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A guide to home charging for EVs

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Monday 03 February 2020

If you’re looking to buy an EV (electric vehicle), you’ll need to think about home charging. Although you can get by with a traditional 3-pin plug setup, most EV owners agree it’s better to install a home charging unit.

Home charging units let you charge at 7kW. This means you can charge a 30kWh battery in 4-5 hours, compared to 13 hours on a 3-pin plug. Charging at 7kW also adds 25 miles to your range every hour (based on 4.2m/kWh efficiency) compared to just 9 on a 3-pin plug.

But what does it take to qualify for the government home charging grant? And what do you need at your home? We’ve got the answers.

How to get a grant

The government offers an OLEV Grant, which gives you a £500 reduction in your car charging point installation. If you’ve bought an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle since 1st October 2016, and you meet the list of conditions below, you’ll qualify for the grant. 

  • You must have off-street parking.
  • You must install an OLEV-approved chargepoint.
  • The date of installation must not be more than 4 months ahead of the date of delivery or the date you become the registered driver of the electric vehicle.
  • You must use an OLEV-approved chargepoint installer.

Where to install your charger

The V2G (vehicle-to-grid) charger is 69cm high, 52cm wide and 23cm deep. It weighs 27kg, and you can extend the charging cable up to 5 metres. When we install your charger, we’ll need a gap of 5cm on every side.

Before we install your charger, we’ll look at some photos of where you want to put it. Sometimes you’ll send the photos, but our engineers might also come and take some on a site survey. 

We’re mostly looking for ‘sim touches’ – metal objects that are connected to your electricity supply. Any potential sim touch has to be at least 2.5 metres away from the charger.

For example, if you have lights in a metal case, we’ll ask you to replace the case with a plastic one. But in some cases – like if there’s a street lamp by your driveway – we won’t be able to install the charger in that site, and we’ll need to pick a new location.

If your house has solar panels, you’ll get 26p/kWh for energy that you provide to the grid. If you don’t have solar panels, you’ll get a little bit more – 30p/kWh exported. This is because our V2G charger can’t tell the difference between energy that comes from your Nissan LEAF, and energy that comes from your solar panels.

You’ll need to fill out a few forms so that your local Distribution Network Operator knows what you want to do. They’ll also take care of any work that needs to happen before the installation. This can take up to 90 days, but it’s usually shorter.

How the installation works

One of our in-house expert installers will install your home-charging unit. It doesn’t take long, and you’ll be all set to power your vehicle using green, renewable energy.

  • A standard install usually takes about 3 hours.
  • Before we do the work, we’ll need to do a desktop survey so that we can check that your home is suitable.
  • We’ll need access to your home with you or another adult present.
  • If you pick a Smart+ unit, we’ll need your Wi-Fi password so that we can unlock the smart features for you.

What’s included

Our standard home-charging installation package includes:

  • Fitting the ChargePoint to a brick or plaster wall, or another suitable permanent structure.
  • Up to 15 metres of 6mm power cable, run and clipped to the wall between the distribution board or electricity supply meter and the ChargePoint.
  • Routing the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 50cm thick, where needed.
  • Fitting and testing electrical connections and protections required for the ChargePoint.
  • Up to 5 metres of white plastic conduit to cover interior wiring.
  • Installing one earth electrode near the ChargePoint.
  • You need to have the correct electrical connections and protections available on the property. If you need any civil works, electrical remedial works or any other trades then we won’t be able to do the installation.

Conditions and limitations

A few more things to keep in mind before the installation:

  • The ChargePoint must be located in your designated off-street parking area and be fixed at a height where a vehicle can’t hit it.
  • As part of the standard package, we can’t trench the cable underground or suspend it above ground. If you need this, please get in touch so we can give you a quote before we come.
  • We can’t run a cable under floorboards or through ducting, ceiling voids or wall voids without a draw cord (to pull the cable through), or if the floorboards haven’t been lifted. We can’t take responsibility for reinstating flooring or other building materials or wall voids after we’ve laid the cable.
  • Our installers can’t work in crawl spaces, on roofs or in lofts if they think it’s not safe.
  • Our installers can’t work in extreme weather, like flooding or intense rain. If it’s not safe to finish the work, they’ll come back at a later date.

About our installers

All our in-house installers have masses of knowledge, qualifications and experience – they understand the EV industry inside out. They’ll be able to answer any of your questions.

Members give our installers a rating of 8.9/10.

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