So you’ve decided to buy an electric (or hybrid) vehicle, or perhaps you’ve already bought one. It’s a great move either way. Equally as important, and often overlooked, is the decision about which home charging unit to buy.
We’ve prepared a report outlining the features offered by the leading five manufacturers so you can choose the best home ev charger for you. As an installer, we have our favourite suppliers that we work with, based on the quality of their units, unit efficiency and unit price. That said, we always try to give transparent, unbiased advice to our clients based on their personal circumstances, regardless of whether we offer that particular model. In this article we aim to provide a balanced comparison of domestic chargers, including their varying features.
What is a smart charger?
Previously, some manufacturers have claimed to have smart units, based merely on the unit’s ability to provide the customer with energy usage data. However, from 1st July 2019, in order to qualify for the home charge grant, OLEV rules state the following:
‘Chargepoints must be able to be remotely accessed, and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal. Smart charging can reduce peaks in electricity demand, reducing the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity system and keeping costs down for consumers by encouraging off-peak charging’.
What does this mean for you as a buyer? The communication system located inside the unit is what enables smart functionality, so don’t expect the appearance to change. The unit will communicate with a computer (or ‘back-office system,’ as they are referred to). This allows the unit to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving commands.
In most cases, this communication will happen via your home wifi. You should advise the installation company of the location of your router and check the wifi signal strength at the charger’s location, as connection will be required for the OLEV grant. If your signal strength is weak, you may want to install a wifi booster in the house to ensure the charger connects. Most units will come with an app, designed by the manufacturer. This app will connect to the charger, via internet or Bluetooth, to enable communication and additional functions to be accessed.
Units with connectivity have two additional benefits that should increase your charger’s reliability:
- Wireless updates are often possible, so no installer visits are required to upgrade the charger.
- As some units are monitored by a back-office system, the manufacturer will be able to ensure any issues are identified and resolved before you are even aware of them.
Overall, a connected, monitored charger allows faster fault resolution and future-proofs the unit using software updates.
Comparing our recommended smart chargers
|Andersen EV||Zappi||EO Mini Pro||Pod Point||Rolec||Easee||Wallbox|
|Warranty(2)||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
|Charge Rate(3)||7 & 22kW||7 & 22kW||3.7 & 7kW||7 & 22kW||3.7 & 7kW||7 & 22kW||7 & 22kW|
|Lockable||With App||With App||With App||Key Switch Required||Key Switch Required||With App||With app|
|Type(4)||Tethered type 2 only||Type 2 and Untethered||Type 1/2 and Untethered||Type 1/2 Untethered||Type 1/2 Untethered||Type 2 and Untethered||Tethered type 2|
|Cable Length||5.5/8.5 or 6.5 22kW||6.5||4.8||4.8/7.5||4.8||4.8||4.8|
|Solar Charging||Optional Extra||Standard||Optional Extra||No||No||No||No|
|Client App||Yes- Konnect||Yes- Zappi||Yes- juice Net||Yes- Pod Point||Yes-Ev Energy||Yes- easee||Yes-Wallbox|
|Colour Options||Multiple||Black/White||Black/White/ Silver/Blue||Silver Standard||Black/Green||Black/Red/ White/Blue||Black/White|
|Load Management(5)||Yes||Yes||Yes (with ALM)||Yes||No||Between Units||Optional Extra|
|OLEV Smart Approved|
|Over The Air Updates|
The home charging point that has it all. The most aesthetically pleasing on the market, with a lifetime guarantee on the chassis, and build quality and components to match the price tag, this is the unit of choice for those not on a budget.
Unique feature – hidden cable system and night light.
Loved by the eco community, this brand has a great cult following. Myenergi, the manufacturer, specialise in energy-saving devices for the home. Zappi 2.0 is the latest version of their home charge unit, which works with the myenergi hub to ensure communication to their app. The unit can be used in conjunction with other energy-saving devices such as Eddi to reduce your home energy costs.
Unique feature – solar charging; charge your car for free when the sun shines.
Norweigan design and built. Compact unit packed with features and technology. Simple to install and set up, a firm favourite with installers and clients alike. Tethered unit comes with separate cable and cable hook. Cable locked into unit with app.
Unique feature – load management ideal for clients looking to install 2 home chargers, chargers will balance available power between outlets.
The preferred supplier for Audi, Volvo, Jaguar, Peugeot, Citroen, Hyundai and Nissan (to name but a few). If it’s a high-quality wifi-connected unit you require, backed up by a 4.8/5 rating on reviews.co.uk, then this is the charger for you.
Unique feature – constantly monitored units mean any faults are fixed immediately.
With over 125,000 charging units manufactured, these guys know a thing or two about how to refill a vehicle. The modular units mean any upgrades or service calls are quickly and easily carried out. This is the most competitively priced charger on our list, ideal for those on a budget.
Unique feature – best budget option.
At 16cms tall and wide one of the most compact and powerful chargers available on the market. Great customer app with connection to unit via Bluetooth and wifi making it a dream to set up and commission.
Unique feature – stylish compact design.
We hope this article helps differentiate between the different charging systems available.
Get in touch you are still unsure and want more information.