Facebook pixel
new boiler

Get a new boiler

Fixed price boilers, next day

See boiler prices
new air conditioning

Air Conditioning

Get a quote
new heat pump

Heat Pumps

Coming soon

new ev charger

EV Chargers

Get a quote
boiler servicing

Boiler Servicing

Get a quote

Last updated: 20th February, 2024


What is an EV Charger?

What is an EV Charger?

Key takeaways

  • EV chargers range from basic home outlets to advanced public stations.
  • Charging at home adds convenience, while public stations enable longer journeys.
  • Costs include charger installation and usage fees at public stations.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging is integral to the EV ownership experience, affecting convenience, travel range, and charging time.

What is an EV Charger?

An electric vehicle (EV) charger is a device that supplies power to recharge electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and sometimes electric bikes. Ranging from simple and straightforward domestic wall outlets to more sophisticated, fast-charging stations, these chargers are becoming a familiar part of the automotive landscape as more drivers transition to electric vehicles. 

A home EV charger offers convenience, allowing owners to charge their vehicles overnight, akin to charging a smartphone, thus eliminating the need to find public charging stations.

Public EV charging infrastructure offers various options, including rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, which are essential for long-distance travel and are installed at strategic locations such as motorway services and public car parks. 

The types of chargers, their connectors, and the speeds of charging vary, catering to different needs and vehicle specifications. Operating an electric vehicle comes with cost considerations regarding charging, including the initial outlay for a home charger installation and the ongoing expenses of using public charging stations.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Understanding EV Chargers

Electric vehicle (EV) charging is integral to the EV ownership experience, affecting convenience, travel range, and charging time. This understanding begins with the various types of EV chargers, their charging modes—AC and DC, the different connectors employed, and the option between tethered and untethered chargers.

Types of EV Chargers

EV chargers are primarily classified by their power output and speed of charging. There are three main types:

  • Level 1 Chargers utilise a standard 120-volt AC outlet and are the slowest, often taking up to 24 hours for a full charge.

  • Level 2 Chargers require a dedicated 240-volt circuit, similar to that used by heavy appliances, and can charge an EV overnight.

  • DC Fast Chargers (sometimes referred to as Level 3 Chargers) offer the quickest charging, capable of providing an 80% charge in roughly 30 minutes through direct current (DC).

AC vs DC Charging

AC charging is predominant in home and public charging stations, with the EV's onboard converter changing AC from the power grid to DC for the vehicle’s battery. In contrast, DC fast chargers bypass the car’s onboard converter and supply DC power directly, which significantly accelerates the charging process.

Charging Connectors and Cables

Within the spectrum of EV chargers, several key connectors are prominent:

  • Type 1 Connectors, primarily found in the US and Japan, provide a connection to AC charging.

  • Type 2 Connectors are the standard in Europe for AC charging and allow for a higher rate of charge.

  • CHAdeMO, a DC charging connector option from Japan, is compatible with many EVs.

  • CCS (Combined Charging System) presents as either Type 1 or Type 2 integrated with additional pins for DC fast charging.

Tethered vs Untethered Chargers

A tethered charger comes with a permanently attached cable and connector, effectively providing convenience but potentially limiting flexibility if different EVs with different connectors are used. Untethered units have a socket, allowing various charging connectors to be plugged in, affording greater compatibility with different electric cars.

By comprehending these aspects of EV charging, potential and current electric car owners can make informed decisions about charging their vehicles effectively and efficiently.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Installing a Home EV Charger

Installing a home EV charger offers the convenience of fueling your electric vehicle from the comfort of your home. With a higher power output than standard three-pin sockets, dedicated charge points can provide a faster and more efficient charging experience.

Home Charger Overview

A home EV charger, also known as a home charging point, is a device that connects to the electrical supply of a house to recharge electric vehicles. Unlike charging with a domestic three-pin socket, which is only recommended for occasional use, a dedicated home charger offers a more substantial and consistent charge. Generally, chargers like the 7kW charger are favoured due to their optimal balance between charging speed and compatibility with home electricity supply.

Choosing the Right Charger

Selecting the appropriate home EV charger entails consideration of several factors:

  • Charging Speed: Standard home chargers typically offer a 7kW charging capacity, translating to faster charging times than a three-pin socket.

  • Compatibility: Chargers must be compatible with one's vehicle; models such as the Ohme Home Pro, EO Mini Pro, or Myenergi Zappi are widespread.

  • Features: Some chargers come with additional functionalities like smart charging, which could help manage electricity tariffs efficiently.

Installation Process

Installation typically involves:

  1. Site Assessment: Conducted by the installation service to ensure electrical capacity and safety.

  2. Professional Installation: A skilled technician fits the charging unit at a convenient location on the property.

  3. Testing: Post-installation, comprehensive checks are performed to ensure the system operates correctly.

Cost of Home Charging

The price composition encompasses:

  • Equipment: The cost of the charger itself.

  • Installation Cost: Includes labour and additional parts necessary for safe installation.

  • Ongoing Costs: Depends on the electricity tariff; some may opt for energy tariffs designed for EV owners, which offer cheaper rates during off-peak hours.

Charging costs vary, but investing in a domestic charger typically proves more economical in the long run, especially when leveraging lower night-time tariffs.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Public EV Charging Infrastructure

The public EV charging infrastructure is a network of sites where electric vehicle owners can charge their cars away from home. Facilities range from slower chargepoints to rapid chargers, with access and payment methods varying by provider.

Public Charging Overview

Public charging offers electric vehicle (EV) drivers the ability to recharge their vehicles while away from home, supporting longer journeys and providing essential top-up opportunities. Public chargers, also known as public chargepoints, are available across the UK, with networks such as BP Pulse, Charge Your Car, and IONITY offering widespread coverage. Zap-Map is a popular resource for locating these chargers, showcasing live data on the availability and location of chargepoints.

Finding Public Chargers

Discovering public charging stations involves utilising tools like Zap-Map, mobile applications, or in-built car navigation systems. These platforms typically provide real-time data, covering:

  • Locations: Superchargers and chargepoints spread across motorway services, retail parks, and public areas.

  • Availability: Information on whether a charger is in use.

  • Connector Types: Compatibility with different EV models.

Charging Cost and Speed

Charging costs and speeds vary:

  • Charging Networks: For example, BP Pulse may have different pricing and speeds compared to IONITY.

  • Charger Type: Typically, slower public chargers offer speeds from 3kW to 7kW, while rapid or superchargers can exceed 50kW, significantly reducing charging times.

  • Pricing: Some networks operate on a pay-as-you-go basis; others may require a subscription.

Charger Type

Typical Speed

Network Example

Slow Chargepoint

3kW to 7kW

Charge Your Car

Fast Chargepoint

7kW to 22kW

BP Pulse


50kW to 150kW+


Drivers should refer to specific network information for precise costs and expected charging durations.

Costs and Considerations for EV Owners

Owning an electric vehicle (EV) comes with unique financial considerations, from the initial investment in a charging point to ongoing expenses such as energy tariffs and insurance. This section delves into the specifics of charging costs analysis, the intricacy of tariffs, and covering your EV adequately.

Charging Costs Analysis

Home Charging: A standard 7kW home charger can cost between £800 to £1,500 for the unit and installation. Prices may vary based on the charger's specifications and installation complexity. For instance, a 3.6kW charger, often seen as the cheapest option, generally carries a lower upfront cost but results in longer charging times. Differing from a standard socket, a typical electric car charger dramatically reduces charging time - a Nissan Leaf could go from empty to full in roughly 7 hours with a 7kW charger.

Public Charging: Costs can vary widely. A rapid charger typically charges between £7 and £10 to reach 80% battery capacity. On the road, prices are influenced by factors such as location, tariffs, and charging speed.

  • Chargemaster, EASEE One, or Pod Point are common providers offering different rates and subscription plans.

  • A smart EV charging point at home, which some EV owners might choose for its convenience and app connectivity, can incur additional costs due to its smart features.

Energy Tariffs and Renewable Energy Options

Energy Tariffs: The price per kWh of electricity fluctuates throughout the day, and certain tariffs offer lower rates during off-peak hours, which EV owners can exploit for significant savings.

Renewable Energy: Investing in solar panels might mean higher upfront costs, but could lower the cost per charging session in the long run. A smart charging unit can optimise energy use, potentially charging when renewable energy generation peaks.

  • An electric car owner might select an energy tariff that prioritises green energy if environmental impact is a concern.

  • Advanced smartphone apps associated with smart chargers can assist with tracking energy usage and costs.

EV Insurance and Breakdown Cover

EV Insurance: Electric cars can be more expensive to insure than their petrol counterparts due to higher repair costs and advanced technology. EV insurance typically covers the car itself, the battery, and often the charging cable from theft or damage.

  • An increasing number of insurers offer specialised EV policies to meet these needs.

Breakdown Cover: Specialised services such as RAC's patrol vans equipped with an emergency mobile charging system and all-wheels-up recovery can assist EV owners. Breakdown cover often includes support for electrical faults and recovery to the nearest charging point.

  • Some services might include home charge recovery if your EV runs out of battery at home.

  • Look for breakdown cover that includes an understanding of EVs' unique requirements, such as towing with an all-wheels-up recovery system, to prevent damage to the vehicle.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Benefits of Home EV Chargers vs Public Chargers

Home EV chargers offer a range of benefits compared to their public counterparts. Primarily, they provide unmatched convenience. Owners can recharge their electric vehicles overnight, ready for the next day's travel.

Convenience: A significant advantage is the ability to charge an EV overnight. This eliminates waiting times associated with public charging points, which can often be significant.

Cost-effectiveness: While the initial setup cost of a home charger may be higher, the long-term saving on electricity rates can be quite substantial, as domestic tariffs are generally lower than public charger rates.

Consistency: With a home EV charger, one consistently enjoys a full charge and optimised battery health by adhering to manufacturers' recommendations, typically suggesting an 80% charge limit.

Home EV Charger

Public Charger





Lower long term

Higher per use


Overnight charge

Wait times




Home chargers also provide a sense of control over the charging experience. In contrast, public chargers can be subject to availability and can sometimes be out of service.

Reliability: Home charging systems are often more reliable when compared to the public network. Public charging infrastructure, though improving, can be sporadic and, at times, malfunction.

In comparison to public options, home chargers tend to offer a safer environment for the vehicle during charging, reducing the risk of vandalism or theft.

Lastly, battery management becomes more straightforward as users can better align their charging habits with their daily routines, enhancing both efficiency and battery longevity.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Understanding Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EVs) represent a leap towards more sustainable transportation. They function using electric power, contrasting sharply with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles that run on petrol or diesel.

EV Basics

Electric cars, including renowned models like the Tesla and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, operate by drawing electricity from a battery pack. This energy drives the electric motor, propelling the vehicle forward. Unlike conventional cars, EVs produce zero exhaust emissions, offering a cleaner alternative for mobility.

Driving Range and Battery Life

The driving range of an EV refers to the distance it can travel on a single charge, which varies widely among electric vehicles. For example, some cars may achieve a modest range suitable for city driving, while others, equipped with larger batteries, can reach several hundred miles. The battery life also plays a critical role, with degradation affecting range over time.

Comparison with Petrol and Diesel Vehicles

When comparing EVs with petrol and diesel cars, one notes significant differences in refuelling. Car charging for electric vehicles can be done at home or at public stations, and while it generally takes longer than filling up at a petrol station, it offers the convenience of overnight charging. Additionally, the cost of electricity for charging can be lower than the price of fossil fuels, leading to potential savings over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Locating and utilising electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is a key aspect of owning an EV. Understanding station types, harnessing the power of smartphone apps, and planning for longer trips are all integral for a smooth experience.

Station Types and Compatibility

Different EV charging stations offer diverse connectors and power outputs, making it essential for drivers to recognise their vehicle's specific requirements. Type 2 connectors are common for Level 2 charging in the UK, while CHAdeMO and CCS (Combined Charging System) are typically used for rapid DC charging.

  • Level 1 Charging: Utilises a standard 120-volt outlet; full charge can take up to 24 hours.

  • Level 2 Charging: Requires a 240-volt supply; significantly quicker, usually within a few hours.

  • DC Fast Charging: Provides an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes, but compatibility varies.

Using Charging Station Apps

Numerous mobile applications aid drivers in identifying available charging stations. Apps provide real-time data on:

  • Station location

  • Charger availability

  • Connector types

  • Operating hours

  • Pricing information

These digital resources are indispensable for efficient route planning, reducing the chance of arriving at a busy or incompatible charging station.

Planning for Long Journeys

For extended trips, planning is crucial. Drivers should incorporate charging time into their itinerary and ensure their chosen stops reflect their vehicle’s range capabilities. It’s advisable to identify multiple charging options along the route to mitigate the risk of occupied or malfunctioning stations. Keeping abreast of peak times also helps to avoid long waits and potential delays.

EV Charger Installation with iHeat

When considering the installation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charger in the UK, iHeat offers efficient solutions tailored for private homeowners. 

Answer a few simple questions about your home and current car, (don’t worry, it only takes 60 seconds).

Choose from our range of EV chargers suitable for your home. Then checkout securely online.

Our expert engineers will install your new EV charger, we will also arrange your warranty. Thanks to our fully inclusive after care, you won't have to worry about a thing.

  • We can only install where the cable wouldn't run across public land

  • We install Nationwide

Need a new boiler?

Get a quote in 60 seconds, fitted as fast as next day!
0% APR finance available.

Get a quote

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an EV charger do?

An EV charger, or charging station, provides electric power for recharging electric vehicles, typically converting alternating current (AC) from the power grid into direct current (DC) for the vehicle's battery.

Do I really need an EV charger?

For convenience and faster charging times, having a dedicated EV charger at home is beneficial compared to relying solely on public charging or using a standard wall outlet.

How much does it cost to install an EV charger at home in the UK?

The cost can vary widely but expect to pay between £800 and £1,200, including parts and labour. Government grants may offset some of the expense.

Do I need to rewire my house for an EV charger?

Rewiring isn't typically necessary unless your current electrical system is outdated or cannot handle the additional load. A certified electrician can conduct an assessment to provide guidance.

Do I need armoured cable for an EV charger?

Using an armoured cable is advised as it provides additional protection against physical damage and is a requirement for outdoor installations or where the cable could potentially be damaged.

What power supply do I need for a home car charger?

Most home car chargers require a 230V supply. The circuit should be on its own dedicated line to ensure safety and optimal charging performance.

Can I install an EV charger myself?

It is not recommended to install an EV charger yourself unless you are a qualified electrician. The installation must comply with the UK wiring regulations and possibly require registration with the local authority.

Stephen Day profile photo
Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.