Do you need two home charge points if you have two EVs?
25th Nov 2020 Danny Morgan
If you have more than one electric car at home, do you need two home charge points or is one enough? Most people will get on fine with just one, but here are some things to consider.
You may just be starting your electric car journey but believe it or not some people are already part of a multi-EV household – in other words, they own more than one electric vehicle.
A common question we are asked is “Do I need two chargers if I have two or more electric cars?”. Or customers with more than one EV assume they need more than one home charger.
In actual fact, we’ve convinced many of these customers that one charge point will be plenty saving them money on a charger they don’t need.
So, why is this the case? Let’s take a look. You can watch our short video or scroll down to read the article.
You charge less often than you might think
A common misconception about electric cars is that they need constant charging because the range is low.
Clearly, this depends on the range of your vehicle but as a rule it’s unlikely you would need to charge your EV every night.
This opens the possibility of sharing a single home charger. For example, you charge one EV one night, the other the next.
The average daily mileage
Despite the fact there are millions of cars on the UK roads, we actually don’t drive very far. In fact, according to the RAC the average daily mileage is about 28 miles per day.
Well within the range of electric vehicles and will be gobbled up by a dedicated 7kW home charge point, meaning you’ll get those 28 miles back in around an hour for most EVs.
Assuming both vehicles do the same sort of daily mileage, a home charge point makes it pretty easy to “share” between more than one EV.
Most multi-car households would be able to top up a vehicle one night and top up the other the next night.
If both vehicles cover around 30 miles a day, then you should only need to add 60 miles back into the vehicle each time if you charge one vehicle at a time. On average, this would take around two hours on a 7kW home charge point.
Two chargers, half the speed
Clearly, there are benefits to having two charge points installed. Primarily it means you can charge two vehicles at the same time.
But this can mean the vehicles are charged at different rates and it’s possible one charge point will take precedent over the other.
Some products will have the ability to “load share”, which means they will communicate with each if two vehicles are plugged in. In this scenario, they will evenly split the power available so both cars charge at the same rate, but this will be at around 3-3.6kW – in other words half of the available 7.4kW from the supply.
Again, this could still be very useful if more than one vehicle requires charging overnight, for example, and you’re happy for them to charge a little slower.
Even at around 3kW, this will still add over 10 miles of range per hour typically, which is more than enough to add a good chunk of range overnight.
Long journey? But how often?
The obvious spanner in the works here is the dreaded long journey. Much too much is made of the problems encountered by electric cars on long journeys – the public infrastructure is improving all the time.
However, if more than one person in your home needs to complete a long journey the next day then you might be fighting over who gets the charger.
Here are some things to consider, though:
1. What do you need most of the time?
If both vehicles are rarely needed for long drives at the same time, then you’re probably best saving the money and opting for one charge point. You wouldn’t buy a people carrier for that one time you need to transport seven people, so apply the same principle to car charging. In other words, think about what you need 80-90% of the year.
2. Start charging earlier and swap
If you need both vehicles for a longer trip the next day, simply plug one in when you get home and then swap before you go to bed. That way both cars have had a few hours’ charge.
3. Use the three-pin
Most EVs come with a three-pin plug adapter for a domestic socket. It’s slow and best to avoid using it too regularly, but for occasional use it is a great option. Plug one vehicle into your 7kW home charger and the other into a domestic socket.
4. Use a public charger
Did you know there are more than 35,000 public charge points across nearly 13,000 locations (as of November 2020, according to ZapMap)? Nearly 8,000 of these are the superfast rapid chargers which typically recharge a car from 10-80% in around 30-45 mins. Assuming your car isn’t empty when you set off, just plan a stop at a rapid charger on the way to your destination.
What if you really want to charge two EVs at the same time?
Okay, you’re determined to charge two electric cars at the same time. Here are some options for you:
1. Get two chargers installed
2. Get a dual-socket charge point
There are some home charging products that offer a “dual-socket” setup, which means you can plug two vehicles in. Smart Home Charge does not currently sell or install a product like this, but a quick search online should point you in the right direction.
3. Use a three-pin plug
As mentioned earlier. Save yourself some money and use both your 7kW home charge point and a domestic socket if you must charge two cars simultaneously.
4. See if you can have a 22kW charger (see below)
You may be able to get an even faster 22kW charger at home. This still means charging one vehicle at a time, but the extra charging speed may give you more flexibility. Read below to see if you can get one.
Can you have a faster 22kW charger?
If you have multiple EVs in your household which all do a lot of miles each day, then you might want to consider upgrading to an even faster 22kW home charge point.
Although, it would still mean charging one vehicle at a time, the extra power and charging speed provided by a 22kW charger could give you more flexibility when it comes to EV charging.
Unfortunately, not every home can have one and it can be expensive to get the infrastructure in place.
Watch our video guide to 22kW charging and find out whether you can have it or not.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful. We have plenty more guides on living with an EV, including this one which explains why charging at home barely takes any time at all.