While you can charge your vehicle from a normal 13A socket, with the appropriate charging cable, ideally you want a fast charger installed. A 32A (7.2kW) home charger unit is a faster and more efficient way of charging your car. Government grants are available to help with the cost of this. You don't have to apply yourself. You just use an OLEV approved installer and they do everything. The cost starts from around £200 for a straight forward installation, with additional costs if extra work is required.
Or local approved installers are:
- Alternative Energy Solutions, Marcham, Abingdon.
- Oxford Spires Electrical, Oxford.
- Next Generation Renewable Energy Ltd, Woodstock.
- BN Electrical Services, Thatcham, Newbury.
- Chiltern Solar Ltd, Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
- Ecosunpower Ltd, Chipping Norton.
- electrical technolo-g Ltd, Swindon.
- Energy My Way, Chalgrove.
- LKT Electrical Services Ltd, Bicester.
- RSW Electrical Services, Banbury.
The full UK wide list of approved installers is here.
Which type of charger?
There are 16 amp (3.6kW) or 32 amp (7.2kW) chargers. Unless you have restrictions with your installation, always opt for a 32A charger, as they now cost the same. That charges your car twice as fast as a 16A version.
Next decision is a 'socket' or 'tethered cable' version. This is down to personal preference. One has no cable - just a socket. The other has a built-in cable.
The socket version has no cable, so you use the type 2 cable that comes with your car. Or you buy a separate cable. The advantage is that it's future proof and can charge any type of car as you can use the appropriate cable for the charging socket on the car.
The tethered cable version has the charging cable built-in. This is quicker and more convenient to use, but looks a little ungainly on your outside wall if its in view at the front. You're also limited to the types of vehicles you can charge due to fixed cable (and socket on the end).
- Looks neater, less cluttered on the outside of your house.
- Slightly less convenient as you have to get the cable from your car and plug in at both both ends.
- Can use different length cables.
- Can charge any car with any connector, with the appropriate cable.
- Future proof. Change your car in the future with a different socket - just use a different cable.
Tethered cable version
- Cable is fixed to the charger and looks untidy when not in use.
- Easier and quicker to charge. Just plug one end into car.
- Type of socket is fixed. No good if you want to charge cars with different connectors.
- Not future proof. While it is possible to change the tethered cable on the charger in the future, the cost is around £120 for a new cable, plus fitting.
Businesses can install chargers for their own fleet, staff and visitors. OLEV grants are available or you can just get your local electrician to install the charge point(s).
The public network is made up from charging stations from a number of different providers. While some are still free to use, many now require payment and therefore you need to arm yourself with the correct RFID card and mobile phone apps. This is changing all the time while some sort of standards are trying to be found. For all the details, refer to the information on Zap Map's website.