Thinking of having an EV charger installed? Here are some things you should consider.
How to choose the right EV charger
The electric car market is rapidly increasing, and a report from Next Green Car shows there were nearly 260,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads by the end of May 2021.
Although charging points are becoming more readily available across the country, finding one can be a bit tricky, so when considering purchasing an electric car, it’s a good idea to also look into installing a charging point at home.
This way you can charge any time you want and you don’t waste time looking for public charging stations or waiting in queues to use them.
Here are some things you should consider when shopping for an electric vehicle charger.
How much do they cost?
There are lots of different variations of electric chargers, and prices can range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds depending on their specifications, designs and how they need to be installed.
The cost usually includes the installation fee as well as the price of the charger itself, but the price can be higher if, for example, your installation includes digging to lay new cables.
There are government grants for up to £350 you can apply for, so you won’t always pay the full amount.
Is your vehicle a plug-in hybrid or fully electric?
If your car is a plug-in hybrid, you probably don’t need an expensive charger, as opposed to fully electric vehicles.
Don’t spend more money than you need to.
Tethered or untethered wallbox chargers?
It doesn’t matter if you get a tethered or untethered charger, it’s all down to you and your personal preference.
Tethered EV chargers are simply an EV charger that comes with the charging cable connected to the main unit.
You simply need to stretch the cable and plug it into your car.
There’s a few things to think about here.
One, how long do you need the cable to be? If you’re planning on installing an EV charger on your drive, will the cable stretch to where you park the car. Or are there any obstructions you’ll need to work around.
Also, before choosing a tethered unit, make sure you know which plug type you need to connect the unit to your car. Choosing the wrong one could be an extremely costly and time consuming mistake.
Untethered, as you may have guessed, is an EV charger that doesn’t come with the charging cable fixed to the box. Instead it can be unplugged and taken with the car to use on other public chargers.
This does offer a lot of flexibility, and can reduce the risk of you choosing the wrong cable plug.
It does however mean you’re responsible for the management of the cable and if you lose it, or damage it during transport, you’ll be responsible for replacing it.
What will your EV charger look like at home?
Although functionality should come first, looks are still extremely important.
Your chosen charging unit will be sitting outside for all your neighbours to see afterall.
So you should consider the design and aesthetics of your chosen EV charger.
Does the charger complement the look and feel of your home and drive? Or does it look a bt clunky and out of place?
Depending on the style and period of your home, this may impact your choice of EV charger.
Where should you have your EV charger installed?
A suitable place to install your home EV charger all depends on the distance the cables can reach, and if there are any physical obstructions that would compromise safety.
They are best mounted on a wall next to your parked car.
This is why you need your own private space for parking to qualify for the government grant.
Either inside your garage or on a wall next to your driveway/off street parking space are always great places to have them installed, and you don’t have to worry about them being outdoors – they’re designed to be water resistant so won’t get damaged in the infamous British weather conditions.
If you’re renting a property, ask for permission from your landlord before you have your charger installed, or from your local council if you think it will affect public spaces.
Should you get an EV charger with special features?
All EV chargers are different, and come with their own perks, and new features and softwares are being developed all the time.
If you know there’s something you really want from your charger, look into the brand that would work best for you.
Some available features include:
- Rapid charge
Best for when you need to top up quickly.
- Thinking of having an EV charger installed? Here are some things you should consider. Eco charge
If you have solar panels installed, eco charge features use energy from them to top up.
- Automatic tariff synching
This will help save you money by showing you electricity rates and when they are cheapest.
- Built in sim cards
Provides a reliable 3G or 4G data connection if your wifi connection is unstable.
- Cable hangers
Cable hangers sometimes are included when you have a tethered charger installed, but they can be added separately.
- Key switches
These chargers require a key to turn them on. Ensures secure access control.
What brands are there to choose from, and which one’s best?
There are lots of brands available and selecting one should become easier once you’ve defined the type of charger you need, including any special features you want your charger to have, what you want it to look like, etc.
Here are some of the leading manufacturers to keep an eye out for when shopping for your home EV charger:
- Pod Point (Solo chargers have an aesthetic round black and grey design, built in protection, and come in 3.6kW/22kW and universal socket/ type 1 tethered 4.8m/type 2 tethered/type 2 tethered 7.5m options)
- MyEnergi (Zappi chargers have a distinctive shape and come with an LCD screen, built in earth leakage protection and 3 eco-friendly charging modes. Available in 7kW/22kW and untethered type 2 tethered 6.5 m options).
- EVbox (the Elvi charger has a compact white and black design with built in protections and is available in 3.7kW/7.4kW and 11kW/22kW with a socket or 6m tethered cable).
At Downtown Electrical, we are an OZEV-approved installation partner for these and other major brands.
Get in touch with us to discuss installing an EV charger of your choice.
How much power will my EV charger need?
The lower the wattage, the slower the charger for example:
- Slow charge – 3kW
- Fast charge – 7kW (this is the most common)
- Rapid charge – 22kW
22kW chargers are only available for homes with a three-phase electricity supply, and most UK homes only have a single phase supply.
It’s important you know how much power your home can supply and look into upgrading to a three-phase supply if you’re opting for a more expensive, higher wattage charger.
If your charger uses more power than your house can supply, you run the risk of it overheating and potentially starting a fire.
An electrician will check your home’s system before agreeing to install your charger during the initial site survey.
After taking everything into account, you should be ready to take the next steps towards installing your own home EV charger, but if you still need help with making a decision, please get in touch with us at Downtown Electrical.
If you’re based in Yorkshire or a surrounding area and want to enquire about an installation, call or email us on 0113 345 6798 / firstname.lastname@example.org