Luckily, there are a bunch of other options for people who want to drive an electric car but do not own a driveway to be able to charge their cars. With recent numbers stating that one third of homeowners do not have access to off-road parking, there seems to be a big obstacle stopping people from making the switch. Here’s a list of different ways you can charge your electric car if you do not have access to a driveway or garage.
1) Charge whilst at work
With the government offering workplaces £350 per electric vehicle charging point and the costs of technology beginning to lower, there really has not been a better time to invest in a workplace charging system. We’ve already prepared a blog-post with the advantages you can see here – click here.
With the benefit of workplaces usually having access to three-phase electricity, thus enabling the possibility of installing 22kW systems, the speed of charging is greatly increased in comparison to what you’d be able to have installed at your own home. Albeit, not all cars are able to charge at 22kW AC so maybe it would be worth nudging your boss about investing in a DC charger… be warned, the investment is quite large so you might need to sweeten them up.
If the sweetener didn’t work then you are left with AC charging, which to be honest is more than adequate for 90% of people. With vehicle dwell times at workplaces more often than not exceeding 5 hours, you are able to fully charge your EV whilst you’re busy at work.
Some employers even offer free, or heavily subsidised charging costs!
2) Public charging
You may have noticed a change is coming. More and more public car parks are slowly introducing EV chargers. Many supermarkets and shopping centres now offer free EV car charging within their car park. This allows people to make some of the most common trips whilst leaving your EV plugged in (therefore ready to go when you are)
Recently close to our offices we’ve seen six DC 50kw chargers installed at a local McDonalds, alongside the existing rapid DC chargers at the local Lidl. These chargers can get your battery to 80% full within the space of a quick shop… or a BigMac.
Admittedly, this is not always the cheapest way of charging with the majority of these chargers being for-profit.
3) On-street charging
A less regular fixture in towns and cities, a handful of councils have installed on-street charging points. In fact, the South West has the worse statistics for availability of on-street charging for EV owners.
These are often free to use but come at the inconvenience of being tied to a single location, be it outside your house or workplace. Really, this is the biggest area of investment required for electric vehicles to really be made accessible for the masses.
We have installed chargers for many terraced properties without off-street parking which choose to run the cable across the public footpath with a cable guard. We do not take any liability under these installations and ask customers to sign a form stating this. This is for many an effective way to charge, especially for those who just need to ‘top-up’ a few times a week as they mainly do short trips.
6) “Charger Sharing”
You may be lucky enough to have a neighbour or someone nearby who has opted to ‘share’ their car charger. The app from Co Charger allows people to list their EV charger available to share during certain periods and for a certain price. Similar offerings are available from PlugShare.
5) Charge whilst at a friends or relatives house
This is a great way to charge your electric car as the costs are generally minimal and it allows you to spend time catching up with those close by.
Of course, this option only works if you have friends. Or for those lucky enough to have friends, then you need one that at least have an electric vehicle.
Admittedly there are certainly things that need to be made easier for people who do not have off-road parking. I still personally can’t get over the amount of apps you need for all the different public chargers available. The sooner all chargers have integrated card readers the better.
However, for those contemplating making the switch… where there’s a will there’s a way.