If you own an electric car, the easiest and cheapest way of charging it is with a home charger.
No more having to make a special trip to fuel your car: it fills up with electricity while sitting outside your house. And no more wondering what the price of petrol or diesel will be every time you drive on to a forecourt.
Fitting an EV wallbox charger
In order to take full advantage of the switchover to electric vehicles, you will need off-street parking of some kind – a drive, carport or garage – in order to fit a charger, in the form of a wallbox. You can plug your car in to a domestic socket, but this charges at the very slow rate of 2.4kW, so it could take all day (and some of the next) to get a full battery.
A wallbox will be connected to your domestic electricity supply, so you’ll see the cost of charging your EV on your electricity bill, just like any other appliance. A 7kW wallbox is the most common choice, as it charges a car overnight, but you can get lower (and slower) 3.6kW units, or faster 22kW chargers, but you’ll probably need to upgrade your domestic supply – and, even then, some electric cars can’t receive a 22kW AC charge.
Types of EV wallbox charger
There is a growing variety of wallbox charger options, but before choosing a supplier, decide on whether you want a tethered or untethered charger.
A tethered charger has a cable attached to the wallbox, so all you have to do is plug it into your car. It saves the hassle of going into your boot for cables every time you need to charge.
An untethered charger doesn’t have its own lead, so you do have to use your cables – but the advantage is that you can use either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector, depending on which one your car uses.
Modern wallboxes also have smart functionality, which means you can access them remotely via an smartphone app. This also allows you to choose when to charge your car (when electricity prices are low, in the middle of the night, for example) and monitor your car’s charging status.
What does a EV wallbox charger cost?
Fitting a wallbox isn’t cheap, so expect a bill of £800-1,000 – unless you get it fitted before 31 March 2022 and make a claim for a government grant by 30 April 2022 - learn more about charger grants in our Charging grants guide.
The grant, from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), covers 75% of the cost of a home charger, up to a maximum of £350. This means that your charger could cost £500-700. The unit must be fitted by an installer approved by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and they will then claim the grant on your behalf.
That is still a lot of money: but on the other hand, consider how much you spend annually on petrol or diesel. The charger will cost the same as 10-15 fill-ups of a car’s fuel tank. Yes, you’ll have to pay for the electricity that charges your car, but the cost will be far lower than what you spend at the filling station.
How much does it cost to charge at home?
So you’ve fitted your wallbox and you’re ready to charge, but curious about exactly how much cheaper an EV is to run than a petrol or diesel car.
At the time of writing, the average cost of electricity is 17.2p per kWh, which means that an EV with a 60kWh battery will cost around £10 for a full charge. You can’t buy much petrol or diesel with a tenner. That fully charged 60kWh battery should get you 200-250 miles before you need to charge again: even if you can get 50mpg out of your petrol or diesel car, £10 won’t get you much beyond 75 miles.
The numbers don’t lie: EVs really are cheaper and more efficient to run.