As the switch to EVs accelerates, there’s an expanding range of charging options available. These range from installing home charging for drivers with off-street parking, to public charging at locations such as car parks, workplaces, electric forecourts, community buildings, supermarkets and hospitality businesses. The most widely used reference for finding public chargepoints is ZapMap [www.zapmap.com].
Charging speed for electric cars is measured in kilowatts (kW), and chargepoints can vary between 3kW slow chargers up to 150kW+ super rapid chargers. Note that the actual maximum charging speed you’re able to receive may be limited by your vehicle’s onboard charger.
For those with private driverways or garages, dedicated home chargepoints give residents complete convenience without needing to divert to a ‘filling station’. Home charging will also undoubtedly be the cheapest option, able to take advantage of flexible energy tariffs to charge at the lowest rates overnight. A home charger is a compact weatherproof wall-mounted unit, installed by qualified specialist installers. Home chargers will typically charge your car at 3.7kW or 7kW, giving about 15-30 miles of range per hour of charge, so are ideal for a full recharge overnight.
As of 2021, the UK government is offering grants of up to £350 to help eligible residents or businesses with the cost of installing home or workplace charging [https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles].
When out and about, drivers are understandably keen to make best use of any ‘dwell time’ while charging. Therefore advanced planning makes great sense, combining charging with parking at work, a shopping trip, or a meal out – if so this can mean the charging effectively takes little or no time, given it’s part of your existing lifestyle anyway. Many businesses such as hotels, cafes and pubs are already installing chargers as an added facility for their customers.