Charging your electric vehicle is a pretty important part of owning an EV (Electric Vehicle). We’re going to run through everything you need to know about charging an electric vehicle, before you buy a used EV!
In the UK, over 90% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. This is usually the cheapest and most convenient way, but sometimes we may need to rely on public charging stations for a top up.
Thankfully, the number of charging stations across the UK is rapidly increasing but it can still be daunting when you buy an EV to consider how to charge it. We’ll be focusing on what charging options you have, how much it will cost you and whether you need smart features on your chargers.
CHARGING AN EV AT HOME
Have you decided to buy a used EV? Then you’re probably considering the best options for charging your vehicle at home!
A wallbox is probably your best option! They’re purpose-made EV chargers that can be fitted at your home, or any workplace. They are usually mounted to an external wall of your house or garage, but can be installed inside a garage or mounted on a free-standing post.
The biggest benefit of having a wallbox fitted is that they can charge your EV up to three times faster than a standard, domestic plug socket. They’re also a far neater, and safer, option than trailing a cable out of a garage or a window.
When you’re considering purchasing and installing a wallbox it’s important to consider the following three things – speed, tethering and whether it has smart features.
The speed of your wallbox will determine how quickly your EV will charge. All home wallboxes use an AC supply and most will be either 3kW or 7kW. A 3kW wallbox is considered the standard and is slower than a 7kW charger. You can also get 11kW or 22kW AC wallboxes, however these are generally found in industrial buildings as they require three-phase wiring, which the vast majority of residential properties do not have.
If we take the Renault ZOE as an example, we can have a look at some rough charging times! The ZOE is fitted with a 50kWh battery, which means when using a 3kW charger it will take around 17 hours to charge. A 7kW wallbox cuts this to just under seven hours, while a 22kW charger will take just over two hours.
Tethered wallbox chargers are the most popular styles of wallbox as they are more convenient than untethered ones. They come with a charging cable preinstalled, which means you don’t have to worry about finding your charging cable.
The only downside to owning a tethered wallbox is that you could run into issues in the future if you choose to change your EV model. Although it seems unlikely that anything other than Type 2 charging sockets will be the norm!
With untethered wallboxes, you will need to have your own Type 2 charger to connect to it. These are usually supplied free when you purchase any electric vehicle. It’s more hassle than tethered wallboxes as you have to search for your charging cables and plug them in, before being able to charge your EV.
Most modern wallboxes are fitted with smart features now. Smart chargers are charging units that are connected to the internet. They can be monitored and controlled on your mobile phone, meaning you can check charging data or see where your nearest public charging point is.
They’re also fast – much faster than using a standard three-pin plug. These units have more power and therefore can charge your EV a lot quicker! You’re able to schedule your charging routine around your life making sure your EV is ready to go when you need it!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN EV AT HOME?
How much it will cost you to charge your electric vehicle will largely depend on your home electricity tariff. In the UK, the average rate is 14.4p per kWh. This means to fully charge a 50kWh model, such as the Renault ZOE, it will cost around £7.20.
However, lots of energy companies offer tariffs for electric vehicle owners which have cheaper overnight rates. These allow you to charge your EV overnight for as little as 4.5p per kWh – slashing the cost of charging the ZOE to roughly £2.20!
CAN I USE A DOMESTIC PLUG SOCKET?
Of course, but we would recommend only doing this as a last resort. Most manufacturers recommend having a wallbox fitted and some don’t even supply three-pin cables as standard.
If you are going to charge your EV using a three-pin cable, then you should expect it to be slower… much slower. This method is also known as trickle charging. Instead of taking 17 hours on a 3kW wallbox, the ZOE now takes more than 28 hours to charge.
COST OF INSTALLING A WALLBOX
The price of installing a wallbox at home depends on various factors, including it’s speed, whether it has smart features and even the design. Prices for a standard wallbox installation start at around £700 – £800, but these can rise to over £1,000.
As you can imagine, the more powerful the wallbox, the more expensive it will be to install. For example a 7kW charger will cost more than a 3kW charger. Smart chargers appear to be more expensive than ones without smart chargers. However, that’s not taking into account the Government grant – more on that later!
If you’re buying a brand new EV, you may find that installing a charger is already included in the price of your electric vehicle. Some car manufacturers also offer a contribution towards the cost or will supply a free wallbox to their EV buyers.
EV CHARGING GRANTS
To encourage the sales of electric vehicles, the UK government provides a grant towards the installation of a wallbox. This scheme will cover the costs of 75% (up to £350) of a wallbox installation.
The government grant brings the cost of a standard unit down to £450 – £500. Plus, it makes the smart chargers actually cheaper than the ones without smart features!
You can find more information, or apply for the government grant, here. It’s even better news if you’re based in Scotland! The Energy Saving Trust will provide up to £250 more on top of the £350 already granted. An additional £100 is also available for those in the most remote parts of the country.
BUY A USED EV TODAY!
Now you’re up to date on how to charge an electric vehicle, it’s time to buy one! We truly believe that EVs are the future of the motoring industry and we love them! They’re fun, full of entertainment and guaranteed to provide the drive of a lifetime.
We have a number of used electric vehicles available for sale here. All of which were previously used as hire vehicles for our sister company, EVision Electric Vehicles. We specialise in EV sales on a wide variety of makes and models of electric vehicles, from BMWs and Teslas to Peugeot and Vauxhall electric vans!
If you’re ready to buy a used EV, then check out our stocklist here or give us a call on 01643 914 063.
* All information correct as of 30/08/2021.