It is a fact of life that when a new innovation hits the retail market, people are at first wary. That was the case with electric cars but now the technology has proved itself the uptake of EV motoring is increasing. For the owner this comes with the added necessity of ensuring charging procedures are as cost effective and convenient as possible. Enter the home charging station.
Away From Home
Buyers who take to the road in electric cars understand that they have to ensure there is enough charge in the battery pack to get the trip done. Hybrid users of course have a fall-back position with the petrol engine but users of true EV’s need to pay attention.
When away from home then their vehicle should be carrying an electric car charging cable for use at public charging stations. The good news is that the availability of these units is increasing and, slowly but surely, charging times are getting shorter. There is no substitute however for forward planning and that means ensuring the car is fully charged before leaving home.
The Benefits of Home Charging Stations
Because residential charging is convenient and inexpensive, most plug-in electric vehicle drivers do more than eighty percent of their charging at home. A fully charged car topped up at the family home, on the drive or in the garage, allows users to take advantage of low, stable residential electricity rates.
Obviously every EV comes with a charging cable, and replacement or back-up charging cables are also available as after-market items, that can be plugged into a regular three-pin socket but this isn’t advisable long-term and is also not very efficient. That’s where home charging units come in.
These units, once installed, means owners benefit from much faster charging speeds, for convenience, plus important safety features for peace of mind. It’s important that the owner ensures that any installed unit is compatible with Type 1 or Type 2 electric charging cables, which cover most makes of car. Some stations come with a tethered cable, others are available for all types of fitting but a charging cable must be purchased additionally to suit the vehicle.
Installing Home Charging Stations
This job is the province of the trained electrician. Of course, it can be done by the householder to save money on installation but it’s a foolish course of action, unless of course the owner is a qualified sparks: Best leave it to the experts.
Costs of these units vary depending upon the features on offer but expect to pay from £300 for a decent, dependable unit up to almost a thousand pounds for the top kit that will connect via Wi-Fi to the internet giving the user greater control. Free-standing charging towers cost considerably more and are not really justified unless for fleet use. The cost of installation will depend on the supplier but around the £300-400 mark seems about average with the work taking between two to four hours to complete.
The Costs Are Mounting Aren’t They?
Yes, there’s an outlay involved that is for sure but it pays to look at the big picture. First of all, the government are keen for drivers to switch to electric so the good news is that the owner can apply for a grant from OLEV, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. This could be as much as £500. That’s a good start and makes the outlook a little more rosy.
Remember too that this is a one-time outlay. Over time, consistent use of an EV, fuelled by off-peak electricity, will begin to repay the initial expense. Depending upon the vehicle, the cost of motoring is around 2-5p per mile; considerably less than the fossil-fuel equivalent. At the point of supply the typical electricity rate in the UK is about 14p or so per kWh (variable), while on Economy 7 tariffs the typical overnight electricity rate in the UK is 8p per kWh. This will of course depend on the region and supplier. Switching supplier might offer additional benefits.
Even while the owner is recovering that initial outlay, it is still a fact that their EV is not adding to the emission problems in the UK. Thus, it’s a win/win situation. Ask the experts in EV charging cables and Home units for more information.