Electric car home charger installation guide

If you’ve recently made the switch to an electric car, you may be looking to install a wallbox charging point at your home. So, here we tell you everything you need to know about the installation...

British Gas and Hive are reinventing home charging and here’s how

In the UK, around 80% of electric vehicle (EV) owners charge their car at home and approximately 400,000 home and workplace chargers are spread around the country, according to charger location app ZapMap.

So, why the big numbers? Well, charging at home is one of the most convenient ways of running an electric car because, like charging a mobile phone or tablet, you can leave it to charge overnight. What’s more, charging at home can be more reliable and cheaper than using the public network.

If those factors sound like they might appeal to you, follow our guide on everything you need to know about the home charger installation process.

Can I get a wallbox installed at my home?

EV home chargers rated

There are three factors that you’ll need to consider before you can have a home charger installed:

  1. You will need a wifi connection. Most home chargers are operated through an app (so the charger will require an internet connection to work).

  2. You will need off-street parking or your own parking space if you live in a flat (within a reasonable distance of your fuse box).

  3. You will need to own your home or have permission from your landlord before you can install the charger.

What does the home charger installation process involve?

British Gas and Hive are reinventing home charging and here’s how

The installation process will vary between the charging company you choose, but it generally goes as follows:

  1. The wallbox supplier will talk to you to understand more about the layout of your home, the location of your fuse box and where you want the charger to be positioned. This may be part of an in-person visit or a telephone or video call, and you may need to send photos showing details.

  2. It’s possible you may need additional components fitted. Some of these can be managed by the installer, but you may also need to speak to your electricity provider.

  3. The home charger company will send a technician to come to your home to install the charger. 

  4. The technician will help you fine tune the best position for the charger. This will depend on the location of your home’s power supply and where you park your car. Bear in mind that the charging socket position can vary from car to car.

  5. The installer will fix the charger to the wall of your chosen location (all chargers must be 0.9m off the ground). Once fixed, the technician will run a length of tough armoured cable through a freshly-drilled hole in the wall of your house to your fuse box. Most packages to supply and fit a wallbox will include ‘standard installation’ which will include securing the cable to your wall. You’ll likely need to pay extra if you want the cable buried or to be run at height.

  6. Following that, your home’s power supply will be temporarily switched off so your charger can be connected.

  7. The technician will then help you set-up the charger, which will involve connecting it to the app and your wifi network.

  8. Once the charger is up and running, the technician will then demonstrate how the charger works (including how to connect it to your car).

How long does it take to install an EV charger?

garage with two home EV chargers

The installation process for most standard properties should take between three to six hours. However, if there are any unexpected issues with the installation process, you’ve requested a more complex installation requiring cables to be run underground or at height, or the charger is located a distance from the fusebox – such as in a carport or outbuilding – installation can take much longer.

Also factor in the time taken for electricity providers to install equipment such as double-pole isolators. And installers must seek permission from your distribution network operator before work begins – any hold-ups or irregularities may increase the time taken.

How many home charger companies are there?

Myenergi EV home charger

There are many home charger companies to choose from, including Pod Point, Hypervault, Myenergi and Wallbox (just to name a few). In each case, the company will send an in-house technician to install the charger for you, but if you prefer, you can get an independent electrician to install the charger.

In some cases, you can get an electric car home charger tied into the deal of a new car or from an energy company. For more information on home charger companies, you can read our story on the best home EV chargers.

How fast is an electric car home charger?

BP Pulse home EV charger

Most home chargers are rated at speeds of 3.6kW, 7kW or 22kW (the power rating of a charging point is measured in kilowatts). This can vary between companies, though (Wallbox home chargers are available in 9.6kW or 11.5kW forms).

The slowest and cheapest home charger is a 3.6kW unit, which means an MG4 Standard Range (with a 51kWh battery) should top up from 0-100% in around 14 hours. The charging time will depend on the maximum charging rate of the car, the size of the battery and the outside temperature. Chargers rated around 3.6kW are only a little faster than a three-pin plug.

That’s why most drivers go for a 7kW home charger for a bit more oomph. It should charge an MG4 Standard Range from 0-100% in around 8 hours. With a 22kW unit, that charging time would be even less, but these are more rare because the majority of UK homes have a single-phase energy supply (a 22kW charger would require a three-phase supply which is costly to install).

How much does it cost to fit an electric car charging point at home?

Ohme home charger

The cost of installing a home charger is generally between £500-£1500, but this depends on the company and the speed of charger you choose. Other factors such as the type of home you live in and the positioning of the charging point can also impact the cost, so it’s worth getting a quote before you proceed with the installation.

In most cases, the charging company will combine the cost of the installation with the charging point itself. For instance, the cost of installing a 3.6kW Pod Point universal charger (without a Type 2 cable attached) starts from £798 and moves up to £849 (with a cable). 

If you own and live in a flat with an off-street parking space, or rent any residential property with off-street parking, you can apply for the OZEV (Office of Zero Emission Vehicles) Grant which contributes £350 towards the cost of installation. There are several conditions for being eligible for the grant, though, so it’s worth checking if you qualify on the OZEV Government website. 

If you do qualify for the OZEV grant, you'll also need to choose a charger that's been approved by the Government. You can see the full list of approved chargers here.

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Read more: The best EV home chargers >>