Illustration of EV being charged between home and city

How to charge an electric car

Apr 4, 2019 - 3min read

If you’re thinking of buying - or have already bought - an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, you might be wondering how to charge it and how long the charging process takes. It can be complicated so we've created this short handy guide to get you on your way. Read on for everything you need to know when it comes to charging your EV!

Where you'll be charging

You can either charge:

  1. At home
  2. In public (charging stations in car parks, your workplace or at the supermarket etc)

Studies show that over 80% of EV charging is done at home so let's start with this.

Charging at Home

How much is it to charge an electric car at home?

This is the easiest and cheapest way to charge. A full charge at home (getting you more than 200 miles of range) can cost as little as £7.80.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?

We recommend plugging in when you get home or setting your car to top up overnight so that you leave home the next day on a full battery and reducing the likelihood you'll need to top up during the day.

Illustration of an EV being charged at home

In theory, you can plug your EV into a standard three-pin electric socket. However, off-street home charging units are faster and safer to use.

What is needed to charge an electric car?

Buying an EV charger for home is much like buying a charger for your mobile in that they come in all shapes and sizes. We would recommend, however, buying an untethered charge point as opposed to a tethered one.

To tether or not to tether?

Untethered differs from tethered in that the former is just a socket without a cable built into it (this is like when you buy a phone and the three pin plug just has a USB). By buying an untethered unit with a universal socket you are future proofing yourself for when you get a new or additional EV!

Our EV chargers are available from £479 (or £439 if you're on our Charge EV tariff) including a £500 government grant, so why not get a quote & find out how little a clean energy lifestyle can cost?

Time to get the cable

Great, you've got the car and the charging point, all you need now is a cable. Since you've got an untethered charger with a universal socket (also known as Type 2), you know that you need a cable with Type 2 at one end and the other end to fit your car - like when you buy a phone charger with a USB at one end and your phone charger at the other. You just need to find out what type of charger your car has. We'd recommend going to this site, picking the car you have and buying a 32A charger that is Type 2 at one end and whatever your vehicle is at the other.

Great, now you've got everything you need to charge at home!

Charging in Public

While you will do most of your charging at home, it’s also useful to know how to charge and where to go while out and about.  Luckily, there are more than 15,000 public EV charging points across the UK and this number is constantly growing.

Illustration of an EV being charged in the city

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a station

These public charging points are run by a number of different operators and while there are a fair few free charging points out there (including at some supermarkets and hotels), many are pay as you go or pay monthly. You can normally pay for these charging points via the app for the charging network you're using at the time.

Before spending anything, however, we’d recommend using Zap Map to find out who operates the charge points you are most likely to use. Some public points, known as rapid chargers, tend to be much faster than charging at home too. Look out for green or purple pins on the Zap Map map to find these. This comes at a cost but still significantly less than a full tank of fuel!

Go Green For 2019

If you’ve already bought an electric car, congratulations and welcome to the green life. If not, what are you waiting for? It’s never been easier to own an EV, so join the green revolution and save some money (and the planet) with your new eco-friendly car!

At Tonik, we want to make it as easy as possible for our members to be part of a cleaner, greener future sooner...
Our Charge EV tariff has been designed with electric vehicle drivers in mind, and we've hand-picked the very best chargers available in the UK right now, to install in your home. What's more, when you sign up to Charge EV, we'll give you £40 off our EV chargers too! 

Ready to join the EV revolution?

Discover Tonik's EV Chargers

More related blogs