Tips for Installing a Home Charger - My Experience

By Emma Williams
Tips for Installing a Home Charger - My Experience

Installing a Home Charger for your EV

So you’ve taken the plunge and got yourself your first EV – now you’re probably going to need a Charger installed at home – here’s a brief summary of what you need to know.

The basic format for your home charging is to plug in overnight and top up during the day. When topping up it’s advisable to charge a bit more than you think you’re going to need as you never know when you’ll be required to do an extra, unplanned journey! Fully charging overnight works best for most people and is economical too as certain tariffs offer much cheaper electricity usually late at night. You will find that most EV’s should allow you to schedule your charge to coincide with this optimum time.

When you buy your unit the provider will most likely be able to quote you for the cost of installation too. They will schedule a time convenient for you. Try and be present during installation if you can as you will have the opportunity to ask lots of questions and get a full demonstration on how to use the charger. Installation takes about three hours. When ours was installed we found the knowledge and guidance of the fitter invaluable.

The home charging units are compact and weatherproof. The usual spot to mount them is on the wall close to where you park your car. Costs start at around £800 for a fully installed unit. This may sound a lot but remember outlay from here onwards is just the cost of the electricity you use to charge – typically around 28p per kWh or cheaper tariffs overnight are around 11p per kWh. Sometimes it can cost as little as 2p per mile to run your car. If you have solar panels at home some chargers are designed to make use of these making outlay even less. The only thing to take note here is that the car will take a lot longer to charge from solar generated electricity to the fast charge option.

To give you an indication of charging speed, generally home charging points provide about 15-30 miles of range per hour. Therefore if you plug in when you get home in the evening it will adequately produce a full battery overnight and don’t be concerned about leaving the car plugged in after the battery is full, the charging will stop automatically and wait until you get up!

A few things you’ll need to iron-out before having your charger installed:

• Do you have dedicated off-street parking – many providers will insist on this so that your charger is installed in a safe and accessible location.

• Smart chargers require Wi-Fi so it’s important to make sure your installation point is within easy reach of the router or a Wi-Fi extender.

• What kind of charger should you choose – tethered or universal? In a nutshell – (depending on your vehicle connector you will need a type 1 or type 2 charging cable) tethered chargers have the cable (either type 1 or type 2) permanently attached to them. A universal charger has no cable attached - you provide the charging cable yourself which you keep in your car for convenience. Universal chargers will accept either type 1 or type 2 cables. Your cable can be used on other compatible chargers also, giving a degree of flexibility. The tethered charger will cost you slightly more because the cable is included. The cable on the tethered charger winds up neatly around the unit to be stored when you’re not using it.

You may have been told you can charge your electric car from a domestic socket using a standard 3-pin plug – this is not recommended. They aren’t designed to cope with the extra loads and can lead to overheating putting your house and you at risk. Dedicated home charge-points include numerous safety features and are much quicker. When they are connected to your homes Wi-Fi they have very useful smart features.

To give an idea of the cost of charging at home, based on an average domestic electricity rate to fully charge your car costs about £15.10. The most common home chargers are 7kW and can charge your average EV from 0-100% in less than 8 hours.

This may all seem a bit of a minefield but actually it’s quite easy once you get to grips with it! Charging my Tesla is as easy as falling off a log! If you want to find out more about moving into the EV market then you can chat to one of our experts at MW Vehicle Contracts on 0116 2599548.