If you have just bought your first electric vehicle, you may be wondering how you are going to charge it. Are you going to use a 3-pin plug electric car charger? Or are you going to invest in a smart, dedicated home charger? What are the differences? Which option is cheaper? Which is more convenient? The questions are endless, and sometimes it can be rather overwhelming for someone who has just taken the plunge into the world of electric cars.
But don’t worry. We are going to take a look at some of the key terms in relation to 3-pin plug charging and dedicated home chargers and how they both work. We will then explain which is better in the fight between 3-pin plug chargers and dedicated home charge points.
But in short, while you can use a three-pin EV charger to charge your electric car at home, a smart home EV charger beats a 3-pin plug every single time.
3-pin plug charging is where you use a standard 3-pin domestic socket in your house and a granny charger to charge your electric car. And yes, it is possible, but typically you will need a 3-pin plug car charger, either in the form of a Type 2 to 3-pin charging cable or a Type 1 to 3 Pin charging cable. Usually, this EVSE cable (electric vehicle supply equipment), comes with your electric car. That said, it is different for each manufacturer, so please check your manual or with your vehicle manufacturer.
Three-pin plug EV charger
To charge your electric car with a three-pin plug, simply plug the 3-pin electric car charger into a domestic socket in your home and plug the other end into your EV. Using a 3-pin plug to charge your electric car is easy, especially if you don’t have a home EV charger installed on your property yet. But there are caveats that make smart home EV chargers more desirable.
A dedicated smart home charger is a smart electric vehicle charging unit that is installed on your property. These home chargers offer a wide variety of smart features, different for each charger, such as solar charging, charge scheduling and cable lock. However, the features depend on the EV charger you choose, with some offering more advanced features than others.
Here are five reasons why investing in a home EV charger is significantly better than using a three-pin plug to charge your electric car:
A 3-pin domestic socket is not designed for continuous high-power usage, so most manufacturers recommend three-pin EV charging only in emergencies – and it’s because of safety reasons. A 3-pin plug electric car charger is a high-drain device, meaning that you will need to run your 3-pin socket at 2.3kW or even 2.5kW for long periods of time. Running a domestic socket this close to its maximum 3kW capacity puts a strain on your circuit, the cables, and the socket, with the potential to cause serious problems, such as overheating and, in worst-case scenarios, fires.
This is not the case for dedicated home electric car chargers, as they are designed to support the electric load needed to charge an EV without any cause for concern, especially with added safety features and devices such as load balancing and Surge Protection Devices.
Using a 3-pin plug electric car charger is the slowest way to charge your electric car. It can take up to, or sometimes over, 18 hours to fully charge your EV using a 3-pin plug charger (depending on your vehicle and the battery size) by charging at 2.3kW. On the other hand, a 7kW dedicated home EV charger is over three times faster than a three-pin plug and can charge your EV between 4-8 hours.
In order to reach your electric vehicle, you may have to use an extension cable for your 3-pin plug, or you might have to thread the wire through your window or door if you don’t have an outside plug. If an extension lead is needed, it must be rated at 13 Amps and must be fully unwound to prevent overheating. This means hazardous wires in and around your home for long periods of time when using a 3-pin plug chargers, which can be especially problematic if you are running cables across public footpaths.
With dedicated home chargers, you also have the choice between tethered and untethered (socketed) units, meaning you choose whether you want your cable permanently attached to your unit or not, ensuring more aesthetic charging.
What’s more, home EV chargers come in a variety of different sizes, designs and colours, meaning you can find a unit that stands out or blends in, depending on your personal choice.
With a dedicated home electric car charger, you have access to a range of smart features that will take your EV charging to the next level. Take the Ohme Home Pro, for example; you can integrate your energy tariff information – including sought-after Octopus energy tariffs – and your Ohme will charge during the cheapest times, with savings of up to £600 a year.
With a 3-pin plug charger, you do not have access to smart features, which will effectively cost you more to charge at home in the long run.
In conclusion, whilst you can use a 3-pin plug EV charger to charge your electric vehicle, it is not recommended by industry experts and EV manufacturers due to the safety risks and slow charging speeds. Ideally, you should only charge your electric car with a three-pin plug in emergency situations or as a last resort, such as if you are staying at a family or friend’s house with no access to a charger.
If you’re looking to make the switch to a dedicated home EV charger, browse our market-leading range of EV chargers today. With trusted, experienced and accredited engineers across the UK, we can install wherever you are – all with first-class customer service.
Alternatively, contact us for free on 03333 44 96 99 or fill in the contact form below. Our expert customer service team will always be happy to help. Our lines are open seven days a week, including bank holidays, to provide you with free, unbiased advice and to answer any queries you may have.
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This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.
This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.
Spread over a 60 month period.
Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.
You decide the amount of months.
Minimum of £1000.
We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.
Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.
We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.
We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.
Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.
Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.
A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation.
What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.
If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.