Charging an Electric Car at Home
A complete guide to charging an electric car at home, including how to charge at home, how much it costs and how long it takes.
You can charge an electric car at home using a dedicated home charging point (a standard 3 pin plug with an EVSE cable should only be used as a last resort).
- Electric car drivers choose a home charging point to benefit from faster charging speeds and built-in safety features.
- Charging an electric car is like charging a mobile phone - plug in overnight and top up during the day.
- It's useful to have a 3 pin charging cable as a backup charging option, but they are not designed to withstand these loads and should not be used long term.
How to charge an electric car at home
To charge an electric car at home, you will need a home charging point installed where you park your electric car, or an EVSE supply cable for a 3 pin plug socket as an occasional back up.
- Drivers usually choose a dedicated home charging point because it's faster and has built-in safety features.
- A home charging point 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.
- Dedicated home charging points are installed by qualified specialist installers like Pod Point.
Tip: An electric car will have either a Type 1 or a Type 2 connector and you'll need to choose a home charger that's compatible with it. To make it easy, we automatically make sure you get the right chargepoint for your vehicle when you order.
Cost of installing a dedicated home charger
A home charging point, fully installed, costs from £279 with the government OLEV grant.
- Electric car drivers get a £500 grant for purchasing and installing a home charger with the OLEV grant.
- Once installed, you only pay for the electricity you use to charge.
- The typical electricity rate in the UK is about 14p per kWh, while on Economy 7 tariffs the typical overnight electricity rate in the UK is 8p per kWh.
Tip: The cost of driving an electric car is about 2-5p per mile, which means EV drivers can save up to up £1,000 a year when compared to driving a petrol or diesel car (which costs ~15p per mile).
How fast you can charge an electric car at home
Charging speed for electric cars is measured in kilowatts (kW).
Home charging points charge your car at 3.7kW or 7kW giving about 15-30 miles of range per hour of charge (compared to 2.3kW from a 3 pin plug which provides up to 8 miles of range per hour).
For more details on the time it takes to charge at home, please visit “How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?”.
Tip: Most domestic properties have single phase power which means the maximum charging rate is 7kW. While faster chargepoints are available (such as a 22kW unit), these are usually found in commercial properties where there is a three phase power supply.
How to get an electric car charging point installed at home
Electric car charging points need to be professionally installed. A certified charging provider will include installation cost in the price of the unit.
- The installation process involves wall mounting the chargepoint on an exterior wall or garage, near to where you park and connecting it safely to the mains electricity supply.
- An installation should take around three hours to complete, depending on the individual requirements of the driver and the complexity of the installation.
- Installations can be booked directly online, over the phone or through car dealerships, with most providers happy to provide free advice and talk through the options available.
Tip: It’s always wise to be at home during your install: The best charging providers will install a chargepoint in the most convenient and neat location for you, but also demonstrate how to charge your car and answer any questions you have.
How often should you charge an electric car at home
You can charge your electric car at home as often you need to. It can be treated the same as charging a mobile phone, fully charging overnight and topping up in the day if necessary.
While it is not necessary for most to charge every day, many drivers plug in each time they leave their car out of habit, giving them maximum flexibility should they have to make an unexpected journey.
- By charging overnight, electric car drivers can take advantage of cheap nighttime electricity rates and drive for as little as 2p per mile.
- Overnight charging also ensures that the car’s battery is full each morning for the day ahead.
- Most drivers also make use of charging facilities at their workplace or public destinations to top up charge.
Tip: Always follow your manufacturer’s advice on how “full” to charge your car. Some will recommend setting a limit of a 90% charge to allow the battery management system to rotate the charging of cells evenly.