AutoProtect Engage blog page banner

How do you charge an electric car at home?

Date: Fri 30th November 2018   |   Author: L Blake

How do you charge an electric car at home?

With the government committed to ending the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel engines by 2040, many people have started to ask questions about the practicalities of owning an electric vehicle (EV). To help you in your quest for EV knowledge, AutoProtect has looked at one of the most common questions on many people’s minds: how do you charge an electric car at home?

Electric car charging at home

If you have off-street parking, electric car charging at home is as simple as plugging it into a standard three pin plug socket just as you would do with any other home appliance. However, there are a number of things that you’ll want to consider first:

  • Check your electrical wiring – an electric vehicle will place a notable extra load on your electrics and it’s important to know that your circuitry will be able to manage the added burden.
  • Check your energy tariffs – you’ll use a noticeable amount more electricity to charge your vehicle, so it’s important to know that you’re not paying over the odds to maximise your fuel savings.
  • Consider a home charger point – this will reduce the amount of time it takes to charge your vehicle and protect your electrics from the weather.

Home charger points, of course, come with an added cost ranging from between £750 to £1500 depending on their KwH output. They also have to be installed by a contractor with the required accreditation. That said, a 7kw per hour home charger point can halve the amount of time it takes to fully charge your vehicle when compared to using a standard three pin plug.

How long does it take to charge?

The charging speed for your electric vehicle will depend on the kind of plug that you decide to use. If like most domestic properties, your home only has single phase power, you will usually be limited to 3 kW per hour on a standard three pin plug, or 7kW using a home charger point.

According to electric car charging experts, Pod Point, the rate at which these outputs will charge your car at home is as follows:

  • 3kW per hour – 12 miles of range per hour
  • 3.7kW per hour – 15 miles of range per hour
  • 7kW per hour – 30 miles of range per hour

Since the average range of most electric vehicles is usually around 125-200 miles, plugging your car in overnight is a necessity when using a three pin plug socket if you’re looking to get your car fully charged after a long drive. By using the quicker sockets you’ll be able to top up in a half of the time.

How much does it cost to charge?

The amount it costs to charge your car at home will depend on the efficiency of your vehicle and the cost of your energy tariff. Either way, the savings you will make against the cost of filling up your petrol vehicle can be significant.

According to Pod Point, charging the average vehicle to full charge will usually cost around £3.64 for a full charge depending on your vehicle.  Breaking that down to cost per mile it generally works out around two pence.

When you compare this to even the most fuel efficient motors available, you’ll be making a huge saving often surpassing the £1000 mark over the course of the year. That’s not to forget the massive tax savings that are available on electric vehicles.

As we mentioned previously, a home car charging point will usually cost somewhere between £750 and £1500 depending on the power output that you opt for. If you qualify for the Government backed OLEV Grant you can also receive a huge £500 off the cost of the charger point.

electric car in charging bay

Charging your electric car without a drive

Another question that many people ask is: how do you charge your electric car without a driveway? Well, although not having access to off-street parking rules out charging your car at home, there are still options that mean you shouldn’t completely discount having an electric vehicle.

The network of public chargers is growing and there are a number of handy apps, including Zap Map, which allow you to locate your nearest public charger point. Many shops and public car parks already have charger points which will allow you to charge whilst you shop or work. Your employer may also qualify for a grant to install a charging point so that you can top up whilst you work.

There’s no doubt though, that without a driveway, operating an electric vehicle in a convenient manner is going to be a challenge. With over a third of British drivers having no off-street parking the infrastructure is still not quite there to serve a completely electrical highway system. But change is on the way.

With BP acquiring the UK’s largest public charging operator, Chargemaster, the charging network is going to grow. The prospect that every BP petrol station could soon house a rapid charger point, means that charging your vehicle might soon be as simple as filling your car with petrol. There is also a government scheme that allows you to apply for a charging point installed on your street through your local council.

This news means that although it might not be completely practical to run an electric vehicle without a driveway right now, the landscape is changing and in a couple of years it could be completely viable.

We hope you found our tips on how to charge an electric car helpful. For more driving tips and other interesting articles, visit the AutoProtect engage page.