Electric cars aren’t a future fantasy anymore – they’re the transport of choice for around a quarter of a million people in the UK, which is 77% more than in 2020.
With the price of petrol, diesel and other fuels continuing to skyrocket, it’s not surprising that electric and hybrid vehicles have soared in popularity. Removing the need to rely on fossil fuels also has huge environmental benefits, making this new breed of car the perfect choice for anyone looking to make sustainable switches to their lifestyle, while also cutting costs.
But how do you charge an electric car, and how long do you need to charge it for? For those who haven’t owned one before and are thinking about making the switch, we’ve put together the answers to these commonly asked questions below.
How do you charge an electric car at home?
Just like other common electrical devices, such as your phone or smart watch, you’ll need to charge up your electric car to keep it running. As part of the UK’s ambitions to reach net zero emissions by 2050, all new homes and buildings such as public supermarkets and workplaces are now required to have electric vehicle charging points – which will add around 145,000 charging points to England every year.
But this legislation has only been in force since June 2022. If you don’t live in a new build home with its own charging point fitted, you may be wondering how to charge your electric car at home.
Some electric and hybrid cars come with a three pin charging cable, similar to those used on a laptop, for example. Many manufacturers recommend only saving this for emergency use, however, as this method can be very slow and can’t handle high charging loads.
Instead, you can purchase your own charging point and get it installed by a specialist, like any other home improvement. These high voltage weatherproof charging points are usually placed outside and close to where you park your car, so it can be charged at your convenience, when you’re not using it. You can find your nearest Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) approved installer by visiting the government website.
There are a number of grants available to help you cover the cost if you are thinking of installing your own electric car charging point at home.
Other ways to charge your electric car
According to government statistics, there were 28,375 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK as of 1 January 2022 – and this will continue to grow as more public buildings are completed every year. As well as traditional service stations, these charging points can be found at more modern supermarkets, car parks, high streets, office buildings and more.
More recent data gathered from Zap Map in December 2022 stated that there were 36,752 in the UK. Platforms like Zap Map help you to discover where your nearest public charging point is, which is useful for planning long car journeys, or to use while you’re waiting for your personal charging point to be installed.
The cost to use these public charging stations can vary. Some may be free as a part of a workplace incentive, for example, while others might be based on a time-based tariff, or subject to standard electricity rates.
How long do electric cars take to charge?
The length of time it takes to charge up an electric car can also vary, depending on the specific car and the type of charging point used. Alongside standard charging points, specialist rapid charging stations are also available and according to the RAC, can take as little as 15 minutes to charge a car.
A typical charging point of 7 - 22kW may take around six hours, while a three-pin plug could take a full day. The RAC explains more about the different charging speeds on its website.
By 2030, the UK plans to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles. Although you’ll still be able to drive a fuel-based car, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain as these cars phase out of production.
If you’re thinking of making the switch to something greener, Motorfinity offer discounts on a wide range of new vehicles including electric and hybrid models, for the NHS, emergency services and key workers. We work with leading manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford, Citroen and many more. Browse our website or get in touch with our team today.