All new homes built in England will be required by law to have electric vehicle (EV) charging points installed from 2022, the Prime Minister announced today.
The new law will also cover new-build workplaces, supermarkets and buildings undergoing major renovations.
The government says that this will lead to 145,000 extra charge points being fitted across England every year and hopes the new laws will ‘make it as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car today’.
The announcement comes as the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with new petrol and diesel cars sales banned from 2030.
Keep scrolling to find out whether home charging is cheaper than using public chargers, how much it costs to install a home charger today and how you can charge your car for free.
Thinking of switching to electric? See all of our best electric cars.
Video: how to charge an electric car at home
Our video guide explains everything you need to know about charging an electric car at home.
Home car charging vs public car charging – which is cheapest?
Home charging isn’t possible for everyone. To be able to charge at home, you’ll need off-road parking, such as a driveway or garage, and you need to be able to get power to it – not easy if you live in a flat or a busy city centre.
But if you drive an electric car and can install a charger, charging at home is almost certainly cheaper than using public chargers.
Exceptions to this rule include free charging spaces at some supermarkets and employers who allow staff to charge for free at work. You might also find free charging spots at visitor attractions or retail parks, but this will typically be for paying customers.
You can use the filters on the Zap-Map website to look for free charging points (go to the ‘Payment’ filter, then select ‘free to use’).
How much will it cost to install a home charger today?
While home charging will almost always be the cheaper option, there will still be an initial outlay.
To buy and install a charger you’re looking at paying between £500 and £1,200 with either the OZEV wallbox or EVHS grant applied. But with the money you’ll save on fuel and public charging, you’ll earn this back over time.
Public charge points could cost more than diesel or petrol-hybrid
Which? research shows that if you use a Rapid or Ultra Rapid charger to charge your car, you might end up paying more than you bargained for.
And in extreme cases, your electric car could end up costing more to charge than filling up the petrol-hybrid or diesel version of the same car.
Our lab tests revealed that a medium-sized hatchback, such as the VW id.3 uses 20.38kWh per 100km. Across a year’s worth of driving – 9,000 miles – this car would use 2951.9kWh.
If you needed to pay 38p per kWh or more to charge it (many rapid or ultra rapid chargers charge more than this) that would work out to be more expensive to run than the equivalent diesel or petrol-hybrid car
If you don’t want to pay over the odds to run your electric car, see our guide to electric car charging.