How to charge an electric car?

For many, electric cars are a brand new experience. One of the main questions people have when considering an electric car is how to charge it. In the UK, there are several options for charging an electric car, each with its own benefits.

Home charging.

The most convenient and cost-effective way to charge an electric car in the UK is at home using a dedicated home charging point. A home charging point provides a fast and safe way to charge your vehicle overnight and is typically installed in a private garage or driveway, but can also be installed at the front of a house for those with on-street parking.

Home charging has two options: using a standard 3-pin plug or installing a dedicated EV charging point. A standard 3-pin plug is a slower charging option, typically taking more than 12 hours to fully charge an electric car, while a dedicated home charging point is capable of fully charging a vehicle in as little as 4 hours.

Public charging.

For those who cannot charge at home, using the public charging network is a practical option. The UK has an expanding network of EV charging stations, including both fast and rapid chargers.

Rapid chargers, such as those operated by Osprey, are the fastest and most convenient solution, providing a full battery charge in as little as 30 minutes. These chargers are perfect for topping up the battery during a long trip or when quick charging is necessary.

Fast chargers, however, take more time to charge an electric car, usually taking between 4 to 8 hours. Although they take longer than rapid chargers, they are more economical and ideal for charging the vehicle overnight or for a leisurely battery top-up. Fast chargers are often found on-street or at longer-stay car parks.

Mum and daughter at a rapid EV charging station charging their car.

How to charge an electric car.

To charge an electric car, you need to locate a charging point, either at home or in a public location, and connect the vehicle to the charging point using a charging cable. Most charging points, especially rapid, have simple instructions guiding you through the process of connecting and charging the vehicle in a straightforward and easy way.

You will need your car’s own cable for slow (home) and fast (public) chargers, but rapid charge points will have their own cable attached to the machine.

The vehicle's onboard charging display will show the estimated time remaining for the charge and the percentage of charge already added.

How-to videos.

For more information on how to use the chargers found on the Osprey network, check out our handy video resources.

Charging guides

Paying for charging.

Home charging is paid for on your normal monthly electricity bill. Some electricity suppliers have overnight tariffs that are cheaper, specifically for charging electric vehicles.

In the UK, there are two main ways to pay for public charging: pay-as-you-go or subscription-based. Pay-as-you-go charging allows you to pay for each charge as you go, using a contactless credit or debit card. Subscription-based charging provides enhanced access to charging points in exchange for a monthly fee.

Most public charging networks in the UK accept payment using a credit or debit card, while some also accept payment using a mobile app account or network card. Before starting a charge, it is important to check the payment options available at the charging point and have the necessary payment method ready. At Osprey, we have contactless card readers on all of our charge points, as well as the ability to pay using our dedicated EV charging app. We also accept all major third party subscription and pay-as-you-go options.

Charging an electric car in the UK is a straightforward and convenient process, with several options available, including home charging and public charging. The process of charging an electric car is simple and involves connecting the vehicle to a charging point and paying for the charge using a credit or debit card (if using the public network). With a growing network of charging points across the UK, charging an electric car has never been easier.

Driver resources.

Check out the latest driver resources from Osprey Charging.