Charging your car at home can save you time, money and effort, as well as giving you peace of mind.
To charge your car at home, you will need to have a compatible charging unit installed where you park your car. This unit is a small, weatherproof charging port that mounts to your wall and connects to your car via a cable. Home charging units must be installed by qualified specialist engineers.
Here’s our complete guide to home car charging, including an overview of the benefits of home charging, plus how much it costs in time and money to charge at home versus charging elsewhere.
What are the benefits?
The benefits to home car charging are numerous – here’s a breakdown:
- Home charging points use your own electricity supply, meaning there are no additional costs.
- If you have a smart electricity meter, you can monitor how much you use when charging, making it easier to budget.
- With the government OLEV grant, you can apply to get up to £500 off the cost of your installation. Take a look at our article about the OLEV grant here.
- Home charging points are wired directly to your fuse board, making them safe to install and use.
- Charging units are designed with overload protection to ensure there are no accidents.
- They’re also weatherproof, meaning wet and rainy conditions pose no safety problems.
- With a charging point at home, there’s no need to queue at your local public charging point.
- You don’t need to reserve charge in your car to get it to a public charging station – if your battery is out of charge when it reaches home, no problem.
- You can top up your battery any time your car is parked at home.
- You can charge your car overnight, ensuring you always have a full battery in the morning.
How do I get a home charging point installed?
There are some basic requirements you need to meet in order to be able to have a charging point installed at home. First, you need access to legal, off-street parking, such as a driveway or garage. Second, you need to be the owner of the home, or get permission from your landlord, to get an installation.
If you meet these criteria, all you need to do is contact us about your installation. We’ll help you decide which home charging point is best for you, and advise you on the best location for your unit.
What kind of home charging point should I get?
There are a number of charging points available. Take a look here to see the range of chargers we offer.
Home charging points generally come in 3.7kW or 7kW versions. Many workplace and public charging stations are fitted with fast 22kW units, but these are generally not available for home installations. Hybrid cars typically require a 3.7kW charger, while full-electric cars usually require the 7kW version. The main difference between the two is how fast they will charge your car. A 7kW charging point will generally charge your car faster than a 3.7kW unit. However, there are multiple factors that affect how fast your car’s battery will charge. Learn more about battery charge speeds here.
Some charging points have a standard socket, which uses your car’s charging cable. Others have a built-in tethered cable. Note that the tethered cable isn’t compatible with all vehicle plugs, so if you change your car, this cable may no longer fit. For advice about the best option for you, get in touch today.
How much does it cost?
There are two factors to consider when determining the cost of home charging: the initial installation cost, and the ongoing cost of charging your car.
The initial installation cost is a one-off payment that can be as little as £359. Additionally, you can apply for a grant to help with the cost of installation, getting back up to £500. This is a government grant from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), which is designed to make owning an electric or hybrid car more affordable. You can read all about the OLEV grant here.
Charging your car
Running an electric or hybrid car is a great way to save money as well as the planet. Compared to the cost of petrol and diesel, it’s around a fifth of the price. On top of electricity being a much cheaper solution, electric car and hybrid owners also get a break from road tax and running costs.
On top of this, charging your car at home can significantly reduce the cost of running your car when compared to the price of using public charging facilities, because you’re using your own electricity. The typical cost of electricity in the UK is around 14p per kWh (that’s kW per hour) – so if you charge your car for an hour, it will cost around 14p.
The exact cost of charging your car from empty to full depends on a number of factors, including the make and model of your car, the capacity of its battery, the type of charging station you use, and your electricity supplier.
If your car has a large capacity battery, you will be able to drive it for longer without running out of charge, but the battery will generally take longer to charge and therefore cost more. If your car has a smaller capacity battery, it will reach full charge more quickly, but will not have the same running distance, so you’ll have to charge it more frequently.
As a general guide, a car with a large capacity battery can cost around £10 to charge from zero to full, while a car with a smaller capacity battery can cost as little as £1.20 to charge from zero to full.
Take a look at our guide to charging costs for more details on this.
How long will it take to charge my car?
Again, the time it takes to charge an electric or hybrid vehicle depends on multiple factors, including the make and model of the car, its battery size, and the type of unit you have. Many full-electric cars have a rapid charging facility that allows you to charge your car fully in as little as one hour. Others, with larger capacity batteries, can take longer – up to 27 hours to fully charge from zero.
It’s worth noting that you will rarely have to charge your car from a completely empty battery. Every time you park up at home you can top up your battery, and when you’re out and about you can use public or work charging stations to keep the battery topped up. Adding charge to a battery like this will not damage it or cost you more – the car will simply stop charging as soon as the battery is full.
The most effective way to ensure you never run out of power is to top up whenever your car is parked during the day, and then give it a full, uninterrupted charge overnight.
Here’s a guide based on some popular vehicle models.
|Vehicle||Zero to full charging time|
|Model||Battery cap.||3.7kW slow||7kW fast||22kW fast|
|Nissan LEAF (2018)||40kWh||11 hours||6 hours||6 hours|
|Tesla Model S 100D||100kWh||27 hours||15 hours||6 hours|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2018)||13.8kWh||4 hours||4 hours||4 hours|
How far will my car go?
As with everything else, this does depend on your car, your battery and your charging point. But as a general rule, based on a 7kW home charger, you can get up to 20 miles per hour of charging for a small full-electric car. The higher the kW of your charging point, the more distance you will get per hour of charging.
For full-electric car users, it’s important to know how far your car can go per hour of charging so you can ensure you’ll make your destination. Rapid charging stations are the most efficient, giving you between 60 and 200 miles from 20-30 minutes of charging (depending on the car).
|Miles added per hour of charging|
|3.7kW slow||7kW fast||22kW fast|
|Up to 10 miles||Up to 20 miles||Up to 60 miles|
- Charging your car is much like charging your phone – top it up when it needs it, then leave it to charge overnight.
- It takes longer to charge a battery from empty. If you’re topping up a battery that’s at least 50% full, it will charge at a much faster rate.
- Cars have a maximum charging rate that you can’t exceed. For example, if your car’s maximum charging rate is 7kW, it won’t charge any faster even if you plug it into a higher kW charging point.
- It takes longer to charge your car in cold weather, and charging can be less efficient when it’s cold. Topping up regularly in winter helps to keep the system warmed up, costing less energy for each charge.
- Small full-electric cars are the most efficient because they have less weight to transport. Typically, a car like this will get around 20 miles per hour of charging at 7kW. Large electric and hybrid cars are less efficient.
- Most full-electric cars have the ability to rapid charge. Hybrids generally can’t do this.