Charging an electric car at home.

A complete guide that covers the home charging options available to you, how much they cost and how fast they'll charge your electric car.


You can charge an electric car at home by connecting it to either a standard 3 pin plug or dedicated wall mounted chargepoint, using a charging cable supplied with the vehicle or purchased separately.

  • Most plug-in vehicle drivers choose to use a dedicated home charging point to benefit from built-in safety features & faster charging times.
  • It's similar to charging a mobile phone - just plug-in when you get home to either top up the battery or fully charge.
  • It is still useful to have a 3 pin charging cable as a backup charging option.

What you need to charge an electric car at home.

To charge at home, you will need either an EVSE supply cable and a 3 pin plug socket, or a dedicated home charging point installed in the area where you park your vehicle.

  • Drivers usually choose a dedicated charging point for their increased charging speed and built in safety features.
  • This is typically a compact weatherproof unit that mounts on an exterior wall with either a permanently connected cable or a universal socket for plugging in a portable charging cable.
  • Dedicated charging points like these can be installed by a qualified specialist installer.

Tip: You’ll have the option of a type 1 or type 2 connector on your charging cable and will need to choose the one that is compatible with your vehicle.

The speed at which you can charge an electric car at home.

Charging speed is measured in kilowatts (kW) and for home charging you usually have the choice of a charging point that charges you car at either 3.7kW or 7kW (versus a 3 pin plug which charges at 3kW).

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: ~£390 ~£485 ~£1650

Tip: Most domestic properties (like your house) have single phase power which means the maximum charging speed is 7kW. While faster chargepoints are available (such as a 22kW unit) these are usually only found in commercial properties where there is a 3 phase power supply.

The cost of charging an electric car at home.

Should you opt for a dedicated charging point, you'll need to make a one off payment (that includes installation) which costs up to £475 with the government OLEV grant. Once installed you will then pay for the electricity you use to charge; this can work out at as little as 2p per mile.

  • Electric driving costs as little as 2p per mile* which means plug-in vehicle owners can save up to £1000 per year when compared to driving a petrol or diesel car (averaging 15p per mile**).
  • Pure electric and some plug-in hybrids are exempt from road tax, the London congestion charge and also benefit in kind tax (if a company car purchase), making them extremely economical when combined with the low running costs.
  • Plug-in vehicle buyers can get a £500 reduction in the cost of their chargepoint & its installation by claiming the government OLEV grant.

Tip: A specialist provider will include installation in the cost of the charging point.

*2p per mile based on 10p/kWh Economy 7 rate and 155 mile range of 30kWh Nissan LEAF. Source 1 | Source 2
**Petrol cost based on AA driving expenses report 2014/15. Source

How to get an electric car charging point installed at home.

Electric car charging points need to be professionally installed, something that you can arrange by purchasing your chargepoint from a qualified supplier who will usually include installation in the price.

  • 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 electric car driver and the installation location.
  • Installations can be booked online or at car dealerships with most companies happy to provide free advice and talk through the different options available to you.

Tip: Make sure you’re at home during your install: The best charging specialists will not only install a chargepoint but demonstrate how to charge your car and answer any questions you have about charging in person.

How often should you charge an electric car at home.

You can charge your electric car at home as often you need to. It should be treated just 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 they stop at to top up charge.

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