Choosing an EV

Charging and range

Questions around electric car charging and the range of electric cars are more common than anything else. Which isn’t surprising, given that they do mean thinking a little differently about how you use your car, and driving behaviour.

But, like so many new technologies, it very quickly becomes second nature; perhaps even more convenient than the ‘traditional’ way of doing things. Here’s what you need to know:

Charging an electric car at home

You can charge your pure electric or plug-in hybrid car at home, at work, or by using one of more than 13,000 public chargepoint connectors across the country. Most drivers tend to charge their cars at home, overnight whilst they sleep. This is as easy as plugging your car into a homecharge unit or onstreet residential chargepoint using the cable provided, and then forgetting about it. Your car will charge until full, and then switch off. It really is no more complicated than plugging in your mobile phone.

The safest and most convenient way to charge at home is by using a dedicated homecharge unit. These can be easily installed in a few hours by a number of approved providers, and come with a Government grant of up to £500, for qualifying drivers. For more details click here. Most cars also come with a charging cable you can plug into a standard home 13 amp socket. However, these are not recommended for regular use.

The beauty of electric car charging at home is that your car is then always ready to drive its full range when you set off. Just imagine, you may never need to visit a petrol station again.

To discover how little it costs to charge at home, and how long it takes, use our dedicated home charging tool.

Home charging tool

Charging at work

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of electric cars, and are keen to encourage their staff and visitors to switch to electric by installing workplace charging units. These enable you to easily top-up your charge during the day, ready for the commute home. The workplace charging grant also offers companies support for installing charging units.

Charging on the public network

The UK has one of the largest public charging networks in Europe, with well over 13,000 chargepoint connectors available. From residential streets and hotels to high streets and shopping centres, these are strategically located to make it easy for you to top-up your charge whilst you are out and about, or to charge near your home if you don’t have off-street parking.

There are now rapid chargers at 96% of motorway service stations too. These high-powered units could charge your car to 80% in as little as half an hour. Just enough time to stop for a coffee before continuing your journey.

To explore the public charging network and see how it’s constantly expanding, use our interactive Charging Point Map.

Charging point map

Electric Car and Van Range: How far can I go?

In all likelihood, a lot further than you imagine. The range of pure electric cars is improving all the time, with the latest models able to drive well over 100 miles on a single charge with ease (and some considerably further). How often do you actually drive 100 miles in one go? And if you do, there is the opportunity to stop on the way and top-up your charge.

We know that pure electric cars may not be for everyone (yet). But with most car journeys less than 15 miles, they could be right for you.

However, if you do need to regularly drive further, then plug-in hybrids (PHEV) are a great option. These sophisticated models combine an electric motor and smaller battery with a conventional petrol or diesel engine. This can give much improved economy and reduced emissions, plus an overall range of hundreds of miles. Shorter local journeys can still be completed using just electric power if you wish (with all the benefits this brings), with the petrol or diesel engine providing the range you need for those longer journeys.

Our Journey Range Calculator shows you how far you might be able to drive in a pure electric or plug-in hybrid car or van.

Journey range calculator

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