You’re thinking of joining the growing band of electric vehicle (EV) drivers taking to the road in Britain. So you’ll need a charge point for your home.
It’s not compulsory to have a home car charger on your driveway or off-street parking spot, but it’s certainly more convenient – and cheaper. Drivers who charge their cars at home pay VAT on electricity at 5% while similar energy bought from a street charger or public charging area is levied at 20%.
And while campaigners are currently lobbying the Government to have this ‘unfair’ ruling changed, it’s clearly more advantageous to be charging at home if you can.
So if you have the space required for your own home charging point, or wallbox, which one should you go for?
What choices are there?
Getting the right charge company to suit your needs is as important as getting the right car. And just as it’s vital to ensure you’re getting the car you think you are, with some vehicle history research – such as Motorcheck’s £9.99 Single Check – it’s also time to do a bit of investigation of your own and find a suitable home charge supplier.
As well as finding the right wallbox, you’ll need to work out which tariff works best for you, and then see what other extras or incentives each company offers, and which would suit you the best.
BP Pulse is a leading supplier. Its well-known green logo can be seen at thousands of petrol and diesel stations and in motorway service areas. But the company is anxious to be a big player in the EV world too and offers a smart wallbox, priced at £1049 and many useful features such as charging to take advantage of lower tariffs, powering up to three times faster than a standard wall plug, and using remote control to charge even when you’re away.
Easee wants to create the world’s smartest charger and uses what they call a ‘Charging Robot’ which will take the place of a conventional power grid and acts like a valve, using existing capacity wherever it might be and distributing it more efficiently. Its 7kW charger, called Easee One, provides quick charging, easy controls, high security and it works out for itself what power your car needs.
Egg is known for its home solar panels but the company has also moved into car chargers. For £38 a month (£35 for the charger lease and £3 for the Egg Plus plan) you get an EV charger installed, a management system to look after it and a charging App. This three year deal covers you if anything goes wrong with the charger during that time – Egg will repair or replace it. When the loan period ends, you keep the charger and can continue with the £3 a month plan to keep the equipment covered against damage or failure.
Not every supplier sells its own home charging points and EV Home is a good example of this. They work with leading suppliers and arrange the installation process for you. An inquiry form helps find the most compatible wallbox for your home and car and EV Home uses your property layout and electrical set-up to recommend a specification that they think will best suit you. They arrange for an approved installer to fit the charger – prices start at £775.
Battery and solar experts JoJu Solar have spent years installing charging systems for councils, schools and businesses – and now they do it for homeowners. Their vision is of a world powered by the sun via solar panels. Joju are not tied to any manufacturer: they say fast chargers are common fits for them and recommend the Zappi solar car charger for customers with a solar-panelled roof already. There are other options though – with a picture of your home’s fuse board and preferred charge point, they’ll arrange an installation for you.
Everyone wants to pay as little as possible for their energy and charging off-peak is one way to achieve this. Ohme runs an environmentally-friendly smart charging system that encourages customers to do just that, using spare energy that can’t be stored on the grid. Its website asks you to input an EV of your choice and tells you the cost with a standard charger and smart ‘time-of-use’ tariff. Its Home Pro charger, at £949, comes with a choice of cable length, a mobile App, over-the-air updates and home power balancing.
Rolec has been an expert in the outdoor electrical services industry for 30 years and specialises in marina, caravan hook-ups and EV charging, and makes the UK’s largest range of smart AC and DC rapid chargers. Using WallPod and Zura chargers, priced from £838, Rolec says it could save EV drivers up to £250 a year on their energy bills. There’s a smart charging App called ‘ev.energy’ which finds off-peak rates for your car and integrates any home energy tariff.
Zaptec say that no matter what car you drive or where you’re going, they have the charger to power your journey. Using Norwegian technology they have created the Zaptec Go charger which matches its maximum charge to the capacity of your car so that you get the most efficient charge for that vehicle. The technology inside the Zaptec Go is always connected to Wi-Fi or 4G and therefore keeps up with latest functions and updates. Supply your name and address and a photographic image of the area you have in mind for the installation, to get a quote.
These leading suppliers and their different offerings give a flavour of what’s available to new EV users. But there are many other companies to consider for your EV’s home charging point and it’s a question of finding one that suits your needs, budget and personal goals for the environment.