There is no doubt that driving an electric vehicle (EV) is becoming increasingly popular. According to a recent MoneyWeek report, there are almost a million (975,000) fully electric cars on UK roads, and a further 590,000 plug-in hybrids.

Clearly driven by this (excuse the pun!) there has been a big increase in publicly accessible charging points, with ZapMap confirming that in February 2024 there were 57,290, an increase of around 47% on the previous year.

Despite this notable increase, there is no doubt that charging at home is still the most effective and convenient way of running an EV. Your own personal home charger gives you the ability to charge overnight, or during the day while you are at home, and never having to worry about queuing to charge your vehicle.

Home charging is also by far the cheapest option. Figures published by Octopus reveal a home-charged electric car can cost as little as 3p a mile, compared to 21p for petrol, and an average of 14p a mile for on-street charging.

So, if you are planning to own an EV or already have one, you may want to install an EV charger.

However, before you go ahead, there are some important issues you need to consider. Read on to discover four of these, and some of the potential complications you may have to address.

1. Your property and parking arrangements

If you are thinking of installing a home EV charger, how your home is laid out is clearly the first issue to address.

Clearly, owning a house with a driveway or garage makes the issue of finding a location for your charger easier, as it can be fitted to any external wall of your property.

Furthermore, if it is more convenient, you can actually put up a bespoke charging post on your driveway, so you do have an element of flexibility.

When siting your charger, you should consider your parking arrangements, and where the charging socket is on your EV.

It can be slightly problematic if you live in a block of flats, although you may find that the communal parking will have EV charging points. Or, you could speak to your property management company to ask about installing a charging point if you have an allocated parking space or garage.

Meanwhile, if you are currently renting and are thinking of getting an EV charging point installed, you will need to discuss this with your landlord in the first instance. As an incentive, you should point out that they may be able to get a grant towards the cost of installation.

2. The cost of your charger and installation

Once you have ascertained that installing an EV charger is feasible, the next step is to consider the type of charger you want.

To encourage EV purchase, some manufacturers will provide a free charger and installation when you purchase a new vehicle from them.

However, you should check the terms of this, and the quality and efficiency of the charger offered, as you might feel it is worth the expense of buying your own if what is on offer does not meet your requirements.

If you are buying your own charger, latest figures as of March 2024 show that the cost can vary from £500 for a basic charger up to £1,200 for a premium product with high-end design features.

There will also be installation costs on top, which can vary depending on complexity and the length of cable required.

If you are buying an EV charger online, you will need to get a qualified electrician to fit it. Indeed, it is often sensible to get a professional to fit your charger, regardless of how you purchase it.

3. Ensuring you have the best electricity tariff for your needs

With the location and type of your EV charger confirmed, you then need to ensure you are paying as little as possible for the electricity you use.

After all, if you do a lot of driving, you could be charging regularly, so it makes sound economic sense to ensure you are paying the minimum for the electricity you require.

While running an EV is cheaper than a petrol or diesel equivalent, by how much depends on your EV energy provider and tariff.

There are generally two types of EV domestic electric tariffs.

The most common, and typically the cheapest, offers two electricity rates depending on the time of day, with much lower rates at night. This means you can charge your car very cheaply overnight.

Single-rate tariffs, on the other hand, are where you pay the same discounted rate throughout the day because you have an EV.

EV tariffs are not usually on price comparison websites, which can make finding the right one for you difficult. Fortunately, there are online calculators available that can help you.

You will get into a routine once you get to know your EV and how it uses charge, so you may well find that charging at night could save you hundreds of pounds over the course of a year.

4. Your internet connection

The first EV chargers available for the UK domestic market were hardly much of a step up from a standard three-pin plug and a mains lead that connected your car to the socket.

Thankfully, things have moved on, both in terms of safety but also convenience, since then. Now, all EV chargers are required to be “smart”, meaning that you have a lot more control over how you charge, and are able to control when this happens.

Your EV charger will come with a smartphone app, which gives you valuable flexibility when charging, and helps you monitor the cost. There are also different settings for the rate at which you can charge, which can be useful if you need to charge your EV in a hurry.

All this means that, rather like “Hive” technology to control your household gas supply, smart EV chargers need to have a strong internet connection. If you feel your signal may not be strong enough, it may be worth speaking to your internet provider.

There are alternatives to charging at home

Having read the points in this article, you may find that you will not be able to charge your EV at home.

While just using public charging points can be time-consuming and inconvenient, careful planning and access to a range of options can make it feasible.

It is worth doing some research into the siting of public-access EV chargers near where you live. These sites could include:

  • Street chargers attached to lamp posts
  • Charging sites in public car parks
  • Dedicated charging bays in supermarket car parks so you can charge while you shop
  • Service stations.

It may also be worth enquiring at your place of work if you drive there to see if chargers are available or if they could be installed.

Get in touch

If you would like advice about any aspect of your financial planning, then please do get in touch with us at DBL Asset Management.

Email or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.