Charging an electric car at home.

Complete guide to home charging points for electric cars, covering how to charge at home, how much it costs and how long it takes.

Summary:

You can charge an electric car at home using a standard 3 pin plug with a EVSE cable or wall mounted home charging point.

  • Electric car drivers choose a home charging point to benefit from faster charging 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.

How to charge an electric car at home.

To charge an electric car at home, you will need an EVSE supply cable for a 3 pin plug socket, or a home charging point installed where you park your electric car.

  • Drivers usually choose a 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 an exterior 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.

Tip: An electric car will have either a Type 1 plug or a Type 2 plug. You need to choose a charging point with a plug that is compatible to your car. See full list of electric car plug types.

Cost of charging an electric car at home.

A home charging point costs around £400 with the government OLEV grant. Once installed, you pay for the electricity you use to charge. Typical overnight electricity rate in the UK is 10p per kWh.

  • Cost of driving an electric car is about 2p per mile, which means EV drivers can save up to £1,000 a year when compared to driving a petrol or diesel car (which costs 15p per mile).
  • Electric cars and some plug-in hybrids are exempt from road tax, London congestion charge and Benefit in Kind tax (if a company car). This makes plug-in cars extremely economical when combined with low running costs.
  • Electric car drivers get a £500 grant for purchasing and installing a home charger with the OLEV grant.

*2p per mile based on 10p/kWh Economy 7 rate and 155 mile range of 30kWh Nissan LEAF.
**Petrol cost based on AA driving expenses report 2014/15.

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 per hour of charge (compared to 3kW from a 3 pin plug).

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.


Electric Car Range:
3.7kW 7kW 22kW
Charging speed: 15 miles of range per hour 30 miles of range per hour 80 miles of range per hour
Required power supply: Single phase Single phase Three phase
OLEV grant eligibility: Eligible Eligible Not Eligible
Typical installed cost: £400 £500 £1,500


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 to the mains electricity supply with specialist hardware.
  • An installation should take around three hours to complete, depending on the individual requirements of the driver and the install location.
  • Installations can be booked online or at car dealerships with most providers happy to provide free advice and talk through the options available.

Tip: Make sure you’re at home during your install: The best charging providers will install a chargepoint, 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.

  • 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.

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