How do you recharge your electric car at home?

Recharging your electric car at home is a practical and economical option favoured by many motorists. This solution requires an adapted recharging system, achieved either through a conventional electrical network or by installing a specific charging point. What are the different types of installations and the steps required to recharge your electric car at home?
How do you recharge your electric car at home?

How can I recharge my electric car at home?

Motorists who wish to recharge the battery of their electric car overnight can opt for charging at home. Whether you live in a house or a flat, it is possible to charge up your electric car at home provided that you comply with a few specific rules.

The different solutions for recharging your electric car at home

1 – The domestic socket

Whether in a house or a flat, there are different equipment types for recharging your electric car at home. The most economical solution is to connect your vehicle directly to the conventional electricity grid (V2G). However, this alternative is only available for single-family homes because it involves a single electricity bill. The slow chargers provided with electronic vehicles typically use a standard three-pin plug that draws power from the domestic supply. The unit is simple and extremely portable, but it can often take up to 24 hours to deliver a full charge, so manufacturers recommend them for use only in an ’emergency’. Most electric cars can recharge via the conventional power grid to a power of 2.3 kW. It is also possible to install a reinforced charging station to increase electricity power and reduce battery charging times.

2 – The recharging station

To charge an electric car at home, it is also possible to opt for a wallbox charger. This type is a wall-mounted or floor-mounted charging station that can be installed on the side of your house or in your parking garage, which generally delivers between 7 and 22 kW. The wallbox allows you to quickly and easily plug in your car to charge, as it is wired directly into the domestic electricity supply. More efficient than household power points, charging stations can recover up to 150 km of driving for each hour of charging. They come with various options for adjusting the charging power, smart controls and power consumption data recording. Wallbox charging systems can be fit indoors or outdoors, allowing motorists to recharge their electric cars in parking garages, driveways or car parks.

Recharging an electric car without off-street parking

Nearly a third of car-owners in the UK have no access to off-street parking, as many residents live in a flat or terraced house. Public charging points are not always an option, even within big cities, which is still a problem being tackled at a relatively slow pace by the government. However, there are local authority grants available that can help cover the costs of installing charging points on your street. Employers can also apply for a subsidy to install charging points at workplaces.

Recharging an electric car at home

In a single-family home with a parking space, motorists are free to recharge their electric car from mains power or a charging point. Three-pin Type G plugs offer the slowest charging rates, so most manufacturers recommend them as a last resort. A wallbox wired directly to the electric supply at your home can considerably speed up charging times. Choosing the right energy tariff for your home is an important decision.

Steps and assistance to install a home charging station

If you want to install a dedicated charging station at home, it is essential to call in a professional. Some installers offer a turnkey service and take care of obtaining authorisations, installing and commissioning the terminal, in addition to energy billing.

To encourage EcoMobility, the government has set up various schemes for installing a home charging station. The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) will continue into 2021-2022. The government has pledged to fund £20 million towards boosting the number of on-street electric vehicle (EV) charge points. The funding helps councils set up on-street charging points for residents without off-street parking to recharge their vehicles. Since 2017, nearly 4,000 charging points across the UK have benefitted from this scheme.

To supplement the scheme, the UK government also offers the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). The WCS is a voucher-based scheme that offers support to eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations for the up-front costs associated with purchasing or installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points. Lists of authorised installers and minimum technical specifications are available on the UK government’s website.

Finding a professional to install a charging station

Authorised installers are certified by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), formerly known as ‘Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV), under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). A list of authorised installers is available from the Department of Transport. From 2021, electric vehicle charging schemes will be open to small business, landlords and those in leasehold or rented accommodation. The EV scheme aims to boost rural areas and the charity sector.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides up to £350 towards the cost of a charging point. The Workplace Charging Scheme has also been opened to smaller businesses and targets rural businesses, like B&Bs, to help tackle the ‘range anxiety’ associated with long journeys.

As most tenants and private homeowners are not eligible for EV charging station schemes, individuals can call on a professional of their choice to install an electrical terminal. On the other hand, when it is necessary to have a charging point installed for commercial buildings or residential complexes, it is essential to go through an approved professional either:

  • by only an installer that is OZEV-certified;
  • by contacting your usual electrician, who will first need to apply for the certification programme.

Whether you live in a flat or a house, there are various solutions for recharging your electric vehicle at home or work. While a simple plug may be sufficient for charging your car in a single-family home, installing a dedicated electric terminal is an essential step for efficient recharging at home.