How To Charge An EV If You Live In A Flat?

Being able to charge your EV is a critical component of owning one!

After all, if you can’t charge it, you’re in a spot of bother.

But what do you do if you live in a flat, can you still own an EV?

In this guide, we look at how to charge an EV if you live in a flat, what options you have and considerations to consider before you purchase an electric vehicle.

Charging Options For EV Owners Living In Flats

Home Charging

Being able to charge your EV at home is not only cost-effective but also highly convenient. It is often done overnight when energy tariffs are at their lowest and the EV can charge for a considerable amount of hours, ready for use in the morning. 

There are a number of issues that need to be considered when living in a flat, though. The first is getting permission from the building management or homeowner’s association to discuss whether you can have a charging unit installed. 

It also needs to be in a parking spot that is easily accessible, so you won’t have to run too many long cables, causing potential hazards. The electrical capacity also needs to be factored in, can the extra demand from the charging unit be safely managed. 

Public Charging

Public charging is accessible for anyone who owns an electric vehicle, but it’s certainly not as convenient or affordable. You will undoubtedly pay higher prices at a public charging point, but they will also charge your car much faster as they usually use 7kW-50kW chargers. 

There are a number of different types of public charging points, as we will discuss below, some are more useful and accessible than others. 

Types of Public Charging Stations

The public charging points can be found in various locations such as:

  • Shopping Centres – Some of the most powerful chargers are located here.
  • Supermarkets – Certain supermarket brands have partnerships with EV chargers to have them in their car parks
  • Residential Streets – These are installed by the local councils and are usually very good but can be busy as there may be few in your area. 
  • Restaurants – Some restaurants and bars will have them located in their car park.
  • Petrol Stations – As well as filling your internal combustion engine, you can also sometimes charge your EV depending on the station you go to. 

 

Home Charging Options For EV Owners Living In Apartments

Charging At a Dedicated Parking Spot

If you have a dedicated parking spot, you can always consider seeing whether you can have an EV charger installed. You will have to get permission from the building management and see if an installation is actually feasible, but this is certainly one way that you could charge an EV whilst living in a flat. 

Charging with a Portable Charger

This is another option as a portable charger is lightweight and compact so that it can be transported very easily. They usually come with different plug adapters, which makes them compatible with different outlets and connectors.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to using a portable charger, though:

Advantages:

  • Flexibility – Allows drivers to charge at various locations. 
  • Convenience – There readily available whenever needed and can be stored in the boot. 
  • Emergency Backup – If a dedicated charging point isn’t working, you will always have this as a last resort.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Slower Charging Speeds – These are by far the slowest options and can take many hours to charge.
  • Limited Outlets – It can be difficult sometimes to find a suitable outlet for a portable charger.

 

Public Charging Options For Those Living In Flats

car parked in a bay charging

On-Street Charging

On Street charging is basically what it says, when the local councils install charging units along residential streets for EV owners to use. Some major cities across the UK have invested heavily to create a comprehensive network of residential charging points. 

The availability all depends on your area and the charging infrastructure in place. The majority are owned by the government but some can be owned by private companies as well. Also, some require you to pay, whilst others are free to use. 

Sometimes, you will find time-limited parking restrictions to ensure multiple people can use charging spots throughout the day. 

Destination Charging

This is when electric charging points are installed at locations where people frequent a lot and will spend a considerable amount of time there. These range from a wide range of locations but can include restaurants, shopping centres, hotels, office complexes and tourist attractions. 

The purpose is to let the owner charge their EV whilst they are busy enjoying their leisurely activity. 

You will find that the availability of these chargers is definitely improving as the adoption of EVs grows and companies see the benefits of providing a charging infrastructure. Many business owners are installing their own charging points or partnering with charging network operators to provide for their customers. 

Conclusion

It’s important that if you are living in a flat, you explore the options available when it comes to charging your EV. A dedicated parking spot with an installation next to it is the best you can hope for, whilst the worst is probably having to rely on public charging constantly before returning to your flat. 

We would recommend holding off on an EV if you haven’t already got one until you can find a solution for your charging issue and if you do already own one, speak to other people who are in a similar situation, see what they have done to overcome the issue of no private parking.

See all of our other articles on this page regarding living with an electric vehicle. 

Picture of Nick
Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.