Most drivers tend to charge their cars at home, overnight whilst they sleep. This is as easy as plugging in your mobile phone – your car will charge until full, and then switch off.
The safest and easiest way to charge at home is by using a dedicated homecharge unit. These can be installed in a few hours by a number of approved providers, and the cost of the installation is partially covered by a Government grant of up to £500. Most cars also come with a charging cable you can plug into a standard domestic 3-pin socket, however these are not recommended for regular use as they are not as weatherproof, and they take much longer to charge the vehicles.
The best thing about charging your electric car at home whilst you’re not using it is that it’s always ready to drive its full range when you set off.
You can use a normal 3-pin plug socket, although we’d recommend that you use a dedicated circuit for charging your car, as some home wiring isn’t designed to cope with such heavy loads. The 3-pin EVSE cable is supplied with the LEAF, and is limited to 10 Amps current, which means that it will take 12-15 hours to fully charge from 0-100%.
A better, and possibly tidier solution, is to get a dedicated Home Charge Point installed. The advantage of a dedicated car charger, is that they can operate at either 16A or 32A, which reduces the time required to charge the vehicle to around 4-5 hours (if both the vehicle and charger can operate at 32A / 6.6kW).
The OLEV grant is money you receive from the government to contribute towards purchasing and installing a home charging point for your electric car.
To qualify for OLEV’s EVHS grant, you need to have purchased an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from 1st October 2016 onwards.
- You must have off-street parking.
- You must install an OLEV-approved chargepoint.
- The date of installation must not be more than 4 months ahead of the date of delivery or date the customer becomes the registered driver of the electric vehicle.
- You must use an OLEV-approved chargepoint installer like APG.
A single business can claim for up to a maximum of 20 chargepoints (e.g. 20 single socket or 10 double socket chargepoints).
The first thing to note is that the government provides a grant of £500. A basic charging unit can cost around the £700 mark so in that case you would have to pay the remaining £200.
However the price of installation can vary depending on how far the charging point is from the mains supply.
Faster charging units can cost around £1,500 (minus the £500 grant).
If you don’t buy a charging unit you can still charge your car from your mains supply using a simple bit of kit provided by the car manufacturer, but it will charge more slowly.
While electric vehicles don’t produce “tailpipe” emissions like traditional cars, the electricity to power the vehicles has to come from somewhere. This means that there are “upstream” emissions. However, the European Federation for Transport and Environment analysed data from a number of studies and found that “a battery electric car over its lifetime produces 50% less CO2 emissions than an average EU car today”.
As part of its clean air strategy, the government has pledged to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, hence why governments are acting now by supplying grants for people who wish to install an EV charge point in their home.
You can, although it will take a while before everyone is provided for.
The Department for Transport says 80% of charging is done at home, but for drivers who do not have access to off-street parking access to charging points is essential.
You can find locations for charge points here on Zap Map.