Home EV chargers – what you need to know
Posted on 27th May 2022
If you’re thinking about choosing a plug-in hybrid or all-electric car here are some things to think about when you’re considering charging at home.
You will certainly have a convenient and cost-effective way to charge your car which will prove much cheaper than petrol or diesel, especially now we are facing much higher fuel prices. As more people buy electric cars off-road charging for an electric vehicle (EV) could also increase the value of your home.
Why do I need an EV charger?
If you used a regular three-pin wall socket with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) cable it could take more than 35 hours for a charge, depending on your car. There are also safety concerns, so you won’t want to run a wire across your drive or use a standard socket for charging in wet weather.
How do I choose a charger?
You will need to decide on the cable, the power rating, and speed of charging to suit you.
You can choose an untethered or tethered charger:
Untethered – this means you don’t have an attached charging cable so you will need a separate one. However, this means you can change it if you need to.
Tethered – your charging unit has a power lead attached which is convenient but you will need to know which type of connector you need for your EV. Type 2 connectors are the most common. Type 1 connectors are generally found on older cars.
For most UK home charging requirements, the typical choice is a 7kW fast charger. You could choose a lower power rating such as 3.6kW to save costs, but it will take longer for your EV to charge. There are also faster chargers up to 22kW although few cars can accept this charge from a domestic alternating current (AC) source. Your car will probably have a maximum AC charging rate of 7kW to 11kW.
Can I speed up charging?
If your car can receive an AC charge of 11kW or 22kW you can charge your car more quickly but you will need a three-phase connection which your home probably won’t have. You’ll need to take the advice of a professional electrician if rapid home charging is a priority for you.
Do I need a smart charger?
Smart chargers can be accessed remotely via an app on your smartphone so you can monitor charging and choose when your car charges. If you have a time-of-use electricity tariff this could save you some money.
Can I get a grant to instal an EV charger?
You can’t apply for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant any more. It was replaced on 1 April 2022 by the EV charge point grant which is only available under certain conditions if you live in a flat or rental accommodation. You will need to use a supplier approved by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
What is vehicle to grid (V2G) technology?
Ovo Energy is running a V2G trial that allows you to choose an EV charging schedule via an app on your phone. For example, if you get home at 6pm you can plug in your EV and confirm that it must be at least 80% full by 7am. Your car will be charged when demand on the network is low, and when renewable energy is likely to be used. When demand is high the charger can take power from your car to power your home or sell any excess energy back to the grid. Your app will tell you how much money you’ve made or saved by doing this.
Please get in touch if you are considering EV home charging. Or view our related pages on EV charging;
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