The Best Time to Charge an Electric Car at Home

A guide answering common questions about electric vehicle (EV) charging habits.

Last updated: May 01, 2024 4 min read


Unless you have a dual-rate tariff with cheaper rates at certain times of the day, there’s no time that is definitively best for charging your EV. You’ll need to find a time that works for you and your schedule.

When is the best time to charge my EV at home?

Maybe you recently invested in an EV charger like the Solo 3 or you’re considering purchasing and installing one at home to power your electric car. One of the first questions you’ll have is how often you may need to use your chargepoint and when the best time for charging might be.

Having a home charger means you could technically charge whenever you’re home. But is that ideal, and are there times that are better than others for charging? In this guide, we’ll answer these and other common questions to determine the best time to charge your EV at home.

How often should I charge my EV?

How often you charge your EV depends on your personal needs and preferences. Ideally, you should keep your battery between 20 and 80% to maintain good battery health and prolong battery life.

It’s also better to charge as little as possible, while keeping your battery above the recommended 20% and below 80%. Charging every day, when it’s not necessary, will degrade your battery faster.

To put this into context, if you drive the average weekly distance of 127 miles and have an EV that can do at least this in a single charge, you’ll only have to charge every few days, if not only once a week.

Should I charge my electric car every night?

It’s best to reduce the number of nights you charge and try to replenish the battery by larger instead of smaller amounts of energy when you do, as the lifespan of EV batteries is measured in (amongst other things) charging cycles. When you charge little and often, it can count toward your charge cycle limit, which will ultimately lead to a shorter battery life.

Should you drive enough to dip below 20% at the end of each day, then you’ll need to charge every night. But if that’s not the case, charging your electric car every night could cause early battery degradation.

When is the cheapest time to charge your electric car?

If you’re on a dual-rate energy tariff with off-peak pricing, check your tariff conditions for the cheapest time to charge your electric car, as they can vary between providers. Off-peak hours are typically in the night and very early morning, between midnight and 7am, when people are less likely to use energy from the grid.

Scheduling your EV charger to use reduced, off-peak rates can seriously bring down the cost of owning and driving an electric car. Find out more about our exclusive dual-tariff with EDF that we offer to new Solo 3 home charger customers.

The best time to charge an EV? It’s up to you

Ultimately, the best time to charge an EV depends on your circumstances and needs as a driver. Persistent myths and a lack of understanding around battery technology makes it difficult for EV drivers to find a straight answer at times.

Here are a few things to consider, so you can find the best time to charge your EV:

  • Battery health and efficiency – Keep your EV battery between 20 to 80%. Charging outside of this range can take longer, be less efficient and harm battery health in the long-term. If you absolutely need to, you can charge your electric car to 100% for occasional long journeys. Plus, slow charging is always better for your battery health than fast or rapid charging, so take that into consideration.

  • Dual-rate tariffs – If you have an energy tariff that is cheaper at off-peak times (often overnight), you should try to charge your EV during these times to maximise your savings.

  • Charger availability – Charging should suit your lifestyle. If you don’t have access to a charger at home, which allows you to charge a few times a week, you may have to use a destination charger on a daily basis to keep your battery topped up instead.

Maximising environmental benefits – Charging during times when fewer people are using energy from the grid can be better for the environment. You can also use the Grid CO2 Insights feature in the Pod Point App to see when the greenest time to charge is.