Charging an electric car at home

4 minutes

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Installing a home electric car charger can make buying an EV much more attractive and convenient. But is it worth it? 

  • Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) are offering up to £350 for home EV charging points
  • You can save time and money by charging your electric car at home 
  • There are various power ratings and sockets for home charging points depending on your model of car

By installing an electric car charging socket at home, you’ll always be within reach of a charge and can conveniently plug in your EV overnight – so it’s ready to go when you are.

Installing an electric car charger at home can also be cheaper than charging on the go and an OLEV grant may mean you get money off the price of installation too.

Find out the best home EV charger for your car and budget, and how you can benefit from a government grant, with our guide to charging your electric car at home.

How much does electric car charger installation cost?  

Installing an electric car charger at home can cost around £800. However, most electric vehicle owners are eligible for an OLEV grant, which can cut that cost in half.

The Office for Low Emissions Vehicles grant is also known as the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).

Once your charger is installed, you could make further savings. By charging your vehicle overnight based on your electricity cost, you won’t have to pay for public or rapid chargers when on the move.

Our guide breaks down the cost of charging an electric car at home, at work or on the go. 


How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?  

How long it takes an electric car to fully charge at home will depend on the model of car and your charging socket.

Most home EV chargers will offer 2 power ratings; 3kW and 7kW, each providing different amounts of charge:

  • 3kW – will give you approximately 15 miles per hour of charge, taking between 10-20 hours to fully charge from empty, depending on your vehicle’s kWh battery. 
  • 7kW – will give you around 30 miles per hour of charge and usually takes around 5-10 hours to charge.

To find out exactly how long it’ll take to charge your electric vehicle at home, Zap Map has a handy home charging calculator.

Can you charge an electric car from a regular outlet?

Yes, with the right charging cable, it is possible to charge your EV from a standard 3-pin plug found in your home. However, this will take longer than an EV specific charger. This is because a home outlet will only provide around 2.3kW of power, compared to EV charging ports which offer between 3-7kW.

It’s also worth considering whether your nearest three-prong outlet is close enough to your parking space. You may have to use an extension cord, which can be potentially dangerous. Most extension cords are not designed to be used for long periods of time, such as charging a car overnight. Try not to use one at all if possible.


Best home EV charger in the UK

When it comes to finding the best EV charger in the UK, it’s best to do your research and scour the market to find one that suits you. Consider the space you have and your existing sockets, as well as:

  • Desired charger power
  • Vehicle type
  • Car battery size

Choosing your charger

There are 3 types of EV chargers available in the UK :

  • Rapid – the fastest way to charge your electric vehicle, offering 43-150kW of power (though there are only a handful of 150kW chargers around). Mainly found in motorway services or close to main roads and only suitable for EVs with rapid-charging technologies. Full charges can take as little as 30 minutes. 
  • Fast – usually either 7kW or 22kW power, fast chargers are the most common type of charger found in car parks and supermarkets.
  • Slow – only offering around 3kW of power, slow chargers are best suited for overnight charging at home.

Most home EV chargers are either fast or slow, usually offering either 7kW or 3kW of power. The more power in the charger, the quicker your electric vehicle will be ready to hit the road, but often it’ll cost more to install.

Some chargers offer multiple power settings, giving you more flexibility to either short-term quick charge or gently power up your car overnight. 

Read this guide to EV charging for a detailed breakdown on the different types of EV chargers and points.

Government grants for electric car charging points

As part of a government scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on UK roads, The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles provides a grant to help electric vehicle owners cover the cost of home charging points.

What is the OLEV grant?

The OLEV grant is a government-funded scheme that provides up to £350 towards the cost of buying and installing an EV charging point at home.

Electric vehicle owners are eligible to one OLEV-approved charging point per vehicle for a maximum of two electric vehicles per household. This is available for most electric and hybrid vehicles. You must also have off-street parking to be eligible.

To apply for your government grant for an electric car charging point, you need to fill in an application giving details about your installation. You can find out if you’re eligible for any other electric car government grant, by looking at our guide on EV government subsidies and tax incentives.

Installing a charging point at home can help you save money and time. Make sure your EV is covered for the future with electric car insurance from LV=.


Most home EV chargers are either fast or slow, usually offering either 7kW or 3kW of power.

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