As people have become more environmentally conscious and demonstrated a willingness to adapt to new trends, electric vehicle (EV) ownership has risen stratospherically.
By 2022, there were over 663,700 plug-in vehicles on UK roads, according to ZapMap, demonstrating a growth in the electric vehicle of 67.4% based on numbers from 2021 and a stunning 2064.07% increase based on numbers from 2016. Though recent coronavirus-related circumstances have seen a drastic drop in travel, EVs are definitely the wave of the future.
Likewise, with nearly 9 million UK households owning two cars, it is increasingly common to find both cars being BEVs (Battery electric vehicles). It normally begins with just one car but as the household begins to realise the cost-saving benefits, eventually two EVs are parked in the garage.
But how to keep your electric car fleet fully charged and running on demand?
With traditional fuel cars, it was easy to keep them running thanks to the brief stops at a service station to fill up the tank. EVs, however, are more complicated as they require battery charging that typically takes several hours if using domestic EV charging stations.
This is unless you make use of a faster option like rapid EV charging stations and use corresponding rapid EV charging cables that can take as little as half an hour to deploy a full charge.
Is it even possible to charge two BEVs at home?
How Do You Charge an EV Car at Home?
If you intend to charge from home, you’ll first need to choose between charging with a 3-pin plug using the home energy supply or opting for a specific electric vehicle charging unit.
The benefits and limits of each are briefly summed up below.
3-pin plug charging – Level 1 charging
Most BEVs come with a 3-pin EV charging cable that allows them to connect their new electric car up to their home sockets to recharge, described by some as level 1 charging.
While perfectly safe, this is by far the slowest option and because of power limitations can only add around 3-5 miles per hour – making a large recharge incredibly time-consuming.
There can also be connection issues, as not every homeowner will have an outdoor plug, an incredibly long 3-pin charging cable, or a handily placed window near a socket.
An electric vehicle charging unit – Level 2 charging
The first step to easy-peasy EV ownership involves having a suitable home charging station installed. The government briefly offered an OLEV grant that knocked off around £350 from the cost of purchasing and installing this station but this grant has now closed for homeowners unless they rent or own a flat.
So, homeowners now have to utilise other methods to help them purchase an EV charger of their own, including:
- Buying EVs that come with a free EV charging station and EV charging cables
- Purchasing second-hand or refurbished EV charging units and a corresponding electric car charging cable
- Paying monthly using credit for a domestic changing unit and coordinative EV charging cables
Level 2 charging units remove issues with needing to stretch over long cables through open windows or doors to reach sockets and also give a faster charge, of around 12-80 miles per hour.
If you opt for the installation of a home charging station, you should employ an approved installer and carefully consider the installation location – especially if you plan to have a two-EV household.
You will also need to factor in the position of the charging station relative to the vehicle’s charging port and the length of EV charging cable you will need – a simple enough decision when you have just one EV but worthy of deeper consideration if you plan to have two.
How Do You Charge Two EV Cars At Home?
Most homeowners looking to charge multiple EVs from home will opt for a level 2 charging unit and corresponding EV charging cables – for ease of use and faster charging.
If you plan on mounting your charging station outside, then you should not have much of a problem finding a point from which both car charging ports can be accessed, especially if you have a large driveway or open plan, spacious garage.
As you can see in public charging stations like service stations, workplaces, and shopping centre parking lots, charging stations are frequently installed between two spaces, allowing for use on either side.
If you, however, have individual garage bays separated by a wall, the arrangement will take a bit more thought – allowing you to choose the best option for your circumstances and budget. You could:
- Install a second home charging station for the second car to access if the first one is in use.
- If both parking bays share a charger, consider investing in a compatible extension cable that can be safely plugged in.
- Opt for a dual home charging station, which allows for individual cars to be charged until the second EV joins the fleet – then charging both at the same time.
- Establish two chargers that will share the same circuit – if installed correctly, 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?
By the end of August 2023, there are now around 48,450 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 29,062 charging locations – making EV charging accessible for many across the UK.
While this a commendable increase, this still leaves on average 13.7 EVs per public charging point, which creates a challenge for some areas, including:
- Cities with increased BEV ownership – as there may be many more electric cars than available chargers, creating queues.
- Locations with public chargers far from local amenities – meaning more BEV owners have to go out of their way to recharge.
- Areas further afield from motorway service stations which now commonly house charging units – which can cause an increase in emergency breakdowns.
A similar challenge, however, arises in the duration needed to complete a charge, which can range anywhere between 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the EV and charging unit’s maximum charging capacity.
Home charging is therefore still favoured because for many people, as it avoids many of these problems. It’s as easy as plugging in at the end of the day and forgetting about it, while your vehicle charges overnight – with a full battery ready for the school run and your hurried morning commute.
Similarly, cheaper electricity rates for domestic properties at off-peak hours can make recharging extremely cost-effective – and even free if you sell excess electricity back to the grid or use solar panels!
Increasingly, smart home charging stations are being designed with increased maximum charging capacities, designed to recharge fully in as little as a few hours – making it a no-brainer!
For more information or help with anything EV – from keeping your electric vehicle topped up and ready to go to which electric car charging cable is best for your BEV, reach out to the EV Cable Shop team today – you can call us on 01744 886 305, email us at email@example.com, or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.