Charging & Range

How to charge your electric car

Charging your electric car is simple. Just plug it in to a suitable power source and it will charge up. But there are several factors that affect how quickly your car charges. Here’s our guide.

Illustration of a man plugging in his ID.3 to charge

AC and DC charging

The UK National Grid supplies power in a form called Alternating Current (AC). This has to be converted to a form called Direct Current (DC) before it can charge your car battery.

The conversion from AC to DC can either be done by your car, or it can be done by the charger. Chargers that supply DC are faster than chargers that supply AC.

Types of charger

3-pin household wall socket

This is typically the slowest way to charge up. Many drivers using this method choose to charge their cars overnight. This supplies power to your car as AC. 


Your Wallbox is more powerful than an ordinary household socket and will need to be professionally installed at your home. Fortunately, there are grants available to help with the cost. For residential and commercial wallboxes there are different power outputs available :

  • Slow (3kW - 7kW): Between 1.6 and 3 times faster than a 3-pin plug. 
  • Fast (7.1kW - 22kW): From 3 to 10 times faster than a 3-pin plug. 

Public and on-the-road charging can also offer the following power outputs. 

  • Rapid (23kW - 50kW)
  • Ultra Rapid (100kW - 350kW).

Its important to check for availability in your area if you are relying on public rapid or ultra rapid charging. 

Find out more about home wall box charging

Illustration of an ID.3 being charged from a wallbox and a child playing football

Rapid charger

These are usually found in motorway services or on main roads. They use a high power AC or DC supply to get you charged up in minutes instead of hours. Incredibly, they’re capable of charging your electric vehicle to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. 

Find out more about charging on the go

Illustration: charging at a motorway services charging station

Types of connector

There are two types of connector you can plug into your electric Volkswagen.

Mennekes (Type 2)

This is the type of connector that plugs into your car if you are charging from a 3-pin household socket or a Wallbox. Most public charging stations have at least a Mennekes (Type 2) socket.

Illustration with a lady holding a Mennekes Connector.

CSS (Combined Charging System/Combo)

This is the type of connector that plugs into your car for rapid charging. The CSS/Combo connector type allows you to charge at all public charging stations with a DC charging output of 22 kW or more.

Other connectors exist, such as Type 1, CHAdeMo and Schuko, but these are not compatible with your Volkswagen.

Illustration with a lady holding a Combo 2 connector.

Other factors

There are other factors that may affect how fast your electric car charges. These include:

  • Temperature (very hot or very cold)
  • How full the battery is (charging the last 20% of capacity is slower)
  • How much power the vehicle can accept (each vehicle has a built-in limit)

In general, we recommend that you do not charge your electric car fully every day. This protects the battery.


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How far can your electric car go?

Lithium-ion batteries, of the type used in most electric vehicles (including Volkswagen electric vehicles) have a restricted lifespan. Battery capacity will reduce over time, with use and charging. Reduction in battery capacity will affect the performance of the vehicle, including the range achievable, and may impact resale value. New car performance figures (including battery capacity and range) may be provided for the purposes of comparison between vehicles. You should not rely on new car performance figures (including battery capacity and range), in relation to used vehicles with older batteries, as they will not reflect used vehicle performance in the real world. For further information on battery degradation/preservation please visit: