A Brief Guide to electric vehicle charging at home

1.    What are Electric Vehicle Charging Points?

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points are dedicated sockets where you can plug in your EV to charge it up. They vary in power, which means the time it takes to charge your EV will also vary. The more powerful the charge point, the faster your car will charge. The charge point types are listed below:

Charger Speed Charger Power Average Charge Time *
3-pin plug 2kW 20 hrs or more
Slow 3kW 15 – 20 hrs
Fast 7 – 22kW 10 – 12 hrs
Rapid 50kW + 1hr or less
Ultra-rapid 100 – 350kW 40 mins or less
*Charge times are based on an average fully electric vehicle. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) usually has a much smaller battery and would take much less time to charge.

With the number of EVs on the roads in the UK increasing each year, the charging infrastructure is being built out accordingly. There are now more than 30,000 charging points in over 11,000 locations across the UK. You can use sites/apps like zap-map to help you find charge points, see their availability and what it costs to use them.

2.    Can I charge at home?

Some public charging points can be expensive to use, so it makes sense to have a charging point installed at your home to control your driving costs.

You can charge your EV using a cable with a common 3-pin plug attached to it. These cables often come with the vehicle or can be bought for around £200. As shown above, they take the longest time to charge your car.

To charge faster, you will need to have a charge point professionally installed. The power rating of home charger points range from 3.6kW to 7.4kW. If you have a charge point installed, you should also look at switching your electricity tariff to an EV one such as Octopus Go, which provides a cheaper rate for charging your EV over night.

If you decide to buy a solar PV system, the installer may also give you the option of having a charging point installed as well. Some charge points allow you to divert excess solar energy from the PV panels to charge your car. If your car is regularly at home during the day time then you can make even better use of the energy generated by your solar panels.

3.    How much does a charge point cost?

Installing an EV charge point installed at home can cost between £350 to £1,000. This cost can increase though if there is additional groundwork required, or if the cable run is greater than 15m.

There is government funding available to help with this cost, provided you use an Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) accredited installer (previously known as ‘OLEV’). The charging point itself also needs to be on the OZEV approved list.

4.    I don’t have a driveway, can I still charge at home?

For properties that don’t have off-street parking, such as a driveway, Portsmouth City Council is regularly bidding for government funding to install charge points on the street at the request of residents. These are marked bays with the charge point fitted to a lamp post or bollard.

To request a charge point in your street or for more information, visit the Council’s electric charge point page.

5.    Other useful links

  • Take a look at our solar PV guide here.
  • Visit Switched On Solar to see the PV potential of your home.
  • Check out our blog for more energy and sustainability updates and info.