How do you decide where to put your EV charger?
23rd Dec 2020 Danny Morgan
One of the things you’ll need to think about before you get an EV charge point installed at home is, where do you actually put it? This quick guide gives you some pointers.
Choosing where to put your home EV charger is mostly common sense and personal preference, but it’s something we will ask you to tell us (via photo) during the Online Site Survey stage if you get an installation quote from us.
Here are some things to think about when deciding where to locate your home charge point.
Make sure you have a signal
First things first. In order to tell your car when to charge, EV chargers need to communicate with your smartphone app in some way.
Most do this through WiFi - the charge point is connected with your home WiFi, which in turn communicates with the charging app. Then, when you set up a schedule or make a change in the charging app, this is communicated through your WiFi and home internet connection to your charger which in turn will communicate with your vehicle when it's plugged in.
So, it's really important to make sure you have a strong WiFi signal at the location where you want your charger. In other words, you don't want to locate the charger too far away from your home WiFi otherwise it won't be able to connect and many of the charging functions may not work.
Some chargers, like the Ohme, use a mobile signal instead of WiFi. If you're interested in the Ohme or a product that uses a mobile signal instead of WiFi, then make sure you have a strong mobile signal in the desired charger location.
Where do you park?
If you place your EV charge point anywhere near where you park then you’ve done 90% of the work.
But don’t only think about where you park now. Think about where the car will be charging most of the time. Will it be in a different place to charge overnight, for instance?
Where is the charge port on your vehicle?
Check where the charging port is located on your car. This may be at the front, rear or side of the vehicle. So, have a look and check if that will affect where you have the charger installed.
It might even mean you need to park slightly differently. For example, if the charging port is at the rear and you drive in forward then you’ll need to think about whether the charging cable will physically reach.
How long is the charging cable?
Make sure you think about the length of the charging cable that either comes with the charger if it’s tethered, or if you’re going for a socket only charger then check how long your own charging cable is as it won’t be supplied with the socket only product.
This is why it’s so important to think about where you park the car for charging and also where the charge port is.
The charging cables that come attached to tethered chargers are usually 5 metres, but you can get some which are longer – usually at additional cost.
The simplest thing to do here is measure the length of the charging cable from where you want the charger installing to where the charge port would be on the vehicle.
Is flexibility your priority?
If you want to be able to park your car however you like without a care in the world and not needing to wonder whether the charging cable will reach, then a socket only (or untethered) charger may be a good option.
Sure, it’s not as convenient as tethered but what you lose in convenience you gain in flexibility. In other words, you can buy a longer charging cable to suit your needs.
You can find plenty of charging cables online ranging in length from 5 metres, 10 metres and 15 metres or more.
This will be a separate purchase, as untethered units do not come with their own charging cables, but if you get the cable length you want and the right result with your charger location, then that’s the main thing.
Do you want the charger “hidden”?
This is probably the least important consideration but still a factor. Some people prefer the charger to be out of view, but keep in mind all the above – where you park, where the charge port is etc.
You might need to compromise on some elements.
Can you mount the charger on a post?
Installing your charge point on a post can mean some upfront work, such as digging trenches to bury the cabling, but it does open up some options in terms of where you can locate your charger.
Mainly, it means you are not restricted to mounting the unit to a wall which obviously reduces the number of physical locations it can be installed.
A post could allow you to install your EV charger "in the middle" of your driveway. You probably won't want it there, but hopefully you get the idea.
It can involve more work and, therefore, more cost for the installation though. The best thing to do is to start the quoting process (by requesting a quote and completing our Online Site Survey) and point out where you'd ideally like the charger and if you'd like it mounted on a post. Our in-house technicians can then assess the possibilities and provide you with an accurate cost.
Beware of tripping hazards
And finally, check that the charging cable will not trip anyone up. It seems ridiculous, but even if you have your own private drive, it can be difficult to see a dark charging cable at night.
Don’t forget, you might know it’s plugged in but other household members might forget or you may have visitors who won’t know to look down and keep an eye out for the cable.
Ideally, the cable will run nicely along the floor rather than being stretched and hoisted in the air. We don’t want any accidents!