Electric car charging ports: How to install an electric charging point for your classic car

In this guide we cover whether getting a home EV charger is required for your electric classic car or OEM electric vehicle, what the process involves and how you can get one installed.

Charging an EV using a 3-pin plug

Classic cars converted to electric, such as those that we build at Electric Car Converts have smaller battery packs than a new OEM vehicle on sale today. This is why it is possible to charge at home without the need to install a wall box charger. Due to this, the majority of our clients use a standard 3-pin plug to charge their classic electric car, as charging overnight provides enough juice for their journey the following day. This works well for battery packs up to around 40kWh. You can buy Type 2 to 3 pin charging cables on Amazon or at Screwfix – which have a control box in-line, which talks to the onboard charging system. These charge at around 2.3kW, or “overnight”.

Do I need a home EV charger?

This depends on the size of battery pack and how often you drive your EV. If you are one of the 75% who commute less than 10 miles, then a 3-pin socket may be enough. If you use your EV more than a few times a week, and are going longer distances more frequently, then a home EV charger might be useful to have installed.

Despite your standard wall sockets being capable of charging your EV, some owners opt to install a home or ‘wall box’ charger for a quicker charging speed. Typically, EV home chargers are three times faster than a standard three pin plug. Reducing a 40kWh battery charge time from 17 hours to just 8 hours.

Electric car charging at home – how to install a car charging point

Firstly, a wall box home charger needs to be installed professionally. When shopping for your next charger, the price of installation is usually included as part of the charger package – but please check beforehand.

A location for the charger needs to be established first. A lot of charger suppliers require dedicated driveway parking before they can give the go ahead. It also make it easy for you to access 24/7 and eliminating the risk of others parking in the way.

It is difficult to ask permission if you are not in this situation (e.g., a shared drive, street parking, or if you are renting). You will need to consult the respective property or landowner before attempting to install if this is you.

There are different charge cable lengths to consider too. Ensuring your charger is close enough to reach to your electric vehicle charge port. Charge port locations differ on each vehicle – it’s important to check where yours is before deciding on a charger location.

Another factor includes WIFI access at the charger location. As smart chargers allow remote app access and control using your smartphone. Ensure your chosen location can reach your home Wi-Fi before choosing your charger.

Access to mains electricity is required for home chargers too. Most UK homes have single phase electricity, limiting the maximum charger speed to 7kWh. This is plenty for most classic car owners who have EV conversions. As the battery packs are smaller than new EVs.

The whole process of choosing your charger, booking installation, and seeking advice can be found at charge supplier companies online, or over the phone. They can help guide you through the options available and overall cost. Be sure to shop around before deciding the right charger for you.

How to get a home charger installed

After you have decided that a home charger is right for your needs, it is now time to reach out to different home charger suppliers. Some examples in the UK Include Zappi, Ohme, Rolec, EO, Wallbox, Pod Point, Hypervolt, Easee, EVBox. All have similar capability, and your choice will depend on size, installation process and availability.

Most chargers come in two options, tethered or universal. Tethered chargers come with one plug type and cable, whereas universal chargers use a double ended cable and will work with a wider range of cars. Often universal chargers do not come with a charge cable, and you may need to purchase this separately.

What speed do I need for a home charge point?

At Electric Car Converts, our cars charge using 3 pin standard UK sockets at a max speed of 2.3kW or via a home charger at max speeds of 7kW (single phase). We can also upgrade some of our builds to CCS charging which is 70kW. At 70kW you can charge at high-speed using rapid chargers at public charging stations. An easy way to work out how long it will take to charge your electric car is to divide the kWh of your battery pack by the charge speed of the charging method. For example, a 70kWh battery pack, charging at 7kWh will charge in 10 hours, this is for 0% to 100%.

The cost of electric car charging at home

The cost of charging at home varies depending on your unit cost of electricity. Some fixed tariffs have lower prices during off-peak hours to encourage EV owners to charge at night. However, these are only locked in for certain customers before the energy price hike and is rarely available today.

Today, with a variable tariff, using the average unit cost of electricity (32.60p/kWh) it costs around £20 to fully charge an electric car with a 60kWh battery. For this you will get around 200 miles of range.

Service station chargers are more expensive as you are paying for quicker charging speeds (of up to 350kW if your vehicle is capable). These typically range between 50 and 70p per kWh, costing up to £42 to refill for the same 60kWh battery and around 200 miles range.

Office and business chargers are handy if your workplace has them installed. As often they are free, or at a reduced rate compared to home or service station chargers.

Convert your classic car to electric

At Electric Car Converts, we have the knowledge and tools to restore and educate you on electric car conversion. Not only does it help the environment, but it also keeps your vehicle on the road for longer and allows more people to enjoy a rare classic when driving out in public.

Owners prefer EV conversions over standard restoration as it saves them on fuel and maintenance costs, but also futureproofs the car. Charging at home is also more convenient than refuelling at a petrol station, and you definitely get better fuel economy as a result.