Charging Your EV at Home

Electric cars have become extremely popular in recent years due to the numerous advantages that they offer. Many electric cars have great range these days and are extremely good for short commutes. Their silent operation can make driving more comfortable, and they’re kitted out with some fantastic tech that makes these cars really exciting.

But how much do you know about charging electric cars? Is it something you can do with a regular mains outlet, or do you need to install something special before you can power your vehicle? We understand that there are a lot of concerns and misconceptions when it comes to charging your vehicle, so here’s a complete guide on how to do it at home.

How do you charge an electric car at home?

Charging an electric vehicle at home can be done with a charging point. EV-specific chargers are attached to your electricity supply and can be installed anywhere convenient for you such as in your garage or near your driveway.

Charging your electric car at home using a standard domestic plug. Typically works better for less expensive electric cars as there’s a higher chance that it will charge by the time that you need it, but most of these cables aren’t designed for high charging loads. They’re often far too slow for your car’s battery to recharge in a decent time frame, but they’re fine if you have no other option or currently don’t have a charging station installed.

Do you have to charge an electric vehicle at home?

Not at all. There are many public locations for you to charge your electric vehicle. Depending on the plan that you use, you might even be able to charge it for free at certain locations with sophisticated high-powered chargers.

For many people, charging your electric vehicle at home is more convenient and can be better value over a long period of time, especially if you have to pay to charge your vehicle. You can simply drive your car wherever you want, bring it back home, and then just plug it in and leave it overnight. It’s really no different from other electronics such as your phone, smartwatch, laptop, and so on. This makes charging your electric vehicle at home one of the more convenient ways to ensure it always has plenty of juice for your commutes or trips.

Having the option of charging at home and charging in a public location is always good. It adds a lot more convenience and enables you to use your vehicle without having to worry about keeping it topped up every day.

The cost of installing an electric vehicle charger at home

If you’re looking to switch to an electric vehicle it’s a great idea to factor in the cost of installing the EV charger at home. The cost of installing an electric vehicle charger at home will depend on whether you install it yourself or pay to have it stalled by a specialist.

There are two options when it comes to installing an electric vehicle charger; the DIY approach and hiring a specialist. Technicians will charge varying costs depending on the service they’re with and any additional perks that you want to pay for. It also depends on the type of charger that you want to install and where it will be located. There may be additional costs if you need to hire an electrician to help route your power to a certain location, and a bit of light renovation may be required so that you can fit the electric vehicle charger in your desired location. It’s worth noting though that lots of brands offer free home chargers like Audis offer on new BEV’s.

How long does it take to charge an EV at home?

In most cases, electric vehicle charging will be decided by the input power and the size of the battery. A powerful electric vehicle charger, will charge up the battery much quicker than a standard three-pin plug. If your electric vehicle has a larger battery then it will take longer than an electric vehicle with a smaller battery.

One of the myths around electric vehicles is that they can take days to charge due to the immense amount of electricity required to power them. However, this is completely false nowadays. Not only do the batteries charge within a few hours, but the amount of electricity they use has also been drastically cut down. This is why electric vehicles have become so incredibly power efficient, but of course this does depend on the type of charger you use.

A standard home charger is 7kw and will typically charge your car to full in just under 8 hours, the perfect time for you to get a good night sleep before setting of in the morning. Charging at home is also the cheapest option especially at off peak times like at night!

How often does an electric vehicle need to be charged at home?

Much like any electronic device in your household that requires charging, it’s safe to charge your electric car as much as you need it. Some people prefer to use up the battery before charging it, and others like to always keep it topped up so that they have a full tank of electricity whenever they need to use it. As such, the frequency at which you charge your electric vehicle will really depend on you.

White Electric Car being charged close up

Installing an electric vehicle charger at home

As mentioned above, the most common option for charging a vehicle at home is to use an electric vehicle charging station. But is this an economical option and what advantages does it offer? Here’s some basic information about installing an electric vehicle charger in your home.

Things to consider before installing an electric vehicle charger:

  • Where will you place the charger? The most common areas would be in your garage or near your driveway so that you can charge your vehicle whenever it’s parked. Luckily, most charging stations are designed to be waterproof so you don’t need to worry about keeping them outdoors.
  • What brands should you consider? There are a number of options available on the market and some of them are more suitable for different brands or models. Your manufacturer may have suggestions available for your particular vehicle, so you can always refer to the manual for advice. Alternatively, our experts at Swansway Garages can help you decide on the best charging station brand for your vehicle and needs.
  • Do you need to install a car charger at home? If your electric vehicle is fairly low powered then you might be able to skip installing the charger completely. A standard three-pin power cable might be all you need, especially if you don’t drive very often, giving your car more time to charge. Its also important to note that home chargers can only be installed at households with a driveway.
  • Tethered versus untethered? There are two types of chargers; tethered and untethered. Tethered means that there’s a cable that you can drag out from the charging station which is then plugged into your vehicle. This can be useful if you want a simple and convenient solution for your car charging needs. Untethered means that the charging station has a socket, meaning you’ll need to plug in your own cable. Both of these options are perfectly fine and you’ll want to decide for yourself which one offers more convenience.
  • Special features? Most electric vehicle chargers on the market today come with special features that might be worth your money. For example, eco charging mode can make use of solar panels that you have installed, and some even have built-in SIM card slots so that you can make use of network features without having an internet connection. Some also have more elegant solutions for maintaining cables if you have a tethered charger.

As you can see, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when choosing your electric vehicle charger. While many of these decisions can seem daunting, you can rest assured knowing that most of the options available on the market today will follow the same kind of feature set. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our electric vehicle specialists at Swansway Garages.

Tips for charging your electric vehicle at home

So to end the article, let’s take a look at some tips to help you make charging your electric vehicle a bit easier and safer.

Try to avoid charging the battery above 80% - Unless you know that you’ll be more than 80% of the car’s battery capacity in a single trip, try to keep it charged at 80% or below. This helps to extend the lifetime of your battery, meaning your vehicle won’t need a battery replacement anytime soon. Battery replacements can be surprisingly expensive if you’re not careful with how you treat your vehicle, so make absolutely sure that you’re doing what you can to preserve its health.

Try and charge your vehicle at night - Most plans offer reduced electricity costs at night. This means that you can save a fair amount of money if you decide to only charge your electric vehicle during the late hours. This can reduce your overall energy bill and ultimately makes your car a bit cheaper to run. While there are times that you can’t avoid charging during the day, you’ll save a significant amount of money if you try to plan your electric car usage so that you can charge it during off-hours.

Check how much charge your vehicle can take - Before you decide to purchase and install an electric vehicle charger, it’s important to check exactly how much charge your vehicle can take so that you don’t purchase a charger that is too powerful. For example, if your car can only charge at around 7kW per hour, then you should find a charger that is rated for that exact amount. This ensures that your vehicle charges as quickly as it can, but also helps you save money since you’re not trying to overload it with a more powerful charge. Not only does this save money, but it also ensures that you don’t damage your vehicle in the process.

Conclusion - Electric cars are a fantastic option to consider if you’re looking for a convenient vehicle that you can use for short commutes. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Swansway Garages for more information about our electric car stock and electric charging station options. Whether you’re interested in switching to an electric vehicle or want to create a convenient charging station in your garage, we’re confident that we can help you achieve your goals.

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