Home EV chargers are rated by amps, but what does this term mean, and how many amps does an electric car charger use?
In this guide, we’ll share the fundamentals of amperage (amps) and explore the factors that affect how many amps a home EV charger uses.
Before we delve into the question of “How many amps does a home EV charger use?” it’s crucial to understand the fundamental concepts of amps, kilowatts, and volts. These terms are at the core of understanding electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
EV charging stations are rated by kilowatts, volts, and amps.
Amperes, often abbreviated as “amps,” serve as a unit of measurement for electrical current. Regarding electric vehicle (EV) charging, the amp rating is the amount of electrical current that can be delivered to your vehicle’s battery.
A kilowatt is a measure of electrical power and refers to how much power a charger can deliver in the context of EV charging.
Volts are a measurement of the amount of force of the electricity, somewhat like the speed of the flow of electrons through the circuit.
The amperage of a home EV charger depends on the type of charger. The typical home electric car charger in the UK is rated at either 3.6 kilowatts (kW) or, more commonly, 7.2 kilowatts (kW). The amperage of these chargers can vary depending on the voltage of the electrical supply.
Standard level 2 chargers in the UK typically run on alternating current (AC) and use a 230-volt supply (standard household voltage).
To calculate the amperage, you can use the formula:
For a 3.6 kW charger, if it operates at the standard UK voltage of 230 volts:
Amperage = 3600 W / 230 V = approximately 16 Amps
As such, a 3.6kW EV charger typically uses approximately 16 amps.
These powered chargers are considered slow chargers as they only charge 1.6x faster than a 3-pin plug charger. As such, these units are not recommended for home charging because of the extensive time it takes to charge compared to a 7.4kW charger.
For a 7.4 kW home charger, again at 230 volts:
Amperage = 7400 W / 230 V = approximately 32 Amps
As such, a 7.4kW EV charger typically uses approximately 32 amps.
This single-phase charger is the most popular home electric vehicle charger as the time taken from empty to full charge is around twice as fast as a 3.6kW charger and three times faster than a three-pin plug charger.
As mentioned, a 16 amp charger only charges 1.6x faster than a 3-pin plug charger.
A 32 Amp EV charger charges around twice as fast as a 16 amp charger.
As most home charging will happen overnight, 6 hours is far more suitable for an overnight charge compared to 11 hours.
It is possible to get a 22kW charger installed at your home; however, these chargers require a three-phase electricity supply, and your electric installation must be set up for triple-phase charging with an amperage of 32 A.
Most domestic properties in the UK have a single-phase electricity supply, and upgrading to three phases costs thousands of pounds. As such, it may not be cost-effective for most people to get a 22kW charger, especially as a 7kW charger is sufficient to give you a fully charged vehicle overnight.
Read our blog to learn more about the differences between 7kW and 22kW EV chargers.
The number of amps you need for home EV charging depends on a few factors: the vehicle’s onboard charger, your driving habits and your home’s electrical capacity.
Electric vehicles have an onboard charger, which dictates how much power they can take in from a charging station. For example, if your car has an acceptance rate of 32 amps, a higher amp charging station won’t charge your car any faster and would be made redundant.
If you typically drive short distances and only need to charge your vehicle a few times a week, a lower amp charger, such as a 16 amp charger, may be sufficient. But, if you drive longer distances or need quicker charging times, you might need a higher amp charger, such as a 32 amp charger, to provide you with a full overnight charge daily.
A higher amp charger requires a larger electrical supply in your home. You must ensure your home can handle the additional load from an EV charger. The best way to do this is to consult with a qualified installation company, such as We Power Your Car.
Your home needs to be able to provide the full amount of power that a home EV charger requires. A 32 amp charger requires a larger electricity supply than a 16 amp charger.
Your home has a limited electricity supply, and you need to have enough power available to install a high-powered dedicated circuit for a home charging station.
To determine whether your home has enough available power to install an EV charger, a qualified electrician will need to calculate the maximum demand of the property. Maximum demand is the peak electricity demand from the grid at a property.
If the maximum demand exceeds the incoming supply of the property, a fuse upgrade may be needed. While some homes have a 100 amp supply, most usually have 80 amps or even 60 amps, which is more common in older or smaller properties.
You should always have an electrician perform a maximum demand calculation before installing your car charging point to know if your home has a sufficient supply to power your electric vehicle charger.
Understanding the amperage of an EV charger is crucial for efficient and safe electric car charging at home. Amps, kilowatts, and volts form the foundation of EV charging. A 3.6kW home EV charger, with around 16 amps, offers a slower charging rate, while a 7.4kW home EV charger, utilising about 32 amps, provides a fast charging experience. Your choice of charger depends on many factors, such as your vehicle’s onboard charger, driving habits, and home’s electrical capacity, which a qualified installer should assess.
Whether you choose a 16 or 32-amp charger, it is essential to have this installed by a certified and experienced installation company, such as We Power Your Car.
If you’re considering an EV charger installation, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call us at 03333 44 96 99 or complete the contact form below. Our knowledgeable team is accessible seven days a week, including bank holidays, and is dedicated to providing valuable and impartial guidance and assistance.
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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.
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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.