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Electric car charging station.

How do I power my garden electrics?

If you are considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), or you’ve recently invested in one, then you may be wondering how you’re going to charge your new set of wheels. There are more public charging points in the UK than petrol stations, but most people choose to charge their electric car at home or work. In this blog, we will look at what’s required to install an electric car charger and the grants available to help pay for it.

Why install an electric car charger at home?

Eighty percent of electric car owners, charge their cars at home because it is convenient. Most charge their EVs at night, while they are sleeping – it makes sense to use your downtime to recharge for the following day (quite literally!).  

Though it’s possible to use a normal three pin plug, a properly installed charging point can save you time. In fact, it can reduce your car’s charging time by 30 – 60% depending on the type of vehicle.

Electric car batteries are measured in kilowatt hours (a kilowatt is a unit of power). A 40 kWh battery would require 40 kilowatts of power to charge it fully.

A domestic socket would take 17 hours to charge a car with this sized battery. But an at-home charging station with 7kW of power could do the same job in just over five hours – that’s a saving of more than eleven hours.

What’s more, if you have access to a charging station at work, you can double the range of your electric vehicle. Workplace charging is increasingly popular, and is making electric car ownership viable for even those with long commutes.

The RAC estimates that the average cost to install an electric car charger at home is around £800, and the good news is that there are government grants available to help.

What is the OLEV government grant scheme?

The first thing you need to know about the OLEV grant scheme is that the government department responsible for administering the grant, has changed its name. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is now the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).

They offer grants for domestic and commercial customers for installing home and workplace car charging stations.

Electric vehicle homecharge scheme (EVHS)   

This grant provides up to £350 off the cost of buying and fitting a home charging point. You can only claim one charger per car and a maximum of two chargers per household.   

You can find a full list of electric cars eligible for the grant on the government website.


Workplace charging scheme (WCS)

The workplace charging scheme is similar to the EVHS. Commercial customers can claim money off the cost of installing a charging station with a single socket.

You can claim up to £350 per socket with a maximum of 40 stations for any one business.

To be eligible to claim, domestic and commercial customers must:

  • own the property or get permission from the landlord
  • use an approved OZEV installer
  • have off-street parking
  • install a smart charger
OLEV government grant scheme money

What is a smart charger for a car battery?

Smart chargers are (as their name suggests) smart! By that we mean, it connects to other devices – specifically, the charger connects to your car and the national grid.

By talking to the grid, a smart charger can work out the most efficient and cost-effective time to charge your electric vehicle. It knows when the grid is quietest i.e. when the least amount of power is being used and therefore carbon emissions are at their lowest.

Not only does charging your car at this time cost less, but it’s also better for the planet – in fact, you could bring down your charging emissions by a further 22%.

If the grid’s quietest time, doesn’t work for you then you can override it. You’ll never miss an opportunity with the smart charger, because you can also upload your own diary and let the device find a time to charge your car that fits your schedule.

Who can install an electric car charger?

Our electricians can sign off their own work and, at the end of the job, we will issue you with a certificate that demonstrates the work is safe. This paperwork, known as an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC), is necessary should you sell your house, and without it you could face a fine and risk losing your buyers at the last minute.

EMCAL Systems is experienced in managing domestic and commercial electrical installations. In fact, we cut our teeth working on large projects for big businesses, so we know how to work to a budget and a deadline.

If you choose EMCAL to install you EV charger, you are guaranteed:

  • a quality job at a fair price  
  • open and honest communication
  • a tidy work space
  • project management throughout

In January 2021, the sale of battery powered electric vehicles went up by almost 55% compared with the previous year. With 6,260 new vehicles registered in just one month, it’s inevitable that car owners will be wondering how to install an electric car charger. We can help – our electricians have the right experience to guide you from beginning to end. Contact us for more information on charging your electric vehicle at home and work.