It’s much quicker to use a home electric car charging point than a three-pin plug. And they’re not difficult to have fitted outside your property.
What is a home charging point?
They are a compact, weatherproof box that sits on a wall, either inside a garage or outside on a drive way. They have a cable attached to them. You attached the cable you carry around in your car to this and get charging.
How much does a home charging point cost?
That depends on the car. Some new cars come with a home charging point included so they’re effectively free. In this case, the manufacturer will install the charging point for you.
If you’re buying a used electric car and want a home charger, you can apply for a grant from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). But the rules around this changed. You can now only apply in certain circumstances.
Are there restrictions on the grant?
According to the government website: “Customers must provide evidence of keepership, lease, be named as the primary user of an eligible electric vehicle or have a vehicle on order to be able to qualify for the grant.” A full list of eligible vehicles is at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles.
Should you have two electric vehicles, you can apply for a second grant as long as you can prove ownership of the second car.
How to have a home charging point installed?
To benefit from the government grant, you must use a certified installer. The charging point price will include cost of installation. Your home charger will depend on the kind of electric car charging cable your car needs.
The installer will fit the point in a garage or on an exterior wall near to where you park. It involves connecting it directly to the mains electricity so must be done professionally. Installation should take around three hours. You can’t have a charging point installed on a garden wall to charge a car at the kerbside as it would involve cables dangling across pavements.
Why have a home electric car charging point?
The government estimates that 80% of electric cars are charged at home. But do it with a three-pin plug and it’ll take ages because you’re only charging at a rate of 2-3kW. Use a purpose-built charger and you’ll be charging at a rate of 3.7 or 7kW. According to Pod Point, you’ll get around 8 miles range an hour with a three-pin plug and 15-30 miles per minute with a dedicated charger.
Most domestic properties have what’s called single-phase power meaning 7kW is the quickest charging you’ll get. Commercial properties frequently have a three-phase power supply so chargers up to 22kW can be installed.
Aside from speed, home charging points have another benefit. They will talk directly with your car. This means you can programme them to charge your battery to the manufacturer-recommended level. (Some say you shouldn’t charge batteries beyond 90-95% to assist with battery longevity).
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.