Dick Lovett

How to charge an electric car with no driveway

Posted 23rd August 2022

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So – you’ve set your heart and mind on buying an electric car as your next new vehicle purchase. There’s just one issue that’s still troubling you; if you don’t have a driveway, how can you charge your electric car?

The lack of a driveway is certainly a factor to consider during the process of buying an electric car. Because home charging is such a convenient option for EV car drivers, getting a charging point installed at your property is a popular option. But, because these home charging points are best fitted either on your home, or to your garage – therefore using the existing electricity services – you ideally need to have a driveway, so it’s easy to park your car close by, connect it to the charger, and power up.

Does the lack of a driveway mean that you can’t buy an electric car? The very short answer to that question is no – and here we’ll explain what your other options are.

Taycan Ionity

Use Public Charging Stations

The UK’s public charging network has grown significantly in recent years and, as investment in the electric infrastructure continues, it should only develop further – the days of driving around, looking for a charge point before your battery runs out should be long gone. As of July 2022, there were just over 33,281 public charging stations in the UK, up 35% from July 2021.

This means that, with good coverage of public charging stations around the UK, you should have access to a charge point for your electric car, wherever you are. This gives you options to charge your vehicle during the day, or in the evening, without the need to do so from home.

Charging from the Street

Even if you don’t have a driveway at your home, you could still get a home charging point installed at your property to enable charging an electric car on the street. This could be an option if your car can be parked right outside your home. Technically at the time of writing, you can run an electric car charging cable across the pavement from your vehicle to the home charging unit, but do so with caution. Make sure the cable doesn’t cause any hazards, and you must disconnect it when the charging process has finished and the cable is no longer needed. You can’t leave it in place overnight, as you could if the car was parked up on a driveway.

Street EV Charging

Charge Your Electric Car at Work

Charging your car while at work can be an excellent option – drive in, park up and charge, all while you’re going about your daily work obligations. When you’ve finished for the day and it’s time to commute home, your car is fully charged ready to go, with more than enough power for the return drive. Repeat again the next day.

Of course, this is dependent upon your workplace having electric charging points installed nearby, such as the employee car park. Many businesses, recognising the increase of electric cars on the road, have invested in charging points already. If your employer hasn’t, it might well be worth starting a conversation with them. 

Businesses can get financial support from the government for installing electric charging points. The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a grant available to businesses to cover some of the cost of the price, and installation of EV charge points. Ask your employer about the scheme, which may benefit other colleagues and team members as well as yourself.

Friends and Family Charger Sharing

A further option is to use the home charging point from family members or friends. This might not always be the most convenient choice, depending on where friends and family live, but if they’re relatively close by, have a charging unit installed at home and have a driveway, you could charge your electric car from there – if you ask nicely, of course. It perhaps won’t be a regular solution, though.

Another idea, which might be more practical, is to use the Co Charger app. This connects drivers who don’t have access to a home charging unit to people in their community who do, and who are happy to make theirs available. It’s a clever, yet simple, plan. ‘Co Charger is enabling the 40-50% of motorists who live in flats and terraces who aren’t able to charge at home transition to electric cars’ states its website.

The app can put you in touch with neighbours who have driveway access to a home charging unit. Hosts of the chargers get a small fee for the use of their electricity. You could park across the street and charge up!

EV Family

Ask for Charging Infrastructure in your Area

Although by no means a quick solution, if you don’t have access to a charging point near to your home, you can request one to be installed. The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme is designed, in the words of the government, to ‘increase the availability of on-street charge points in residential streets where off-street parking is not available, thereby ensuring that on-street parking is a not a barrier to realising the benefits of owning a plug-in EV.’

Applications have to go through local authorities, so don’t expect any short-term success – but if you’re planning for long-term electric car usage, it’s a good idea to contact your council first for further information.

You can read more about the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme here.

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