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A guide to 3.6kW car chargers – 3.6kW EV charging explained

A guide to 3.6kW EV chargers

Typically, in the UK, 3.6kW EV chargers are not as popular or common as 7kW EV chargers when it comes down to charging at home. Yet, 3kW EV chargers are still available on the market.

But what is a 3.6kW EV charger? How long does it take to charge an electric car with a 3.6kW EV charger? Should I invest in a 3.6kW home charger?

In this blog, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions and explain everything you need to know about 3.6kW electric vehicle charging.

What is a 3.6kW EV charger?

A 3.6kW EV charger is a dedicated charger installed on your property that charges your electric car at a rate of 3.6 kilowatts. Anyone can have a 3.6kW charger and installation, so long as you have a single-phase electricity supply at home (which most UK homes have).

In terms of speed, charging an electric car with a 3.6kW electric vehicle charger is slower than 7kW, 11kW, and 22kW fast chargers but faster than a granny charger.

When out and about, it’s unlikely you will see 3.6kW public charging stations since public charge points tend to be a minimum of 7kW for fast charging and higher for rapid chargers. Slow chargers aren’t popular when it comes to public chargers; with fast, rapid and ultra-rapid charging points earning the majority share.

Similarly to 7kW and 22kW chargers, 3.6kW chargers are available in tethered or untethered forms, with different charging cables, charging sockets and Type 2 connectors and Type 1 connector usage.

What’s the difference between a 3.6kW charger and a 3-pin plug EV charger?

Even though 3kW car chargers and 3-pin plug EV chargers are both categorised as slow charging, 3.6kW EV chargers offer a more powerful charging solution. In fact, a 3.6kW is 1.6kW faster than a 3-pin plug EV charger.

Additionally, 3.6kW chargers also have smart features that 3-pin plug chargers do not. For example, you wouldn’t be able to charge scheduling which allows you to charge during off-peak rates for cheaper. Nor do you have the opportunity to charge your car with solar power.

How long does it take to charge an electric car with a 3.6kW electric car charger?

As with any EV charging, the time to charge an electric car depends on a number of factors, such as weather conditions, the size of your EV battery, whether you want a full charge, and more.

Generally, a 3.6kW EV charger adds between 12-15 miles of range per hourroughly taking anywhere between nine to fifteen hours to charge your EV.

For example, a fully charged Tesla Model 3 would take 22 hours with a 3.6kW car charger based on the larger size of the battery.

3.6kW car charger

What’s the difference between a 3.6kW and a 7kW charger?

The core difference between a 3.6kW EV charger and a 7kW EV charger is the power outlet, and therefore the EV charging speeds. A 7kW EV charger charges an electric car nearly twice as fast as a 3.6kW charger because of the higher power output.

Should I invest in a 3.6kW EV charger or a 7kW EV charger?

When deciding whether to invest in a 3.6kW or 7kW home charger, there are certain things to consider:

  1. Maximum onboard charging rate: Electric cars with higher maximum onboard charging rates will benefit more from a 7kW charger as it will charge your vehicle quicker than a 3.6kW. That said, if you have a smaller battery with a 3.6kW or 3.3kW onboard charger, a 3.6kW EV charger might be sufficient. However, it’s important to note that only a small number of EVs have 3kW onboard chargers.
  2. Cost: While cost is always a significant consideration, 7kW chargers tend to be more expensive than any 3 kW chargers – albeit not by much (roughly £100-£200).
  3. Future needs: If you plan to upgrade to an EV with a larger battery capacity in the future, it might be wise to invest in a 7kW charger now so you can charge your current electric car and any future EVs without having to invest in a new EV charger. Also, you never know if you will become a multi-EV household, and a 7kW power output will charge your EVs faster than a 3.6kW. In truth, you might upgrade your EV to one with a larger battery without consciously doing so – so it’s best to be prepared.

So, should you get a 3.6 kW or 7 kW charger?

In our opinion, EV owners should invest in a 7kW charger over a 3.6kW EV charger as you will future-proof your home in case you change your electric car to one with a larger battery and charge twice as fast – all for a similar price point.

Generally, the cost difference between 3.6kW and 7kW chargers is minimal.

Is it worth investing in a 3.6kW EV charger or 7kW charger

When would you invest in a 3.6kW EV charger?

As mentioned before, a 3.6kW charger would be suitable for those with electric cars with a lower onboard charging rate (the maximum charging rate you can charge with). For example, certain models of the Nissan Leaf have a 3.6kW onboard charger, meaning the vehicle would only charge at a maximum rate of 3.6kW AC – even if you used a 7kW or 22kW charger.

If you have an EV with a 3.6kW onboard and are trying to choose between 3.6kW or 7kW EV chargers, you could take advantage of a 3kW electric car charger more successfully than an EV with a higher onboard charging rate if you didn’t want to spend more on a 7kW charger.

What is the best 3.6kW EV charger?

While there are many options available for 7kW chargers, the choice of 3.6kW chargers, or 3.3kW EV chargers and 3kW car chargers, is not as vast. That said, the Rolec 3.6kW and the 3.6kW Pod Point chargers are some of the best 3.6kW car chargers available on the UK market.

How long does it take to charge an electric car with a 3.6kW car charger


3.6 kW car chargers, or any type of 3kW home EV chargers, may not be the best solution for those who want a future-proof EV charging unit at home. In our opinion, a 7kW charger is better than a 3.6kW EV charger for home EV charging as it charges twice as fast and provides more flexibility for the future – there is limited difference in price, too.

Interested in a home charge point?

Contact us today at 03333 44 96 99 or fill in the contact form below to discuss your home electric car charging solution. We offer a wide range of the best EV chargers on the market, all with 3 year warranty as standard and first-class customer service.

But don’t just take our word for it – view our Trustpilot reviews now.

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

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.

Underground cable

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.

Overhead cable

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.

Standard Installation
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.