Strangely enough, it seems that not a lot of people know that you can charge your electric vehicle (EV) with a normal cable that will plug into the mains of your house.
Just like charging your phone (but on a slightly bigger scale), EVs can use a mains charging cable that you can easily plug into your garage or an outlet in your home.
Not all homes have domestic sockets that are suitable for charging something as big as your electric car, so it’s worth doing your research before deciding if this is the best option for you. Charging via these kinds of cables is usually slower too, but will still give you a boost if installing a charging point isn’t an option.
Can I get an electric vehicle charger if I rent my home?
Renting a house can mean that you need to ask your landlord permission for making any changes to the property, so things like EV charging points will have to be approved before you get them fitted.
There are grants on offer to give landlords in the UK a contribution towards buying and fitting an EV charging point, but there are still other ways to charge your car if they’re not keen on having one installed at the property.
You can use a standard EV charger that plugs into your sockets just like any other charger, or you could rely on public charging points to get your boost. Living in a rented property doesn’t automatically mean electric vehicles are a no-go – you just need to be aware of your options.
Charging your EV with no driveway
If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle but don’t have a driveway or off-street parking, you might find it more difficult to recharge your car.
It is possible to park on the street and run your EV charging cable across the pavement, but this isn’t the safest method for pedestrians, who could trip on the wires.
A good option is to try and park your car as close to your house as possible so the cable doesn’t need to stretch far, and use a cover to mark the cable clearly to passers-by.
While it’s not illegal to run a charging cable across a path in the UK, local councils do have the power to remove your cables if they’re a hazard or are getting in the way.
It’s a good idea to only leave your cable out while charging, park close to your home, and use a cover to make sure the cable is visible to pedestrians.
Asking your landlord to fit an EV charger
If you’re renting your home and would like an EV charging point fitted, you need to ask permission from your landlord before getting started. Your landlord can actually apply for a grant to help them with the costs of purchasing and installing a charger, so this might help you talk them round.
The EV charge point grant for landlords offers up to 75% of the costs of buying and fitting the point, up to a maximum of £350 per grant. Landlords can receive up to 200 grants for their residential properties and can include charging points with more than one socket.
Using a public EV charging point
If you’re struggling to charge your electric vehicle at home and there’s no chance of getting a charging point fitted, you could rely on public chargers to get your boost. Electric cars usually have a mile range of between 200 and 300 miles on one full charge (depending on the model), so you might only need to recharge once a week – depending on how many miles you cover regularly.
There are handy apps and options on navigation systems that will help you locate the nearest charging point, but you might also be able to find chargers on lampposts, shopping centres and supermarkets.
You’ll usually find that shops will let you use their chargers for free while you’re shopping, but charging stations will likely ask for a fee.
It’s also possible to get your local authorities to fit chargers in your area in public locations like parks and car parks. They can access grants that will help with the funding, so it might be wise to attend a local council meeting and bring it up for discussion.