There are millions of car owners who are unable to charge at home simply because they don’t have a driveway. Many of these owners live in flats and have no access to any charging infrastructure in their residential areas.
If you are among these car owners, here are some tips on electric car charging with no driveway so you can make the most out of your vehicle.
1. Using Public Charging Networks
One of the simplest ways to charge your vehicle is by using the public charging network, the way you would a diesel or petrol vehicle at the petrol station. If you can locate the nearest charge points using apps like Zap-Map, you can charge your vehicle while going through your weekly routines – shopping, or going to the gym or the cinema.
You may be paying more at a public charging network compared to charging at home. But it’s still much less than using diesel or petrol. You can be more cost-effective with your charging needs by opting for more affordable charging networks.
You will see the current charging expense for your vehicle using the same apps to track the charging networks. Just click on the public charging station and view the charging price.
2. Take Advantage of Workplace Charging
Workplace charging is a good option since it’s where your car is parked while you work. Many businesses install electric car charging stations at work as a means to remain proactive and reduce their business carbon footprint.
How Workplace Charging Benefits Employers
Providing workplace charging helps retain and attract employees with EVs or looking to purchase an EV. Having a workplace charging station also reflects positively on employers by revealing how the latter is proactive in enhancing employee workplace experience.
How Workplace Charging Benefits Employees
Workplace charging can reduce range anxiety or the fear that your vehicle won’t reach its destination because of a depleted battery. Workplace charging can double the electric vehicle’s driving range. This allows employees to have longer trips from the workplace.
If want to have a charging station installed at your workplace, propose the idea to your employer and see if they’re okay with it. Include in your proposal the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) to reduce installation costs.
Read Workplace Charging Scheme Applicant’s Guide for more details.
3. Level 1 Charging
Most car owners prefer Level 2 (240-volt) charging because it adds at least 25 miles of range per hour. But electric vehicles can be charged using a standard Level 1 (120-volt) outlet. It only puts at least four miles per hour but there’s no need for you to use special equipment besides the charging cord that comes with the vehicle.
If you live in a flat, there may be a place where you can plug your vehicle into a standard home outlet. Make sure you don’t run the cord across the parking lot or sidewalk, where it could trip some passersby. If you’re using an extension cord, make sure it’s specifically tailored for electric car charging at home with no driveway.
Through Level 1 charging, you can add 30 – 60 miles of range if you charge from the evening till the time you wake up in the morning. To add more miles, you can charge your vehicle whenever you can during the day. This could be enough if you’re driving a hybrid plug-in electric vehicle with a range surpassing a gas-powered engine or if you’re not commuting long distances.
Remember that if you are driving a long-range electric vehicle like the Chevrolet Bolt with a 259-mile range, it will take days to fully charge with a standard wall outlet. The same can be said with Tesla’s Model S – although Tesla’s Supercharger network solves the problem.
In the end, Level 1 charging is a good solution for a number of people, although it can only be a good option for EV owners if they can mix it with the solutions in the next section
4. Combining Level 1 with Workplace and Public Charging
If you can pair Level 1 charging with public and workplace charging, you should be able to charge your EV even without a chargepoint at home. You can combine either two or three of these and you should do just fine.
Once you are used to your vehicle’s charging time and range and plan ahead, it should become routine. If you are driving several miles during the day or taking constant road trips, it may be wise to consider plug-in hybrids.
Access to public charging is just as crucial as access to DC charging at home. You also need to determine your car’s range. The majority of Tesla owners do not have range anxiety problems because of the car’s extensive Supercharger network, impressive range, and super-fast charging capacity.
As a matter of fact, Tesla owners are doing just fine even without home charging. As charging networks expand and charging speed increases, EVs will become more long-range, and owning one without home charging will not be an issue.
5. Destination Charging
Let’s say you lose your charger. Does that mean you can’t charge your vehicle anymore? Not necessarily. You can make the majority of your charging in another place, like the gym, through destination charging. Destination charging can be quite useful but under-utilized.
You can leave your car at a local charging station, walk home and retrieve that car the next day. Otherwise, you can visit car parks with chargers while visiting towns or pubs that provide access to chargers.
Scaling AC supply is much easier or cheaper compared to scaling DC, although maintaining secured parking could be challenging. It could get more challenging if there’s a pandemic and your place is on lockdown. Longer car parking overnight can be a better solution if you don’t have a driveway.
That being said, it also does not work for everyone. There are a lot of charging spaces that are not within walking distance from an appropriate car park. You will still require other alternatives for places with deficient car parking.
6. Taking Advantage Of The Current Infrastructure
Along with the proliferation of public charging comes much technological innovation in the way we charge – like utilizing energy resources in innovative ways. This changes the way we transfer energy into the vehicle. These alternatives make it easier for EV owners with no driveways to charge their vehicles.
Charger sharing is another option for EV owners with no driveway. It makes use of another person’s charger – a family member, friend, or neighbour. There are services like CoCharger that allow drivers with charging stations at home to share their units with others – even asking for a small fee if they want.
But in many instances, this is not a practical option for the car owner or host because there’s only too much energy to share.
Lamp-post charging is an advancing technology that makes use of extra electrical capacity within lamp posts.
Attempts to shift to LED or lower energy lighting within lamp posts have reduced the total power consumption, which leaves extra capacity for several charging businesses. Public chargers installed on lamp posts can be used by EV owners with no driveway.
Rapid or Ultra-rapid Hubs
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a need for more ultra-rapid or rapid charging stations within cities. The faster the speed that these chargers provide, the more convenience and flexibility there will be for EV owners with no charger at home.
Urban charging hubs may beat the scalability challenge of residential off-street charging. As its name implies, wireless curbside charging does not require the driver plug-in to charge. The technology is set up underground so that drivers can park above it to charge through an electromagnetic field.
Older electric vehicles would need some adjustment, but the latest models are already set to use this option. Wireless charging has great potential for a wide range of requirements that take some time to become conventional.
The aim of pop-up chargers is to address the issue of public space being occupied by chargers. They just pop back under the ground after use.
ChargeArm, a Holland-based company, has created an infrastructure that is installed on a footpath linking a residential property to a charging station within the market, without obstructing pedestrians.
This special setup isn’t available in the UK yet but promises early findings that reveal how it minimizes charger wear, which means they can last much longer.
Built-in Apps to Charge Your Vehicle
The development of apps makes the entire process of locating a charging station and charging your vehicle easier to do.
ZapMap Plus, for instance, enables drivers to search through new charge points on multiple locations, including detailed location types, and user ratings. You can also view new chargers being installed within the month, saving more route plans and user filters.
The new Premium version will allow drivers to view the app on any dashboard, locate charge points, view current charge point status, and access routes while moving.
Google Maps is also set up to make the lives of EV drivers much easier. What you can access will depend on the car’s model, although the features will indicate the estimated battery level upon arrival at your destination.
You can also opt for charging assistance wherein the charging stations are mapped on your route. You can search for a charging station, and filter the results by charger type, charging speed and payment network.
Drivers have the option to add a charging station to their route and look for the recommended charge time.
Electric Car Charging With No Driveway For Owners Living in Flats?
City dwellers benefit the most from using an electric vehicle – they generally make shorter travels at slow speeds and dwell in an environment that is subject to tailpipe emissions from trucks and cars with combustion engines. But people living in flats can rarely access a charging station on site.
An obvious solution would be to propose to your landlord the need to install an EV charging station in the building’s garage or parking lot. The installation can be set within your designated space or the building’s common area.
Since this is a long shot, you may think it best to install the chargepoint yourself, but you would probably leave it in the future, and invest more money in the installation without getting the full benefits. Unless you have a designated parking area, there is a chance that another car would park in front of the chargepoint at any period.
If your flat is facing the street, however, you can run a cable from your window and through the pavement. The cable must lie flat against the pavement and be covered with a protector to keep it down. As we’ve mentioned before, charging with a three-pin plug would be slower and there are better ways to charge up while you’re out of the house.
Electric Car Charging With No Driveway On The Street
At least a quarter of car owners in the UK can’t do off-street parking. Fortunately, they can charge on the street. The building regulations prevent car owners from installing home chargers, but if your residential building is facing the street, you can park outside, and run a cable on the pavement, then charge it using a three-pin plug.
Do not expect to enjoy the same speeds as stated by the public fast charger, since three-pin plugs are manufactured for use in an ordinary household. Check out our blog post on How Fast Can an Electric Car Charge, you can learn the different charging times of an electric vehicle.
The OLEV or Office of Low Emission Vehicles also grants funds to local organizations for the installation of on-street charging stations. The OLEV has come up with an On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to provide grants up to 75% of the total cost of acquiring and installing a charging station on dedicated parking bays.
You can request the installation of a charging station on your street and contact the local council. The scheme’s popularity has led to OLEV taking a stricter approach to prioritizing and approving funding for projects. OLEV asserts the right to prioritize places that haven’t made any applications before and are facing major air quality issues.
More and more charging networks are being developed as more companies provide new smart solutions for electric vehicle charging that don’t block the street.
Companies like Ubitricity’s Lamppost charging allow local authorities to enhance their EV charging networks on the streets without cluttering the streets. It will not give 80% battery life in 30 minutes like those of Test rapid chargers, but they should enable you to recharge overnight.
There’s no doubt that lamppost chargers will be among the innovative solutions to address the problem of on-street charging within the next decade.
Electric Car Charging With No Driveway: Additional Tips
Electric car charging with no driveway is feasible if you know your options. With or without a driveway, charging your vehicle at home remains the ideal way to go about it. Just plug in your car, leave it overnight, and use it the next day. Thus, easy-to-install residential chargers would be most useful.