Be it on the road or at home, charging an electric vehicle is easier than you might think. With manufacturers releasing electric vehicles with ever increasing ranges and more charging points popping up over the country, anxiety around charging is becoming a thing of the past. Here is our brief guide to electric vehicle charging. Remember - if you need any more detailed information, get in touch and request a chat with one of our Electric Vehicle (EV) specialists.
With most electric vehicles, including the Nissan leaf, Kia Soul EV and Renault Zoe, charging takes place at home overnight, so the vehicle will be fully charged for your journeys the next day. Thanks to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), the government will fund up to 75% of the costs for a homecharging point to be installed where you live. This makes charging easier and safer. Prices of these units vary on how many points you would like installed (the EVHS scheme will only help fund one point) and also the speed of the unit. A standard charging unit is around 3kw, whereas faster chargers such as 7kw versions are available. You can use Zap Map to find a charge point installer near you. Watch our very own Nissan Leaf owner Matt explaining how he finds home charging in his video blog.
Your electric vehicle can be charged through a conventional electric plug socket, but installing a charging point can give a quicker and more efficient charge. The length of time it takes to charge will vary from vehicle to vehicle, as will the amount that it will add to your energy bills, so these are things to discuss with one of our specialists. You may want to consider changing your meter to an Economy 7 meter, which offers separate tarrifs for day and night electricity use. You may already have one of these meters, but if not they are available from most energy suppliers, so get in touch with your supplier or shop around to find the best deal.
As with charging at home, charging your electric vehicle while out and about is also a lot more straight forward than you might think. And this time it's of no cost to you whatsoever. Yes, most electric vehicle drivers will suffer range anxiety at some point. But with forward planning and preparation, there is really no need, as you are likely much nearer to a public charger than you might think. Charging away from home means you have access to rapid charging points of about 22kw, so compared to a standard home charging unit of 3kw, that's a much faster charge. On the go, a rapid charge on a Nissan Leaf for example takes only 30 minutes, meaning that stopping on your journey need not be too disruptive.
Thanks to Ecotricity's 'Electric Highway', there are charging points dotted up and down the length of the country's motorways to facilitate long journeys. Take a look at their electric highway map to see what chargers are available on your potential routes. To use an Ecotricity charger, you simply need to sign up for a free swipe card. As well as Ecotricity motorway service station points, there are plenty of other electric charging points in just about every city and town. There may even be one at your workplace. take a look at Zap Map for a full view of where each charger is located. Here is our lovely Matt again, this time showing you how he charges his Leaf at an Ecotricity charger.
What do I need to get a home charging point installed?
You just need to be the registered owner/leaseholder of the vehicle and be named as the primary driver in order to be eligible for funding of a home charging point.
How much will I save on fuel?
This will differ depending on which vehicle you have and how many miles you cover in your vehicle, but most manufacturers estimate that you will save money overall by owning an electric vehicle.
Will I get any funding towards the car?
Yes - plug in car grants from the government will cover 35% of the cost of the car, up to £2,500 or £4,500 depending on the make and model.
Are there any charging points at Wessex?
Yes - we have electric chargers at our branches in Bristol Cribbs Causeway, Bristol Pennywell Road and Cardiff Hadfield Road