Smart EV charger installation: questions and answers
If you’re thinking about getting an electric vehicle charger installed, you've probably got a few questions. We've gathered together the most common ones here, so we can give you the answers you need.
Before you book an installation
The “smart” bit means the charger is internet-connected, so it can communicate with your car and with the grid. This brings all sorts of benefits for the customer, like charging when the grid is greenest, and energy is cheapest. Smart EV charging generally happens at home.
You don’t have to be an OVO customer for us to install one of our smart EV chargers.
Not all homes can have an EV charger fitted at the moment. To have one installed, you need to:
- Own the property
- Have your own off-street parking
- Have a WiFi connection at home
Our survey is designed to check if your home is suitable.
- Tethered charger: includes a permanently attached cable, so you can simply park up and plug in.
- Untethered charger: no cable included. Some EVs come ready with a cable, or you might have to buy your own. Either way, you can keep it in your car, and attach it when you’re ready to charge.
Our chargers are 7kW, which means it takes between 4 and 8 hours to fully charge your EV, depending on the battery size. And it takes about an hour to get enough charge to drive around 30 miles.
A 3-pin plug will charge your car at around 2.3 kW. This means it would take about 17 hours to fully charge a car with a 40kWh battery.
We don’t recommend you try installing an EV charger yourself unless you’re a professional engineer or electrician. Our engineers are specially trained to install EV chargers.
If you’re installing a charger in a property you own, you don’t need permission.
If the cable needs to be routed across property which isn’t yours, then we might not be able to install a charger. We also can’t install in:
- A communal area
- An underground parking garage
Our chargers are very competitively priced, from:
- £949 for an Ohme Home Pro, including standard installation
- £999 for an Indra Smart PRO, including standard installation
Here’s what’s included in our standard installation. If you need extra work done, you’d need to arrange this at your own cost, as detailed below. To have a non-standard installation costs a bit more, and takes a little longer:
- The fitting of the EV charger to a brick/rendered wall.
- Up to 15 metres of 6mm power cable. This will be neatly clipped to the wall between the distribution board/electricity supply meter, and the charger.
- Routing the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm thick (if needed).
- The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections needed for the EV charger.
- Up to 5 metres of white plastic covering for the interior wiring.
- Installation by one of our expert engineers.
- Installation compliance with the current British Standard Wiring Regulations (BS7671) and any associated documents/codes of practice, as well as the charger manufacturers' instructions.
- Commissioning and pairing with your smartphone – with full support from our engineer. You must be present with your smartphone at the time of commissioning.
For a standard installation to go ahead:
- The existing electrical connections and protections within the property must be in an acceptable condition.
- There must be no need for groundworks/civil works, electrical remedial works, or any other work. If any of these are needed, our engineer will let you know. Any additional work would need to be organised by the customer, at their own cost. If you're an OVO customer, our engineer can install a main isolation switch for you on the day - for an additional cost. Earth bonding upgrades can also be carried out by OVO, for an additional cost.
Once we've installed your charger, we'll test it, then give you a full demonstration. Our engineer will be happy to answer any questions you have.
If your survey shows that you need additional work done prior to installation, then that won’t be included.
At the moment, we have one smart charger that can work with solar panels – the Indra Smart PRO Charger. It costs £999 to get it installed, including standard installation.
Charge Anytime is OVO’s super-low rate for charging at home. Our Charge Anytime compatible smart chargers work out the cheapest, most energy-efficient times to charge your car. So they not only save you money at a rate of 10p per kWh, but help save the planet, too.
You need to be an OVO customer to sign up to Charge Anytime – you can use our form to find out if you’re eligible.
Getting ready for installation
Here are the 6 basic steps to a standard installation. Your engineer will:
- Fix the charger to the wall where you want it
- Run the cable from the charger to your electricity meter and clip it neatly to the wall
- Tidy up any mess they’ve made
- Test and commission your charger
- Show you how the charger works and pair it with your mobile device
- Answer any questions you might have
- Make space in the area where our engineer will be working
- Make sure your fuse box is easily accessible
- Have your wifi password to hand
- Our engineer will have to switch off your power for a short time. So if you have medical equipment that needs constant power, please let us know.
Your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) looks after your local electricity supply, the cables coming to your home, and your home’s main fuse. But don’t worry, it’s our job to get in touch with them. 90% of installations go ahead with no problem, but if you need any extra work, we’ll let you know.
Our dedicated, friendly team will be happy to help you by phone or by email.
To find out more, check our guide to EV home chargers and installation.
If you can't find what you need, please email us on [email protected], or call us on 0330 303 5059 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).