Chloe Allen

Chloe Allen

Our Digital Marketing Executive Chloe is in charge of our e-newsletter. There's no one better placed to inform and delight you every month, so keep your eyes peeled for her newsletter hitting an email inbox near you soon.

Electric vehicles are taking off. 

With the 2030 ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles inching ever closer, you may already be considering an electric vehicle (EV) for your next lease car – and there’s a lot of information to take in about charging them.

A home charging unit is typically the cheapest, the fastest and the most convenient way to keep your EV. If you’re in two minds about installing one, these are the four key things you need to know.

Is EV charging more expensive than petrol and diesel?  

With rising energy bills and an end to the government support scheme helping us pay for them, you might question whether now is the right time to invest in an EV – and the home charging unit to go with it.

It’s true that home energy bills could increase with an EV plugged in, but there are ways to mitigate against this. By switching to a cheaper, fixed-energy tariff you can keep the bills down to a manageable level, while saving on traditional fuel costs.

Additionally, a smart home charge point will automatically select the cheapest time to charge the car. While public charging points are likely to be used at peak times during the day, most off-peak charging times are overnight (no one wants to be hanging around the supermarket car park in the early hours of the morning).

With a home charger, it’s much easier to take advantage of off those-peak energy tariffs and save the pennies that would otherwise be spent at a public charging station – all without leaving the comfort of your home!

What about flexibility and convenience?

Of course, there are public charging stations and supercharger networks available for all EV users. However, some areas in the UK are better connected than others.

According to Zap-Map, the areas of Greater London and the South East have the greatest distribution of charging points, coming in at 31.7% and 12.7% respectively.

Regional areas outside of London ranked significantly lower, all falling under 10%. For example, of the 40,496 charging devices across the UK, only 5% of them are in the East Midlands, as of 31 March 2023. Surprised?

With electric vehicles becoming more affordable through leasing, demand for public charging stations is likely to keep increasing at a faster rate than its growing infrastructure.

For those of us in areas like Wales and the South West, the availability and accessibility of public charging units is lagging far behind the Greater London area – and it will need significant investment to catch up.

With a home charging unit installed there is no need to worry about availability when range is running low.

A plugged in EV charging at home

Don't be worried about compatibility

The sheer amount of information around EV’s can seem daunting to those considering making the switch, particularly when considering what kind of charger you need. You may find yourself wondering what speed you need to make the most of your EV – but it’s simpler to make sense of that than it sounds.

It’s possible to charge your car on a regular, domestic 3-pin socket, but the power it provides is limited to around 2.3kW. To put it succinctly, less power equals slower charging!

Home charging units come at different speeds, but most have a typical delivery of around 7kW.

The 7kW home charger is compatible with most EV’s. It’s twice as fast as a domestic socket, delivering around 30 miles of electric charge per hour – which is ideal for any size battery. The speed at which it charges means you can generally use it any time of the day; ideal if you have a busy work and home life. None of us want our day to be dictated by when we can charge our car!

Of course, if you want a really speedy charger, one at 22kW is even faster. This comes at a cost, however – it requires a three-phase electricity supply, making it unsuitable for most EV owners.

Likewise, if you’re worrying about the pinch, don’t be tempted by the cheaper models of home charging units without doing your research first, because anything slower than 7kW will take 8-9 hours to complete a full charge. These models are only suitable for overnight charging on smaller EV’s – in which case, you may as well stick with the domestic 3-pin socket!

The practical considerations 

With so much information to take in, the practicalities of dealing with a home charging unit on a daily basis might be overlooked until the last moment.

However, having the right set up at home can make all the difference between implementing a convenient solution and adding more hassle to your day.

Charging units come as either tethered, or untethered units. To put it simply, a tethered unit comes with a cable – so you don’t need to keep one in the boot – and untethered have no cable attached.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, the cable with the tethered unit is likely to be of fixed length and will require tidying away when not in use.

An untethered unit is more flexible; there is no need to change the unit should your next car have a different plug requirement. Either way, the charger will need access to your home Wi-Fi signal to take advance of smart tools, such as remote charging and off-peak energy tariffs.

How close is your driveway to your Wi-Fi router? Where is the charging port on your EV located and is that position practical with where your charging unit will go? If you don’t want the charging unit on display, will the cable that comes with a tethered unit be long enough to reach the charging port of your car?

There are all practical considerations to keep in mind when planning your installation. Failure to take these into account could mean living with a less than optimal set up for years to come.

Sounds good? 

If you're considering making the switch to an electric vehicle in the near future, take a look at our brilliant range of EV's. Our leasing experts are on hand to guide you through everything from choosing the right car, to arranging installation of a home charging unit with our new partner, Hive. Ask us for our discount code for £30 off!

Interested in a discount on a new home charging unit?