Dedicated home car chargers are more convenient, faster and could save you money compared to a standard domestic socket.
Danny Morgan, editor at EV charge point installer Smart Home Charge, explains the benefits and how switching energy tariff can reduce your EV running costs even further.
If you have ordered, or you’re considering an electric car or plug-in hybrid for your own taxi or fleet, then chances are you already understand electric cars can offer big savings on running costs over the lifetime of the vehicle.
Switching to an electric car can bring “fuel” costs to around 5-7p per mile right off the bat, but according to the charging experts at Smart Home Charge you could reduce this as low as 1p per mile.
To do this, you need a 7.4kW smart home charge point installed and the right energy tariff.
Why should I bother with a 7.4kW charger? I’ve got a socket and a three-pin plug
Using a standard domestic socket (three-pin plug) is surprisingly effective, especially if you have a plug-in hybrid with a relatively small battery to charge. One of these will add around 10 miles of range per hour, so if your plug-in hybrid has a range of 30 miles then you can expect a full charge in about three hours.
Easily achieved, but they can still be inconvenient particularly if you have no external sockets. Besides, a full electric car will need more than three hours’ charge if you do a lot of miles.
Here are just four reasons why a dedicated home EV charge point is beneficial:
It's faster than a domestic socket
It's safer than a domestic socket
There's a £350 Government Grant available to buy a home charge point
"Smart charging" functionality allows you to take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates on your electricity tariff.
Pair the right energy tariff with your home charger
Having a 7.4kW smart home charger installed at home achieves two things:
You can add more range to your car in a shorter period of time
Smart scheduling functionality lets you choose when the car starts and stops charging.
“Fast” home charging on its own isn’t that useful. Yes, it’s nice to see those miles flow into your car quicker, but as most charging happens overnight you won’t really notice.
But combine the faster charging with the smart scheduling a smart home charger offers, and a world of charging possibilities open up for you.
The biggest of which is the ability to charge when electricity prices are low.
Many energy providers offer tariffs aimed at electric car drivers. These tariffs usually include cheaper prices overnight, when energy demand is typically low, to encourage drivers to charge while they’re asleep.
There are lots of different tariffs available which you can compare using the Smart Home Charge energy tariff comparison tool but the “off-peak” rates are usually for a few hours during the early morning.