Electric Car Charging at Home With No Driveway: Can It Be Done?
How to charge your electric car with no driveway
Electric cars have seen an explosion in popularity in the last couple of years. Back in 2015, plug-in electric vehicles (including electric cars and plug-in hybrids) accounted for just 1.1% of new registrations. Fast forward to 2022 and that figure has skyrocketed to 22.2%. (Source)
So with nearly a quarter of all new cars sold coming with a plug, what can you do if you live in a flat? We run through all your options when it comes to electric car charging at home with no driveways. Charging at home is one of the more affordable options so it’s worth seeing if you can make it work for you.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to get an EV due to living situations but you don’t have to turn your back on electric driving. So if live in an apartment, flat, terraced house or home with no driveway, read on to find how to make EV ownership suit your life.
Charging your electric car: house with no driveway
If you live in a house without a dedicated driveway, you do have options when it comes to charging an EV. Semi-detached and terraced houses are most likely to fall into this category.
Charging your electric car with no driveway is a bit easier for a semi-detached house, as your parking will tend to be less busy when compared to a terraced street. So as long as you can find a parking spot outside your house, you should be able to charge your vehicle relatively easily. Cul-de-sacs and other private roads open up your charging options.
Terraced streets pose a bit more of an issue as they tend to be busier, especially when it comes to parking. One main consideration would be finding a parking spot directly outside your house for easy access to the charging cable. Another thing to think about is running a cable from your house and across a public footway to charge your car.
Electric car charging: running a cable across the pavement
So if you live in a semi-detached or terraced house with no off-street parking, your main option is to run a cable out of your house, across the pavement and to your car.
But there are some major considerations when it comes to running cabling across a public footpath. Whilst running a cable a short distance to your car isn’t illegal, it does pose a potential risk for pedestrians walking past.
If you’ve laid a cable across the path and someone trips, you may be liable. So with this in mind, you should only ever keep the cable on the path whilst your vehicle is actually charging.
We highly recommend getting a cable protector to put over your wire if you are running it over the pavement. This will increase its visibility whilst making the public footpath much safer and more accessible for wheelchair users and prams. For more information on this, please contact your local authority.
If your charging cable can’t reach your car from the closest plug socket in your house, you shouldn’t use an extension cable. Most extension leads aren’t safe to use outside and they also pose an increased risk of damage, especially if you daisy-chain them.
Charging your electric car: flats & apartments
Electric vehicle ownership is a bit more tricky when it comes to flats and apartments, but not impossible. The ideal situation here is either purpose-built flats with dedicated parking and electric charging points built-in, or a house converted into apartments with a driveway. These types of properties are unfortunately the minority but there are other ways you can charge your car if you live in a flat.
Check the streets nearby for charging points
You may find an on-street charging point close to your residence, and more often than not town centres should have at least a few electric charging points dotted around. So if you live close by you can drive over, plug in and then walk back.
Another option is to use nearby charge points in car parks, retail centres, supermarkets and petrol stations. Some places, like car parks, supermarkets and retail centres, will even offer free charging. When you’re shopping, plug your car in. This minimises downtime as you’re already out and don’t have to sit around waiting.
Charge at work
The most convenient option would be to charge at work and then top your car up when you’re out and about. But again, not all places of work will have these so it’s worth checking. Your employer can apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme which gives a discount of up to £350 per charging point, for up to 40 chargers.
Renter & leaseholder OZEV grant
The OZEV (Office or Zero Emission Vehicles) grant has been recently expanded to include both renters and leaseholders.
This means that if you live in a rental flat or apartment, you can apply for the OZEV grant which helps with the cost of a wall box installation. Although you will need permission from your landlord, building management company and/or freehold owner.
How to charge an electric car without off-street parking: other considerations
There are some other considerations to take into account when it comes to charging an electric car without a driveway.
Apps & infotainment systems
Most modern electric cars come with handy features including charge point locators. Some are built into the infotainment system, whilst others are operated via smartphone apps.
This allows you to plan your journeys with necessary charging stops plotted in, ideal if you don’t have constant access to a charger at home or work. This also means there won’t be any last-minute scrambling to find the nearest charging location.
Get a hybrid instead!
If you can’t work out a feasible plan for regularly charging your car, consider choosing a hybrid instead.
Plug-in hybrid cars are suitable if you will have irregular access to charging points. PHEVs have a traditional engine backed up by a more powerful electric motor with a battery that needs recharging.
If you’re regularly near charging points for shorter amounts of time this may be the perfect choice for you. The motor backs up the engine for added power and efficiency, with most PHEV cars being able to handle electric-only driving for a certain number of miles / under a certain speed.
If you run out of battery, don’t worry. The engine is there to power your car even if the battery is depleted. And they also use innovative systems to regain charge whilst driving, like regenerative braking.
You can still reduce your carbon footprint even if you never have access to a charging point. Full hybrid cars give you all the benefits of a powerful electric motor, including added performance, lowered emissions and greater fuel efficiency.
Full hybrids, also known as self-charging hybrids, regain charge themselves. You never have to plug them in for power. Instead, regenerative braking and a host of other systems work to regain the energy you would have usually lost.
This means you’ll never have to worry about searching for charge points and planning in stops. Again, some hybrid cars offer a fully electric driving mode at certain speeds or for a certain amount of miles.
New & upcoming charging services
The infrastructure for electric vehicle ownership is strong but still developing. There are new electric car charging solutions popping up all the time, so it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if any are a viable option for you.
This includes using other people’s wall boxes and mobile charging services. Think of these more as handy ways to get topped up rather than the main way to charge.
Renting wall boxes
There’s an emerging service that has found a viable workaround for people who don’t have a wall box. Apps like Co Charger find nearby neighbours who have a wall box that they’re happy to rent out to other drivers.
Co Charger pairs up hosts with ‘chargees’, handling communication, booking and even payment. This is a great choice if you don’t have a driveway or nearby charging point.
Mobile electric car charging
Another way you can supplement your electric charge is with a charger that comes to you! Charge Fairy is another upcoming service that makes electric vehicle ownership easier.
You sign up to the app which monitors and predicts your charge level. This information is then used to track your charge with the Charge Fairy van visiting your car when it's not in use to top it back up. This makes charging even more convenient as it’s done at home whilst you sleep.
Explore electric & hybrid cars at Pentagon
You should now understand your options when it comes to electric car charging at home with no driveway. For more information on going electric, or to experience any of our hybrid and electric cars, get in touch and we can arrange a test drive at your local Pentagon Group dealership.