Nobody likes going to the petrol station. Not only are the prices wildly unpredictable, but it’s always an unpleasant and exhausting experience for most of us. So, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you never had to go to the petrol station again?
We might be a few generations removed from that eventuality, but now that electric cars are officially affordable, more people than ever before are trading in their gas-guzzlers for practical, eco-friendly, and increasingly fashionable electric alternatives. Perhaps the most exciting benefit of these electric beasts, however, is that they can actually be charged from home.
You’re probably noticing more and more electric surging points popping up every week, but these are just there for emergency charges or to help less well-optimised cars travel further. The real selling point of electric cars is the ability to home charge, which isn’t as complicated as you might assume.
While you’ll still need a qualified electrician to set you up with a dedicated charging point, once that’s installed, you may be able to get by without visiting a petrol or service station for the rest of the year.
How do you charge an electric car at home?
As convenient as it would be, you can’t simply plug your electric car into a mains socket like it’s a vacuum cleaner and let it get to work charging. You need a bespoke home charging point installed with enhanced safety features and weatherproofing – meaning it can be mounted safely outside.
In addition, each car will have a type 1 or a type 2 connector, so ensure you know which you need before ordering your unit. That being said, your dealer should be able to help you out on that front.
What’s the cost of installing a home charger?
This is where the penny drops a little, as home charger installation costs can cost from around £450 to install.
However, from April 1st 2020, all electric car owners will get a £350 grant from the government as part of its mission to improve electric adoption rates in the UK, which means you’ll technically only be paying £100 for it.
Not only that, but once you’re up and running you’ll only pay for the electricity you actually use. Given that the average overnight electricity rate in the UK is around 80 per kWh that’s a LOT of bang for your buck.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
With a typical home charger, you’ll get between 15 and 30 miles worth of charge per hour, which means if you leave it running overnight (when electricity costs are cheaper) then you should have a full charge every morning.
Indeed, charging at night means you will be paying effectively 2p per mile, which is significantly cheaper than even the most fuel-efficient diesel or petrol car. Treat it like charging your mobile phone.
If you’re considering ‘going electric’ then there has never been a better time (well, once lockdown ends, of course) and having a home charging point installed should only take a few hours and cost less than a big meal as long as you employ a professional electrician and take advantage of the OLEV grant.
So, next time you’re dreading another trip to the petrol station to fill up on overpriced petrol, maybe consider what you’ve read here and think about investing in the future. Because the future is almost certainly electric.