HOME CHARGING for electric vehicles requires a simple installation close to where the car will be charged and a routine similar to charging a mobile phone as the process takes several hours – although technology is constantly advancing.
Recently Alphabet announced Chargemaster as its official EV charging partner.
The need for close proximity parking is likely to rule out most on-street parking situations for home charging.
In that situation electric vehicle users will need to look to the growing network of publicly available chargers, with 50 kW ultra fast units promising a 30-minute charge up. Zap-Map provides a desktop and mobile solution to finding EV charger sites with availability and speeds.
Home charger cost and grants:
There is a £500 grant available from government for home charging units and there are approved suppliers under the government’s EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme), such as Chargemaster, which will handle the application and collect the subsidy.
As a guide, Chargemaster unit installations cost from £279 inc VAT after the grant for a 3kW unit that’s 60% faster than a 13A socket. A 7kW unit that’s three times faster than 13A is £354. A 22kW unit that’s ten times faster costs £1,200 and needs a three-phase power supply.
Power cost of home charging:
You only pay the energy provider and this can vary with suppliers, but the average industry price is 10.3p per kWh (about £2 to £3 for a full charge on a car such as a Nissan Leaf)
Plugging in the car
Use of a 13A socket is not recommended by government and car manufacturers and is very slow. The extended current flow can be dangerous and create a fire hazard. Use of an extension lead from a 13A plug is prohibited.
Home charge units are wired directly into the fuse box with appropriate cabling and can be located indoors or in the drive. Chargemaster units are approved by all EV car manufacturers.
Length of cable
A tethered Homecharge unit has a built-in charging cable with a connector dedicated to your vehicle type. Tethered cables are built to an industry standard of 4.7m and extenders are not available. A socketed unit offers a more future-proof solution.
Duration of charging:
Depending on the speed of the charger installed, the battery capacity of the car and vehicle on-board charging rate, a fully electric vehicle such as a Nissan Leaf is estimated at 3-4 hours with a 7kW and double that with a 3kW charger installed.