Your guide to on-street EV charging
Elisha Keep | 23/03/2022
Got questions about charging your EV on the street or on the go? Don’t worry, we’ll be answering all your burning questions so you’re not left in the dark.
At a Glance
Find out what your options are if you don’t have a driveway to install a home charge point
And read our top tips and tricks for using public chargers and charging on-the-go
We know it’s not possible for everyone with an electric vehicle to install their own home charging system. Thankfully, more public charging infrastructure is being put in place around the country to support those making the switch to electric.
Got questions about charging your EV on the street or on the go?
Don’t worry, we’ll be answering all your burning questions so you’re not left in the dark.
What are my options if I don’t have a driveway to install a home charge point?
According to the English Housing Survey, around 20% of the UK population live in flats. And we know flats or apartments don’t always come with the most flexible parking arrangements.
For those of you without a driveway but wanting to go electric, you have a few charging options for your EV:
Charge your EV using a public network or ‘destination’ charge points - for example at petrol stations, shopping centres or supermarkets. The UK now has over 30,000 public charge points available
Charge your EV at work - more employers are making an effort to install charge points for office workers, particularly through the government’s workplace charging scheme (WCS)
On-street residential parking scheme - another government scheme designed to help those without a private driveway to access residential charge points
The current top 5 places to drive an EV in the UK is:
2. Kensington and Chelsea
3. City of London
4. Hammersmith and Fulham
(Though we’d like to toot our own horn here and say our hometown of Leeds is currently the best performing Yorkshire region in terms of available public charge points and number of EVs on the road. Come on Yorkshire!)
On-street residential parking scheme
On behalf of OZEV, the Energy Saving Trust introduced the on-street residential parking scheme - whereby local authorities can apply for funding to increase residential charge points in their area.
If local authorities are able to put more on-street EV infrastructure in place, it’s hoped it’ll encourage anyone on the fence about switching to electric. Historically, a main concern has been lack of accessibility to charge points.
How much charge can I get from a destination or on-road charge point?
With any EV, it’s recommended that you keep the battery topped up between 50 and 80%. This way, you’re a lot less likely to get caught short on a journey.
A ‘destination charge point’ is usually found in places like supermarkets or town centres.
Rapid ‘on-the-road’ chargers are typically larger and will be found more commonly in motorway petrol stations for you to top up on longer journeys. As these charge points are bigger and use more power, you may need to pay to use these.
If you’d like to use a destination or on-road charge point to top up your EV battery, you can expect to get between 7kW and 22kW of charge from a destination charger, and between 50kW and 350kW from a rapid ‘on the road’ charger.
TOP TIPS: Planning your route in an electric vehicle
Make sure your know how far your EV can travel in one go and the kind of chargers its compatible with
Use apps like Zap Map to plan out where your charging stops are en route
Factor in charging time into your overall journey time. You might want to plan in your stop to coincide with your charging time, for example
Remember to carry your own charging cable with you. Not every public charge point will have one.
How much does it cost to charge my EV on public charge points?
Prices for public charge points can vary depending on the network. If you solely rely on the public network to charge your EV, your costs may soon start to add up.
You may find that some networks offer a monthly payment plan (similar to Egg’s EV Charger Plan.) If you know you’re regularly using the same charge points, this may turn out to be more cost-effective in the long run.
The workplace charging scheme
The government workplace charging scheme (or WCS) has been brought in to encourage employers to build in EV infrastructure for a more sustainable future.
Does your employer know about the WCS? Charging your EV at your workplace may be the perfect way to keep your battery topped up without needing a private driveway.
We talked more about the WCS on our blog. Check it out!
Answering your quick fire questions
Still got unanswered questions about your on-street or destination EV charging? Hopefully this will clear up some of the T’s and C’s for you.
Can I leave my car at a public charging point overnight?
If you leave your EV charging at a public charge point for a whole night, that means no other road users can use it during those hours.
So while it’s not illegal, it’s definitely anti-social. Always try to only take what you need.
Can I charge my EV using extension cables?
Generally speaking, your standard three-pin socket is going to produce enough power to charge an EV.
Trying to use extension cables can also be seriously dangerous. You don’t want to be the person causing fire hazards on the street.
Does it matter if my cable crosses the street?
Technically, no. However, the Local Government Association (LGA) strongly advises that your cables only run over pavements or footpaths.
Every local authority has their own rules on this so you’ll need to check with your local council. They’ll reserve the right to remove your cable if they believe it’s somewhere it shouldn’t be.
It’s worth knowing that if anyone comes to any harm as a direct result of your cables, you’ll be held legally responsible. So be careful!
No driveway? No problem.
There are now many ways you can join the electric revolution. Whether you decide to use public charge points or speak to your local council about putting the all-important infrastructure in place for the future.
For all your charging questions - whether they’re at home or out and about, Egg is here to help.
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