Electric car charging at home is the most popular and convenient way to power your electric vehicle.
A dedicated home EV charging station lets you charge your car faster, more cost-effectively, and more sustainably.
But which home charging setup is right for you? And how do you get the most out of home EV charging?
In our complete guide to charging your electric car at home, learn how to charge at home, how much it costs, how long it takes to charge and more essential tips.
Charging an electric car at home is the most efficient and cost-effective way to charge your EV.
There are many different options to choose from and factors to consider.
To get started with the right home charge point setup, our home EV charging guide talks you through all of the essentials.
- How to charge an electric car at home
- Can you plug an electric car into a regular outlet?
- Cost of charging an electric car at home
- How long it takes to charge an electric car at home
- Checking for a three-phase connection
- Installing an electric car charger at home
- Untethered or tethered?
- EV charger plug types
- Which EV charger should you buy?
- Save £350 with the government EVHS grant
- How often to charge an electric car at home
Can you charge an electric car at home?
Yes, you can charge an electric car at home. Charging an electric car at home is easy and simple. You should charge your electric vehicle using a dedicated EV home charger, rather than a standard 3 pin point domestic socket.
How to charge an electric car at home
To charge your electric car at home, you’ll need to install a home EV charger. This will be installed closest to wherever you keep your electric vehicle – usually either on an outside wall or an indoor garage wall.
Most EV drivers prefer to install a home electric car charging point. Home charge points provide faster charging speeds, improved safety and built-in smart features.
This makes charging an EV at home with a dedicated unit more efficient than using public chargers or a standard 3 pin point socket.
Once your charger is installed, the process is simple.
To charge your electric car at home, simply plug your charging cable into your electric vehicle and allow it to charge. Most EV chargers even let you control charging speeds, energy consumption and other features through smartphone apps.
Can you plug an electric car into a regular socket?
Yes, you can plug an electric car into a regular 3 pin plug outlet. Although, this is not recommended.
Using a regular outlet to charge your electric vehicle can put a huge strain on your home’s electricity supply.
Charging your car with a regular outlet is unsafe, unreliable and slow. It takes a regular outlet charger significantly longer to charge an electric vehicle than dedicated home charging units.
Cost of charging an electric car at home
Home EV charger installation starts from just £1095 with Jolt. Although the price of installation can vary depending on the model of charger.
Once installed, charging an electric car at home is fairly inexpensive. Charging costs are based on how much electricity you use, the size of your car battery and the kind of energy tariff your home uses.
Most UK home electricity tariffs charge around 17p per kWh.
This means that most standard 40kWh electric cars cost just £7 for a full charge. Even the more advanced car models, such as the 75kWh Tesla Model 3, only take around £12 for a full charge.
Read more about how much it costs to charge an electric car.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
It will take most electric cars around 3 to 6 hours to fully charge using a standard 7kW charger.
For electric cars that support advanced chargers, such as 350kW chargers, it can take as little as 15 minutes to reach a full charge.
Home car charging is much faster than using a domestic 3 pin plug socket. Most home EV chargers have a power output of around 7kW, which is enough to deliver fast charging, with roughly 15-30 miles of drive time per hour of charge.
The majority of UK homes have single-phase power supplies. This means that they are compatible with a maximum charging rate of 7.4kW.
Faster chargers, such as 22kW chargers, are only compatible with three-phase power supplies, which are normally only used in commercial properties.
Read more about how long it takes to charge an electric car.
How to check if you have a three-phase connection
It is very unlikely that your home will have a three-phase power supply. Although, if you wanted to check, simply take a look at your fuse box.
- If your fuse box has one 100 amp fuse, this means that your home is powered through a single phase connection.
- If there are three amp fuses, this means your home is powered by a three phase connection.
Homes that do have a three-phase power supply are eligible for faster chargers. Power outputs from faster chargers usually range from 22kW and above.
To find out whether you’d be eligible for a higher power supply rate, speak to your energy supplier about an upgrade.
How to get an electric car charger installed at home
Home electric car chargers are installed by specialist, professional installers, like Jolt.
The installation cost is included in the price for your EV charger unit. To get an electric car charger installed, find a certified installer who can carry out the installation for you.
Home EV charger installation is completed by fitting your charging unit to an outside wall, or inside your garage – which is why these units are sometimes called wallbox chargers.
You will be able to decide where you’d prefer to have your charger installed. It’s best to choose a place that’s closest to where you usually park and close enough for the cable to reach.
The installer will connect your home charger to your mains electricity supply. Or, if you have solar panels, your charger can be connected to your solar electricity supply.
How long does installation take?
It usually takes 2-3 hours to complete the installation. Some charger installations may be more complex than others, but any difficulties are usually identified during a pre-installation survey.
Book your EV charger installation by getting in touch with a certified charge point installer. It is easy to book with us directly by requesting a quote for up to 3 chargers of your choice.
We offer free advice and discuss your available charging options.
Tethered or untethered charger?
Should you get a tethered or untethered charger? Both types charge your electric car using a connector cable.
The main difference between an untethered charger and tethered charger is that tethered cables are permanently attached to the EV charging unit.
There are pros and cons to both kinds of EV charger. The kind of charger you choose will depend on how you intend to charge your electric car at home.
Tethered chargers are permanently fixed with either a type 1 or type 2 connector cable. Most EV chargers are tethered.
Tethered chargers provide a range of benefits including:
- More convenient – simply plug the cable into your EV to charge the battery.
- More secure – the cable cannot be removed or stolen. It is purposed for the charging unit making it 100% compatible.
- Permanently attached to one charger type – tethered chargers are unable to swap between type 1 and type 2 charger connectors.
Untethered charger units do not have permanently attached cables. With untethered units, you can use the connector cable that was provided with your car, or use a separately purchased charger cable.
Untethered charger benefits include:
- More flexible – easily switch between type 1 and type 2 charger connectors. This is ideal for households with multiple electric vehicles with different charging types.
- Tidier – store your charger cable away when it is not in use.
- Connector lengths – with an untethered charger, you can upgrade to a choice of different charger cable lengths.
Do all electric cars use the same plug?
No, electric cars do not all use the same plug.
There are two types of connectors found in electric vehicles for home charging – type 1 and type 2 connectors.
Type 1 connector
Type 2 connector
Regular 3 pin socket
The majority of electric vehicles use a type 2 connector. From 2014 onwards, EU regulations outlined that all plug-in electric vehicles must use a type 2 connector
Your electric vehicle most likely has a type 2 connector.
Some older models may have a type 1 connector, which cannot be charged by most modern day type 2 EV home chargers. Although, these can still be charged at home using a type 1 to type 2 adapter.
Which EV charger should I buy?
When getting started with electric car charging at home, there are several EV charger options to consider.
Which charger you buy will depend on several factors:
- Your desired charging speed
- Your installation budget
- Whether your home uses grid or solar power
- Which smart charging features you’d use
Typical UK home chargers deliver power outputs of around 7kW to 7.4kW. Chargers within this region deliver fast charging at reasonable installation costs.
There are faster chargers available, up to 22kW, although very few cars or UK homes support this level of power output.
If you were looking to save money, more budget friendly EV chargers offer lower power rates of around 3.6kW. Although, lower power rates take much longer to charge your vehicle.
Some EV chargers, such as the Zappi 207UB are compatible with solar energy supplies. If your home is powered by solar energy, make sure your EV charger is solar compatible.
Read more about the best home EV chargers in the UK.
What is a smart charger?
A smart home EV charger is a unit that not only charges your electric car, but does this using intelligent features.
Smart home charger features can help automatically optimise your charging costs, energy usage and environmental impact. They can even produce energy reports to show you how to save on costs and energy usage.
Smart chargers usually connect to a smartphone app, where you can monitor and control your EV charger remotely.
Save up to £350 with the EVHS grant – for a limited time
In the UK, there are several government grants available that make charging an electric car at home much more affordable.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers grants towards home EV charger purchase and installation costs.
The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) offers up to £350 off the cost of your charger installation. However, most homeowners will no longer be eligible for the grant from the 31st of March 2022 following OZEV grant rule changes.
The EVHS will still be available to EV drivers who live in flats or rental accommodation.
Alongside the EVHS grant, the government also offers the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG), which helps towards the cost of buying an electric car.
A separate grant is available for businesses installing electric car charging points at work through the Workplace Charging Scheme.
How often should you charge an electric car at home?
You should charge your electric car at home as often as you need to. There is no need to wait until your vehicle is running low on battery, it can be charged regularly on an everyday basis.
Charging your vehicle overnight is the best way to charge an electric vehicle at home. This means that your electric vehicle is always fully charged and ready to drive whenever you need it.
Your home charger will stop using power once your EV is fully charged, so no need to worry about energy consumption when charging your car overnight.
Additionally, night-time energy rates are much lower than daytime rates, meaning that it is also cheaper to charge your vehicle overnight.
Whether you decide to let your car charge fully or partially is up to you. The majority of electric cars and chargers will let you set a charging limit. Some EV drivers prefer to limit their charge to around 80-90%, as this can improve the battery management system’s ability to evenly rotate charging cells.
Optimising your home charge
One of the main benefits of charging an electric car at home is that EV chargers come with a variety of useful smart charging features.
These smart charging features let you take advantage of cheaper energy rates, manage energy supply, charge more environmentally and more.
Charging cost optimisation
Thanks to the many cost-saving features that come with EV chargers, electric car charging at home is the cheapest way to run an electric vehicle
Cost optimisation features help keep your home energy bill as low as possible and reduce the cost of electricity.
Home EV chargers can help reduce energy consumption costs with:
- Scheduled charging – most smart EV chargers let you set scheduled charging times, making it possible to charge your car during specified periods when energy costs are lower. Scheduled charging is usually available through your smart charger’s app.
- Automated power adjustment – some smart chargers will automatically adjust power consumption based on when your energy tariff is at its cheapest.
- Energy consumption reports – most smart chargers that connect to an app will monitor and report on energy usage. This data can help you understand how to reduce your energy costs, optimise your cost per kWh and move to cheaper energy tariffs.
- Home EV charging tariffs – as charging an electric car at home becomes more popular, many energy providers are introducing EV charger tariffs. These tariffs offer cheaper electricity during off peak periods. For example, Octopus energy’s Octopus Go tariff offers rates of 7.5p per kWh between 00:30 and 04:30 every night.
Green energy optimisation
One of the main benefits of electric cars is that they are much better for the environment than petrol vehicles.
By charging your electric car at home, you can make your driving experience even more environmentally friendly with a range of eco charging options.
- Eco smart charger modes – many chargers come with eco charging modes. For instance, the Zappi 207UB has an eco+ mode. This continuously monitors power consumption to utilise any surplus energy from your home.
- Switch to a renewable energy provider – the UK is moving towards greener energy, as more and more energy providers opt for renewable sources of energy such as wind power. For example, Octopus Energy’s 100% renewable sources include anaerobic digestion, solar, wind and hydro power.
- Use solar power – if your house has solar panels, or if you plan to use solar panels, there are a range of chargers that can draw energy from your home’s solar power.
Home energy optimisation
Charging an electric vehicle at home can increase the load on your household energy supply. Your installer will always check whether your house’s main fuse is suitable for your charger’s power output.
In most cases, your existing main fuse will be suitable for a home charging unit.
Home EV chargers are built with smart home energy features that balance the charging power output with the rest of your home. This ensures your main fuse is never overloaded beyond its maximum power output.
Power balancing features also let you easily charge two electric vehicles simultaneously without overloading your fuse.
National grid power management
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. Drivers are switching to electric cars at incredibly fast rates, mainly as a result of the government plan to ban all combustible engine car sales by 2030.
The increase in electric car adoption will have positive effects on the environment, although this will increase the demand on the UK’s national power grid.
To manage the demand on the national grid, smart home chargers balance the rate of charging across thousands of electric vehicles.
This protects the national grid from overloading, making charging an electric car at home reliable and safe for all drivers. The adjustments to individual charger power outputs are fractional, and most EV drivers won’t notice this.
Have a question? Speak to us
Learn more about charging an electric car with Jolt, the EV charging experts. We can talk you through the types of EV chargers available and install a home charging unit.
Get in touch.
Electric car charging guides
- How far can an electric car go on one charge?
- Tethered or Untethered Home EV Charger?
- Electric Car Charging At Home – The Ultimate Guide
- The Benefits of Electric Cars
- How much does electric car charger installation cost?