Top tips for EV charging 

New to the world of Electric Vehicles? Or are you just about to embark on the process of converting to them? If so, there are a number of things you will need to consider. At first it can all seem a bit over whelming! From choosing the right model for your needs, what grants are available to you or what your charging options are it’s easy to get confused. As an advocate of Electric Vehicles, at MP Walden Ltd we try to make life as easy for our customers as possible. So we’ve put together a series of blog articles to try and simplify some of the decisions and questions you may be facing. In this article we want to give you some Top Tips for EV Charging. These have been picked up over the years, from personal experience and the experience of our customers.

We hope this list of 5 tips below will give you some practical information to help your decision making.

1. Get as good a home charger as your budget will allow

In most instances a home charging point will usually be provided when you purchase the vehicle but not always. To help with the cost there are a number of grants from the Government available. Unfortunately the scope of the grants has changed quite a bit over the last few years. The success of the Electric Vehicle Home Charging Scheme meant this initiative was pulled by the Government in 2022. There are other schemes available but rather than all households these are aimed at the rental market. However, with uptake of EV’s still less than is necessary to reach Net Zero targets, these schemes may well change again in the future.

The technology around EV and EV chargers is constantly evolving too. So it may be advisable to think about future proofing your EV charger when making your first purchase. Upgrading from a 7kW charger (if your car has the capacity to accept it) will help to ‘future proof’ your charger. In the future you may purchase an EV upgrade where 22kW is a minimum. And this means you won’t have to fork out again. There are also obvious benefits in terms of speed of charge with this option.

Top tips for EV charging

2. Get into the routine of planning ahead

The second Top Tips for EV Charging is a vitally important one. Get into the practice of planning ahead. The range of even the most up to date EV’s is still not earth shattering. But with some careful planning long journeys should not be off limits or a nightmare to navigate. The network of publicly available chargers is growing every day. Not only that, there are websites popping up regularly that specialise in detailing the location of chargers nationwide (Google Zap Map or GoUltraLow for instance). Most of these will also give you the detail behind the type and operating status, all handy tools for planning that trip to Inverness!

It wasn’t that long ago that with the right planning you could almost travel for free (see this article from the BBC recently). Alas, many of these devices are no longer free to use. However, recent figures from Zap Map show almost 1 in 5 public charging points are still free to use. You may be lucky!

We’re also seeing more and more of the current Electric Vehicle range coming fully equipped with Sat Nav’s that will list charge points for you. Tom Tom (other brands are available!) has an EV Routing feature which takes in to account traffic conditions and waiting times to navigate you on the best route to stay juiced.

3. Make sure you are on the best home electricity deal

Workplace EV chargers

It may be number 3 on our top tips for EV Charging but it’s the one that’s probably going to save you the most money!

It should be a no brainer but your electricity consumption is going to go up with a home charger. So checking for the best possible deal is a must. Especially in the current situation where energy costs have nearly doubled compared to March 2021 for those not on fixed rates.

And while the energy price cap has come down just recently we are still seeing much higher costs than previously. Worryingly experts predict that we may never get back to levels we saw back in 2021 so this problem isn’t going away anytime soon!

When it comes to the right tariff for EV charging advice varies. However, most agree that having a deal with the lowest possible price per kWh but a higher standing charge is preferable. Your higher consumption means this will probably be the cheapest option.

Other things to consider are when you charge your vehicle most. If you’re mostly charging at night then an Economy 7 meter may be the way forward. These generally have the cheapest rates of electricity late at night and in the early hours.

And, as of February 2024, there are now dedicated electricity tariff deals for EV owners offered by energy companies. One of these is Octopus Energy’s Intelligent Octopus Tariff that offers greener cheaper rate overnight electricity. You can read more about the tariffs available in our EV Tariffs offered by Electricity Suppliers in the UK article.

4. Ensure your mobile phone tariff has great coverage

What has my mobile phone got to do with it you ask? Well the majority of public EV charging points are now controlled by an app, either iOS or Android. If your mobile signal is poor then the data transference is going to be sluggish, prolonging the time it takes you to get set up, if you can at all. This can be a particular problem in undercover areas e.g. car parks, shopping centres etc… It will pay in the long run to ensure you’re on a network with great coverage and signal strength. Potentially this will become less of a problem when 5G is introduced.

5. Pay it forward

With a limited number of public EV charging points and an ever growing number of Electric Vehicles out there you may sometimes encounter a queue. Just like at a petrol station, if you’re sitting waiting for a pump and the driver of the car hogging the pump spot is in the shop having a browse of the newspaper, it can be quite frustrating! Among most EV owners the best practice is to charge up just enough to get you back to your home EV point. This means less time waiting for others and keeps the EV network going.

For advice on EV charging points, Government grants and installations why not contact us here