EV cars can be charged at public charging stations. Some are free, some charge a small fee, and they are available across the country. However, for convenience, most EV car owners do the the majority of their charging at home. Electric cars have ranges of 200-300 miles, so home charging will suffice for day to day running, but may need supplementing on long journeys.
The chances are, if you’re just using your EV as a runaround in town, you won’t need to use public charging points; home charging will do just fine. There are two ways of doing it: the first is straight from the mains.
Charging electric car from the mains
Many people choose to charge their electric vehicles from a domestic socket. Depending on how many volts your domestic power socket’s supply is, charging from the mains in the UK should take 6-9 hours. The easiest thing to do is to plug your car in overnight.
As a short-term or occasional solution, charging from the mains is fine. However, continued daily use of a standard power socket, however, is not recommended. Constant high ampage drain can lead to overheating even burning.
Installing a home EV charger
Home chargers – normally either 16-amps or 32-amps – can charge an electric vehicle from flat to full in 3.5 hours. Getting a charger installed on your property makes your life easier, for a number of reasons:
- It means you can charge your car overnight, meaning no having to wait around at a charging station in the middle of nowhere.
- It’s good if you live somewhere remote and don’t have access to nearby public charging points.
- It allows you to charge up to 2.5x faster than with a 3 pin plug.
- After the initial outlay on installation, you could save up to £1000 a year on fuel. You can expect to pay around £3 for a full charge, depending on the model of car and your electricity tariff. Clearly, this is far cheaper than petrol, and also cheaper than using public charging stations. The Energy Saving Trust estimates the cost of charger and installation at £1400. This varies depending on the area and the model of charger.
The chargers start at around £300, depending on their power and efficiency. There are loads of different models on the market. Some are wifi-enabled, meaning they can send information to a computer or phone app. Some are portable, meaning you can take them with you if you move house. It’s worth researching your options and checking the lead length is adequate for the spot you have chosen.
Cost of EV home charging
The cost of home charging varies depending on your tariff (and, if on Economy 7, the time of day). An average electricity rate is 10p per kWh, meaning your car could cost as little as 2p per mile to run. Huge savings can be made on fuel – an estimated £1000 a year compared to petrol.
To find an EV home charging point installer in your area, see our map.