Where can I charge my electric car?

Electric cars are growing in popularity due to improving technology and dropping prices. However, despite advances in battery storage, most electric cars still have quite a short range between charges. Tesla‘s Model 3 has a range of more than 200 miles, but its price tag of between £24-30,000 places it out of reach of the mass market. Most others last 150-200 miles, although this is increasing all the time. With this in mind, you may be wondering where you can charge your electric car.

At the time of writing, there are well over 10,000 public charging points in the UK, and counting. Unless you are in a very remote area, the chances are you will be able to charge your electric car.

How much does it cost to use public charging points?

Charging points (usually found at motorway service stations) are either free or run by public charging networks, who normally charge a small monthly subscription fee for unlimited charging. Others are pay as you go through mobile apps. The cost of this is generally around £1-1.50 p/h.

Some charge quicker than others, and rapid charging points are slightly more expensive. These typically cost £6.50-7.50 for a 30 minute charge.

Can I install a charging point at home?

Yes! Installing your own charging point is a great option for several reasons:

  • It means you can charge your electric 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.

Can I get a grant for a home charging point?

Yes! As well as generous government grants towards the cost of electric vehicles, there is also a new grant for home charging points. The OLEV grant – provided by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles – gives eligible electric/hybrid car owners a grant of £500 towards installing a home charging point.

If your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle was bought from 1st April 2015 onwards and you have off-street parking, you will be eligible for the grant, providing you use an OLEV-approved installer. You can get one charging point installed per eligible vehicle and up to two per household. Most electric vehicles are eligible for the grant – you can check you qualify here.

Don’t let the idea of charging put you off getting an electric vehicle. If you install a charging point at home, it’s easier than having to keep filling up a petrol car and best of all, it is far, far better for the environment! 

Installing an EV charging point

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