Charging Point Installations and Setup

Knowing how to charge an electric car can take a lot of the mystery out of these modern vehicles — and you might be surprised to learn that you can almost certainly charge an electric car at home using your existing mains power supply.

But for a faster and more convenient charging setup, you should consider installing a home charging point, with a built-in Type 1 or Type 2 cable, or a socket for your car's own charging cable to plug in.

In this guide, we will look in more detail at how to charge an EV, from installing a charging point to the different tethered and untethered options, and how to choose the location of your electric vehicle charge point home.

How to charge an electric car at home

Despite the increase in public charging infrastructure, most EV recharging takes place at home — about 80%, according to a 2019 Energy Saving Trust report. Because of this, the report recommended installing an EV charge point at home for easy overnight charging.

A dedicated charge point offers a number of benefits compared with plugging into a standard three-pin wall socket:

  • Faster time to full charge
  • Waterproof outdoor socket
  • Convenient location

Importantly, three-pin EV charging cables usually must not be used with a standard extension lead, so unless you have a mains socket in a secure location near your driveway, it can be difficult to conveniently charge an electric car in this way.

If this leaves you wondering, "So how do I charge my EV?" a dedicated home charge point could be the solution - they are economical to install, an expert can take care of the electrical work for you, and you could even add value to your home as a result.

Tethered or untethered home charge point?

One of the biggest decisions about your home charger is whether to install a tethered charge point or an untethered charge point - so what's the difference?

  • A tethered charge point has a built-in cable compatible with Type 1 or Type 2 sockets, so compatible vehicles can be charged without a separate cable.
  • An untethered charge point (sometimes called a socketed charge point) provides a socket into which you plug your vehicle's own charging cable.

Tethered charge points are convenient because you can plug the tethered cable directly into your vehicle  — but a Type 2 vehicle cannot charge from a Type 1 charge point, and vice versa, without using some kind of adapter.

Untethered charge points mean you still need your vehicle's charging cable, but they look tidier on the wall. They're also more likely to be future-proof if new EVs start using a different plug configuration in the years ahead.

If you want the widest compatibility, untethered charge points make the most sense. They're a good option if your household uses multiple electric vehicles, and should mean you can charge future EVs if you upgrade your electric car leasing over the years.

How to get a home charger installed

It's a good idea to choose a reputable installer to make sure the background checks are done correctly before your home charger is installed.

There aren't too many basic requirements  — you need to own your property, or get permission from your landlord, and you should have a safe offroad parking place for your vehicle while it is charging.

For a smart charger, which can be controlled remotely via the internet, you will also need a reliable home Wi-Fi connection. This allows the charger to communicate with the charging operator, to turn on at times when your electricity is cheaper or there is less local demand on the grid.

In terms of the home EV charger installation process itself, a good installer will offer several services, usually with little to no input needed from you:

  • Background checks on the local power grid and any safety concerns
  • Applying for any available government grants to cover costs
  • Working with local grid operators to get permission for installation
  • Physically installing the charge point and connecting the power
  • Commissioning the charge point and checking it works correctly

You may be asked to be at home while the physical installation itself is carried out, but you won't usually need to do much other than fill in a form.

Where to put a home charge point

The best location for a home charge point for EVs is often quite obvious. Ask yourself several simple questions:

  • Where do you usually park your vehicle (or vehicles, if you have more than one)?
  • Is it safe and secure to install a charge point on the front of your property?
  • Are there any restrictions on installing a visible charge point (e.g. in heritage areas)?
  • Will it be safe to have a charging cable trailing to your vehicle?
  • Will the charge point have a strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal?

An untethered charge point has less aesthetic impact and will normally look fine on the front of any property unless you are in a conservation zone where you are not allowed to have visible additions to your frontage.

Once you have answered all of the above questions, it's likely that you will have significantly narrowed down the potential places where your home charge point installation can go.

If you're still not sure, consider drawing a scale plan of your property, garden, driveway, and so on, use a piece of string to represent your charging cable, and see how far it will reach and how much of a trip hazard it could be.

When you've done all of this and still have several potential locations to choose from, it's a matter of personal preference  — so imagine arriving home and plugging your vehicle in to charge, and choose the location where you think you will be happiest to do this on a regular basis.

A home charge point should be conveniently placed, while still being discreet and secure against any passers-by, so that you can charge your EV quickly, safely, and benefit from lower electricity tariffs when charging overnight.

 

Home charging point

Home Charging Point