Frequently asked questions
It is also possible to speak to someone directly.
What are the different types of charging sockets?
There are several different types of sockets used in the UK. A good way to remember what connector you need is to look at where your car is made:
- 1.Asian models, such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander. These cars use the CHAdeMO connector standard, which offers high charging.
- 2.European makes, such as the Jaguar iPace, BMW i3, Mercedes and Volkswagen. These cars use the Combo CCS standard. It is the highest speed charge type currently available – up to 150KW.
- 3.Tesla, such as the Model S and Model X. Tesla uses its own Tesla connector standard.
Further information can be found at Guide to EV Charging: www.zap-map.com/charge-points
To make use of the various charge-points available it is important that you know what types of charge-point your vehicle can use, as electric car charging can be carried out in a few different ways, dependent on the type of vehicle and cable connectors.
Types of charge-points:
A searchable map of the UK’s ever-growing network of public charging points can be found at www.zap-map.com
I can’t charge at home. Are there any alternatives?
You can use a public charging point. At the moment, there are over 23,000 public charging points and there are likely to be many more soon. You can see them all at www.zap-map.com
How do I get a private home charger?
We can provide a British Gas Centrica Alfen S Line home chargepoint unit as an optional extra, included in your monthly allowance – as permitted by your employer
Can I charge an electric vehicle from a three-pin plug socket?
One of the biggest advantages of an electric vehicle is they can be plugged in almost anywhere with an electricity supply. Most plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are supplied with a cable fitted with a three-pin plug, and this is compatible with any household socket.
However, a dedicated chargepoint offers up to three times faster charging, it’s weatherproof and removes the need to trail cables through windows or add an outdoor plug socket.
How much does it cost to install a home charging point?
There are thousands of chargepoint options eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which covers up to 75% of the unit and installation costs (to a maximum £350 including VAT). Pricing starts from a few hundred pounds for the most basic units, including installation, and increases as you add faster charging speeds, remote control via a smartphone app, or designer units with premium materials. There are around 400 units to choose from.
Installing a chargepoint has become a routine job, which usually doesn’t require additional work. However, some properties could require longer cabling from the electricity supply to the driveway, or upgrades to the main board in older houses. Extra costs should be identified during the application process.
Find out more about home charging in our guide, availablehere.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
The majority of electric vehicle charging takes place at home. It takes a couple of minutes to plug in and, if it’s left charging overnight, you’ll wake up to a full ‘tank’ in the morning. Charging speeds depend on the power supply, and what the vehicle is capable of taking on.
- A 7.4kW (32-amp) charging point will restore around 30 miles per hour
- A 3.7kW (16-amp) charging point will restore around 15 miles per hour
- Using a three-pin socket (10-amp) will restore around 10 miles per hour
How much will electric vehicle charging add to my electricity bills?
Based on the national average flat-rate unit cost for energy, a typical electric family car covering 10,000 miles per year would cost around £41 per month in electricity if it was only charged at home. On a dual-rate tariff, with cheaper rates for off-peak charging, this could be as low as £10 per month.
For comparison, using fuel prices from The AA, an equivalent petrol car would cost around £110, while a diesel car would cost £94. Any increase in utility bills is offset by not having to visit a fuel station.
More information about the cost of home charging is available here.
What if I don’t have off-street parking?
You’re not alone - one in four UK cars is parked on the street overnight and the Government is paying attention. Launched in 2017, the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS) provides funding for local authorities to roll out infrastructure for areas without driveways or garages. More than 4,000 units have already been funded by the scheme, and residents can lobby councils to apply.
To find out more about growing your local on-street charging network, click here.
Can I run a charging cable across a pavement?
There is no law against running charging cables across a pavement, but local rules vary. Section 178 of the Highways Act 1980 says you cannot run cables over, across or along a pavement or highway without permission from the council responsible for it. Some local councils have opted to allow residents to do so, others view it as a trip hazard and will ask for it to be removed.
The Association of British Insurers says insurance policies also don’t necessarily cover damage to the cable or injuries if someone trips over it. Some specialist providers do offer this, but – if you have to run a cable over the pavement – it’s worth adding a brightly coloured cover to protect it and make it obvious to pedestrians.
Are charging cables easy to steal?
Cable thefts are reportedly on the rise in the UK, as they are worth around £200 and can be sold online. However, it’s not easy to steal them. Most new hybrid and electric cars use the same ‘Type 2’ connector, which locks to both the vehicle and the charging point while it’s in use. It’s usually impossible to remove without the vehicle’s key.
Is it safe to plug in an electric car while it’s raining?
Yes. Electric vehicle charging connectors are weatherproof, and the chargepoint will only start to supply current once it’s detected that it’s locked to the car.
How do I claim expenses for the electricity used at home?
HMRC has an Advisory Electric Rate of 4p per mile which drivers can reclaim if they are using an electric car or van for business journeys, but this doesn’t always cover costs. To simplify this process, Centrica and NewMotion have recently launched automated systems to reimburse drivers via payroll for the full cost of charging at home or on the road.
To find out more about reimbursement for electric vehicles, clickhere.