How do you decide where to put your EV charger?
New to the world of electric cars? It can be a daunting world, full of jargon – and that's before we get to the subject of EV charger installation. Smart charger this, single phase that – it can be a minefield.
Happily, we've put together a series of guides to help those new to the world of the electric car, if you're looking to buy an electric car then having a home charge point installed if you have off street parking should be a key consideration.
Not only will you save money when compared to charging your electric car at public chargers, but charging an electric vehicle at home is much less hassle.
However, what do you need to consider when choosing a location for a home charging point? Of course, there's a great deal of common sense involved in choosing the best place to install your home car charging point. Nevertheless, if you choose us to install your car charging point, then we will ask you to provide a photo during the Online Site Survey stage.
We've pulled together some things to think about when deciding where to locate your electric car charging point. Watch the short video below or scroll down to read the article, and we'll have you set up with a home charging point in no time.
Make sure you have a signal
First things first. In order to tell your car when to charge, a home charging point will 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, thus beginning the electric car charging process.
Therefore, 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 functions for charging an electric car may not work.
Using a smart charger will optimise electric car charging at home, thus saving you money when charging overnight and allowing you to monitor energy usage.
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 car charging point location.
Browse our product range
Once you have decided where you are going to put your home charging point, click or tap the button below to see our range of home chargers.
Where do you park?
If you place your EV charge point anywhere near where you park your electric car then you've done 90% of the work.
However, don't only think about where you park your electric car now.
Think about where the electric car will be charging most of the time. Will it be in a different place to charge overnight, for instance?
Home charging an electric vehicle may seem simple with off road parking, but some layouts are easier to place a charging unit in than others.
Have a think about where the charging lead needs to get to, how easy the electricity supply is to get to and how you charge your electric car impacts on your neighbours and even your own family – do your children need access to the garage behind the car, for example?
Where is the charge port on your vehicle?
Check where the charging port is located on your electric 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 home charger installed.
It might even mean you need to park slightly differently to charge an electric car.
For example, if the charging port is at the rear of your vehicle and you drive in forward, then you'll need to think about whether the charging cable will physically reach, allowing you to charge.
How long is the charging cable?
Make sure you think about the length of the cable that either comes with the home charger if it's tethered, or if you're going for a socket only charger then check how long your own 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 to charge an electric car 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 cable from where you want the charger installing to where the charge port would be on the electric vehicle.
Browse our charging cables
Thinking of buying an untethered charger? You'll need a cable! We have a range of charging cables to suit most people's charging needs and budgets.
Is flexibility your priority?
If you want to be able to park your electric vehicle 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) home charger may be a good option.
Sure, it's not as convenient as a tethered home charger but what you lose in convenience you gain in flexibility. In other words, you can buy a longer 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 for those new to electric cars.
Some people prefer the charger to be out of view, but keep in mind all the above – where you park you electric vehicle, where the charge port is etc.
You might need to compromise on some elements to charge your electric car at home.
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 for the charge point, but it does open up some charger installation options in terms of where you can locate your electric car charger.
Mainly, it means you are not restricted to mounting the home charging unit to a wall, which obviously reduces the number of physical locations to have a charging point installed.
A post could allow you to install your home charge point "in the middle" of your driveway. You probably won't want your charging point installed 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 EV charger and if you'd like it mounted on a post. Our in-house technicians can then assess the possibilities for home charging and provide you with an accurate cost.
Can I mount my EV charger on a fence?
Mounting home charge points on a fence is unwise, because a fence is a temporary structure and could fall down in bad weather – and parking electric cars next to things that could fall over isn't wise.
Fences are usually made from wood and mounting EV chargers and electricity supply cabling would be risky, both for damaging the EV and the risk of electric shock.
Another thing to consider is the amount of sunlight a car charger might be exposed to. Surface-fixed cables should not be exposed to prolonged sunlight unless they are a suitable type.
Black thermoplastic (PVC) cable sheaths contain carbon black which resists the effects of sunlight. White or grey cable sheaths are likely to deteriorate with prolonged exposure to the sun and should always be shielded.
Beware of tripping hazards
The final thing to consider when having an EV car charging point installed is to 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 cable at night.
Don't forget, you might know it's plugged in when charging at home 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 when charging at home. We don't want any EV accidents!
Guide to charging for free
Charging at home is by far the easiest and most convenient way to charge your EV but did you know there are still free charging points for when you're out in public?