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How to Charge an Electric Car At Home

How to Charge an Electric Car At Home

It’s no surprise that home charging is the most common way to charge an electric vehicle, with around 80% of all car charging happening on driveways and in garages across the country. This is likely due to the fact that charging your electric vehicle from home is noticeably cheaper and more convenient than other methods of charging. But just how easy is it to charge your electric car from the comfort of your home, and what do you need to do beforehand? 

When it comes to home charging, there are two options: charging from a regular 3 pin plug socket or installing an EV home charger.

In the UK, the maximum current from a standard plug is around half of what home charging units and public chargers provide, meaning the charging time will increase. It is also worth bearing in mind that home charging from sockets can be dangerous – you shouldn’t use standard extension cables to reach outside your home to charge your vehicle. If you do choose to charge through a 3 pin UK socket, you will require an EVSE supply cable. Frequent charging from standard plugs can cause overheating. Therefore, it is always recommended that you consult an electrician before electric car charging at home.

Due to this reduction in power from standard sockets, the majority of electric vehicle owners will choose to install a faster home car charging point, also known as an EV home charger. These typically supply around 7kW in power, double that of a standard 3 pin plug and the same power outage as some public charging points. However, higher power home charging units are available which provide 22kW of power for even faster charging. For more information on how long it takes to charge an electric car, read our article.

It is possible to charge your electric car at home as often as you need to, although most vehicle owners will treat charging their car similar to their phone. This involves charging your electric vehicle fully overnight and topping up during the day if necessary. Whilst it likely isn’t necessary to charge your vehicle at home every day, many drivers will plug in each time they leave the car for a period of time, as this allows for more flexibility.

By home charging, electric vehicle owners can take advantage of cheaper overnight electricity rates, resulting in rates as low as 2p per mile in comparison to the best diesel cost per mile of 6.37p per mile. Overnight charging also means that your vehicle is fully charged and ready to go first thing in the morning, without the worry of having to find a public charging point on your commute.

Installing an EV home charger

A home car charging point, also known as an EV home charger, is a compact weatherproof unit that mounts to a wall with a connected charging cable or a socket for plugging in a portable charging cable.

The installation process involves mounting the charging unit to an external wall or within a garage, near to where you usually park your vehicle, and then connecting this safely to the mains supply. Installation should take around three hours to complete, depending on the desired location of the charge point and the complexity of the installation. For this reason, home car charging points must be installed by qualified specialists.This can be booked through various companies online, over the phone or even through car dealerships upon purchasing an electric vehicle.

Electric vehicle drivers are entitled to a Government grant known as the OLEV Grant, which allows owners to get a £500 grant towards the purchasing and installing of an EV home charger. To be eligible for the OLEV Grant, you must adhere to the following criteria:

  • You must have purchased an eligible electric vehicle from 1st October 2016 onwards
  • You must have off-street parking
  • You must install an OLEV approved home car charging point
  • The date of installation must not be more than four months ahead of the delivery date or the date in which you legally become the owner of the vehicle
  • You must use an OLEV approved charge point installer

  

Charging if you park on-street

Electric car charging at home can be more complicated if you do not have off-street parking at your home, as you will not be eligible for the OLEV grant and it may not be practical to charge your vehicle using sockets from within your home.

Recent action is being taken to improve charging options for those who must park in allocated parking on-street. The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme gives local authorities access to funding to provide on-street charging points in residential areas without off-street parking. Only local authorities can apply for this funding, but you can approach your council and ask them to consider installing a charging point near to your home. This will help the council to see the demand for charging points in the local area and decide on appropriate locations.

An alternative would be to charge your electric vehicle at work and public charging points if possible. Businesses can also apply for funding for charging points through the Workplace Charging Scheme, which offers similar discounts to the OLEV grant.

To find out more useful tips or information about electric vehicles, take a look at our full list of articles.

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