Home EV charger installation: Frequently asked questions
Team Egg | 07/02/2024
We roundup your most frequently asked questions about installing Home EV Charging. Ready to park up and plug in?
At a Glance
How do I choose between slow, rapid and home EV chargers?
What are the home requirements for a home charging station?
Charging your EV at home is way cheaper, greener, and easier than venturing out to public stations. If you're considering an EV, or even if you're just curious about how they work, you might have some questions about Home EV charging. After all, it is the most convenient way to charge your EV – just park up, plug in, and head into the comfort of your own home!
To help you navigate the world of home EV charging, here's a quick roundup of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Q. What type of home charger do I need?
The type of charger you need depends on your EV's battery capacity and your charging needs. Currently, there are three types of chargers available: Slow, Home, and Rapid/Ultra Rapid EV Chargers.
Slow EV Chargers
If you only need to top up your vehicle occasionally, a slow EV charger, which plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet may suffice. These chargers are less common, but still exist!
When it comes to slow charging, we're talking about socket-only units. These chargers require a cable to connect your EV to the charging point.
Now, most electric vehicles come equipped with their own cable, which you simply plug into your regular socket. These cables are typically set at a charging rate of 3kW. That's enough to get your electric ride rolling at a leisurely pace.
The charging rates for slow chargers can vary between 2.3 kW and 3 kW, depending on where you're juicing up. If you're charging up at home using a trusty 3-pin plug, your car will usually draw 2.3 kW (10A). But if you're out and about and stumble upon a friendly lamp-post charger, they often come in two flavours - 5.5 kW or 3 kW.
Now, here's the part where patience is key. The time it takes to reach that coveted 100% charge can vary. It depends on the charging unit you're using and the specific EV you're charging. On a 3 kW unit, expect to wait around 10-14 hours for a full charge. And if your electric beauty has a bigger battery, well, you might want to bring a good book or two, especially if you're starting from empty!
While slow charging can be done with a three-pin socket, we’d highly recommend getting a dedicated EV charger installed at home if you know you’re going to need to be charging up regularly. And with our EV Charger Plan, you’ll have no up-front installation costs and maintenance included with Egg Plus.
Home EV Chargers
For faster charging and longer range, we recommend a Level 2 7kW or 22kW charger, which plugs into a 240-volt outlet. When it comes to charging your electric vehicle, speed matters! A 7kW fast charger can juice up your EV battery in approximately 4-6 hours, while a zippy 22kW unit can do the job in just a couple of hours.
Now, here's an important tidbit: most fast chargers you'll encounter are socket only. But guess what? Some chargers at home and in the workplace come with cables already attached.
If your charger is tethered, that means it has a cable attached to it. This cable isn't just any cable; it's designed for specific car models, depending on the connector type at the end. So, when it comes to choosing your charger and cable type, make sure it's a match for your electric vehicle. The right connection ensures your EV charging experience is smooth and efficient.
Rapid/Ultra Rapid EV Chargers
Rapid chargers are as the name suggests, the fastest way to charge an EV. You’re most likely to find these at public charging stations, i.e., on a motorway!
Rapid chargers can turbocharge your EV battery, zipping it up to 80% capacity in as little as 20 minutes. But let's talk about the average scenario. For most new EVs, a standard 50 kW rapid charge point will take around an hour to get that battery charged up and ready to roll.
Now, let's step into the future with Ultra-Rapid DC chargers. These next-gen charging points are superheroes in disguise. They crank out a whopping 100 kW of power (or sometimes even more). This is a game-changer because, let's face it, newer EVs are packing bigger batteries.
With an EV that can gulp down 100 kW or more, you're looking at charging times as short as 20-40 minutes for your average top-up, even if your electric beauty has a hefty battery. And here's the cool part: if your EV can handle a max of 50 kW DC, no worries! Ultra-rapid charge points adjust their power output to match what your car can handle. It's like a tailor-made charge just for your ride.
Rapid chargers take as little as 20 minutes to reach 80% battery capacity.
Q. What is the difference between a tethered (cable-attached) and an untethered (socket-only) charger?
If you never want to forget or lose your cable (you’ll be surprised at how often that happens), go for a cable-attached charger! Why? Because the cable is already there and waiting for you.
For our minimalistic friends who don’t like the look of a bulky cable, the socket-only cable is perfect. Of course, you will still need a cable but this option is much tidier as you can detach the cable anytime you want. You will need to purchase a cable if you don’t have one. Plus, upgrading to a better cable is easier with this option.
Q. Is it cheaper to charge an electric car at home or a public charging station?
In the UK, we've got a multitude of charging point operators, offering various charging speeds. From "fast" chargers to "ultra-rapid" chargers zipping up to 350 kilowatts (kW). But when it comes to keeping an eye on costs, we're focusing on the "rapid" and "ultra-rapid" chargers. Why? Because these are the go-to options for long journeys and for folks who can't charge up at home.
Here's a key nugget of info: EVs typically allow rapid charging up to 80% to safeguard the battery's health. So, when we crunch the numbers, we're looking at the cost of charging from 0% to 80%.
We're basing our calculations on a 64 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery – it's an average size found in many family-sized EVs cruising the UK roads today. Charging that 64 kWh battery to 80% takes about 51.2 kW of electricity. In March 2021, the cost for a rapid charge was around 32p per kWh. So, charging to 80% cost just over £16 and gave you a driving range of approximately 188 miles.
We're not just about numbers – we're here to help you put things in perspective. We've also calculated the average cost per mile of driving an electric car and compared it to the cost of driving a petrol or diesel car.
Our electric car calculations are based on an assumed efficiency of 3.5 miles per kWh. Just like miles per gallon in a petrol or diesel vehicle, an EV's efficiency depends on various factors, including your driving style.
For petrol and diesel cars, we've assumed an average of 40 miles per gallon, equivalent to 8.81 miles per litre, with per-litre costs from RAC Fuel Watch.
Now, let's talk home charging! We've based our costs on Ofgem's capped rates for standard variable tariffs. But guess what? EV drivers can score even cheaper overnight charging with specialised tariffs from certain suppliers.
The bottom line: Charging at home remains a wallet-friendly choice, even with electricity prices in mind. Starting from October 2023, fully charging an EV with a 64 kWh battery (from 0% to 100%) at home maxes out at £17.28 with some energy providers offering tariffs as low as 9 p/kWh! Some energy providers even offer lower overnight prices, giving you a budget-friendly charge for your EV!
Q. What are the benefits of charging your EV at home?
There’s no denying that charging your EV at home is the most convenient way to charge your EV. Home charging means that you’re reducing your carbon footprint by avoiding those extra trips to public stations. It’s also significantly cheaper as you can take advantage of cheap off-peak energy rates from your supplier of choice. Finally, the ease and convenience of charging at home are unmatched as you just need to plug in your charger and relax!
Q. What is the best time for EV charging at home?
You’re not the only one charging their batteries when you go to sleep! Many energy suppliers offer lower rates for overnight off-peak charging. Of course, you can also charge your EV during the day at regular rates (or with solar for free... cough cough). Keep an eye out for specific EV tariffs as many energy suppliers now provide discounted tariffs for EV owners.
Q. What are the different features of a home EV charging station?
Here are the different features you’ll find in a quality home EV charging station:
The Egg EV charger can be connected to the internet in one of three ways: Wi-Fi, 4G, or a hard-wired Ethernet connection.
Cable-attached or socket-only options
Egg chargers come with or without a 5m attached cable, which gives you the option to choose the length and aesthetic that best suits your needs.
Make sure to check for this one! We offer a minimum of a 3-year warranty for your EV charger and our Egg Plus plan comes with a repair-or-replace promise for complete peace of mind.
Make sure your EV charger is built to withstand any weather, from rain and snow to dust and storms.
Boost features let you override any pre-set schedule to start charging your vehicle immediately when you need it. Smart, right?
With our Smart App, you can track your charging history and enjoy benefits such as smart scheduling, automatic updates and solar integration.
Q. What is the installation process for a home EV charger?
At Egg, the installation process is as easy as ABC! Once you’ve selected your EV charger and placed an order, our Eggsperts will soon be over for a quick, stress-free installation. You will only be billed after the installation is complete.
Q. What are the home requirements for a home charging station?
The only requirement for an EV charger is off-street parking such as a garage or driveway. If you have either of these, you’re all set for the next steps.
You have off-street parking if you have space for your vehicle that is not on a public road. We’re talking about a garage, driveway or carport. A privately owned parking space is also allowed, but it must be accessible with no cables running across public footpaths or passageways.
Q. How do I choose a home EV charger?
When it comes to choosing the perfect home EV charger, make sure to go for a high-quality product that is backed by reviews and reliable customer service.
For example, our home EV chargers (EO and Indra Smart Pro) have been selected after testing out all other products in the market. They are fast, reliable and competitively priced to ensure that your EV charging experience is as hassle-free as it can possibly be.
They also come with in-app controls, smart scheduling, automatic updates and built-in safety features!
Q. Are there any EV charging best practices I should follow at home?
We recommend allowing the battery to fully discharge before recharging. Remember to only charge your EV to 80% as this can extend your battery’s life. Most cars are already pre-set to charge to 80%, but if you need to, you always have the option to manually override this with our smart app.
So there you have it – all the most frequently asked questions about Home EV charging you need to know in order to make an informed decision.
If you would like to get cracking and check out your options for a premium charger that is both affordable and reliable, don’t forget to check out our Egg EV Chargers.
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