Want to drive an electric car but have no driveway and no charge point? If you rent your home, or you live in a flat or terraced house with no off-street parking space or charge point, read on – there are plenty of solutions available for you.
Leading the charge on charging infrastructure in Europe
According to recent research by What car? about 26 million UK motorists would be better off if they converted to an electric car, based on the distances they typically travel, their driving habits and the type of car they need.
Electromobility has become highly practical thanks to the UK’s extensive electric car charging network. This is great news for over a third of car owners who have no off-street parking.
With lots of government and corporate investment, councils and electric car charging firms have installed charging points all over the country. There are a wide range of ways to charge your car when you’re out and about on the motorway, in towns and cities and rural areas.
Look at this map to find your nearest charge points – there are now 5,244 places across the UK where you can plug in, with multiple connectors: a total of 14,839 sockets. And lamp posts are even being retrofitted with charge points to minimise street furniture and maximise charging point availability.
However, the majority of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging is expected to take place at home overnight. Which could be problematic if you:
- own an electric car in a flat
- have an electric car and no driveway
- think electric cars and terraced houses don’t go together
But don't worry - with improvements to infrastructure, a change in your own mind set and with a little planning, it's perfectly possible to go electric.
How to charge an electric car if you live in a flat
The good news is that electric cars are getting better and better. Vehicles like the Kia-e-Niro can travel up to 285 miles on a single charge in real-world driving conditions. And that range is only going to increase, so people with an electric car and no driveway or those with no charge point will soon be in an even better position.
The government is also doing more than ever to encourage drivers to switch:
- It plans to install electric car charge points at a minimum of every 20 miles on motorways and A roads in England, with 17 rapid charging hubs in city centres and on ring roads
- It has created a scheme offering £200 million to companies making charge points
With so much infrastructure, it’s easy for EV drivers to find their local charge point, park and charge. And there are plenty of other options too:
- Shop and charge - Tesco and VW have announced the installation of EV charge points in Tesco car parks, some of which will be free to use.
- Commute and charge - if you’re a commuter but need to drive to the station pull up, plug-in and head of to work safe in the knowledge that your car will be charged when you return.
- Work and charge - employers are now providing charge points in their car parks, thanks again to government subsidies. By 2022, half the firms that have car parks should have at least one electric car charging point.
- Talk to your council - government funds are available from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to support councils in installing electric car charging points for flats and terraced houses – the council only has to fund 25% of the cost.
- Arm yourself with the detail - check out electric car specifications with manufacturers. Many electric cars will soon be able to drive up to 300 miles, which could mean that even if you live in a flat or terraced house with no driveway or charge point, you’ll only need to charge your vehicle once every week to 10 days.
Wherever you live - flat or terrace, driveway or no driveway – it’s perfectly possible to go electric. With so much charging infrastructure in public and at work, there are many options allowing you to charge your electric car if you lack the charging ability at your own home.