You will want to charge your electric car at home, believe us. It’s simply so convenient – and usually the cheapest option.
In fact, the only reasons you might choose not to charge at home are that you don’t have off-street parking, or are a Tesla owner who qualifies for free refuelling at Supercharger stations.
Other possibilities exist to get your electricity free of charge, but the convenience of home charging usually wins out. There’s a risk of arriving at a free charger, only to find it occupied by another EV.
The cheapest way to set up home charging
You can plug your electric car into a standard three-pin British plug socket. Electric cars come with the cable to do this, and there’s no set-up fee.
The major downside is it takes so long to charge this way. What you need is confidence that an overnight charge, using cheaper off-peak electricity, will do the job. As the off-peak period lasts around eight hours, that really means a bespoke home charging point.
Domestic electric car charging points
There are dozens of companies in the UK that install home charging points. They do this by tapping into your domestic electrical circuit, then running new cables to a wallbox mounted outside your house. Generally, this can be done within a single day.
The types of home charging points
Most new electric cars use Type 2 connectors. You don’t need to worry about choosing the wrong connector, though – your installer will select the correct type for your car.
Then you need to choose the power rating: 3.6 kW, 7 kW or 22 kW. The higher the power, the quicker the charge. However, 22 kW domestic chargers only work if you have what’s known as a ‘three-phase electrical supply’ to your home. These are rare in the UK, so most won’t have that option.
A 7 kW wallbox charges at twice the rate of a 3.6 kW device, and three times the rate of a standard plug outlet. As a 7 kW device costs less than £100 extra, it’s the obvious choice.
You then need to choose between a universal charger and a tethered one. The universal charger only has a socket outlet. You plug the cable you keep in your car’s boot into the socket and the other end into the car.
Perhaps more convenient is the tethered type, which has a five-metre cable attached to the wallbox. Simply uncoil it and plug it into your car.
Approved charging point suppliers
You can get the full list of government-approved suppliers of home charging points here. Booking a fitting can be done online.
The costs of a home charging point
Under the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, a grant offers up to 75 percent of the cost of a fitted home charging point – up to a maximum of £350. You only qualify if your car is on the approved list and the fitting time is less than four months from delivery.
Here are the costs from Pod Point, one of the major players in the supply of domestic and commercial electric car chargers. The £350 grant has been deducted.
Power Universal Tethered Speed (up to)
3.6 kW £449 £479 15 miles/hour
7 kW £529 £559 30 miles/hour
23 kW £1,169 £1,199 90 miles/hour