Can I have an electric car without a drive?
Home charging is one of the cheapest and most popular methods of charging your electric vehicle. You can conveniently leave your car on charge overnight, so that it’s fully charged by the morning, ready to take you where you need to go.
Many people have already made the switch from fuel vehicles to electric cars, and you might be thinking of doing the same. But what happens if you don’t have a driveway? The good news is that you can still own an EV with or without a driveway. In this guide, we will advise you about everything that you need to know when charging an electric car with no driveway, in the UK.
Do I need a driveway to get a wall box installed?
One of the most efficient and convenient ways to charge your car at home is with the installation of a wall-box charger. EV wall chargers are specially installed by technicians and can help make your life easier, however you do not need to have a wall-box installed in order to own an electric vehicle.
In order to have an EV charge-box installed, you would need access to off-road parking in the form of a driveway, or a garage. This is due to the maximum length in which an EV charging cable can extend.
How can I charge my electric car without a driveway?
Even if you do not have access to a driveway, there are still a variety of ways that you can charge your EV.
- Charging on-street in residential areas – which more councils are implementing.
- Sharing home chargers with friends and family members.
- Charging using a public network via service stations, or retail outlets.
- Charging at your workplace during work hours.
- Charging while you’re out at the gym.
How do I charge my electric car on the street?
Charging your electric car without a driveway can be a complicated process. The most sensible way of charging your car on the street would be to take advantage of the residential charging scheme – there is more information on this below.
It is certainly not advised to use an extension lead in order to extend the distance of your charging cable, as this could potentially cause an accident, and it might cause pedestrians to trip over your cable – making you liable for any injuries that they might incur.
What is the residential charging scheme?
In a bid to make EV charging more affordable and accessible, the UK government has introduced another incentive for EV drivers, known as the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. This incentive allows local authorities to apply for the funding required for the installation of convenient on-street charging points, in residential areas. Charging points can be installed as free-standing units, and they can even be installed into lamp posts!
If you do not have access to an off-road charging area, you could contact your local authority in person, by phone or email, or even by sending a letter to your local council office, to see if they have any plans to install residential charging on your street.
Electric vehicle charging shares
It might be worth asking friends and family who already own electric vehicles, if you could share their driveway and charging outlet.
Sharing charging outlets could help save you time and money, if you have a friend or family member who is kind enough to share their space with you.
Charging at a public network
The rapid charging network is an ideal way to charge your electric car while you’re out and about. You can charge your car while you shop – making multitasking much easier, and most superchargers will fill 80% of your battery within 30 minutes. More efficient technology is now available, and will continue to progress as more drivers opt for electric vehicles. Who knows, one day in the near future a ten-minute full charge might just be possible!
Although these superchargers can be a lifesaver while out on the road, they can be expensive too, costing an average of around 60p per kWh. However, if you shop around, you should be able to find a station within your target price range.
Alternatively, you could also opt into an unlimited subscription-based plan or membership, which could help you save money in the long run, especially if you regularly use a public network to charge your vehicle.
You can currently find local charging stations at places such as: supermarkets, retail parks, hotels, and service stations. Some of these points offer free charging, although most are on a paid for basis, so it’s a good idea to check beforehand.
Zap-Map have created a useful electric vehicle charging points app – which is currently available to download on Apple and Android, where you can search your local area for charging points. The app includes around 95% of all public EV charging points in the UK.
Charging at your workplace
If your workplace has electric car charging points then you can conveniently leave your car on charge while you work, either for a charge or sometimes free for employees.
We realise that not all workplaces currently offer this benefit, but as more and more people decide to ditch fuel and make the switch, companies will need to provide access to vehicle charging points for their employees.
If you are employed by a charity or small-accommodation business, and your employer currently does not provide access to EV charging points, then it might be worth mentioning the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme to them. In a bid to create a zero emissions future, the UK government is offering this grant to help employers create the infrastructure required, which not only provides convenient charging points, but also encourages more people to switch to electric vehicles.
Charging your EV without access to a driveway and wall-box installation can be awkward and inconvenient, although it is still possible. You might just need to plan ahead in advance to ensure a charging point is available at your preferred time and place, as well as checking the costs of your favoured charging station beforehand.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also be interested in reading: The Workplace Charging Scheme – Extension and Eligibility.