IF you drive a petrol or diesel-powered car, the past few months have been tough on your wallet. The price of fossil fuel has gone through the roof - and shows no signs of slowing. Only last week, the AA reported that the cost of a litre of diesel in London is now 2.49p - more than £11 a gallon.

No wonder some motoring organisations are urging drivers to leave the car at home and walk.

There is ONE way to cut your bills without compromising on your mileage - and that’s to go electric.

Of course, electricity bills have gone up too, but charging an electric car is still substantially cheaper than filling up with diesel or petrol.

And it’s even cheaper if you have a home charging point.

To put the theory to the test we had a charging point installed to see if it really is as straightforward as proponents of electric cars say.

Pod Point is the UK’s leading installer of home charging solutions. It has teams of certified installers working across the country to get drivers plugged into the charging network.

Yeovil Express:

The Solo 3 is the company‘s latest smart homecharger. Wi-fi enabled, when paired with the Pod Point App, drivers can benefit from features including charge scheduling and remote over-the-Air updates.The app’s charge activity feature also allows users to monitor how much energy they are using and the electricity cost over a specified period.

The install couldn’t be more straightforward. All you have to do is fill in an online form, send a couple of snaps of your electricity meter and tell the company where you want the charger. Pod Point gave me an installation date the following week.

Yeovil Express:

On the big day our installer turned up, made the connection with the meter and fitted the Solo 3 to the side of the house. Once that was done he gave me a quick run through of how the unit worked, how to charge a car and how to link it with a phone app to monitor my electricity costs.

Home charge points can be untethered or tethered with a cable attached. Tethered units are more convenient but only work with one connector type. The two types of AC car sockets are Type 1 and the dominant Type 2.

Untethered sockets can be considered neater when not in use.

Charging is a breeze. All you do is plug into your car’s charging port, wait a couple of seconds for the two devices to complete an electronic handshake and go for a cup of tea.

A solid green LED on the Solo 3 lets you know charging has initiated and flashes when your battery is full. We tried it with a Peugeot E-2008 which charged from 30% to full in a shade under five hours.

The speed of the charger depends on your home’s electricity supply. Most modern homes will be able to use a 7kW pod which can add approximately 30 miles of range per hour. If your home is older you may be restricted to a 3.7kW which is half as efficient.

Three phase supplies are sadly very rare in the UK but, if you have one, then lucky you, because your pod will charge at 22kW (75 miles per hour).

All Pod Point’s chargers are fitted with a load limiter which monitors the strain on your home’s electricity supply and reduces demand if it gets too high.

Since we got our pod installed it has become a joy to test electric cars. Where previously I had to plan around the - still in its infancy - commercial charging network now I know a quick top up can be had as soon as I get home.

Range anxiety is a thing of the past because my car’s battery is always topped up and ready to go.

If you’re thinking of buying an electric car, splashing a few quid on a home charger really is a no-brainer.

With Pod Point prices starting at £799 it needn’t cost the earth, either.

And with the price of fuel going up almost daily you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Good to know

  • A three-pin socket in your home will give you a maximum of 8 miles range per hour.
  • A 7kW charger from Pod Point will give you 30 miles of range per hour.
  • A standard home install typically takes around 2 hours.
  • Prices for the Solo 3 start at £799. For more details click here 

CONCLUSION:

ONE day soon all new homes will come with an EV charging socket. If you fancy going electric a home charger is a must. Think of it as the automotive equivalent of your phone’s charging cable.

The Pod Point installation process is pain-free and charging at home is a doddle.

Best of all, the savings you can make by going electric are huge.