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How to charge an electric car at home

In the UK, the vast majority of electric car charging is done at home. This is usually the most convenient and cost-effective way to charge. Get home, plug in, wake up with a full charge. Brilliant! To charge from home, it is best to get a home charge point installed. A dedicated home EV charger will charge your car much faster than using a three-pin plug – up to three times quicker! It’s safer, too. A home chargepoint from Pod Point – Kia’s charging partner – is weatherproof, so you can of course charge when it’s raining. The charge point is also smart, and WiFi enabled which means it can keep track of how much you have spent on charging – so you can invoice for travel costs for example. It can even save you money by charging when electricity is cheapest.

How do I pay for public charging?

Some public chargers are free, but many will require payment. Different chargers can be run by different networks, and each will have slightly different ways of charging. But generally, it’s as simple as having an app on your phone and selecting the charger you wish to use. Take Pod Point for example, you simply plug in your car, select the charge point you are using in the app, and you’re good to go. It’s that easy.

For networks that require payment, this is usually also done through the app. Some networks used to require you to use an RFID card that would be sent in the post, but for the most part these have been replaced by smartphone apps. You can check apps and websites such as Zap Map to find out more about the different charging networks. You can also use the service to look up which networks operate your local charge points.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Much like charging times, the cost of charging a car will vary by battery size and when and where it is charged. The average overnight electricity rate in the UK is 13p per kWh, so to fully charge a Kia e-Niro from 0% could cost around £8.30 – but this will vary depending electricity supplier and and tariff fluctuations.

 The cost of charging at public charge points varies by network, but is still substantially cheaper than petrol or diesel per mile.

How much does it cost to install a home charge point?

Good news, there is a £500 OLEV government grant available to help with the cost of a home charge point. This means for a standard installation, our partner, Pod Point, can supply and install a home charge point from as little as £279 for a 3.6kW charger, or, for Kia customers, a special price of £300 (£359 RRP) for a 7kW charger after the grant.

If you don’t know which charger you need, fear not, we’ll explain that next. If you’re thinking about getting a home charge point, it is also worth switching your electricity to a smart meter. If you haven’t already done so, switching to a smart meter is usually free, and provides many benefits for drivers who charge at home. A smart meter will allow you take advantage of smart tariffs, which mean your car can charge when it’s greenest and cheapest to do so. In future, you will need a smart meter to take advantage of the OLEV grant. (The benefit of the government’s £500 grant towards a home charge point, you need to own your home, have off-street parking and not have claimed the grant for the vehicle.

How do I charge my car in public?

There are more than 20,000 public connectors in the UK at more than 7,000 locations, and that number is rising every day. Many public chargers can be found in town centres, supermarkets and motorway services. If you want to see where your nearest public charger is, whether it is in use and whether it is working, you can check with services such as the Zap Map app. Public chargers can vary in speed from 3kW to rapid 50kW DC chargers. Rapid DC uses different connectors – CCS (Combined Charging System) or CHAdeMO. The Kia e-Niro for example a CCS connector for rapid DC charging. It will be made clear which speeds and connectors your car is compatible with.

How to find electric car charging points: Zap Map

Finding somewhere to top up your electric or plug-in hybrid in public is easy with Zapmap.

To find the closest one to you, type your postcode and Zap Map will show you all available charging stations nearby. You can then click on individual icons to find out more information.

Things like whether the station is free to use, and the type of charging cables included are listed, as is commentary from previous drivers – such as whether the cafes nearby are nice or if they’ve ever had issues using the connectors.

You can also find the rates of charging, often displayed as £ per kWh, and whether the chargers require a subscription account before use, or if you can pay directly. This will help you compare various charging prices from nearby stations, much like comparing fuel prices across local forecourts.

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