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03 Mar, 2021

Everything you need to know about EV charging points in the UK

Which carmakers make electric cars?

Name any car maker, and you can be sure that it has electric cars available to buy or in the near future. With the announcements that sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, the electric car market is set to grow considerably in the coming years.

Currently, you can buy an electric car from Audi, Bentley, BMW, Citroen, Cupra, DS, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Polestar, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Where can I charge my EV?

At home - when you have an off-street parking

A most convenient way to charge your electric car while parked on your driveway. You can charge your EV overnight, so it's ready for use each morning. Charging overnight is, in most cases, the cheapest time to recharge.

The cost to charge your electric car with a 60kWh battery and 200 mile range is about £8.40 for a full charge. You can shop around for a cheaper electricity tariff to cut the cost of charging your electric car at home.

To offset the cost of electricity, you could rent out your driveway to other electric car owners so they could park and charge their electric car.

 

On-street residential charging

If you are one of the less lucky EV owners who doesn't have off-street parking, there's support available from your local authority. Local Authorities have access to UK Government grants to install on-street residential charge points to allow residents to safely and conveniently charge their electric cars.

The on-street residential charge points are installed in or onto lamp posts or as free-standing or pillar units positioned near to the kerb.

You may need to sign up to a tariff or a subscription in order to charge your EV using your local on-street residential charge point.

Here's another opportunity for you to rent out your off-street parking space with charging point to other EV drivers and make some extra money.

 

At your workplace

Having a charge point at your business premises will become increasingly important as more people embrace electric cars. Offering charging points to your employees, visitors, and customers can be beneficial.

Most employers offer free access to workplace charging points.

 

Public charge points

An invaluable opportunity to charge while shopping or to extend your journey distances in EV mode.

Public charging networks offer slow, fast and rapid charging options. Access to these charge points, costs and requirements vary. You may need to use an RFIC card, a mobile app or pay using a contactless card payment.

Public chargepoints at supermarkets or car parks are mostly free to use for the duration of your stay.

The fastest public chargers - called Rapid Chargers - use DC (Direct Current) to charge your car at much faster speeds than a home charge point is capable of.

To start charging your car from a charge point, plug in the charging cable to your car. If there is no charging cable, just a socket, use a separate charging cable to plug one end into your car and the other end into the charge point socket.

Rapid charging points, mostly at motorway service stations, cost about £6.50 for a 30 min, 100 mile charge.

Did you know that the Tesla Supercharger Network has chargepoints across the UK free to use for Tesla EV owners?

 

Is there government financial support for installing an EV charge point at my home?

There sure is.

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) is a grant that provides a 75% contribution to the cost of one chargepoint and its installation. A grant cap is set at £350 (including VAT) per installation.

Requirements:

  • this grant is for domestic properties only
  • you must own, lease, or have ordered a qualifying vehicle
  • you must have dedicated off-street parking at your property
  • if you have 2 qualifying vehicles, you can apply for 2 chargepoints at the same property

How does the EVHS work?

  • you choose an EVHS installer to install your chargepoint. Find EVHS authorised chargepoint installers 
  • the EVHS installer checks that you qualify and then applies for the grant on your behalf
  • the installer will bill you for the price of the installation, less the grant amount they applied for on your behalf
  • the installer will be paid the grant amount they have offset from your bill if the application is successful

Is there a similar scheme for workplace chargepoints?

Yes, there is. It's called the Workplace charging scheme and is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations. Find out more

Are there free electric car charging points?

Yes, thousands. Free EV charging points are located in supermarkets, shopping centres, public car parks, hotels and sometimes service stations.

Check if there are any restrictions in order to charge your electric car for free - a set period of time or in-store purchase.

What are the different types of EV charging connections?

  • Type 1 EV charging cable has no locking mechanism when your car is connected to supply
  • Type 2 is becoming the standard European electric car charging cable connector type and has an in-built locking mechanism
  • CHAdeMO is the most comon rapid connector type because of the Nissan Leaf popularity
  • Combined Charging System (CCS) is the most versatile and likely to become the most popular DC connector

 

Summary of charging an electric vehicle