The Ultimate Guide to EV Charger Home Installation
Last Updated on: March 17, 2023 by John Ellmore
Electric Car Guide > EV Home Charging Hub > The Ultimate Guide to EV Charger Home Installation
Welcome to Electric Car Guides complete guide to installing an electric vehicle charger at home, this guide will help you along every step of the EV charging journey. You will learn the types of charging options available, how to plan the installation of a charge point and the essential tips for charging your vehicle from home.
EV Charger Home Installation
Did you know the UK added over 40,000 new public charge points in 2022? There are more charging options than ever available to EV owners, but the most convenient way to keep your EV charged is to top-up charge it at home. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about charging your vehicle at home.
What power does an EV charger operate at?
There are two ways you can charge your electric car at home, the quick and easy option is to use a 3-pin plug socket, which will charge your vehicle with a power output of 2.3 kW.
3-pin plugs are slow, you could spend up to two days trying to charge a battery if it runs completely flat. Using a 3-pin plug (also known as a granny charger) may not be the quickest but it’s still a viable option if you plan to trickle charge your vehicle overnight. Read our complete guide to Granny chargers to learn more about plugging an electric car into a regular outlet.
The second option is to install a dedicated home charging unit, these come in either a 7kW or 22kW power supply. How fast you can charge your EV at home will depend on the kW of your charging station, the higher the kW the faster the vehicle will charge.
The average charge time for a vehicle using a 7kW charging station is 4.5 hours and for a 22kW you can fully charge a battery in approximately 90 minutes.
To install a 22kW charge point, you will likely need to upgrade your home electricity supply from single-phase to three-phase. Most UK homes will have a single-phase supply and it can be very expensive to upgrade.
Tethered VS Untethered EV charger
Let’s compare the differences between a tethered and an untethered charging cable.
Tethered EV charging cable
- A tethered charger is a cable that is permanently attached to the wall box and cannot be removed
- This makes it more convenient, less likely to get stolen, and quicker to use
- However, when you change your car you may need to change your charging unit
Untethered EV charging cable
- An untethered charger still needs a cable (unfortunately untethered is not a wireless charger)
- The cable is plugged in and out of the charger as you use it, this takes longer to use each time and you might also need to buy the cable if it is not included as standard with your vehicle
- You can use your cable if charging at another location
- You can increase the length of the cable at any time (so if you decide to start charging the car further from your home charge point its easy to purchase a longer cable)
- If you change your car you can just upgrade the cable, not the entire wall box unit!
Type 1 Vs Type 2 EV Charger
The two main types of EV chargers are Type 1 and Type 2.
Pod Point has produced a comprehensive directory of EVs that details the type of charger that each vehicle uses, so if you are unsure if your car requires a Type 1 or a Type 2 you can quickly use this resource to double-check.
European vehicles will use type 2 chargers, type 1 chargers are generally used in Japan and the US.
Type 1 charges have 5-pin connectors and type 2 has 7 pins. Type 1 has a latch to keep it in place, the type 2 charger does not need a latch.
What is a Smart EV Charger?
A smart EV charger is a great way to take control of the variables that impact the cost of charging your electric car. The smart charger is accessed remotely via an app and allows your charger to connect with your car and with the supplier of your electricity. Your charger will allow you to charge your vehicle at a time when the electricity demand is low and in theory, the prices are cheaper.
You can use this data to determine the optimum charging schedule for your electric car, the best time to charge, and the actual amount of charge you require in your battery (you can set the smart charger to keep your battery above a certain level required for your repeat journeys such as the work commute or school run).
Can I get a specific electricity tariff for EV charging?
The energy crisis in the UK has greatly reduced the options available to UK energy consumers, there are EV-specific tariffs available but they are few and far between.
The most popular option to consider is a two-rate tariff. A two-rate tariff will offer a rate for daytime consumption and a separate rate for nighttime usage, in theory, the nightly rate will be cheaper and this is when you would charge your electric car.
At the time of writing our researchers found three energy suppliers offering a specific EV electricity charging tariff – EDF, Octopus & Ovo. All of whom will only offer the deal to existing customers.
You can switch to one of the suppliers above to take advantage of the EV rate but it could take some time before they allow you to move to the EV-specific tariff. Therefore you should review the contract details carefully and speak to the supplier in advance to ensure you can switch as planned.
Who installs a home EV charger?
If you are highly skilled as a ‘do-it-yourself ‘genius then you may be asking the question can I install my own EV charger? It is certainly possible for you to install an EV charging point yourself, however, unless you are a qualified electrician you will not be able to self-certify the work and you will need to notify building control to have the work inspected. Given that the currents used to charge a car are extremely high it is not without its risks, the recommended guidance is not to attempt this.
You should instead search for an experienced and certified local EV charger installer.
An experienced installer will have achieved the qualifications required to install your charging unit to the correct standard that complies with UK electrical standards. The retailer of your EV charging unit should be able to recommend a company to install your unit.
If you are looking to become an EV charger installer, you can read more about the steps to qualification in our guide about where to take an EV charger installation training course.
What are the steps to installing an EV charger?
It is always recommended that you encourage an installer to visit your home for a quote before fitting the unit. This allows them to discuss the best location for the EV charger and work out any possible blockers to overcome. They will also need to identify where your fuse box is and calculate the measurements required to fit.
If they are not able to perform a site visit then try and request a video call to clearly show the installer the details of the job. Installers can request that photos alone are enough preparation but we recommend at least a video call to ensure there are no surprises on the installation day.
Make sure you consider the location of the unit, are you happy for the unit to be in full view from the street as people pass your house? Do you want meters of cable snaked across your driveway? Just because an option is easier for the installer does not make it the right choice for you.
Double-check if your EV charges on the left or the right and factor this into your placement.
Wifi signal is required to use smart apps, so try to consider the distance from your router. If you want more tips on where to place your charging unit then check out our full guide on EV charger installation requirements.
Lead times for EV charger installation work can be long, so keep that in mind when planning the installation. The installation day itself is a relatively quick fit, most installers aim to complete the work on-site within 2-3 hours (providing there are no unexpected issues that cause a delay).
Once the installation is complete the installer should provide you with an electrical charger installation certificate and apply for any OZEV grants that you may be eligible for on your behalf.
There have been a series of amendments to the grant scheme in 2022 and we recommend you review our full guide to the OZEV grant changes before you consider your eligibility. The significant change from March 2022 is that the OZEV grant is no longer available to ‘single unit’ properties or homeowners. The grant is still available for those living in apartment buildings and rental properties, a complete list of current grants available can be found on the UK government website.
How can I prepare for my EV charger installation?
As with any tradesperson working on-site, you will need to clear the space ready for fitting. You should ensure the fuse board is easily accessible as the fitter will need access on the day.
Double-check your internet connection is working and be sure to have your WiFi password available as the unit will need to be connected to your internet once the installation is complete.
What are the EV charger installation regulations?
Your installation company should ensure that your fitting is correct per the EV charger installation regulations, it is good to understand your own obligations under the UK regulations as an owner of an electric vehicle.
You are only permitted to install an EV charger at an address with dedicated off-street parking and you must ensure that your unit is over two meters distance from a public road.
Post-installation the EV charging unit itself must be certified to comply with national standards. Your installer will do this and provide you with a copy of your EIC certificate, if this is not provided make sure you ask for a copy, this is not just a safety requirement it could be essential if you ever need to make an insurance claim related to your vehicle or charging unit.
For sellers of Smart EV charging units, the government has produced very clear guidance on the regulations for sellers. The regulations only apply to Smart charge points that have been sold since June 2022 and provide a robust set of criteria that new chargers must meet.
Smart EV charger regulations
- Smart chargers should have the ability to send and receive information (such as power flow)
- The unit should continue to charge the vehicle even if it is disconnected from the internet
- Various health and safety provisions
- Provide transparency to the owners of electricity flow
- Provide provisions for Cybersecurity
What about vehicle-to-grid charging (V2G)?
Vehicle-to-grid charging is an innovation that allows the electricity from a vehicle’s battery to flow back into the national grid instead of coming from the national grid! This enables your smart charger to effectively sell power back to your supplier when demand (and price) is high – saving you money on your energy bill in the process.
V2G is still very much in its trial phase so it’s not readily available to UK consumers yet. Many energy companies and EV manufacturers are currently working together to refine the technology, including Porsche, Audi, and Fiat-Chrysler.
How much does EV charger installation cost?
The cost of installing an EV charging unit is split into two parts – the cost of an EV charging unit and the installation fee.
When you compare EV charging units you will find suppliers offering a fixed price for both the wall box unit and the installation. This is a great option if you prefer to lock in that total price upfront and avoid any surprises when it comes to installation.
If you price the unit and installation separately then you can expect to pay (on average) £685.68 for a 7kW charger, this is a hardware-only cost, and the cost of fitting by a qualified electrician will add £300 on average.
If the work required to complete the installation is non-standard there will be an additional cost and you should agree on this in advance with the installation company.
The final word on EV Charger home installation
There are plenty of questions to consider before you install a home charging unit for your electric vehicle.
- Can you use your existing 3-pin plug instead of a dedicated charger? If you are happy to ‘top up’ charge every night this may work for your circumstance, but be aware it could take up to 2 days to charge a car battery from empty
- Installing a dedicated charging unit will allow you to charge a battery in under 4 hours but will cost you on average £985.68 for a 7kW charger
- Do you need a Type 1 or Type 2 charger? Most vehicles in the UK require a Type 2 charger
- Do you need a tethered or untethered charger? tethered is a permanent cable, and untethered is a removable cable allowing you to switch if you change your vehicle
- There are specific energy tariffs for EV owners, but they are currently limited to existing customers
- What are the practical considerations of the planned charger location? Does your car charge on the left or right? Are you able to connect to your household Wifi from the location?
- Factor in costs beyond just hardware and fitting such as any non-standard preparation or cabling
We hope this guide has helped you take the first step towards planning your home EV charger installation.