Choosing the Right EV Charger for Your Home
19 October 2023 at 09:43:31
EVs have arrived and they are here to stay, so whether you’re a die hard EV enthusiast, or a late adopter, finding a car charger that works for you is soon to be on your list of things to do. Right under ‘buy bread’ and above ‘find the meaning of life’.
And like the rest of us, you’re looking for that Goldilocks moment where you’ll find an EV charger that’s ‘just right!’ But there are more models on the market than there are in the latest edition of Vogue, so where do you begin?
We’ve created this guide to help you find an EV car charger that ticks all your boxes. Keep reading to find out more...
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a charger is where you plan to have it installed. As different spaces will have a different level of traffic to the area.
For example, a home charger is likely to only be used by you and often only once a day (overnight) whereas a workplace charger or a charger located in a residential estate is likely to be used by a number of different electric vehicles, and subject to a greater level of wear and tear.
This also helps you make a decision on charging speed. Realistically for a home charger, anything around the 7kW mark is going to do the job, since you are likely to plug in for 8-hours overnight and do relatively low mileage during the week.
In this scenario, a higher-powered charger may actually do more harm than good. As they would be putting more strain on the battery than is needed. So we recommend that you don’t over-shoot your charging needs.
We know you’ve been worked into a frenzy by media outlets that your EV’s range will be the cause of a lot of stress and range anxiety, but in actuality, the range of EVs on the market currently is about 3X your weekly average mileage. So you can breathe a little sigh of relief.
Tethered vs Untethered
One of the main considerations when choosing a charger is something you might not have even thought about; are you ready to be tied down? Or more simply, do you want a tethered or untethered unit?
At this point, you may be wondering ‘what is the difference between a tethered and untethered EV charger?’ Basically, it just means that the charging cable will either be separate from or connected to your charger.
Tethered chargers are generally the most convenient option, since you’re never going to lose your cable, and for that reason tend to be the most popular option for home chargers. They also mean that you are less likely to end up in a situation where you are half-way across the country and don’t have a charging cable (since you can keep the one that came with your new shiny EV in the boot).
On the other hand, untethered options give you more flexibility and are better suited to higher traffic areas such as workplaces or for public charging, as visitors won’t be limited by only one type of connector.
But they also have benefits for the homeowners, since they are also a lot cleaner and less obtrusive. So you don’t have to navigate an obstacle course of wires when trying to power up.
Do looks really matter?
Some of you might look at the heading of this section and think, ‘of course not, don’t be ridiculous’ and as much as I applaud you for your practicality and blindness to shiny objects, respectfully - that couldn’t be us.
For those lucky enough to install their charger in their garage, out-of-site and therefore open to limitless potential, this maybe isn’t for you. But, for the rest of us (who will be displaying our car chargers on exterior walls for the whole world and all our neighbours to see) finding a charger that isn’t an eyesore is a big win. There are thankfully a lot more options for stylish chargers on the market now, an array of colours and shapes and also some completely customisable options to look out for. The world is your charging oyster.
Without getting too technical, there are some installation requirements that you will need to consider before deciding on a chargepoint. Most of which relate to your house’s electrical supply.
A fully qualified and experienced EV chargepoint installer will be able to give you the best advice on what would work for your specific location and based on their assessment they will give you an accurate cost for your installation. On average, installing a chargepoint is going to cost between £500 to £1000 but this may be more if, for example, your installer needs to dig subterranean cable routes or navigate any unexpected factors.
We advise that you look into getting a quote from an installer before you buy your new chargepoint if this cost is something that you are concerned about.
Will my EV Charger work with Solar?
In short, yes. But not all chargers are created equal, and some models may not be compatible with your solar array. You will need to pay attention to the listed features for each chargepoint you are considering to see if it will work for you and your needs.
This feature can also be app-dependent so make sure to ask the chargepoint supplier if this is a potential option for you.
Well, that’s all for now folks. We hope that this guide has given you some of the answers you need to start your EV journey with confidence.