As people become more environmentally conscious and willing to adapt to new trends, electric vehicle (EV) ownership will continue to rise. By 2018 there were over 212,000 plug-in vehicles on UK roads. Though recent Coronavirus related circumstances have seen a drastic drop in travel, EVs are still definitely the wave of the future.
With over 7.6 million UK households owning two cars, it is now not unusual to find both being EVs. It normally begins with just one car but as the entire household begins to realise the cost-saving benefits and eventually two EVs are parked in the garage.
Traditional fuel cars are easy to keep running as it mostly entails stopping briefly at a service station to fill up the tank. EVs are more complicated as they require battery charging that typically takes several hours. This is unless you make use of a faster option like rapid charging stations that can take as little as half an hour to fully charge an EV.
How Do You Charge an EV Car at Home?
The first step involves having a suitable home charging station installed. Thankfully, the government does offer an OLEV grant that currently knocks off £350 from the cost of purchasing and installing this station. Homeowners typically have a choice between Level 1 and Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Level 2 is slightly more complex and powerful, but both options are plug-in.
It is best to follow the car manufacturer’s guidelines on what type of charging station to go for. Normally, Level 2 EVSE is best for all-electric vehicles and adds about 10-60 miles of range per hour of charging.
Installation of a home charging station should always be done by an approved installer, especially if you wish to qualify for the OLEV grant. The positioning of the station should be carefully considered when you have a two-car household. You will need to factor in the position of the station relative to the vehicle’s charging port and length of ev charging cable. This is a simple enough decision when you have just one EV, but it is tougher when you have two.
How Do You Charge Two EV Cars At Home?
If the charging station is being mounted outside, then you should not have much of a problem finding a point from which both car charging ports can be accessed. You can see this often in service stations, workplaces, and shopping centre parking lots where charging stations have been made available to the public.
If you, however, park both cars in a garage and have the bays separated by a wall, the arrangement will be tougher to handle. You may need to install a second home charging station for the other car if access to the first one is obstructed. Where the charging station is further away than is convenient but the parking bays share common space, consider investing in a compatible extension cable that can be safely plugged in.
If both partners commute daily, then overnight charging would be best for both. A dual home charging station allows for two cars to be charged at the same time. This is a simple way to ensure both cars are charged by morning. Alternatively, you could have your installer put in two chargers that will share the same circuit. Sharing a circuit can be done without overloading by correctly installing a second outlet for the other vehicle.
Why Would You Want a Home Charging Station?
There are over 30,000 charging points accessible to the public across the UK. Some are free, while others may require some form of payment. You might think that with this level of access charging is not an issue. The challenge, however, arises in the duration needed to complete a charge. This can range anywhere between 30 minutes to 12 hours.
The time will mostly depend on the type of charging station, battery size, and charge level. Most EVs can capably handle being charged on a 3.7kWh slow to 50kWh rapid charging station. For a full charge cycle, the charging time will vary from the stated 30 minutes to 12 hours. 150kWh rapid charging stations mainly cater to Tesla vehicles that tend to have the longest range and largest battery size.
Home charging is favoured because for many people it is easy to just a matter of plugging in at the end of the day and have your vehicle charging overnight. Not to mention the lower electricity rates domestic properties attract during off-peak hours.
Most smart home charging stations are designed to offer 3.7kW or 7kW power levels. This is in line with what most residential power supply can accommodate. To safely channel this level of power, a dedicated charging station is advisable. Do not try to connect your vehicle to a regular household power outlet unless it has a dedicated circuit and you are using a Level 1 EVSE cord set.