Electric Cars / Employee

Charging your EV at home and away

Charging your electric car at home could not be easier, particularly if you’ve got a home charging point installed – park up, charge up, drive off. But, if you have nowhere to install a charging point where you live, there are lots of other ways to charge your electric vehicle (EV).

Below is a handy guide to charging your EV at home and away.

How to install an EV charging point

Although it’s possible to charge your car directly from the mains using a standard plug, It is recommended to install a proper charging point, as these are specifically designed to power up your electric car’s battery more safely and quickly than a 3-pin plug can.

If you get a charging point installed, it will be connected to your mains electricity supply, and you will still enjoy electricity charged at your normal rates, but you will benefit from faster charging, and greater safety.

It’s up to you to decide where the point should be installed outside your house, although most installers will be able to advise you of what could work well. It makes sense to install a charging point wherever you usually park your car, whether in a garage or on the driveway as this will be easily accessible.

Can I charge my EV outdoors?

A common misconception is that electric vehicles can’t be charged in certain weather conditions, this is myth. Charging outside is perfectly fine- rain, snow and sun won’t cause any problems and it will be safe, whatever the weather.

Nowhere to install a charging point at home? Here’s where else you can charge:

If you live in a terraced house or flat, or a home with no off-street parking, you might think an electric car isn’t for you. But that’s not necessarily the case.

It’s easy to build charging into your normal routine instead, for example by charging your car when you go to the supermarket or leisure centre. With public charging available at different places across most towns and cities, you will probably be able to charge when you park at work or the railway station on your way to work.

While this might not be as convenient as charging at home, there’s a big potential cost saving to be made as some employers and supermarkets (like Tesco) allow you to charge for free.

To find your local charging points, take a look at ZapMap, which is a Tusker partner, and a live UK-wide map showing the country’s huge network of charging points. You’ll be surprised at just how many places there are for you to charge.

From 2019, the government has legislated that all flats with parking spaces must make electric charging points available to residents, and on-street charging points are currently being installed all over the country in large volumes. Which means that if they aren’t already available, a charging point could be coming to a lamp-post near you very soon.

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

If you are a private homeowner and not a business, then there are no longer any government grants available to help with the cost of buying and installing a charger for your EV, but the good news is that the cost of these has reduced in recent years. At home charging points now start from just under £1000 for a wall mounted unit, which is not cheap, but; once you have installed it, you will have years of use out of it, and annual maintenance is minimal, if any.

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.

How much does it cost to charge an EV and how long will it take?

As with petrol or diesel cars, a bigger tank takes longer and costs more to fill than a smaller one. The same is true for EVs as charging a big battery will take more electricity and therefore cost more than charging a smaller one.

The easy way to work out the cost is to take your electricity tariff (in kWh) x car battery size (in kWh) / 100.

The maximum cost of electricity under the new government price cap is 34p per kWh. So, to fully recharge a Fiat 500e with a 37.3kWh battery would cost £12.68 (ie 34 x 37.3 / 100).

When it comes to how long it will take to charge your battery, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Battery size – more powerful batteries hold more electricity so it can take longer to charge them.
  • Speed – some cars can be charged using super-rapid chargers which makes it quicker to power the battery.
  • Current charge – like your mobile phone, charging a battery from 1% to full takes longer than charging from 20% to 80%, so the amount of electricity in the battery will also impact the time it takes to charge.

To give you a sense of the different times it can take to charge different battery sizes at different speeds, take a look at PodPoint’s example.

One last key point to remember is that you may not need to charge your EV as much as you imagine. Tusker’s research has shown that the average driver drives less than 80 miles a week, and with the current average range of all the EVs available on our schemes now above 260 miles.

This means on average, most drivers won’t need to charge their cars more than once every two-to-three weeks with normal driving. With this in mind, a once-weekly top up at the supermarket would be more than enough to keep your car with a good level of charge.

Whether you can charge at home or on the go, there’s no need to feel anxious about powering your electric car. Sure, it would be great to have a charging point at home for easy overnight charging, but with a rapidly expanding network of public charging points all over the UK, there are plenty of other options too, which means that running an EV is well within your grasp.

Take a look at our journey cost calculator to compare your vehicle to an EV.

Journey Cost Calculator

Interested in finding out more?