Frequently asked questions
How does EV home charging work?
By installing a residential charging station at your home or apartment, you can charge as you eat, sleep, and play, all while making sure your vehicle is ready-to-go the next morning.
Generally speaking, there are three different types of EV charging: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 2 charging stations are by far the most convenient charging stations for homes and apartments due to the fact that they’re significantly faster than Level 1 stations, and don’t usually require costly upgrades to power supply like their Level 3 (DC fast charging) counterparts.
Residential charging stations are usually Level 2 charging stations and can deliver somewhere between 3.7 - 22 kW of power output. These chargers work by connecting to your home's electricity supply via either 1-phase or 3-phase connectors. With a Level 2 charging station at maximum power output, one hour of charging will provide approximately 75 miles of range.*
To compare, Level 1 charging stations—which plug directly into the wall socket—have a maximum output of 2.3 kW. With a Level 1 charging station at maximum power output, one hour of charging will provide approximately 12 miles of range.*
Home chargers are also more cost effective than public charging stations as they make use of cheaper electricity from the residential energy grid during off-peak hours or with electricity generated by sustainable energy supplies (e.g. solar panels).
To find out more on charging your EV at home, read our comprehensive guide on everything you should know about charging an electric car.
*Calculations are approximations based on the average consumption of 18 kWh per 62 miles. Actual consumption depends on the vehicle, battery size, and driving conditions.
How fast are EV home chargers?
With a Level 2 residential charging station, most electric drivers will be able to charge their electric vehicle overnight and be ready to hit the road the next day.
Level 2 chargers have a maximum power output of 22 kW. At 22 kW, a charging station can fully charge a Tesla Model 3 from 0 to 100% in approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes. Level 2 charging stations are ideal for home scenarios because they deliver maximum power to an EV without requiring costly grid upgrades, depending on your location of course.
However, as with all hardware, there are variables. The speed of residential charging stations varies depending on the type of charger, 1-phase or 3-phase, whether they deliver 16 A or 32 A, the residential location’s power output, and the type of EV. To get a better understanding of the different charging speeds for a Level 2 charging station, here's an overview of how long it will take to charge a Tesla Model 3.
|Level 2: 1-Phase, 16A||3.7 kW||18h30m|
|Level 2: 1-Phase, 32A||7.4 kW||9h15m|
|Level 2: 3-Phase, 16A||11 kW||6h15m|
|Level 2: 3-Phase, 32A||22 kW||6h15m|
Beyond the type of charging station you choose, how fast your home charging station will charge your EV comes down to the amount of power you can take from the grid. Some residential homes may not be wired to deliver 22 kWs of AC, affecting charging speeds.
To attain your desired charging speed, it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical supply. But before you do, it's important to understand what your vehicle is capable of.
The ultimate deciding factor of charging speed is credited to an EV's conversion capacity. As the power from the grid is AC and an EV's battery charges with DC, the current must be converted. If an EV’s AC/DC converter only allows for conversion at 11 kW, then with 22 kW output, the charging speed will remain the same as the 11 kW output.
As seen above, for a Tesla Model 3, a 3-Phase, an 11 kW charging station is best suited due converter's capacity (11 kW) and the size of the vehicle's battery. With it's 6.6 kW on-board charger and comparatively smaller battery, a Nissan Leaf driver would be better off choosing for a 1-Phase, 32A charging station (7.4 kW).
It's important to have an overview of these details, both for your home and your EV, if you're considering investing in EV charging for your home. You can find out which EV home charger is most appropriate for your EV by checking out our electric car database.
Do EV home chargers work with all electric vehicles?
The short answer is yes: residential charging stations should work with all types of electric passenger vehicles.
However, there are a few variables. Whether a particular EV is compatible with a specific home charger depends on the vehicle’s socket, the type of connector of the charging cable (CHAdeMO or CCS2), and whether the charging station’s cable is fixed or not.
When looking to invest in a charging station for your home or apartment, these details will be specific to the vehicle you drive and thus, may limit the capacity for other vehicles to charge using the same charging port.
What about charging Tesla with home charging stations?
Again, the short answer is yes. With any Level 2 charging station, you will be able to charge your Tesla, providing you have the right connection. Although Tesla has their own home charging installation setup including the Tesla Wall Connector, Tesla vehicles are compatible with many other brands on the market via a CC2 or CHAdeMO adapter.
How much does it cost to charge my EV at home?
The price for charging your EV at home depends entirely on how much you pay for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity used. You can find out the current UK average price per kWh here.
But what does this mean? If you're looking to fully charge a Nissan Leaf with a 59 kWh usable battery capacity, and you pay £0.28 per kWh, for example, you’ll pay around £11.78 for a range of up to 239 miles. However, if you’re looking to charge a Tesla Model X with its larger, 95 kWh battery, it will cost closer to £26.60 with a range of up to 360 miles.
To keep the price of charging down, you can connect your residential EV charging station to a charging management platform. Charging management platforms have intelligent features including autostart—starting charging during low-cost periods—and dynamic load balancing—which safely balances the energy usage between a charging station and other high-power usage appliances.
In the long run, how much it costs to fully charge your EV at home will depend on a number of factors. However, the ultimate cost is still comparatively lower than for vehicles with internal combustion engines, not to mention the reduced cost to the environment due to CO2 emissions, and to our health care system due to air pollutants.
You can visit our blog to find out more about how much it costs to charge an electric car.
How much does it cost to install an EV home charger?
Just like the cost of any hardware appliances, the installation cost of a residential charging station for EVs varies greatly, depending on your location, your requirements, and whether you require assistance to install the charging station.
The general rule of thumb is that the more power output a charging station is capable of, the more expensive it will become. Level 2 charging stations can cost on average around £800, providing that you don't have to upgrade your electrical supply.
Before investing, it’s important to make sure that you ask yourself:
- What's the maximum power output my vehicle can charge with?
- What power output is my home capable of providing?
The answers to these two questions will directly affect which residential charging station will suit your needs. To install an EV charging station at your home, you can use either 1-phase and 3-phase power. The difference between the two is the amount of conductors which the power flows through (one or three respectively). 3-phase charging can transfer more power than the 1-phase (22 kW versus 7.4 kW max power output) but may be more difficult and costly to install.
Whichever charging station you choose, installation must be performed by a certified electrician.
When calculating the price of a EV home charger, keep in mind that governments and energy companies have incentives which promote electric cars, and in certain places subsidise the cost of charging points.
How to lower my EV charging costs at home?
The difference between economical home charging and home charging that leaves you out-of-pocket comes down to the features which the charging station provides. Here are five features to consider:
- Scheduled charging: with scheduled charging you can charge your EV during off-peak times when it costs the lowest and protect your grid connection from overload.
- Charging session monitoring: by keeping an eye on your charging insights, you can get an understanding of both power usage and costs and model your charging schedule accordingly.
- Green energy supply: by connecting your charging station to a green energy supply like solar panels, you can produce your own electricity and reduce your reliance on electricity from the grid (as well as your costs).
- Load balancing: by distributing power between multiple EVs when charging, load balancing optimises the power output so as to ensure that charging is smart, safe, and evenly distributed.
- Employee reimbursement: If you're an employee, there's a chance your employer may contribute to your charging costs. With automatic reimbursement, the charging service provider will invoice the employer or fleet manager for an employee's consumption, and will automatically reimburse this amount to the employee.
Before investing in a charging station, it's important to look into which of these features suits your needs and whether the charging station you choose provides them.