While there is no lack of charging points in public spaces, there are many benefits to having one at home, including ease of use, better energy performance, and money savings. Here's what you need to know.
Not that long ago, having your own service station at home seemed impossible. While this isn’t a possible feat for petrol- or diesel-powered engines, it absolutely is for their electric cousins. The simple solution is to install a charging point at home. Few people know just how easy it is to do so, even though it is a common practice among electric car owners. As such, home- and work-based charging accounts for an estimated 85% of all charging needs. Of course, this number is likely to change somewhat in the future thanks to the massive roll-out of charging stations across European streets, car parks, and road networks. In any event, charging your car at home will often prove to be the most practical solution.
In terms of equipment, there are many options available to you. Just as manufacturers advise, you can consider either installing a standard, reinforced socket, or an electrical box dedicated to your vehicle, i.e. a Wallbox. Plugging your car into a domestic socket, just as you would your fridge, lamps, or TV, is the simplest way to do it. You just need to check that your electrical system meet the required standards and that it is earthed in order to avoid overheating.
The Wallbox is the most appealing solution in many respects. Thanks to its specific protection system, the Wallbox provides additional network security. It also makes for much faster charging. For example, if you have a Renault ZOE, charging up to 80% will take 20 hours with a regular socket and four times less time with a Wallbox! What’s more, many of these wall boxes guarantee a mode of charge management that favours charging during off-peak times.
There remains the question of installing the Wallbox. While it can easily be installed in single-family housing, it is also possible to do so in a multi-dwelling unit. Whether you are the tenant or the landlord, European law will normally grant you the “right to charge”. And should you need to let your co-owners know, they normally cannot prevent you from plugging into the shared electrical system. Of course, your station will need to be linked to its own electric meter.
Your equipment will then be installed by a certified service provider, who will be recommended to you by the manufacturer, for added security. For example, Renault offers turn-key services for the installation of private stations through its different European partners, who take care of installing your charge point as well as the admin procedures. Finally, Renault can complement or compensate public aids, depending on the country, which can help ensure the cost of installation is low, or even negligible.