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A complete guide to EV charging point installation at home

Demand for EV charging point installation at home has sky rocketed. We explain the process of getting an EV home charging point at your property and some of the challenges if you don't have a driveway or garage in which to install one.

A surge in demand for EV home charging points

Electric Vehicles (EV) have grown in popularity in the UK, and as such, so has the demand for EV charging point installation at home.

While this is great news as we journey towards the government’s ‘Road to Zero’ target of ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, it does present some challenges too.

Electric vehicle owners used to be in the higher wage earner bracket; people who – more often than not – had a private driveway or garage at home.

The installation of an EV home charging point at a property with its own driveway is normally fairly straightforward.

However, there are many more EV options on the market nowadays, opening up the possibility of EV ownership to a more diverse demographic.

EV home charging installers are now seeing greater demand from homeowners who don’t have the convenience of a private driveway for installation.

This guide walks the process of installing a home charging point for your electric vehicle whether you have a driveway or not.

We also cover the permissions you’ll need, the key considerations to make, and the cost of having an electric car charger installed at home.

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Why install an EV charging point at home?

EV charging at home typically works out more cost-effective than using a public charging point. Not to mention the convenience of being able to plug in and charge your vehicle overnight.

And while it is possible to charge your EV using a 3-pin plug at home, it’s not the recommended option because of:

  • Safety: Unlike a regular socket, home EV charging points are designed to safely carry the sustained electrical loads needed to charge your vehicle
  • Speed: Charging your vehicle via a 7kW EV home charger is around three times faster than using a 3-pin plug
  • Compatibility: Some EVs have substantial batteries (100kW), which would not fully charge overnight via a regular socket

EV being charged

Choosing the right electric car charger for your needs

With a variety of EV home charging units on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your choice.

Some key considerations to help guide your decision include:

  • Charging rate. Your charging rate will be limited by that of your electric vehicle and the charging point itself. For example, an EV that charges at 11kW will only charge at a maximum of 7kW on a 7kW charger. Plug that same car into a 22kW charger and it’ll be limited to no faster than 11kW
  • Power supply. Most homes in the UK will facilitate a maximum charging rate of 7kW and this tends to be the most common option. It is possible to upgrade to a faster rate, but this isn’t cheap
  • Cable or no cable? A tethered charger has a cable, an untethered option does not. A tethered cable is more convenient, but won’t work with every EV. An untethered cable can connect to most EVs but you’ll need to keep your cable in your boot
  • Design and functionality. Do you like the style of the charging point and does it offer the features that you’re after, for example, do you need it to be compatible with your solar panels and have internet connectivity?
  • Cost. EV chargers do vary in cost, typically in line with their charging rate – the more powerful chargers are more expensive. EV owners can apply for a government grant that provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing a chargepoint

Tip: Many EV owners charge their cars overnight to take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates. Speak with your electricity supplier to make sure you have an overnight tariff.

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Installing an EV charging point on a driveway

Installing an electric car charger at home is generally much more straightforward if your property has a driveway.

Where to install your EV chargepoint

Your installer will normally conduct a site visit prior to installation to check the area is safe and accessible. This can be done virtually; you may even be asked to supply photos.

They’ll look for sim touches (any metal objects connected to your electricity supply within 2.5 m) and make recommendations where any adjustments need to be made.

Next, there are a number of ‘common sense’ considerations to make:

  • Where do you park? Look at where the charging lead needs to reach and how easy the electricity supply is to get to
  • Where is your vehicle’s chargepoint? Front, rear, or side – planning around this level of detail will ensure a more satisfactory end result
  • How long is the charging cable? Bearing in mind the two previous points, is your charging cable long enough? If you don’t want to be restricted, opt for an untethered cable (which come in various lengths)
  • Discretion. Some people prefer their electric car charger to be placed in the most discrete position possible
  • Functionality. Most EV chargers have features that require internet connectivity, which requires a stable WiFi connection, so check the strength of your WiFi signal in the planned installation area

How to install your EV charging point

On the day of installation, make sure the area is clear and the route between the chargepoint and your electricity supply is free of obstacles.

Your approved installer will turn off the power supply, install the charger, and connect it to your mains supply.

They will then reinstate the power and test it works. If you have a smart charger, you’ll need to supply the WiFi password so it can connect to the internet.

The process normally takes around four hours but can take longer if unforeseen issues occur.

Tip: Why not take the opportunity to spruce up your driveway and add some outdoor lighting for added security?

EV installation at home with a driveway

Planning permission and building regulations for EV chargepoint installation

Planning permission is not normally required to install a wall-mounted EV chargepoint within the parameters of a property that you own, as long as the electrical outlet and casing does not:

  • Exceed 0.2 cubic metres
  • Face onto and be within two metres of a highway
  • Be within a site designated as a scheduled monument
  • Be within the curtilage of a listed building

If your property is a listed building or you live in a conservation area, please contact your local planning authority.

Building regulations will need to be complied with. This is to ensure the installation is safe and meets the electrical standards as outlined in Part P of building regulations.

Your installer will also need to inform your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to ensure the main fuse and supply is adequate.

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Installing a car charging point if you don’t have a driveway

Installing a car charger at home can be more challenging if your property doesn’t have a driveway, but there are still plenty of options out there.

If you own a flat, for example, and have a dedicated parking space, you can still get an electric car charger installed. You’ll need permission from the freeholder(s) or managing agent in advance.

If you rent a flat, you’ll need to approach the landlord about the option to get an EV chargepoint installed.

If you don’t have off-street parking, you can plug in to an on-street charger, or top up at one of the many public chargers at your workplace or at the supermarket, for example.

No EV chargepoints in your area? Contact your local council to get a car charger installed. The government is actively promoting the availability of on-street EV chargepoints in residential streets where off-street parking is not available.

How much does EV charging point installation cost?

The supply and installation of an electric car charger at home costs in the region of £1,000 (or £650 if eligible for a government grant).

Electric vehicle owners can apply for an EV chargepoint grant. This government grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.

You must use an OZEV-approved installer to be eligible for the EV chargepoint grant.

Read our guide to the cost of EV charger installation for more information.

EV charging

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