Hydra Electric Vehicle Chargers
off street parked cars

Can you charge an EV if you have no off-street parking?

Many people with no off-street parking are understandably cautious about switching to an EV because they cannot charge the car at home. But there are very few houses with a petrol pump on the driveway either and that hasn’t stopped people buying petrol cars.

OK, so that’s a simplistic answer. In reality it is possible, it just needs a bit of thought and planning. It might seem like a faff now but it’ll soon become second-nature.

Many supermarkets and other retailers are installing EV charge points in their car parks. So too are offices and other workplace premises. So you might be able to charge your EV for an hour or two while shopping, charge it at work, while you go for lunch or out in the evening with friends. You’ll just be choosing a convenient parking spot with an EV chargepoint instead of what’s closest to wherever you’re going.

You don’t need to fully charge an EV every day, topping up an hour here, another hour there should be enough to get you through the day. If you’re also lucky enough to live somewhere that has rapid DC chargers you could get up to 80% full charge in well under an hour!

While you might be paying a bit more per kW compared to charging at home you also don’t have the cost of installing an EV charger at home either! At an average cost of £1,000 to £1,500 to buy and install an EV charger you can buy 3,000kW of electricity at 50p per kW, at an average 4miles per kW that’s enough juice for 12,000 miles. All it takes is a bit more maths and pre-planning your journeys than you’ve probably been used to.

But even if you’re still not convinced there are some other options worth exploring to facilitate charging your EV if you have no off-street parking.

If you live in a flat or are renting your property it could be worth contacting your landlord or building owner to encourage them to get EV chargepoints installed. The government has an entire department for managing the EV charging infrastructure: The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles or OZEV. This agency distributes grants to cover or subsidise the cost of installing EV chargepoints. 

In recent years private home owners could claim up to £350 towards the cost of installing an EV charger but now the emphasis is towards commercial and rented properties. If you rent a property you can apply for this OZEV grant yourself (assuming you have a parking space) or the landlord can apply for a grant to get multiple EV chargepoints installed for the use of multiple tenants. So get in touch with your landlord or the management company today.

Local councils can also claim grants towards the installation of on-street EV charging facilities. You may have seen these already in the form of bollard-sized totems next to parking spaces where residents can charge their EVs. Local councils are notoriously slow at getting things like this organised so they will need ‘encouraging’. Don’t be shy, contact the planning office, the local councillors or even the people who stood for election against the local councillors at the last local election and get them to campaign on your behalf.  There is free money there, they just need to claim it!

Finally, get your boss to think about it. OZEV provides grants for commercial and workplace locations too. If the company you work for charges you for charging your EV while you’re in the office – hopefully they won’t charge you TOO much – they could recoup the cost of installation very quickly once you take into account the grant money too.

It’s not as easy as applying for a library card, this will take some work and determination but the more people speak up the less excuse that landlords, councils and companies will have to say “There’s no call for it”.

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