Everything you need to know about having an EV charger installed

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What to ask, the costs and grants available.

What to consider when choosing a unit

When choosing an EV charging unit there are lots of things to consider. Your choice may seem a little overwhelming, but don’t worry – at GK Electrical Contractors we are on hand to offer advice and consultation every step of the way. We’ve also listed some key considerations for installation and cost below.

1. Your electricity supply and usage

It is important to consider how much power is available in your electricity supply and how much power your home uses. This can help to determine the most appropriate charging unit for your electricity supply and usage.

2. Where do you want the unit installed?

It is a really important to consider where you would ideally like your unit installed. Look for a natural location in consideration to the proximity to your house, and to where you would ordinarily park your car.

It is also worth considering the accessibility of wifi from your charging point location. Many EV models have updates that require a wifi connection. These can be completed whilst charging, but if your charging unit is out of reach of a wifi connection, you would need to move your car closer to complete these updates.

3. Aesthetics

What do you want your charging unit to look like. Different manufacturers have different styles and the way your unit looks will impact on where you would like it to be located and the cost of the unit.

You can see examples of the different designs of EV charging units available in our recent blog. Click here to read.

4. Safety features

When thinking about safety, all charging units require essential safety precautions and features. It is important to consider as part of the installation and unit choice process, whether the safety features are built within the charger itself, or will they need to be housed somewhere else as part of the installation process?

5. Your lead – Tethered, Untethered and length

The lead used to charge your EV is a very important consideration; with the biggest talking point being whether to use a tethered or untethered lead. This means, whether or not the lead for your car is attached (tethered) or unattached (untethered) to the charging unit. If untethered the lead is kept in the boot of your car.

There’s lots of different things to consider regarding what’s best for you and your property when considering your lead.  From making sure there isn’t a trip hazard to considering the practicalities of having an attached versus unattached lead.

Is your unit to be in a public place, and so an attached lead would be accessible to anyone passing?

Would a tethered lead be able to reach the input regardless of where is was?

With all considerations there is a cost implication. Differing choices can lead to more or less expense when it comes to your installation. So where does the cost come from for EV charging units, and how do considerations for EV charging units impact on how much you would need to spend?

Cost of electricity being used.

It’s an obvious related cost; if you have an EV charging unit connected to your electricity supply your bills will get higher! But there are ways to keep these costs manageable. You can get smart chargers that can be leveraged into smart electricity tariffs. There are even some that are aimed specifically at EV charging and EV owners; and some tariffs where you can even get paid for charging your electric vehicle.

Linking your charger to smart tariffs enables you have full awareness of the charging costs on your electricity bill and can help you make educated choices about what times of the day (e.g. peak and off peak) are best to charge your car.

The aesthetic implications

As mentioned, there are a wide range of differing style of EV charging unit, but as expected, the more sophisticated and sleek the design, the higher the price. When budgeting for an EV charging unit, prioritise the importance of considerations discussed and this can give you the ability to source different options depending on your preferences.

You can see examples of the different designs of EV charging units available in our recent blog. Click here to read.

Location and wiring

One of the biggest impacts to the cost of an EV charger installation is based on where you would like it installed. There are lots of places to consider: on the outside of your building, in a garage, by a parking space, etc.

Not only do you need to think about the location in relation to your car, but also how far away is it from your fuse box. The further away from your fuse box, the more expensive the installation may be (depending on the make/ model you chose). This is because there will be more labour work required, e.g. dig up a part of your garden or go under floors in your home; and this all contributes to the cost. The more time on site for the electrician, the more cost.

If not getting an independent electrician to install your charger, like GK Electrical Contractors, it is important to check the terms and conditions of your unit and installer as some stipulate restrictions and limitations to the installation process. This can often mean you sign up for a cheaper installation price because there are many non-negotiable elements to the installation.

Suitability of electricity supply

The suitability of your electrical supply should also be considered; and impacts on cost. Your existing fuse box, power supply, electricity usage and  whether or not you have a loop supply of electricity can all impact on the installation process (and cost as a result). Such things could mean you need to have your electricity upgraded before having an EV charger unit installed.

Your electrician will be able to check the suitability of the wiring of your house and fuse box (also referred to as a consumer box); notifying you if anything needs to be replaced or upgraded as part of the installation process. Can your consumer unit handle the requirements of an EV charger from a safety and user perspective? This is important to consider and investigate before having an EV charging unit installed, as this can add a considerable amount of money to the overall cost of your installation. However, if you have an older property that needs a wiring and/or fuse box revamp, this could be the perfect time to get an EV charger installed as part of the process.

Terms and conditions of the models

Differing makes and models are priced dependant on what’s included in the installation, e.g. length of charging cable, limitations to installation in regards to location and how much wire is provided, etc.  This can often be the case when a charger is included as part of the purchase of an electric vehicle.

Hiring an independent electrician, such as GK Electrical Contractors, to install your EV charging unit means that we are able to quote efficiently and draw upon many years of experience, brand availability and knowledge of your home and local electrical expertise.  We can offer information and advice on your EV charging unit, but also on your wiring, suitability and fuse box. This can save time, money and stress! It also means you are not locked into the same limitations as with set installations.

And the good news is we are the preferred installers for many renowned EV charging unit manufacturers.

Now that you know the cost implications, what’s next?

The best way to know exactly what you are looking to pay for installation is to consult with an electrician. Our experienced and qualified team at GK Electrical Contractors are on hand to work out all the elements of installation needed for your EV charging unit and are able to then quote accurately based on our electrical understanding.

Grants Available

And there are grants available to help you manage the cost of EV charging unit installation. However, having launched at £500, they have been reduced to £250 and are set to keep reducing until there is no more budget left. So if needing some financial help towards your installation now is the best time! Some of the grants and Government investment available are mentioned in our blog on the ban of new diesel and petrol cars. Click here to read more.

Future proofing

When taking the next steps and making decisions on your EV charging unit it is really important to consider if the unit you choose will be suitable for future changes.

For example, if you are considering solar panels in the future, is your unit compatible with such energy resources?

Does the lead for charging your car take into consideration that different models of cars have their input in different places? You may change your model as the years go on.

Are you looking to have more than one EV in the future? There are systems that can accommodate multiple vehicles but if this can be considered at the time of initial installation it will make the process much more cost effective for you in the future. If you need help choosing the right EV charging unit for you, or would like to discuss your properties suitability or future proofing, do contact us at GK Electrical today. You can also find out more via the EV Charging Unit section of our website.

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