Charging your Electric Car at Home

What is an EV Home Charger?

An Electric Vehicle (EV) Home Charger is a device that allows you to charge your electric car at home, rather than having to use the public charging network. It is not essential for electric vehicle owners, however, it does allow drivers to charge their vehicles overnight, in the comfort of their own home, much like they might do with their mobile phone.

EV home chargers come in various power levels, measured in kilowatts (kW). The higher the power rating, the faster your electric vehicle will charge. Common power levels for home chargers range from 3 kW to 22 kW.

How do I get a home charger?

It’s surprisingly easy to get a home charger fitted to your home. Simply decide on the supplier you’d like to use and the type of charger you’d like to have fitted.

Your chosen supplier will need you to send them some pictures of your fuse box and the electricity cables coming into your home to ensure that it’s suitable for a charging point. Some houses are looped with the neighbouring house, and they will need to be un-looped before a charge point can be fitted. A charging point will also need its own fuse on the fuse-board – similar to ones used for an electric cooker.

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Getting a Home Chargepoint

How much does it cost to install an EV charging point?

If you are ineligible for the grants we mentioned earlier, an at home charging point costs from around £750 to £1,100 for a wall mounted unit. While this is a considerable amount, the charge point will be available for you for years to come.

The variation in the cost of chargers depends on the speed that you want to charge your EV at. The faster you’re able to charge, the more expensive it is likely to be. Bear in mind that most drivers tend to charge their cars overnight so speed might not be as important to you as you first assume with home charging. A 7.4Kwh charger will take around 8 hours to fully charge a 60kWh battery, which means your car can be fully charged while you sleep.

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What funding is available for electric charging at home?

Up until April 2022, the Government offered a grant to help contribute to the installation for all users, but this has now been restricted and is based on eligibility – if you live in a flat for example, you may still be able to get a grant, so worth checking with a provider.

The cost of installing a home charging point varies depending on the type that you go for. They differ in terms of looks, style and functionality (more on this in a moment) and in price.


Choosing a Home Charge Point

Although the charging infrastructure is getting far better in the UK with the help of Government funding, still probably the best place to charge your car is at home. You can take advantage of cheaper rates overnight and have the confidence that your car will be charged for the morning commute.

Tethered or Untethered Chargers?

At first glance, all home chargers can charge your EV, but that’s largely where the similarities end. First, there are tethered and untethered chargers.

  • Tethered chargers have the charging lead attached (usually on a reel similar to a garden hose)
  • Untethered ones are the socket alone and require you to use your own lead.

While tethered chargers tend to be less hassle each time you want to charge, it does lock you into an EV that uses that particular plug type. For most drivers that won’t be an issue as the Type 2 plug is now largely universal for new cars, but some older EVs such as the original Nissan Leaf use a Type 1 plug, so if you’re planning to add any older EVs to your household, then it’s worth considering an untethered unit instead.

From July 2022, all home chargers also need to have smart charging capability. This means they need to have a data connection and be able to measure, control and delay power usage according to the demand from the national grid. Manufacturers also need to provide an app or other interface for drivers to be able to control that.

What are Smart Chargers?

Smart chargers enable you to choose to charge your car at cheaper off-peak rates when the price you pay per kWh for your electricity can be half the normal daily rate – and sometimes even less. The result is that you can dramatically cut the running costs of your EV as a result.

Some smart chargers such as those from Ohme can be programmed to charge automatically when prices drop below a certain level and can also charge the car when the level of renewable energy is at its highest and electricity supply is higher than demand.


What is EV Vehicle to Grid Charging?

While your EV is a car, it can also be used as a giant power pack, similar to ones you might charge your phone with while out and about, only much bigger. Vehicle to Grid, or V2G as it’s often known, is a relatively new technology that allows you to feed the energy stored in your car’s battery back to the grid at times when you don’t need it, but the grid does.

It means that at peak times, when the grid needs all the power it can get, if you don’t need a fully charged car, you can sell your electricity back, and often for a good rate. Some drivers have reported saving up to £800 a year by using this technology, and as you can always override the system if you need your car unexpectedly, you need never be caught out.


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