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Electric Vehicles Part 1 – Charging at Home

With electric vehicles rising in popularity and becoming more accessible as the second hand market starts to emerge, there are more opportunities to charge at service stations, garages and even street charging ports. However, the most reliable method of charging, and as a result the most preferred, is home charging. In fact, it is estimated that around 80% of electric vehicle charging happens at home.

The convenience of home charging is undeniable and the ability to avoid fuel stations as much as possible is certainly a driving force. So, if you are considering investing in an electric vehicle, you will need to install a home charger. EV home chargers are the most convenient way to charge your EV – not to mention the cheapest. Here’s what you need to know.

Charging your car at home

You have two choices when it comes to home charging your car. You can either use your usual, domestic, three-pin plug, or you can install an EV charge point. While charging using your domestic plug sockets is a useful back up, especially if you are staying somewhere overnight, it is not the most efficient and can take 12 or more hours to charge fully.

By installing a dedicated home charge point you will benefit from efficient charging and if you get a Smart one, you can charge your vehicle when your tariff is low. Because a home charge point communicates with your car, it is the safest and most efficient method of charging. Compared to the maximum 3kW draw provided by a domestic plug, standard EV chargers offer 3.6 or 7kW, with the higher range giving you about a mile of power per minute. 22kW charge points are available and offer rapid charging, but as they require a 3-phase energy supply, they are not suitable for most homes.

Types of EV charge point

First, you need to choose between 3.6, 7 or 22kW supply. 3.6 is cheaper, but if you can invest in the 7kW you will reap the rewards of faster charging. Next, you need to decide whether you want a tethered or untethered EV charge point.

Tethered chargers have a cable attached. They come with Type 1 and Type 2 sockets, so you don’t need to worry about providing a cable. This convenience comes with a risk; if Type 1 or Type 2 sockets become obsolete, so will your charger.

Untethered chargers don’t have a cable. This means that you will have to supply your own; replacements cost around £100. However, a cable is usually supplied with a vehicle when bought new, and the untethered charger offers more versatility and looks tidier as there are no cables to put away.

The choice of tethered, untethered and the power supply is, as always, a balance of convenience, function and budget. Once you know roughly what you want, you can look at getting a home charger installed – follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter for next week’s instalment.

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