Got an electric car? Or maybe you're thinking of buying one. Either way, there's no doubt you'll be wanting to consider home charging. Here's how you can minimise the amount of time you spend visiting a public charging station by hooking your car up at home.
Are all-electric car chargers the same?
It's goodbye petrol stations and hello home charging. Imagine how lush it would be simply arriving home in your electric car, plugging it in, and waking up to a fully charged battery? Using a home charger is the cheapest and easiest way to charge an electric car, believe it or not.
Charging has never been more important and there are many different types of electric car chargers these days. From slow charging, which uses a standard 3-pin plug or a wall box charger. Pin plug charging is great but with battery sizes getting bigger by the day, this could take well over 24 hours to give you a full charge, so it's probably not your best bet when looking at chargers.
What is a wall box charger?
A wall box charger is where it's at if you committed to everyday electric vehicle use. Installed on the side of your house or in a garage, it can deliver faster charging times safely and doesn't require massive amounts of cables running through the house. It simply hooks up to your home's electric supply and allows you to charge your car.
Did you know that a partially charged battery fills up much quicker than a drained one? If your battery was completely drained though, you can even buy fast charging units so you'll never have to worry about the time it takes to charge the battery from nothing. There are also 'smart' units, which take charging even further. You can programme it remotely so that it only charges at certain times, for example when your electricity is at its cheapest.
Most people tend to leave their electric car on charge at home overnight so they wake up to a lovely fully charged battery in the morning. Sounds bliss, doesn't it? Speed is another advantage with wall box units being able to deliver 7kW, which is three times faster than a standard domestic socket.
How to get a wall box charger installed
It's one thing knowing all about a wall box charger, but getting one installed is something else. Some car manufacturers offer free or discounted home chargers when you buy or lease a new electric car. So long as you're getting a good deal, that's all that matters.
British Gas has to be one the biggest companies that have geared up to help drivers charge their electric cars at home. Most companies say it can take around 3-6 weeks from start to finish for them to install a wall box charger at your home, which might sound too long, but the majority of this will be safety checks, you can count on it.
Is it a stress-free process? Most people would say it is, there's just a few bits and pieces to fill in, a chat with an engineer to discuss the technical details and jobs a gooden. You just need to make sure you'll be at home for a few hours on the day of installation. Sound straightforward? It is if you have the company selling the wall box fit it for you. If not then you could be searching high and low for a technician.
How much does it cost to install?
The price of a wall box charger generally tends to start from around £800, but it can depend on the type your after.
For example, you're looking at around £100 for a standard 3kW charger and £300 for a 7kW. If it's a smart one your after, then you could be looking at anything from £450 to £1000.
You should find that the cost of fitting is included in the price, If you look in the right places you might even find that some companies are offering a free wall box and fitting when you purchase one of their electric cars!
Depending on your property wiring and where you want the wall box charger, you may have to pay a little extra if it's too far away from your fuse box.
Don't worry your head too much about the costs though! Thanks to the electric car home charging grant, this can help electric car owners with up to 75% of the cost of installing an electric car charger at home. Saving you even less stress having to worry about being able to afford it.
The grant is capped sadly at £350 and is open to all of us who have an electric car with access to off-street parking, Let's say you're looking at around £800 for installation, you could get this knocked down to around £450 thanks to this grant if you're lucky!