Electric car home charging

With the constant talk of how we are destroying our planet – we are all thinking long and hard about how we can help.  How can we make sure that the planet is still here in a good condition for our children and grandchildren? 

One way is by reducing air pollutants, which have been connected to many illnesses. The quickest way to reduce air pollution is to move towards driving hybrid cars or better still, fully electric cars.

Electric cars

Before you begin this journey, you need to discover if an electric car can fit into your lifestyle?  How easy is it to charge your car, at home and on the move?  What type of journeys do you regularly make?

As the number of public electric car charging points increases, and electric cars are developed to cover more miles, there will be more and more reasons to move to this type of clean motor vehicle. Tesla are leading the way in many respects with dedicated Supercharger stations, which charge their cars at extremely rapid rates.

How much do electric cars cost?

When looking at the cost implications of electric vehicles versus a standard petrol or diesel vehicle, it needs careful consideration. The two main areas to understand are: -

  • Buying an electric car is more expensive
  • Running an electric car is cheaper and more environmentally sound
  • The typical cost of running an electric car is 2p-5p per mile
  • The typical cost of running a petrol/diesel car is 15p per mile

How to charge your electric car at home

In this article we are going to try and explain the methods you could use to charge your car at home – there are several options.

Always make sure that anyone doing any electrical work at your home is competent and has the necessary qualifications.  Many electric car manufacturers have their own recommended supplier list. Charging an electric car is similar to charging your mobile phone.  Main charge overnight with top-up charging through the day.

There are two ways to charge your electric car at home.

  • Charging through your existing electric supply via a 3-pin socket.  All electric cars come with a charging unit that you can plug into a standard 110-volt outlet, but bear in mind that this will take longer than a specifically installed charging point for electric cars
  • Installing a specially designed charging point at your home, which will mean that you can charge your car quickly and easily whenever you wish.

Charging with an existing power supply

  • Although many people with electric cars just use a standard 3-pin plug with an EVSE cable, this should really only be used as a standby supply.
  • It is useful to have a 3-pin charging cable as a back up, but be aware that this system is not designed for these loads in the long term.

Charging with a home charging point

  • Choosing a home charging point for electric car charging is beneficial, as you get faster charging speeds and built-in safety features.
  • Electric car ‘home’ charging points are compact weatherproof units, mounted to a wall with either a connected charging cable (tethered) or a socket for plugging in a portable charging cable (untethered).
  • Electric cars come with either a Type1/Type 2 connector and you will need to choose the correct one for your car – all manufacturers give you information on this when you purchase the vehicle.

Charging rates

  • Home charging points – 3.7kW or 7kW – about 15-30 miles travel per hour charged
  • 3-pin plug – 2.3kW – about 8 miles travel per hour charged

Tethered or Untethered?

Once you have made the decision about the power output of your home electric car charger, the final choice is whether you want a tethered or untethered unit?

This simply means whether you have a charger with or without an integrated cable. 

  • Tethered chargers have the cable hardwired into the unit.
  • Untethered chargers require a cable to be connected.

Both options work well, and it is really all about making the decision on which option would suit you best.

Tethered wallbox chargers

These boxes with the cable permanently attached, allow you to simply park and plug in. Making them very convenient.

Points to note if choosing a tethered wallbox:

  • Most home chargers now come with an almost-universal Type 1/Type 2-style socket; this standard may not be the preferred option in the future.  The tethered charger may in the future need an adaptor, if you buy a new car or if there is a change to another type of connector.
  • With the cable being integral, there is the question of keeping it tidy when not in use. 
  • Most tethered cables have a fixed length, and as they are connected you cannot easily purchase a longer cable should you require it.

Untethered wallbox chargers

These boxes need a cable to be plugged into them. Therefore, you may need to supply your own cable or we can supply these. Most plug-in cars come supplied with one.

Points to note if choosing an untethered wallbox:

  • If you lose your cable or would like an additional cable, they cost in excess of £100.
  • You will have to access your cable (probably from you boot) every time you wish to charge your car. You will also need to replace the cable at the end of charging.
  • As the cable is not attached this can mean that the wallbox itself looks neater and tidier when not in use.
  • You can purchase cables of different lengths if required.

If connectors should change in the future, or you change your make of car, it is possible to upgrade the wallbox with a new plug configuration.

How much do electric car home chargers cost to install?

Electric car home charging points, fully installed, will usually cost approximately £1000. Once installed, you pay for the electricity you use to charge the car/s. With the current electricity rate in the UK of approximately 14p per kWh and economy 7 tariffs for overnight electricity being approximately 8p per kWh it’s cost effective in the long term.

Electric car drivers can get a £500 grant for purchasing and installing a home charger with the OLEV grant. The “OLEV Grant” is a government grant for electric car home chargers. It’s specifically named the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and provides up to £500 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point. It’s available for most electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars. You can claim one charge point per eligible vehicle and up to two eligible vehicles per household.

Installing Home Charging - Home electric car charge points

All electric car manufacturers will be able to give you detailed information about their particular electric or hybrid car. Many have recommended suppliers for installation of a home charger. An electric car charging point needs to be professionally installed.  A certified charging provider will include installation costs in the price of the unit.

Installation involves:-

  • Wall mounting the charging point on an exterior wall or within a garage 
  • Connection to the mains electricity supply

Usually this will take three-four hours to complete. It is recommended that you are on site when the installation takes place to ensure that the positioning is correct. You will then be given full instructions about how to charge the car once the home charger is installed.

If you are thinking of moving to an electric car then find out more about home chargers and their installation, call iRewire now and talk to one of our experienced electricians.

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