The Most Common Questions About EV Chargers

Posted on 06 October 2023 by The Solar Co

The Most Common Questions About EV Chargers

If you’ve been considering making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV), you’re not alone. The rise in popularity of electric cars has led to an increased demand for charging infrastructure. While public charging points are on the rise, they still may not fully meet the needs of EV owners, especially those living in apartments or flats. This is where home EV chargers come into play, making it crucial to understand the ins and outs of electric car charger installations. Here, we’ll address some of the most common questions about EV chargers, with insight provided by OZEV-registered EV charger installers.

Is it really that hard to find a public charger?

Despite the increase in public charging points, many EV drivers still struggle to find available and working chargers. This has led to a phenomenon known as ‘range anxiety,’ which is the fear of not knowing when and where the next charging opportunity will be.

Do I need a qualified electrician to install a car charger?

Absolutely, a qualified electrician is essential for any electrical installation, including EV chargers. Accredited electricians ensure the proper installation and safety of your charger. Look for installers registered with organisations like NICEIC and OZEV.

Can I get a grant for an EV charger install?

While the OZEV’s funding has shifted, there are still opportunities for grants. The Electrical Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) applies to flat owners and certain commercial properties. Additionally, the Workplace Charging Scheme supports small businesses and other eligible organisations to install charging points at workplaces.

How much does electric car charger installation cost?

Installation costs vary based on factors such as charger type, cable placement, distance from the consumer unit, and the need for surge protection. An electrician typically performs a site survey to provide an accurate cost estimate. 

Will I need a new consumer unit?

An electric car charger requires a dedicated circuit on your consumer unit. If your unit lacks capacity, an upgrade may be necessary. It’s advisable to include a surge protection device (SPD) for added safety and protection against power surges.

Can I install an electric car charger at a block of flats?

While installation in flats is possible, it requires permission from property managers and adherence to specific regulations. Leaseholders might need a ‘licence to alter,’ and security measures against energy theft should also be considered.

Do I need permission to install a charger at my house?

If you own the land, you can install a home charging point without seeking prior permission. However, the installation should be registered with the local authority through an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).

What charge point do I need?

There are various chargers available, ranging from tethered to untethered options. Tethered chargers are more convenient, while untethered ones offer flexibility. Quality chargers generally start at around £600, with installation costs added.

Can someone else steal my energy?

Energy theft is unlikely, but if you’re concerned, a rotary isolator switch or smartphone app can help you control access to your charger and monitor usage.

How long will it take to charge my electric vehicle?

Charging times vary based on the charger’s power rating. Rapid chargers can fill a battery in around 30 minutes, while domestic chargers usually take around eight hours.

I don’t have off-street parking. Can I get a car charger installed?

EV owners without off-street parking can explore options with their local borough council for nearby charging solutions.

Switching to electric vehicles is an exciting move towards sustainability, but it comes with its own set of considerations, especially when it comes to charging. With the right information and support from qualified installers, you can enjoy the convenience and benefits of having your own EV charger at home. Whether you live in a house or a flat, there are solutions available to meet your charging needs and make your EV ownership experience smooth and enjoyable.

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