The era of electric vehicles (EVs) is upon us, heralding a significant shift in how we think about transportation. Recent Government analysis estimated that there will be around 10 million EVs on our roads by 2030.

As we navigate this new landscape, the role of home EV charging will quickly emerge as fundamental to this revolution, both here in the UK and internationally.

For many, charging at home will be the most convenient, and cheapest, method of charging an EV.

However, it marks a departure from traditional refuelling habits. We also understand that diving into the world of EV charging for the first time might be daunting.

This guide aims to help demystify the process and offer clarity and insight into the world of home EV charging.

 

What is a home charger, and why do I need one?

Charging your Electric Vehicle at home is not just about plugging into any socket. While most EVs can be charged using a standard 3-pin, 13-amp plug socket – this so called ‘Granny charger’ method is slow, inefficient and not particularly safe. Granny charging is not designed for long-term, high-current use, which can overheat the wiring and connections in your home, potentially leading to a fire hazard.

Instead, EV drivers looking to charge their cars at home should be looking to install a home EV charging: typically, a compact unit that allows users to charge safely and efficiently.

 

What are the different types of home EV charger?

Don’t be alarmed by the range of EV chargers on offer to you—that’s what we’re here to help with! Here, we outline the variety of shapes and sizes you can get for an EV charger, and which you might need.

  • Tethered vs Untethered charger: As you might guess by the name, a tethered charger comes with a cable permanently attached, so it’s always on hand for whenever you need to start a new charging session. An untethered charger, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a cable attached. This makes it more universal for different types of charge connector but comes with the additional need to manage cables.

  • Fast vs Rapid charger: Fast chargers, starting at 7kW, are the most common type of home EV charger. They are ideal for when a car is parked up for a few hours – such as overnight – and are significantly quicker and safer than using a 3-pin socket. In fact, a 7.4kW charger, like the Ohme Home Pro charge that we offer, can safely charge your car eight times faster than a 3-pin socket. Rapid chargers, ranging between 50kW and 350kW, are typically found at service stations and require a DC or high voltage connection to work. They charge more quickly but are not usually found in homes due to their higher power outputs.

  • Type 1 vs Type 2 chargers: Charger cables, which connect the car to the EV charger, have either a Type 1 or Type 2 plug on one end that fits with the EV connection. All charging cables come with a universal Type 2 connection at the charger end, regardless of whether they are Type 1 or Type 2. In Europe, the Type 2 inlet is the standard for charging cables, while the Type 1 inlet is the dominant variation in Asian, Japanese and American markets.

  • Smart vs Dumb chargers: A “dumb” charging station just charges the car. A smart charging station has the ability to connect to a smartphone through Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, and allows the owner to monitor their charging, check the power being delivered, review statistics from past charging sessions and more.

This allows the owner to see exactly how much energy the car is using and calculate how much the car costs to power. Some smart chargers can perform other tasks, like communicating with electricity suppliers, so users can charge their car when the electricity provided is the greenest available (or cheapest, in regions with time-of-use rates), and even load-share to balance charging load across multiple devices.

 

How long will it take to charge my Electric Vehicle?

The time it takes to charge an EV can vary greatly and can depend on factors like the type of charger used, the EV’s battery size, and its current level of charge. On average, a typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under eight hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.

If you want to work out your EV charging times, here’s the equation you can use to do so:

Battery size / charger speed = charging time

For example, a 50kWh Renault Zoe charged by a 7.4kW charger makes the equation of 50/7.4 = nearly seven hours to charge.

Rapid chargers found in public locations will charge your vehicle more quickly, ideal for quick top-ups during long journeys – although this typically comes at a cost. Generally, charging at home is significantly more cost-effective compared to public charging stations, particularly if your electricity provider offers special EV tariffs.

But when it comes to cost, several factors come into play: the type of charger, the electricity tariff you’re on, and the size of your EV's battery all influence how much you'll spend on charging.

 

When should I be charging? Charging Habits and EV Range

Adopting efficient charging habits is key to maximising your EV's potential and the mantra of 'Always Be Charging' (ABC) is considered good practice. This means taking every opportunity to charge – be it at home, work, or other public locations, such as larger supermarket car parks.

Additionally, optimising your EV’s range (the distance your electric car can cover on a single full charge) also involves being mindful of factors like driving style and the use of in-car features like climate control, as they can impact battery life.

 

Guidance for the road ahead

Understanding home EV charging is crucial in today's fast-evolving automotive landscape. From choosing the right charger to developing efficient charging habits, every aspect plays a vital role in enhancing your EV experience.

At Watson Fuels, we are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive guidance on your journey towards sustainable transportation. Take a look at our charger packages here to see what will work best for you.

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