Plug in, charge up, drive off. It really is this easy to charge your electric car. Particularly if you’ve got a home charging point installed. But if there’s nowhere to install a power point, there are lots of other ways to charge your electric vehicle (EV). As we reveal in this guide to charging your EV at home and away.
How to install an EV charging point
Although it’s possible to charge your car directly from the mains, at Tusker we - and most manufacturers - recommend installing a charging point designed to power up your electric car battery more safely and quickly.
Get a charging point installed and it will be connected to your normal home electricity supply with electricity charged by your provider at your normal rates. It’s up to you to decide where the point should be installed outside your house. If you have a garage or drive where you park your car it makes sense to install a charging point here, where it’s easily accessible. Charging outside is absolutely fine - rain, snow and sun won’t cause any problems.
Nowhere to install a charging point? Here’s where else you can charge
If you live in a terraced house or flat, or a home with on-street parking, you might think an electric car isn’t for you. But that’s not the case. The government has legislated to ensure flats with parking spaces make electric charging points available to residents. And plans are in progress to introduce on-street charging points all over the country. Which means a charging point could be coming to a lamp-post near you.
You can also build charging into your normal routine, for example, by charging when you go to the supermarket or leisure centre, when you park at work or the railway station on your commute to work. While this might not be as convenient as charging at home, there’s a big potential cost saving to be made as some employers and supermarkets (like Tesco) allow you to charge for free.
To find your local charging points, take a look at ZapMap, a live UK-wide map showing the country’s huge network of charging points. You’ll be surprised at just how many places there are for you to charge.
How much does it cost to install an EV charging point?
At the time of writing (June 2020), government grants of up to £350 are still available to help you with the cost of installing your own charging point. Known as OLEV grants, you claim the money through the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme (EVHS). Depending on the type of charger you opt for, you’ll need to pay around £500 - £900 on top of the grant.
The variation in cost depends on the speed of your charging point. The faster you’re able to charge, the more expensive it will be. Bear in mind that most drivers tend to charge their cars overnight so speed might not be of the essence with your home charger. A 7.4Kwh charger will take around 8 hours to fully charge a 60kWh battery ensuring your car can charge while you sleep.
How much does it cost to charge an EV and how long will it take?
As with petrol or diesel cars, a bigger tank takes longer and costs more to fill than a smaller one. The same is true for EVs as charging a big battery will take more electricity and therefore cost more than charging a smaller one. A good rule of thumb is that a typical 60kWh battery costs around £8.40 to charge at home.
However, when it comes to how long it will take to charge a battery, there are a few factors to consider:
- Battery size - more powerful batteries hold more electricity so it can take longer to charge them.
- Speed - some cars can be charged using super-rapid chargers which makes it quicker to power the battery.
- Current charge - like your mobile phone, charging a battery from 1% to full takes longer than charging from 20% to 80%, so the amount of electricity in the battery will also impact the time it takes to charge.
To give you a sense of the different times it can take to charge different battery sizes at different speeds, take a look at PodPoint's example.
Whether you can charge at home or on the go, there’s no need to feel daunted about powering your electric car. Sure, it would be great to have a charging point at home for easy overnight charging, but with a rapidly expanding network of public charging points all over the UK, there are plenty of other options too. Placing an EV well within your grasp.
Quench your curiosity and take a look at our wide range of affordable EVs.