionals who know about electric cars before you order a charging station. Here is elbil24’s guide to everything you need to know about home charging.

Who sells and installs home chargers?

There are many suppliers of home chargers and there are also different services. It is a good idea to check what is on offer from several suppliers before making a decision.

Plug and socket versus charging station

Most people with an electric car charge it at home. The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) recommends installing a wall-mounted charging station to charge the car. The reason for this is that normal sockets are not designed for the load placed on them by charging an electric car. In the worst case, this could cause a fire.

Not only is the socket itself a weak point, the power cables running from the fuse box to the socket may be undersized for charging an electric car. They may also be old and worn, which increases the chance of an accident from overheating of the cables hidden in the wall, for example. Not necessarily the first time you charge the car, but after prolonged use. DSB has therefore ruled that if you want to utilise the maximum charging capacity of the electric car, you are not permitted to charge the car from a normal socket.

Is your electrical system good enough to charge an electric car at home?

The first electric cars that came out could not take on as much power as they can now. Current and future electric cars have bigger batteries and pose a big challenge to the electrical systems in many thousands of Norwegian homes. This is the “evolution of charging” where we can simply say that the new electric cars have overtaken the electricians in their development. This new technology places new demands on you and on your electrical system, and there is a lot of technical terminology to deal with. We have produced a brief summary to make it easier to understand.

There are three types of charging: fast charging, semi-fast charging and normal charging. Normal charging is the most practical and cost-effective option. There must be one outlet per car, and each outlet must be individually protected by a current-controlled earth fault circuit breaker with a tripping current of 30mA, of type B. There are also three different ways to normally charge the electric car: Mode 1, Mode 2 and Mode 3. And there are two plug types with some variations at the car end: Type 1 and Type 2.

When the charging station is to be installed, you may also come across terms such as single-phase and three-phase, and names for different types of power grid in the area where you live. You will also encounter the terms kilowatt, ampere and volt when choosing your charging station.

In order to charge correctly and according to the regulations, it is wise to talk to professionals who know more about this than you do. Because it should be safe and easy to drive an electric car.

Useful terms:

· Watts (W): Power transferred from charger to car. A kilowatt (kW) is one thousand watts

· Amps (A): Current transferred from charger to car. Fused to 10A (house), 16A (special socket) and up to 32A for home charging

· Volts (V): Electric tension/potential difference. In the house, 230 volts. Can be increased to 400 volts with a transformer.

· Type 1: Plug for charging from normal domestic supply, max 7.4 kW

· Type 2: Plug for high-speed charging, max 43 kW

· Mode 1: Charging with standard power cable

· Mode 2: Charging with a control box on the cable

· Mode 3: Charging from a charging station with a built-in control box

· Mode 4: Charging with direct current direct to the battery (fastest)

· Single-phase: Charging with two wires (for both Type 1 and Type 2)

· Three-phase: Charging with three wires (for Type 2 only)

· IT network: 230 volts (most usual in Norway)

· TN network: 400 volt (supply to many houses built after 1997)

· TT network: 230 volts with earth at the neutral terminal on the transformer (Agder and parts of Western Norway) Read the article: The charging terms you need to know to be a professional electric car ownerbileier

What happens to my electricity bill when I buy an electric car?

When you charge your car at home, you pay per kilowatt used. According to Statistics Norway, Norwegian passenger cars drove an average of 11,152 kilometres a year in 2020. Charging the electric car costs NOK 1.5 to 2 per 10 km when it is charged at home. This gives the following equation:

11,150 km * NOK 2 = NOK 2,230

If we round up at each stage, this means that the electricity bill will increase by NOK 2,500 a year for an average motorist who buys an electric car. So your electricity bill will only go up by a little over NOK 200 a month.

How to charge cheaply with a smart home charger

The new smart home chargers are designed to monitor your electricity consumption and adjust the charging times to when prices are low and consumption generally is low. With the new technology that is on the way, you will be able to control the home charger via an app which charges the car when the electricity is cheapest. If you want to be at the leading edge of technology, it could pay to buy a dual charger now, because electric cars are here to stay and it is not impossible that you will have two or more rechargeable cars in the future. Read the article: Smart charging is the charging method of the future

Do I need a dual charger at home?

The capacity in the home could soon become a challenge as more households are choosing electric cars, or even several rechargeable cars in the same family. The battery capacity in the new electric cars is increasing and this creates a greater need for organised charging of electric vehicles. If you have more than one electric car, you should either invest in an upgraded electricity supply to the home or spend a lot of time planning how to get through the day while charging both cars for the next day. With a dual charger, you will be better prepared for the future and can provide for more capacity and faster charging for several cars.

Is there a difference between charging a hybrid and an electric car at home?

Many people think that a rechargeable hybrid (also known as a plug-in hybrid) requires less electricity than a pure electric car. This is not true. It takes just as much electricity and it can be just as dangerous to charge a hybrid from a socket as a pure electric car, so the same regulations apply as for an electric car.

I am a tenant and would like a home charger - how can I raise this with the landlord?

You are not entitled to a home charger for an electric car if you rent your home. There are many good arguments for choosing a home charger rather than charging from a socket, and you can take this up with your landlord. A rental property with charging facilities provided is attractive on the rental market, and an approved charging station is a safer and better choice for both landlord and tenant. Home chargers and possible upgrades to the electrical system cost money, but for the property owner this can be a good investment for future tenants.

Do I need my own charging station at the cabin?

The same requirements for electrical safety apply to cabins as to private homes in Norway, but there will often a more limited grid connection to the cabin. If you have to charge the car, it is therefore important to check the electrical system before you charge at a cabin you are not familiar with. If you charge the electric car from a regular socket and not via an approved charging box, this will increase the risk of overheating and fire, especially on old electrical installations. If you are visiting a cabin which does not have its own charging station, it could be a good idea to check out charging facilities along the way. Remember to bring a charging cable with you.

If it is your own cabin and you want to charge the car while you are there, you should check the capacity of the electrical system. If you use the cabin often, it is both easier and safer to install a separate charging station.

Above all, avoid using extension leads. Read the article: How to charge an electric car at the cabin

Will a home charger increase the value of my home?

Estate agents follow the trends and they have started to highlight home chargers for electric cars in their property ads. The real estate industry thinks it is too early to say right out that charging points increase the value of homes, but emphasises that this does have a positive effect on marketing. The more people who come to view a property, the more chance of getting a good price.

Are you about to sell your home and want to make it attractive to electric car owners before the viewing? There are different types of charging stations for different types of cars, and making technical provision for later installation of a charging station with its own circuit or socket can have a positive effect on the sale. Read the article: How to start smart charging your electric car

Charging an electric car in a housing cooperative or condominium

Charging an electric car in a housing cooperative or condominium

Should the housing cooperative install charging stations?

Shared charging stations in housing cooperatives and condominiums can present challenges as charging several cars at the same time can place an extra heavy load on the electrical system, and many cooperatives and condominiums have old and outdated installations. There are smart systems for what is called load management which prevent the system from being overloaded when several people want to charge at the same time.

If not everyone in a housing cooperative or condominium wants to take on the cost of a charging station right away, there are good interim solutions. Rails can be installed with fittings ready to use. The electrician can then install charging stations as and when required.

Tips for fitting a charging station

· Check existing facilities. Get in touch with a local electrical fitter to obtain an assessment of the existing installation and a description of the work that needs to be done. Produce a requirements specification and ask for a quotation.

· It is up to the housing association itself to decide whether the users should pay for the establishment and operation of charging points, or whether this should be included in the shared costs.

Can I charge an electric car in my housing cooperative?

The rules from the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) for charging electric cars also apply to housing cooperatives and others with shared garage facilities. You can upgrade individual spaces, but it is recommended that upgrades should be undertaken collectively. This will reduce the costs on the individual spaces, and it makes sense to provide for shared power management systems. It is important to remember that it you are not permitted to charge from an ordinary socket in a garage.

What rules apply to charging electric cars in housing cooperatives and condominiums?

New rules for charging electric cars in condominiums came into force from 1 January 2018, and from 1 January 2021, the same rules were extended to housing cooperatives. Residents now have the right to fit a charging point by their own parking space. Alternatively, charging points can be installed in another part of the common area so they are accessible to more people. The decision has to be approved by the management committee, and consent can only be refused on factual grounds. The factual grounds may be capacity limitations in the electric grid. It is advisable to clarify this with the management committee before you purchase an electric car.

This way, you can spread the costs of installing charging stations in the condominium.

The condominium itself will decide whether the users should pay for the establishment and operation of charging points, or whether this should be included in the shared costs. This should be discussed with the management committee and raised at the general meeting. It is good for the whole of the condominium for charging points and good parking facilities to be provided for the residents, as this can increase the value of the homes in the long term.

Read more about electric car charging in condominiums and housing cooperatives on the National Federation of House Owners (Huseierne) website.

Charging an electric car at the workplace

How can you persuade your boss to provide charging facilities at the workplace?

More and more people are driving electric cars to and from work, and the demand for charging facilities at the workplace is rising fast. For the employer, it is helpful to provide new technology and environmentally friendly alternatives which address logistical issues for the employees. This enhances reputation and employee satisfaction, and smart solutions also make for more attractive workplaces.

Do you get tax breaks for charging an electric car at work?

Parking spaces at the workplace are not taxable benefits to the employee and do not have to be declared. This applies when the employer makes owned or rented spaces available to the employees, and also applies to charging stations for electric cars.

Where the employer reimburses the employee’s costs for parking, this will be a taxable benefit to the employee. Read article from elbil24: Here are the rules if you have an electric car as a company vehicle

Tax rules

· The employer can cover the electricity costs for charging your company car at home without you incurring more tax.

· The same applies to expenses for using fast chargers.

· It does not apply to the installation of smart chargers at home. This is covered by your taxable salary, because a smart charger increases the value of your home.

Does the employer lose money because employees have to stop en route to charge the car?

An extensive network of charging stations has been established in Norway, and it is easy to charge your electric car en route if necessary. Fast-charging the car takes longer than filling a petrol tank, but it is a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice which should count for more than lost working time. Providing separate charging stations at the workplace minimises the need to charge en route.

Mileage allowance

You get the same mileage allowance for using an electric car on business as you do for a fossil fuel-powered car. Electric cars used to have a separate, slightly higher rate. In 2021, all motorists will be entitled to NOK 4.03 per kilometre driven. This rate applies regardless of mileage and covers trips in Norway and abroad.

Charging an electric car on the road

How much does it cost to fast-charge the car at a charging station?

The different suppliers have different prices for fast charging in Norway. Charging at medium-fast charging stations, which provide an output of up to 22 kW, is cheaper than fast charging.

See overview of charging prices with the various suppliers from the Norwegian EV Association (Elbilforeningen) here

How long does it take to charge the electric car when I’m on the move?

A general rule is that the higher the output (kW), the faster the car will be charged. How quickly the car is charged depends on which electric car you have and how much charge you have in the battery. Different cars can handle different outputs depending on the battery components and the voltage. At fast charging stations, it is usual to charge only to the level you need, and you do not generally need to charge to 100%.

It is cheaper and better to make two shorter stops than to charge over 80-90% to get to your destination. This is because the cars reduce their charging effect from around 70-90% depending on the model. A good tip here is to find the charging curve for your car. This can save you time and money.

Read the article: Why your electric car is slower to charge in the winter cold

At a fast charging station which provides 50 kilowatts (kW) of power, it will take around 20-30 minutes to charge a normal electric car from 20 to 80%. If it is winter and the battery is cold, it may take longer. So it always pays to drive for a while to warm up the battery before you fast-charge.

See article from the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF): How far you can go on 25 minutes’ charge with different models of car

It’s good to go for a car with a battery heater, so you can charge much faster in the winter. In the summer, you have the opposite problem, and electric cars with battery cooling will charge much faster on hot days. This is an important point if you drive a lot on the motorway and need several stops at fast chargers on the same trip.

How do I use the fast charging stations when I need to charge an electric car on the road?

Fast charging stations are the electric car’s answer to petrol stations. There are several thousand fast charging stations in Norway run by different operators with different prices and payment systems. To pay for charging, you can open an account, use charging chips, a mobile app or SMS.

Read the article: Is the electric car battery damaged by too much fast charging?

See also overview of charging prices and payment systems with the various suppliers from the Norwegian EV Association here

How to drive tactically on a long trip

If you’re going on a long trip with an electric car, it’s a good idea to plan your charging beforehand and check availability before you set off. Plan your route day by day, and calculate your charging needs accordingly. There are also apps that identify the next charging station and tell you whether it is free. Just to be on the safe side, you should always have a type 2 charging cable with you when you travel.

See NAF’s charging tips for electric cars and how to plan your journey

Charging tips in winter

· Park in the warmest possible place

· Set a timer on the charger so the car is fully charged just before you want to go. You will then start with a battery which has a better operating temperature (the optimum temperature is 20 degrees).

· The heater is a drain on your range. Turn down the temperature in the passenger compartment, use heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

· Inflate your tyres 10% more than recommended in the instruction book, because the tyre pressure is affected by the outside temperature.

· Drive as smoothly as possible. Avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration.

· Use cruise control and always keep to the speed limit.

Charging space or parking space?

There are many charging points that are also parking spaces, but as an electric car owner it is important to show consideration. You should not take up a charging space if you do not need to top up and there are others waiting. The charging tips are simple rules of thumb for anyone who drives an electric car, and they offer good advice on what to think about when you are driving and what to consider on the road and when you park.

Read the article: Charging tips to bear in mind

Check out our popular smart charging service Fortum Smart Charging