For those with their own driveways, charging at home overnight is an ideal solution, their cars are charged overnight and ready to go at the start of each day. But what about the significant number of people who are unable to charge at home?
We take a look at some of the solutions developing for those people without off-street parking.
The Government provides funding to local authorities for installing on-street chargepoints in residential areas with The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS). You will have to contact your local Council to find out whether or not they are using or planning to use the ORCS funds, and whether or not you may be able to ask for new chargepoints in your area.
If you live in Brighton & Hove and would like to ask the council to install a charger in your area, then you should email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charging equipment built in to lamp posts is a new way of charging that utilises the existing highway infrastructure, to reduce overall installation costs. The first service to emerge in the UK was Ubitricity, whose customers purchase a smart cable from them in order to use their charging posts on lamp posts around London.
One thing that lamp post chargers so far do not provide is a dedicated EV parking space. By not having a dedicated EV bay by each charging lamp post, costs are kept to a minimum, with services instead relying on their ubiquity to ensure access is available somewhere else nearby.
Other service providers are emerging at the moment, including Rolec StreetCharge and Char.gy.
The technology goes hand-in-hand with nationwide efforts to convert lamp posts to lower energy LED lighting systems, which reduces the overall power consumption of a lamp post causing it to effectively have spare capacity.
These chargers help to solve an increasing concern about the rise of street-furniture and pavement clutter. The chargers live underneath the pavement, completely hidden from view, rising up out of the ground when needed for use.
If you're interested in these new chargers, you can register your interest on Urban Electric's website at urbanelectric.london.
If you can park outside your home, then it is of course completely possible to use your home power supply, the problem is getting the cable from your home to your car safely. It's certainly not ideal, but it is possible to charge safely and within the law.
Some properties have metal drainage channels running across the pavement to channel water from the house gutters to the street drains. In some parts of the country, EV owners have been able to use these to safely channel the cable from the house to the car.
If a cable is running across a pavement then it is vital that it is not a hazard to passers by. Cable protectors, like those used by utilities contractors, can be used to reduce this risk and ensure the safe passage for passers by.
In these frontier times of EV pioneers, people are trying different approaches in order to be able to charge at home, but not all are advised.
Simply trailing a cable without a cable guard is risky - If someone were to trip up and injure themselves, then you can be held responsible. This might be ok on private land but on a pavement used by the public, it's not a good idea..
Likewise, to get around this by dangling a cable from above is also something that could pose a risk. Various EV owners around the country have been trying this, including by hanging a cable through trees and sharing their experiences online. But really, having cables suspended in this way is asking for trouble.
It should be said too that using an extension cable with even a 10 or 13amp car charger is never recommended.
Councils around the country may have different policies on this topic. Here in Brighton & Hove, the council has recently published guidance on residents looking to charge kerbside from home.
Twitter user @EVMaps worked with his local council in Margate to have a Rolec kerbside charger installed outside his home.
Unlike similar but public chargers, the charge post uses the electricity supply from the house it is in front of. There is a corresponding parking bay marked "EV permit holder" to ensure that parking is available for the owner, along with appropriate signage on the owners garden wall. The charging post was installed by council approved contractors and paid for by the owner.
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