Paul Holdsworth, Engineer
31 Jan : Updated 8 Nov ● 12 min read
Electric vehicles can be expensive to buy, and charging them at public charging points makes them costly to run.
That being said, running an electric car can end up being considerably cheaper than a petrol or diesel vehicle, especially when we look at how much fuel prices have risen in recent years. One of the best ways to keep the day-to-day running costs of an electric car down is to have your own EV charger installed at home.
Once you've bought the charger itself and covered the cost of getting it installed, charging your car at home will be significantly cheaper than using a public charger, especially if you choose to switch your electricity tariff to one geared towards EV owners.
And, ultimately, being able to charge your car right outside your home is by far the most convenient way to go.
Here at BOXT, we've laid out this detailed guide to give you all the key facts and information you need about the costs of installing a home EV charger.
Home EV charging points are small, compact units that supply energy to your electric vehicle. Also known as a charging station or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), the charging point makes it easier for car owners to charge their vehicles whenever they like.
The convenience and money-saving benefits offered by home EV chargers are so great that an estimated 80% of all electric vehicle charging now takes place at home. Yes, more and more EV owners are saying “good-bye” to traditional fuel stations and public charging points in favour of getting their very own charger installed.
Charging your electric car at home using a standard, 3-pin UK socket is possible. However, these outlets are not built to withstand the high loads it takes to charge an electric vehicle, and it is only recommended that you charge this way in situations such as emergencies or when visiting friends and relatives who don’t have dedicated EV charging sockets installed. If you’re planning on charging your car at home on a regular basis then you’re going to need the real deal.
And, beyond the safety risks that come with using low-voltage plugs to charge an electric vehicle, using a 3-pin plug is also much slower! Using a plug that’s designed to handle up to 10kW of power will enable you to charge up to 3 times faster.
You can use two types of chargers for your car: 3kW chargers and 7kW chargers.
A 3kW electric car charger without installation costs between £250 - £500, with the average price being £375.
A 7kW electric car charger without installation, on the other hand, costs between £450 - £800, with the average price being £625.
Although the 3kW charger is cheaper, charging your car will take around six to eight hours, whereas the 7kW will only take three to four hours. The 3kW is better for those driving a hybrid car with a combustion engine and an electric motor, as you won't need to spend as much.
If you want to purchase the charger with installation included, it’s going to cost you in the region of £1,000 for a basic model. Smart chargers will cost slightly more but can end up saving you money in the longer term.
Learn more about the benefits of smart chargers.
Now we know the price range for an EV charger, how much is it to install a car charger at home?
An electric car charger has an installation cost of around £800 to £1,000, and you can expect to pay around £1,145 for a smart car charger.
You should always have your EV charging point installed by a professional engineer.
Electric car charger installation takes around 3 hours to complete. The engineer will connect the charge point to the electricity supply and then install it on one of your home’s exterior walls, usually close to where you park your vehicle.
When you purchase an EV charger from BOXT, there’s no need for an on-site survey. All you need to send is photos of the space you’d like your EV charger installed, the fuse box or consumer unit, and the front of your property.
Our team will use these images to establish what the most suitable type of charger is going to be for your home and arrange everything needed to carry out the installation from start to finish.
Find your EV charger for home with BOXTGet your fixed price now
There are many benefits to having an EV charger at home. Some of these include:
The first thing you'll need to know before deciding which type of charging point you want is what type of connection your electric car has. There are two different kinds of connectors, Type 1 and Type 2. You'll need to make sure your charging point is compatible with the type of connector your electric car uses.
Then, you'll need to consider several different factors that will affect the cost of your electric car charger installation:
The cost of installation will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Certain vehicles will need bigger batteries, so you may need to consider the kind of EV charger you’ll need.
When looking to install an EV charger, an important aspect to consider is the location. Where you place your EV charger can significantly impact the cost of installation.
In some instances, you may need to make some infrastructure changes to accommodate your new charger. You should aim to place your charger in a suitable location that is close and convenient for you to use. This could be in a garage or on a driveway with at least 10 metres of cabling to your fuse box.
As mentioned above, there may be some extra labour required for installing an EV charger at home. Some additional costs include trenching for conduits which usually costs around £30 per metre.
However, the cost may be more expensive if you’re having to remove concrete or another hard surface rather than soft soil.
Other additional costs may be from:
In April 2022, the UK Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) began offering a grant that provides funding for up to 75% of the cost of installing electric vehicle smart charge points in domestic properties. The aim of this scheme is to encourage homeowners and landlords to consider installing an EV charging point outside their home as the UK continues on its journey towards net zero carbon emissions.
Now, before you commit to buying an electric vehicle charger using this grant, you’ll first need to make sure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria detailed on the government website. These state that applicants must:
Using an OZEV-registered installer Scottish nationals can also receive Energy Saving Trust grants of £300-£400 for home charge points. You can access the funding if you live in a remote and rural area or if you purchased your EV via the Used Electric Vehicle Loan.
These EV charger government grants are great for those transitioning from petrol and diesel to a more sustainable vehicle.
Looking into installing an electric vehicle charging point at your place of work? Well, you’re in luck, as there is funding available for commercial installations, too!
Businesses, charities and public sector organisations can apply for funding through the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) and, if successful, will receive financial support in the form of a £350 voucher towards the costs of purchasing and installing an EV charging point.
The cost of charging your electric car will depend on a number of factors including where you choose to charge it, the efficiency of your vehicle’s battery and, if you’re charging at home, the time of day that you do the bulk of your charging and the electricity tariff you’re on. Let’s compare the costs of charging at home and at public charging stations in more detail.
For most people who own electric cars, home charging is the cheapest option. When you have your own home charger, you will only pay for any electricity you use. You don't need to pay any extra costs for accessing the grid.
Depending on your chosen electricity tariff, it’s often the case that the cheapest way to charge your EV is to do it during off-peak hours, which in most areas is at night. This is due to the reduced demand on energy networks at this time.
There are different energy pricing tariffs during off-peak hours, such as Economy 7, and taking advantage of them is a good way to lower your electricity bills.
If you have access to green energy, such as solar panels, then there won't be any costs for the energy you use as you’ll be generating the electricity yourself. Just bear in mind that not all EV chargers are compatible with solar panels, so you’ll need to make sure you choose a model that is designed to operate by being connected to solar cells.
If you want to charge your EV outside of the home, it means signing up with a public charging company. A lot of these companies have their own tariffs, and there is also the risk that you won't be near an electric car charging point when you're running low on power.
Many charge points outside of the home are rapid chargers which means they can recharge your battery from empty to 80% in around 45 minutes. This is a lot faster than a home charger, as rapid chargers have a rating above 22kW, but they are also more expensive.
Most of these chargers will charge you more once your battery level reaches 80%, so if you use one, it's more cost-effective to stop charging once your battery reaches that level.
Prices can of course fluctuate, but the average price to charge your EV to 80% in public at a rapid charger usually costs between £7-£10, which is more expensive than charging at home.
Read our in-depth guide for more information on how much it does cost to charge an electric car.
The total installation cost of your EV charger will most likely not just be the cost of the unit plus the cost of the labour. There are other costs you may need to factor in:
Home EV chargers are the most cost-effective and efficient way of charging your vehicles. Not only can you save money but you’ll be able to charge whenever you want - during the day or late at night.
It can be quite a hassle to locate a public charging station, so it’s worth investing in a home EV charger. At BOXT, we want to help you make the right decisions. For more information on EV chargers, check out some of our articles from EV charger installation requirements to what is the best EV charging app?