Why install an electric car charger?
Installing an electric car charging station at home gives you the convenience of being able to charge your vehicle whenever you want, at rates cheaper than using outside the home chargers.
You may be wondering why you can’t just use a standard UK plug socket. Well, they’re not recommended because they are not designed for such high loads over a long duration. Charging points are also 30-60% quicker than using a wall socket.
|Product||Unit||Cost + VAT |
(Range low - high)
|Electric car charger||3kW||£250 - £500||£375|
|Electric car charger||7kW||£450 - £800||£625|
|Electric car charger with installation||From £449 after deduction of £350 government grant|
Factors affecting electric car charging station installation costs
Your electric vehicle will have a Type 1 or a Type 2 connector, so make sure you pick the right home charger for your car. Once you know that, you’ll need to decide between slow and fast chargers:
Slow chargers: These chargers are rated at 3kW to 6kW. They can take up to 12 hours to charge a long-range vehicle and 6-8 hours for a smaller one.
Fast chargers: With 7kW to 22kW of power, these chargers are much quicker, able to charge an electric vehicle in anything from 2-4 hours.
Let’s take 2019’s car of the year (according to Stuff Magazine), the Nissan Leaf, as an example.
If you have a 3kW slow charger you can expect a full charge in around 6-8 hours, whilst a 7kW fast charger will only take 3-4 hours. If you’re planning on doing all of your charging overnight, or you drive a hybrid with lower power demands, then the 3kW option is the more cost effective choice. But, if you need faster charging then 7kW is the way to go.
Brand: Not all electric car charging stations cost the same. From brands you may have heard of, like Siemens and Bosch, to those you might not like Juicebox and ClipperCreek, there are already a lot of players in the market. Each brand has their own specialities and charging capabilities. It’s recommended you contact a specialist, who can recommend the right one for your needs.
Smart chargers: We also recommend choosing a smart charger, which is connected to the internet and gives you much more control over the charging process. They’re eligible for grants so will save you money too.
Green energy: If you already have solar panels or access to wind power you can make use of this green energy to power your car. To do so you’ll need battery storage, as well as an inverter between your panels and charging point, or you can purchase a specialist car charger for this purpose. This way you’ll save even more money and ensure you have a 100% green supply.
Electric car charger installation cost
The average cost to installing a home charging point is £1000. However, the entirety of this cost may not come out of your pocket.
Electric vehicle owners can apply for a Government Grant towards the cost of the installation, as well as an additional amount of money from the Energy Saving Trust (EST). This significantly reduces the amount you pay for the installation.
Car charger installation consists of connecting the charge point to your electricity supply and installing it on your wall. For convenience, this will be located as close as possible to where you usually park your car.
In total, this process takes around 3 hours. Although, you won’t always need to be on the premises, it does mean you can be shown how to use the charger and given a chance to ask any questions.
So how much does it cost to install a charger for electric cars or hybrids at home?
Prices including installation tend to range from (after contributions):
3kW electric car charger: £250 – £500
7kW electric car charger: £450 – £800
How do I quality for a Government Grant?
Currently, you can save money on the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargers, as the UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is offering a £350 grant through their Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. This was reduced from £500 to £350 on 1st April 2020, so further reductions may be on the horizon.
If you’re in Scotland you can receive a further grant of £300 (or £400 for the most remote areas of the country) from the Energy Saving Trust EST). You’ll have to make sure to use OLEV-accredited and EST approved installers so make sure to check if your provider is on these lists.
Find a specialist EV installer near you
Cost of charging an electric car
|Location||Amount of charge||Cost|
|Charging at home||Full charge||£5|
|Charging in public||80% charge||£7 - £10|
Charging at home
Once you’ve had the charger installed then you’ll only need to pay for the electricity that’s used. There’s no additional monthly cost for access to the grid. As such, charging an electric vehicle at home is the cheapest option for the vast majority of owners.
If you’re wondering how often to charge your electric vehicle, well the best analogy is to think of how you charge your mobile phone. If you do regular charging on a set schedule (usually overnight), with adhoc charging following heavy use you’ll ensure your car is always ready to go when you need it.
By doing your main charge overnight you’ll be able to take advantage of off-peak pricing for your electricity use (such as ‘Economy 7’ tariffs and specialist EV charging tariffs) and ensure the car is ready for the day ahead. By choosing a cheaper energy provider you’ll also cut your costs.
Depending on your energy tariff you could pay around £5 to fully charge your car at home. Or, if using solar panels you won’t pay anything for the energy.
Charging outside the home
Although you could charge your electric vehicle outside the home, you will have to sign up with a public charging company, many of which have tariffs. You also run the risk of not finding a charger when you need it, or finding a charger that isn’t compatible with your car.
Remember our Nissan Leaf charging example earlier? Rapid chargers outside the home can charge the car to 80% in 45 minutes, considerably quicker than the 4-8 hours for home chargers. The last 20% of a charge takes longer than the initial 80% so if you’re cost conscious you should set your car or the charger to stop recharging at 80%.
Rapid chargers are above 22kW, whilst Tesla’s superchargers are 145kW, so your mileage may vary (literally!).
Costs vary based on location so you can expect to pay £7-£10 to charge your car up to 80% and over £15 for a full charge outside the home. In fact, a What Car? study found some charging stations cost more per mile than petrol or diesel!
Can I install an electric car charger myself?
In almost all cases installing an electric car charger yourself will cost more than hiring a specialist. That’s because you won’t be eligible for the £350 OLEV grant unless you use an approved installer. With £350 covering a significant part of the cost, you’ll save money and hassle by having someone else install it for you.
Even if the grants were to stop, electric car chargers use a considerable about of power, with risk of damage to your home or car if they are not properly installed. We highly recommend a certified and OLEV approved charging provider be used for this work.
We would strongly recommend hiring a professional for this job. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get your own personalised electric car charger installation cost use our free search feature.
Key takeaways for electric car charger installation costs
- If you don’t mind slower charging times, or are happy to charge overnight, you can reduce the cost of a home charger for your electric car.
- Take advantage of grants from OLEV and EST to bring down the cost even more.
- The cost of installing a home charger for an electric car is offset by the saving in energy compared to outside the home charging.
- Make sure you have an energy tariff with off-peak pricing for discounted charging costs overnight.
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