How to charge your electric car at home

What is the wallbox grant?

Jaguar i-Pace being charged using home wallbox

To encourage drivers to switch to EVs, the government is offering financial incentives through its OZEV (Office of Zero Emission Vehicles) department. 

If you buy a new EV, then you’ll currently qualify for a grant that pays for 75% of the price and installation cost of a wallbox, up to a maximum of £350. Currently, you can apply for a grant for each EV you own, although this is limited to just two vehicles. 

However, as of April 2022 the government changed the eligibility criteria, meaning most home owners with off-street parking are no longer able to apply for the grant. 

Instead, the incentive is now limited to home owners living in a flat or apartment (provided they also have off-street parking), tenants of rented properties (with the landlord’s permission) and small business owners.

How do you install a charging point at home?

The most straightforward way is to arrange the installation through the company selling the wallbox. 

The price of fitting is often included in the purchase price, with the wallbox provider having its own approved installers. If you buy the unit on its own, you can choose your own technician but they will need to have accreditation from the manufacturer of your chosen device.

The fitter will probably need to check your preferred location for fitting and your home’s electrical circuitry before going ahead. If you want the wallbox fitted a long way from your fuse box or your wiring needs upgrading, then be prepared to pay a bit more for installation.

What is a smart charger and do I need one?

A smart charger is a wallbox that uses wi-fi to connect with various apps on your smartphone. In doing so, it allows you to remotely tailor your car’s charging schedule, giving you the ability to select when charging happens and how much electricity to put into the battery. 

As a result, you can make sure you’re only charging when electricity is cheapest or limit the amount of energy in the battery to 80% to avoid overheating the cells, so improving their longevity. 

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