Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about ordering, paying, installation, charging stations and charging cards can be found here.
Charging point and charge card (13)
Settlement is the reimbursement of the electricity charged at home (kWhs) by the employer. A smart charging station with a back office subscription is the most practical for this. This combination ensures that the charged kWhs are charged to the employer on a monthly basis and paid out to you.
Collection and payment is done by the back office supplier, who charges a monthly fee in the form of a subscription. The costs of this subscription are usually between €4 and €5 per month.
What if a car is driven over the charging cable?
If you drive over your charging cable, it probably doesn't have to be a big deal. However, there are a lot of cables in that large cable (7 in total). These 7 cables communicate with the charging point and transmit power. These loose cables can be damaged by the pressure of the car. For example, the pressure can cause a kink in the wire and therefore have more resistance. Due to this resistance, the current cannot flow properly and the cable becomes warmer than normal. That heat cannot be converted into energy and the car therefore charges less quickly. Ultimately, it can also lead to a possible fire hazard. If in doubt about this, it is wise to consult the electrician. In addition, always make sure that the cable is properly stored and that no other cars can easily drive over it.
Can a charging station withstand the Dutch weather?
A charging station is made to stand in all kinds of weather. It is good to know that a charging station is a product made of plastic and metal. So if there is a lot of sun, wind, snow or freezing, it may be that the charging point can wear out over time. It is ultimately a piece of electronics. If it gets too cold (-30/-40 degrees), the charge point may switch itself off. But generally they are made to be outdoors. So they can handle the Dutch weather.
Delayed charging means that you pre-set when you want to charge or when you want the car to be fully charged. Delayed charging can be set up via your car, charging station or via a third service party. We have explained these 3 options in more detail below:
1. Delayed charging via your car. Each EV has its own setting for this. As an example Tesla. In the Tesla (app) you can set it to be full at a certain time. For example at 7 o'clock in the morning. The Tesla then calculates itself when it should start charging. With other EVs you have to set the start moment. For example, you set 23:00 and the car then stops charging when the battery is full.
2.Delayed charging via the charging station. Charging stations often also have different options for delayed charging. With the Wallbox and Easee Home, for example, you can indicate whether you want to charge once or repeatedly at a certain time.
3. Delayed Loading as Third Party Services. There are also third parties that take over the loading for you as a service. You download the app that you connect either to your car or to your charger and you give the 'key' of charging to this party, as it were. They see when the current is lowest and ensure that your EV is charged. You can still use delayed charging or indicate that you want a full battery at a certain time. This is easy to enter in the app. The App will then take this into account. A great service, especially because they claim to be able to offer you cheaper electricity, so that you ultimately spend less on electricity costs (including the costs of the service) or even receive money for this. Examples of these parties are Stekker.app or Jedlix.
We have a 2-year warranty on all ChargeMakers charging stations sold. On the Easee even 3 years. This warranty applies if there is a problem with the charge point. Before this warranty is given, the manufacturer of the charge point does expect that the following steps have been completed:
- The installer who installed the charge point will be the first to visit support or remotely view what the problem is or could be. This can be for several reasons such as an error during the installation, settings that are not correct, internet connection, incorrect use by the user or the charger itself is not working. So make sure you know who is going to do the installation during installation. If the installation has gone through ChargeMakers, we will arrange this initial support. If the installation did not go through ChargeMakers, you will first have to contact this installer or the company.
- If the problem cannot be solved immediately by the installer, the manufacturer will be called in. Each manufacturer uses different procedures. From sending the current charging station before sending a new one to sending a technician first. It is good to view the conditions on the website of the relevant charging station.
How does a charging station work explained in 2 steps.
Step 1: The charging station has a direct connection to the meter box
Many people think that a charging point is a socket for an electric car. Basically that's true. But you mainly have a charging point for the safety. So what a charging point does is connect it directly to your meter box with one cable with its own group and its own ground fault. So he doesn't use a ground fault shared with other groups in the house. That is because it draws so much current, so it must be connected separately and must not have any taps. Connecting your garden lighting to it is therefore not an option. The charging station must know exactly how much power it has to charge and the fuse in the meter box must also be adjusted to this.
Step 2: from the meter box, via the charging point, to the electric car
From the meter cupboard to the charging point. The charging point may look like a socket with a single cable, but a charger also has to communicate with the electric car. Before the car starts to load, they first do a so-called 'hand shake' to see if everything is safe. If it is safe, power will only be applied to the cable by the charger. This prevents loose cables or the like. If this does happen, the charger will intervene immediately.
We do not recommend a socket as a charging point!
In addition, it is much safer to compare with a granny charger. There, a socket is not included in the calculation and if you charge your EV for ten hours via the granny charger, it is possible that a normal socket will melt it. In addition, there are branches in the group here. As a result, a socket is not made for charging an electric car.
In summary: a charging station prevents this because it has one cable, without branches, can intervene if necessary by stopping the charging session and is set up to charge the EV. ChargeMakers strongly advises against charging via the normal socket and the 'Granny Charging'. We provide independent advice in order to select the most suitable charging station.
A charging station goes on average 10 years along. A charging station that is located in its own driveway and is used privately will certainly have to last a long time. Of course this is not a guarantee, because they can withstand wind and weather, sometimes in extremely cold or warm summer days of +35 degrees, which is good to know. But in general, they last longer than your electric car. ChargeMakers offers a 2 year warranty on the charging station and 2 years on the installation performed by ChargeMakers.
is charging with 22 kW necessary? We get this question very often. However, 22 kW charging power is something that few cars can handle. Maybe only 1 or 2% from the market. The reason for this is that it requires an extra internal board charger and these are quite expensive. There is a Tesla model that can charge up to 17 kW. The Audi e-tron and the Porsche Taycan can be equipped with 22 kW.
22 kW charging point is not necessary as far as we are concerned
However, many charging points can charge 22 kW. We often hear the question that customers would like a 22 kW charger so that they are future-proof and the car can charge nicely.
It is good to know that most cars cannot charge more than 11 kW. We don't see this changing in the near future either. For 2 reasons:
- A Board charger is an expensive, large device what is in a car and therefore expensive to produce and install for car manufacturers.
- A house connection can supply up to 17 kW. That includes everything you have on. So also your oven, dishwasher and TV. 11 kW is already a big bite of this 17 kW and 22 kW would therefore also go far beyond.
Is it also necessary? We don't think so. Especially because with 11kW of power with an average battery of 50 kWh, your car is full in about 5 hours from 1% to 100%. 22 kW is an overkill for that.
When the installation is complete, ChargeMakers has delivered the charging point working. The power is on and all necessary options are connected. Load balancing is also set up if requested. As a customer you can then start loading.
Back office subscription; However, if you want to settle, you must select a party with whom you want this back office subscription and also activate it yourself.
Do you not want to settle but make sure that not everyone can charge at your charge point? Then you can also use a general charge card for this or at some charging stations an app is available for this. You also have to install this yourself.
Which charge card is required depends on your goal: charge at home (with settlement via the business), public charge or fast charge.
Loading at home: If your employer or your own business reimburses your charging costs, you have a back office provider that keeps track of your charging sessions and pays you monthly (and invoices to the business). In general: take a charge card from your back office provider. This way you avoid any additional costs (roaming) that are charged if you charge with a different card at your own charge point. For example, with E-Flux, the business pays 2 cents per kWh on top of the cost of your electricity to E-Flux because you do not charge with an E-Flux charge card. This also applies to NewMotion, EVBox, etc.
Public loading: There are charge cards with and without a monthly subscription. The passes with a subscription (a few euros per month) usually give the most favorable price at the public charging station. The difference lies in a roaming rate per kWh of 1 or 2 cents and/or an average starting rate of 35 cents for the free charge card, while the subscription pass charges the basic kWh price and no starting rate. For example, E-Flux provides both types of passes, while NewMotion (Recharge) only provides the free pass. It's up to you to calculate whether you're loading enough publicly to take out those monthly subscription costs.
Fast charging: Fast charging (DC charging) is done on the road if you don't have enough range to get to your destination. Fast charging speeds up to 350kW, but is also more expensive than AC charging (at home or public). Different charge cards have more favorable rates for this, but that changes regularly, so check which card is now the most advantageous for fast charging – and with which network. Fastned, Ionity, Shell Recharge are some of the big names in fast charging land.
A number of passes/apps that we have been using for years to our satisfaction:
NewMotion: Request Shell Recharge (formerly NewMotion) pass through their app. Good to have on hand for public charging (just charging on the street) and a cheap pass for fast charging at Shell stations (without subscription, free pass): https://newmotion.com/nl-nl/landing/shell-recharge-laadpas
Fast charging at Fastned along the highway: https://fastnedcharging.com/nl/app Just create an account, add payment method and you can load. No card needed and you only pay for the electricity used – no subscription (but you can get a discount).
Request an E-Flux charge card (at the office). Needed to settle on your own charger at home without penalty, also a good card for public charging. With subscription, free pass: https://dashboard.e-flux.nl/signup
Maingau offers a discount of 5 cents per kWh for Fastned (along the highway) fast chargers. So 54 cents per kWh instead of 59. Pas currently costs a one-time money (9.99), but no subscription costs. https://www.maingau-energie.de/service/kontaktformular
Here you can read more about which charge card is suitable for which situation and the costs: https://laadpastop10.nl
Keep an eye on; fast charging is about twice as expensive as slow charging at the street pole. Still cheaper than diesel or petrol by the way 😉
Each charge card requires a fee for use, even at your own charging station. To make settlement possible There are a lot of differences between the providers in the calculation of the costs. Some examples (up-to-date April 2021):
- For example, the NewMotion pass charges a starting rate of €0.35 per charging session (with a maximum of €7 pm) and nothing per charged kWh or per month – unless it concerns your own NewMotion pole, then the charging subscription of the pole is sufficient.
- For example, the Blue Current charge card charges €0.01 per charged kWh, but no starting rate or monthly subscription.
- The E-Flux charge card then asks for € 2.95 (incl VAT) pm but no starting rate or x cents per kWh. However, at a charge point with an E-Flux back office (e.g. at the Alfen charge points in our store) you pay a fine of €0.02 per charged kWh if you do not use the E-Flux charge card for settlement, but, for example, that of your employer – think of the Multi Tank Card or the charge card from your lease company. That can add up. Nevertheless, the E-Flux charge card has the advantage that no starting rate or x cents per kWh is charged for public charging stations.
Calculate for your expected consumption (e.g. 3000-4000kWh for your car per year at 15k-20k km) and charging behavior (every day on the plug or once a week) which pass suits you best and go there load with. It will go quickly between the charging card of your charging station manufacturer or that of your employer.
It pays to do the math for settlement at your own charging station and also for public charging. There is a good chance that you will use multiple charge cards for different situations.
A frequently asked question to ChargeMakers; can't I just always charge from the wall socket with the mobile charger (granny charger) that I got with my car?
It is possible to charge on 220v via a regular plug and a granny charger is included with most new electric cars. At first glance, this seems like an attractive way of charging.
However, we do not recommend the structural use of this 1-phase 220v charger because it is connected to an ordinary socket. An outlet and the wiring to it is not designed to withstand a maximum load of 5-10 or even 15 hours. The risk of heat development in the socket and the wiring (with all branches in the walls and ceilings to possibly other consumers) is real and it can even start a fire.
That is why a charging point with 1 cable is directly and permanently connected to the meter cupboard and it gets its own group that is fused to the power of the charger. This eliminates the risk of overload. The charger itself, unlike the 220v charger, is designed to be used at full power for a long time without overloading.
Then there is the issue of charging speed. A recent EV such as the Q4 (or e.g. Enyaq, ID.4, etc) has a battery capacity of 52 to 78 kWh. If you want to charge it from 10% to 90%, it will take 52 * 0.8 / 3.7 = 11.5 hours with the 52kWh battery. With the 78kWh variant, that is even 17 hours. Not ideal in terms of charging time and it becomes even longer, because the car is 'awake' all the time and also consumes part of the power that comes in to control the computers, battery cooling / heating and charging unit.
Conclusion: Put safety and comfort first and charge via a charging station.
No, not every charging station can do that. For settlement you have a smart charging station required. A smart charging station needs an internet connection that can talk to a so-called back office. A back office is offered by several companies. You take out a subscription with these companies. This subscription ensures that your charger is read remotely in terms of charging sessions. So how many kWh is charged in how much time. This back office then sends an invoice to the owner of the charge card. That is often the employer. The employer thus collects the money involved and then transfers this amount back to the private person who owns the electric car.
So you can't settle with every charger. A 'dumb' charging station cannot do this. Like the Tesla Wall connector. For this you have to place a kWh meter in the Meter box. You then have to manually count the number of kWh. This does not happen automatically as with a smart charging station, but in this way you can keep track of the charged kWh for your own accounting. This saves a few euros per month that you do not pay for a back office subscription. That could be a great solution for a freelancer. Employers generally do not prefer this. Do you want to know which charging stations can charge? In our store you can see whether this is possible for each charging station under the heading specifications.