Electric cars: why all homeowners should consider a charge point – Lovemoney

Having a charge point doesn’t just help if you’re planning to switch to a greener car in the future, it can also boost its attractiveness to buyers.

The Government has this week announced that in the future all new build homes will be required to have an electric vehicle charging point fitted from the off. 

From 2022, new build homes will have to have a charger fitted, upping the number of homes with charge points by around 150,000 a year at the current rate of housebuilding.

The idea is that, by increasing the number of charge points available in the nation’s homes, it will make it far easier for drivers to make the switch away from purely petrol and diesel cars. After all, from 2030 the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.

Rising numbers

The presence of a dedicated charge point is quickly becoming an important selling point for properties.

Data from Rightmove this month revealed that the number of homes listed for sale with electric car charging points on the premises, or at least in a nearby street, has jumped by 541% on the same point last year. 

Interestingly, this only covers older properties, excluding new builds where these chargers are already more common.

What’s more, of the properties added to Rightmove that flag up the presence of a charger, a third have been added since the start of September, while estate agents said that increasing numbers of buyers are asking about these charging points when considering listed properties.

Appealing to as many buyers as possible

This makes a lot of sense to me. We already know that the numbers of electric vehicles being sold to drivers are rocketing. 

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that in November sales of new battery electric vehicles have jumped to the point that they now account for 16.6% of all used cars, while demand for new plug-in cars has jumped 56.4% year-on-year.

As more and more of us move to electric and hybrid vehicles, we are obviously going to want to check that any new home we might be interested in can cater to our motor’s needs.

This trend is only likely to increase, as more drivers make the switch.

As a result, if you are thinking about selling your home in the next couple of years, even if you have no intention of switching to an electric car in the foreseeable future, it seems a sensible move to me to look into having a charge point installed at your home.

First and foremost, this means that when you do come to sell you will be able to appeal to far more potential buyers.

The presence of a charge point isn’t going to serve as a detriment to any would-be purchaser who loves their diesel motor, for example, but it will be an added selling point to a driver with a ‘green’ vehicle.

It also strikes me as a sensible bit of foreplanning. Sure, you might love your current motor and not want to even think about moving to a new model in the future.

But realistically, you will need a new car at some point, and given the direction of travel, there has to be a pretty decent chance that your next car will be a hybrid if not full electric car.

Getting a charge point installed sooner rather than later simply means that you are more prepared for that transition, and are ready to make the leap, rather than having the absence of a convenient charge point as a reason to put off making the switch.

This won’t be an option for everyone, of course. There are an awful lot of homes where having a charger installed is not just impractical, it’s impossible, for example, if you live in a block of flats.

Do you really need a charge point?

It’s worth highlighting the fact that a dedicated charge point isn’t strictly required if you want to move to an electric vehicle.

You can in fact plug your car into your normal plug sockets at home.

However, there’s no denying that this can be a complete pain. My parents have recently moved to an electric car, and the prolonged process of getting a charger installed at their home has meant they have been stuck charging in this way. It’s one thing to have a lead coming out of your window to your car in order to charge it during the summer months, but once we head into the colder months, having your window ajar to charge is far from ideal. Not only does it make your home colder, but it also creates potential security issues.

What’s more, dedicated charge points will ensure your car is fully charged and ready to go around three times quicker than using a plug point.

As a result, while a proper charge point isn’t a requirement, it’s a much smarter and safer option.

Getting help with the costs

According to the RAC, it typically costs around £800 to have a charge point installed on your property. I can’t argue with the fact that that’s an awful lot of money, particularly if you aren’t planning on getting an electric car imminently.

But it’s important to note that you don’t actually have to pay all of that headline cost, with various support schemes open which will help reduce the size of your bill.

For example, there is the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which will cover up to £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing a charge point in your home. It’s available for most electric and plug-in cars, and you can claim one chargepoint per vehicle, or up to two per household. 

Importantly this will be restricted from next year to focus on landlords and tenants, rather than homeowners.

If you live north of the border, then an additional grant worth up to £250 is available through Energy Savings Trust Scotland.

What’s more, you may be able to negotiate a contribution towards the installation cost from the car dealership. I know that my parents for example got £500 towards the cost of installation if they opted to handle it themselves, rather than wait for the car manufacturer to handle it, which has meant that the overall installation has cost around £150.

That’s still a noteworthy outlay, but it certainly makes the idea of installing a charge point more appealing.



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