Can I charge my car from my normal home socket?

Yes, electric cars can be plugged straight into a normal socket in your house. Just like plugging in your toaster, kettle or iPhone, you just plug in and go. Most new electric cars will come with a cable for this, known as a ‘granny cable’ (slow speed…).

The key advantages of charging from a ‘3-pin socket’ (a normal UK socket) is that you don’t have to have a dedicated charge point installed at home to charge your car.

And there’s certainly drivers out there that find this solution works for them versus installation a home charge point:

tweet home socket charging

The downsides are that:

  • It will take more than twice as long to charge your car from than 3-pin socket than from a ‘Fast’ (7 kW) home charge point
  • You might have to thread the pull the cable through an open window or a letter box each time you charge
  • It’s not necessarily safe to draw power for as long as an electric car demands from a normal home socket

The first point and second points are entirely up to your preference. As above, we have spoken to drivers who say they get along fine by charging their car through a window and plugging into a normal plug.

However, drivers that use their car more often, or own a larger electric car, often find that the slow speed of charging becomes a limiting factor to being able to use their car as much as they need to.

The last point requires a bit more consideration. The general advice from electric car drivers online, is that this should not be your normal method of charging or you risk overloading and overheating the socket.

There are images that we have seen of sockets that have burnt out as a result of too much charging from an electric car. This one below (uploaded by a user of a Facebook group) shows cracking that could be due to overheating of the socket:

No photo description available.

So, in summary:

  • It is possible to charge your car from a 3-pin plug – it will be slow
  • A proper charge point adds convenience, safety and smarts e.g. scheduling for off-peak times
  • If you decide to charge from a 3-pin plug, be aware of the risks and consult a qualified electrician to be safe


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