What is the wallbox grant?
To encourage drivers to switch to EV, the Government is offering financial incentives through its OLEV (Office of Low Emissions Vehicles) department. If you buy a new EV, then you’ll currently qualify for a grant that pays for 75 percent 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.
How to get an electric car charging point installed 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 then you can choose your own technician, but they will need to have accreditation from the manufacturer of your chosen device.
It’s worth being aware that the fitter will probably need to check your preferred location for fitting and your home’s electrical circuitry before going ahead. And 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 or Bluetooth 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 percent to avoid overheating the cells and improving longevity. Smart chargers cost more to buy than standard units, but bear in mind that the Government’s OLEV subsidy only applies to this kind of equipment, meaning that in most circumstances they actually work out cheaper to buy.
What wattage wall charger should I buy?
The current that your charger can supply will be based both on your home wiring and your car’s on board charging adaptor. The lowest available is the 3kW slow charger, which even on something like a Nissan Leaf with a modest 40kWh battery will require 12 hours for a full charge, while larger models such as an Audi e-tron will need more than 24 hours.
Most wallboxes deliver 7kW fast charging, which reduces the time by about half compared to 3kW units. Almost all electric cars will be able to charge at this rate, which is ideal for home use when most charging is done overnight.