For most electric vehicle (EV) owners, home charging is highly convenient. They can simply plug in when they get home, set the start charging time for when off-peak power rates apply and have a fully charged battery by morning. It is an easy routine that is environmentally beneficial and cost-efficient.
The best set-up is when you can have your power outlet or charging point and parking space on your own property. Unfortunately, many people have to make do with on-street parking. This can make charging more complicated. This is because they are forced to run their charging cable across the pavement that separates their property boundary from the parking spot.
This situation often feels awkward because EV owners know they are interfering with normal foot traffic. By laying the cable across the pavement, they run the risk of causing someone to trip and fall. If the cable is damaged and it is raining, there could also be electrocution. There is also the risk that unsavoury characters could end up vandalising or stealing the cable.
All these potential problems are real as EV owners cannot be expected to stand guard over their cable and car during the charging process. Even with a fast charger that is recommended for domestic use, it can still take several hours to get a decent charge. So how can you safely charge your car while using on-street parking?
How to Charge Using an EV Cable at Home with No Driveway?
If you are lucky to have your own driveway, then you have greater freedom and security in installing a charging station outdoors. You simply need to pick a convenient spot near where you park and run the cable from here.
If you do not have a driveway, then you need to find on-street parking that is directly in front of your property. This will ensure as short a distance for the cable to reach your EV. If the distance to be covered is more than your cable can accommodate, you will likely need to invest in a longer cable or an extension lead for outdoor use. Avoid the risk of using an extension cable designed for domestic use.
Try to keep the cable lying flat against the ground. This can reduce the risk of someone tripping. Consider investing in a cable spiral wrap in a bright colour. This can help make the cable more noticeable and allow people more safely step over it.
The best tool may, however, be a cable protector. This gadget provides good coverage over the cable and easy surface to walk over. It also comes with bright striped markings to help make it clearly visible to pedestrians. Because it covers the charging cable as it cuts across the pavement, it may even discourage animal activity that would damage the cable.
Innovations like kerbside charging are something to look forward to. Firms like Connected Kerb are helping to build up an infrastructure whereby charging stations can be easily accessible for on-street parking. Some councils are also approving kerbside home chargers on lamp posts. In this way, people can park in front of their homes and charge from the lamp post on the kerb, with power being drawn from the resident’s home. Do consult your local council to find out whether you request for new on-street charge points to be installed in your area.
Keep in mind that there are no legal restrictions on charging your car with a cable that lies across the pavement. There is also no licensing required. But the Highway Act does give city councils the authority to remove cables in locations that are not suitable. And many councils have strongly advised against it. However, as EVs become more popular, councils may see this as an opportunity to make changes to these policies, especially if innovations like kerbside and lamp post charging prove viable.
Also note that if someone is injured or property damaged due to your cable, you may face a claim. Your homeowner’s insurance may not cover this. Do consult your insurer and consider safer alternative options.
Alternative Charging Solutions
If connecting your EV to a charging point on your property is difficult, then you may want to consider taking advantage of the many public charging networks available. You can use such helpful apps like Zap-Map to locate charge points in your vicinity. You can then charge your vehicle while running regular errands or while at work.
This can be very convenient for those with short commute times that do not majorly deplete battery time daily. The rates on some of these charge points can also be lower than when using your own charger at home.
Charging at work is also helpful if your employer has invested in charge points. Many office buildings and commercial parking spaces feature charge points that have been installed with the benefit of grants from the Workplace Charging Scheme.