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Guide to home charging

You'll want to do the majority of charging from home when you get an electric car, so here's everything you need to know about topping up your battery from driveway or garage

One of the huge benefits of owning an electric car is the ability to charge your vehicle at home. This means no queueing at petrol stations or worrying about rising fuel prices, but rather simply plugging in your car as you would your smartphone. Well, almost. Whether you’re considering an electric car, have decided you want one or are just curious about EVs, cinch is here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about electric car home charging.    

What is a home charger and how can you get one installed?  

Home chargers do exactly what they say on the tin; they allow you to charge your electric car from the comfort of your own home. You can keep things simple and just use a three-pin plug in the wall, like you would with a typical domestic appliance. But EV owners regularly charging at home are less likely to choose this option, as an electric car can take over ten hours to charge up this way. Most electric car owners choose to have an electric car charging point installed. Not only is a charging point a significantly quicker way to charge your car (times are typically closer to six hours), most have built-in safety features also. It's worth considering, but do remember they almost always require professional installation.  

Some car manufacturers offer charge point fitment as a service that’s either included with the car purchase, or as an additional optional extra. Naturally, prices can vary, but a typical wall charger costs in the region of £400. Some councils offer grant schemes to help subsidise the cost of chargers, or if you’re lucky, they could cover the costs entirely. We’d advise contacting your local council to find out if they offer any grants to support the instillation of an EV charging port. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a freebie! 

What charging cable do you need for your charging kit? 

If you have a charging port installed at home (either on your driveway, your outside wall or perhaps in the garage), you may then need to purchase charging cables. Some ports come with them as standard, others don’t. The cable is what connects your electric car to the charging point – just like the wire you would use to connect a smartphone to a plug when it’s charging (but much bigger). So it’s quite important. 

Most if not all electric cars now come with charging cables packs, often with a three-pin plug compatible version, and then one that’s suitable for electric car charging ports. You can get a universal Type 2 plug, which – don’t let the name spook you – is the standard charging socket for public charging ports and home charging points. But you also have to pick the right connector for your car which is either a Type 1 or Type 2. It’s not as tricky as it sounds because it’ll almost certainly be in your car’s handbook. 

Less obvious is the required length of the cable. You may find your electric car’s cable isn’t long enough for your home setup, so you’ll have to buy one that is a sufficient length to charge your car in the location you would park it at home. Bigger isn’t always better (stop sniggering in the back), because, for example, an excessively long charger cable will be heavier and take up more space in your car while you’re out on the road. Consider having a longer cable for home and leaving a shorter one in the car. 

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