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EVs have become a big part of the present world and will be a bigger part of the future. A majority of the people in the UK are either considering an EV in the near future or are already in the process of buying it.
The previous year saw a significant increase in the number of both battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
Over 108,000 BEVs were registered in the UK in 2020, which is a 185.9% increase compared to the previous year. PHEVs saw an even bigger increase of 91.2%, with almost 67,000 being registered in 2020.
This shift in consumer preference has been brought forth mainly due to the UK government’s plan to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2030, because of which, you can expect a further significant decline in the next 5 years.
A big part of owning an EV is figuring out how to charge it. Just as a regular car works on petrol or diesel, an EV works on electricity. Charging an EV is similar to charging your mobile phone. You simply plug it in and leave it for a while to recharge.
You can charge your EV at one of many public EV charging stations around the UK. However, to be honest, even though more and more public EV charging stations are being built, there’s still a long way to go.
Therefore, if you own an EV, or are planning to own one, you can install an EV charging station at your home for added convenience and plug in your vehicle to charge it any time during the day or night.
Read on to find out the basics of home EV charging, the different types of EV chargers for homes, and how to choose the best one for your needs:
The world of EVs and EV charging has come a long way over the past few years with more than 80% of EV charging being done at home.
What started as a ubiquitous three-pin domestic plug, which we strongly recommend against using, has now evolved to a dedicated EV home charging point.
Home electric car charging is more convenient, less expensive, and completely safe (considering that the installation is done by a certified EV installation company).
If you have an EV charging station at home, chances are that you won’t have to drive to a public charging station again, except of course when you go longer distances. And no more waiting in queues!
Additionally, you can easily charge your electric car at your own time. If you drive to work, you can leave it on charge overnight, or during the day if that’s convenient for you.
In addition to being convenient, home EV charging is much cheaper than using public chargers. You can pick the ideal times for charging depending on your electricity tariffs and also use free electricity using renewable energy at home.
You have the option to be 100% green by not just driving a zero-emissions EV but also charging it using solar energy and substantially reducing your carbon footprint.
With the change in the automobile industry trends, it is safe to say that EVs are here to stay, making them and home EV charging stations a long-term investment.
With more than 245,000 BEVs and over 515,000 PHEVs on UK roads in April 2021, and increasing consumer demand, a home EV charger can improve the value of your property and be an attractive feature for would-be buyers.
It is important to note that most EV chargers are easy to uninstall and relocate if need be. So, you don’t have to worry about leaving behind your charger when moving.
How can you charge an EV at home? Can you use a regular 2.4kW three-pin wall socket? Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t. If you do, you’d be looking at unreasonably slow charge times that can be around 35 hours depending on the type of car.
In addition to a longer charge time, you’ll also want to avoid wires running across to where your car is parked, which can cause a nuisance by creating a trip hazard if done on a public street, and definitely make some local authorities take issue.
Installing a wallbox charger is a more viable option that will help you charge your EV much quicker and make it more convenient to own a home EV charger, as discussed above.
What is a wallbox charger? A wallbox charger, also called an electric vehicle wall charging unit, is installed either in your garage or outside your home – whichever is nearest to where your EV is parked.
It is connected to your home’s mains electricity and is available in different forms and powers. Wallbox chargers charge your EV at a much faster rate than a normal three-pin plug and do not require running an extension cord from your home, all the way to your EV.
To compare the charge times, let’s take the Kia Soul EV as an example where a regular three-pin plug will take around 31 hours to fully charge the car’s battery, whereas a 7kW wallbox charger would take around 9 hours and 35 minutes to do the same.
Wallbox chargers are also weatherproof and can easily be used in all conditions. Some charging units are also “smart” and can be remotely controlled via a smartphone app.
There are several different types of home wallbox chargers to choose from. Some of the factors you need to consider include the price, ease of installation, connector and cable type (Type 1 or 2), tethered or untethered, charging speed, rate of power, compatibility with your home, and of course, how the wallbox looks.
There are two types of connector cables used to charge an EV at home – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 connectors allow fast charging and are mostly found in parts of Asia, Japan, and America.
It is rare to find Type 1 chargers and charging stations in the UK, where most connectors will be a Type 2. The reason being that in 2014, the European Union passed a rule that all public charging points must feature a Type 2 socket.
As a result, new EVs and PHEVs in the UK mostly feature Type 2 connectors and cables, and it is also the reason why most home chargers are made keeping Type 2 compatibility in mind.
Another important factor is choosing whether you want a tethered or untethered wallbox. An untethered wallbox has no charging lead attached to it and allows you to swap the connectors from Type 1 to Type 2, and vice versa.
On the other hand, a tethered wallbox has a charging lead attached to it and plugs straight into your car, as opposed to getting your charging lead from the boot of the car when using an untethered wallbox.
Which one is better for you? Tethered or untethered? Well, there are no hard and fast rules over which one is better and it all comes down to your personal preference.
Many EV car owners choose the tethered option purely out of ease of use and convenience since it would mean they can leave their car’s cable in the boot and not lug it around. It is a simple case of just parking and plugging in, and a great option convenience-wise.
Tethered wallboxes, however, come with two notable disadvantages. First, you won’t be able to future-proof yourself. While most home chargers come with the standardised Type 1 or Type 2 style sockets, if there were a mass shift to another kind of connector, your tethered wallbox could face potential obsolescence in that your next EV might not be compatible with the existing adapter.
Also, although you won’t have to take out your cable from your car each time you want to charge it, you would have to coil the charger cable neatly every time after use, or you could end up with it trailing across the floor.
It is also important to note that since tethered chargers have fixed-length cables, you can’t adjust or purchase a longer cable if you need one.
If you opt for the untethered option, you won’t have a cable connected to the charger and will be required to supply your own cable. Come to think of it, it shouldn’t be a big deal since most EVs usually come equipped with one.
Granted, you would have to dig around in the boot of your EV for the cable each time you wish to charge it, and obviously put it back once you’re done.
The bright side of using an untethered wallbox is that, without a cable attached to it, it looks much neater in your garage or your driveway. You also have the freedom to purchase cables of different lengths according to your requirements.
With untethered chargers, you can future-proof your investment and simply upgrade the plug on the unit if need be.
Home chargers come in a range of options from a simple 3.6kW unit wall charger to sophisticated systems that charge the car at the quickest and cheapest time. There is also the option to charge your EV using solar panels in your home.
In addition to deciding the connector type and cable system, you need to decide on the rate of power of the wall charger. The 3.6kW charger offers the lowest wattage and will charge an EV only slightly faster than a three-pin domestic socket.
This can be a good choice if you own a PHEV that has a relatively small battery and doesn’t take too long to charge, or if your daily mileage is low.
A 7kW charger charges an EV twice as fast as a regular home socket and is the most popular choice for home EV chargers.
A 22kW charger is the third option which, quite evidently, provides much faster charging. What would normally take a 7kW charger 14 hours to charge can be completed in 9 hours using a 22kW charger.
When opting for a 22kW charger, it is very important to first check if your home’s electricity supply can accommodate that much power in the first place. These chargers require a three-phase electricity supply instead of the single-phase supply that most UK households have.
The term “smart” in smart devices refers to the device’s ability to connect to other devices. When it comes to smart EV chargers, it means charging your electric car using a charger connected over the internet using Wi-Fi or ethernet to communicate with your car, the EV charger infrastructure (including other chargers), and the electricity grid.
In simple terms, this means that every time you charge your car using a smart charger, it will send data to the charging operator, aka you.
This data can be used for several things such as figuring out the best time to charge your car so that it puts less pressure on the grid and is cheaper for you too.
This real-time data is shared on a cloud-based platform where your EVs energy needs are worked out and it is easy to assess how much electricity is being used.
Smart EV chargers are quicker than a standard three-pin plug and can charge your cars about 3 times faster. Also, they can be set to set to charge your EV when it is the cheapest to do so by avoiding peak hours.
Most smart chargers charge at a maximum power of 22 kW, with fast smart chargers going up to 150kW. They will charge your EV faster by automatically using the maximum amount of power available.
Since smart EV chargers are interconnected with other smart devices, you can sync them with your calendar and add your schedule to the smart charger app. This way, the charger will know what time you need the car and for how long, and it will make sure your EV is always ready when you need it.
A home EV charger typically costs around £800, but this can be significantly more or less depending on several factors such as the type of charger, professional installation, and the brand you decide to go for.
This may seem like a lot, but trust us when we say that installing an EV charger at home will save you money in the long run and put an end to your dependence on external sources to power your electric car.
In addition to that, the UK government is currently offering an Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant, also called the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) grant, of up to 75% of a new wallbox charger with a maximum contribution of £350.
To qualify for OZEV’s EVHS grant, you must own an eligible EV or PHEV, or leased one for at least 6 months.
It is important to note that while all EVs are eligible for the OZEV grant, not all PHEVs are. To be eligible, your PHEV must have CO2 emissions below 50g/km.
Other qualifying factors are that:
If you are an electric car owner looking to install a home EV charging point, you’ve come to the right place.
At Calder Electrical, we install EV chargers in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce the installation costs for both domestic and commercial properties.
There are various chargers currently in the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your needs.
We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.
We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our charge points come with a 3-year warranty. We offer all kinds of different options to choose from such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units with different types of chargers and charging speeds.
Contact us right away for our expert opinion and professional services!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001