Find the right EV Charger
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Choosing the right EV Charger for you
Choosing the right home EV charger might seem daunting at first, but understanding the basics can make the selection process much easier.
Below we will look at some of the key features and what they mean to electric car owners. Tethered vs Untethered, Power output, Smart features, Solar compatibility, Size and more.
Understanding EV Chargers
At home, you can install an EV charger to conveniently charge your vehicle. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme provides financial support for some homeowners looking to install their own chargers. Additionally, public charging stations are located across the UK, allowing you to charge your EV while on the go.
Find out more about the OZEV grant from out guide here.
So let’s take a look at some of the considerations you should look at when picking the right EV charger for your home.
The compatibility of a charger is defined by the charge port and the charging cable used.
Type 1: These chargers have a single-phase power supply and are common in the US and Asia. Older models of electric vehicles may use the Type 1 charger. However, they are becoming less popular in the UK with the increasing adoption of Type 2 chargers.
Type 2: Widely used in the UK and Europe, Type 2 chargers have a single or three-phase power supply. Most new EVs and charging stations come equipped with a Type 2 connection, making it the standard choice for UK electric vehicle owners. They offer faster and safer charging compared to using a standard three-pin plug.
If you are unsure which connection type you need then you can check with your car manufacturer or handbook.
This can be important to know when picking between a tethered charging unit or an untethered charging unit.
Tethered vs Untethered Chargers
When selecting a home EV charger, it’s essential to consider whether you prefer a tethered or untethered charger. A tethered charger has the charging cable fixed to the unit, while an untethered one offers a detachable cable.
Your choice will depend on your needs and preferences; tethered chargers provide convenience with no need to store and reconnect the cable each time, while untethered ones offer flexibility allowing you to use different cables for various vehicles or charging points.
Checkout our Tethered vs Untethered guide for more information.
Charging speed is another crucial factor when choosing an EV charger. Most UK homes have a single-phase power supply, and the most common type of home charger is a single-phase charger, compatible with all electric cars, providing up to 7.4kW of power.
However, some chargers offer a 22kW, 3-phase charging option for those with a 3-phase supply, providing faster-charging speeds.
The choice between a 3kW, 7kW, or 22kW unit will depend on your vehicle’s compatibility and whether you have a 3-phase supply at home.
With the prospect of 3-phase supplies being added to homes not realistic in the near future, we generally recommend looking at the best 7.4kW chargers for home installation.
Smart chargers offer functionalities like monitoring, control, and potential solar integration. With a smart EV charger, you can schedule your charging sessions, monitor your power consumption and control the charger via a smartphone app.
Some smart chargers also integrate with solar panels, enabling the use of self-generated energy to charge your electric vehicle. Choosing a smart charger can significantly enhance your charging experience and provide useful insights into your charging habits.
While most chargers on the market have some smart features, picking one which best suits your charging needs is important. Finding the best solar charger when you have no intention of getting solar panels, may mean you spend more on a charger for features you won’t use.
Size & Design
Most chargers are installed on to the wall of your house or garage. If you take pride in the appearance of your home, then taking into account the style and overall size of the charger may be an important factor.
Some chargers are designed to be as small and compact as possible to minimise the space they take up on your wall.
Others, such as the Andersen A2, have been designed to be customisable and fit in with the look you want.
There are a range of colour options for some popular chargers on the market. Like all the features it can be a balance between looks and the features you require for charging.
EV Tariff Integration
Another feature which is growing in popularity is chargers being able to link directly to your energy tariff and automatically charge when the rate is lowest.
This can help you to save a significant amount on your energy bills by making use of off peak tariffs.
You can compare EV tariffs currently available on the market and switch to the best one for you.
As with any significant purchase comparing the prices of chargers and installation will be a key consideration for most EV owners.
Prices for chargers and cost of installation can vary depending on the individual unit and the difficulty of the installation.
To buy a charger with standard installation we recommend budgeting for £750 to £1500.
At EV Compared, we class anything under £1000 (including standard installation) as being a low cost/cheap. This doesn’t necessarily mean you charger will lack features, just that these chargers have a lower price point.
So if saving money is the primary goal then these chargers are the place to start.