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Electric Vehicle Basics: Where to Charge

Electric vehicles are the future. If we all switch to EVs we can drastically reduce our carbon footprint while also improving air quality. However, with electric vehicles taking so long to charge, it seems tricky to see how we can ever get to a point where everyone owns an EV, when public charging stations are patchy to say the least and charging at home can take up to 30 hours.

There are undoubtedly pros and cons to owning an electric vehicle. But on balance, the pros probably win. Here’s what you need to know about charging your electric vehicle.

Where to charge

If you live in a city where there is a good EV charging infrastructure both on the roadside and in garages, then you are probably familiar with your local charging points, and the best time to go to avoid queues. However, if you live in a more rural location, you may struggle to find a charging point within an easy driving distance; unless you drive a hybrid, this could be a significant issue if you have driven to a holiday location and need to recharge before returning home.

If you live in a flat, you don’t have parking on your property, or you live in rented accommodation, it may be necessary for you to look for alternative charging points. Despite government setting aside a funding pot for roadside charging back in 2018, there are still limited solutions for on-street funding. Find your nearest point via the open charge map so that you have a good idea of the nearest charging locations.

Home charging

If you are lucky enough to have off road parking for your vehicle that has a mains electricity supply, your best option is to charge your EV when you are at home – in fact, that is what 80% of electric vehicle owners do. Charging at home comes with a host of benefits – you can leave your vehicle on charge overnight and if you are savvy and take advantage of agile tariffs, you can make sure that your charging costs very little. Home chargers have two options: the traditional three-pin plug, with gives 2-3kWh output, or a fast charger, which increases the output to 7kWh. Home chargers come in a range of types and price points, so it is a good idea to do your research before you get one installed. With the government’s EVHS grant contributing 75% of the cost of a charging point for two EVs up to a maximum of £350 per charging point, now is the time to invest.

If you are not in a position to be able to charge your EV, don’t despair! The world of electric vehicles is growing almost daily, more second hand EVs are coming onto the market and, as demand rises, more charging points are being installed. Speak to your local car dealerships and explain what you are looking for, so that they can let you know if anything suitable arrives on their forecourt. Next week, we take a look at how long it takes to charge EVs and the types of chargers – follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out more.

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