Electric Car Charger Comparison

So you’ve decided to buy an electric (or hybrid) vehicle, perhaps you’ve already bought one. 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 of the features offered by the leading six manufacturers so you can review and choose the best EV charger for you. As an installer we do, of course, work with preferred suppliers. That said, we will always advise our clients as to the best options depending on their circumstances regardless of whether we offer that particular model or not. In this article we are therefore going to try to give a balanced comparison of domestic chargers and go a bit deeper into the features themselves.

Pod Point

£359
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Not Lockable
  • PCB Design
  • Kw Meter Not Included
  • A Type RCD not included

Veridian

£250
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Not Lockable
  • Modular Design
  • Kw Meter Optional
  • A Type RCD included

Charge-master

£279
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • PCB Design
  • Kw Meter Not Included
  • A Type RCD not included

Rolec

£199
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Optional Lock
  • Modular Design
  • Kw Meter Optional
  • A Type RCD included

EO

£299
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Not Lockable
  • Modular Design
  • Kw Meter Not Included
  • A Type RCD not included

eHome

£279
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Lockable
  • Modular & PCB
  • Kw Meter Optional
  • A Type RCD included
NB all prices are based on the cost under the OLEV homecharge scheme

The EV charging marketplace

For years the home chargepoint market has been dominated by only a handful of major manufacturers. This dynamic is changing as more new companies enter. And as competition increases, so do the benefits to the buyer.

Veridian and EO Charging are both UK manufacturers who have focused on high quality components over cost. EO, in particular, have a clear focus on style and ease of installation.

eHome is APT technologies’ first offering on the home charge market. Famous for their eVolt range of high quality chargers, eHome has the option of a built-in kW meter – ideal for drivers wishing to see their electricity usage. They also provide excellent service – their nationwide engineers provide a speedy response time for any unit issues.

Security and regulation

With security being an issue for most EV drivers the ability to lock the device to prevent unwanted use is a key feature. eHome units have this feature as standard, Rolec offer this via a pod lock that fits into the front access door and for Chargemaster units this is available as an optional extra.

The requirement for an A Type RCD is mandatory under current wiring regulations for electric vehicle charging. Not to be confused with a standard household AC RCD, an A Type RCD will detect imbalances in the charging circuit under AC and DC fault conditions.

If the charging unit does not contain an A Type RCD, one will have to be fitted at the origin of the installation. This generally means an additional fuseboard.

Homeowners who are restricted for space at their electrical intake location would be advised to choose a unit with the RCD incorporated.

Warranty

All OLEV units come with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty under the OLEV homecharge scheme. Additional warranties may be available – your installer can supply more details. APT are the only manufacture who offer a 5 year warranty as standard on their eHome range of units.

Modular or PCB design

PCB based units benefit from having all required components of the chargepoint on a single board. These units benefit from having smoother / silent operation and high reliability. However they cannot be easily fixed without a board replacement in the event of a fault.

Modular units have the main components of the chargepoint (communication module, contactor, LED lights etc) in separate parts often fixed to the unit via a top hat DIN rail and can easily be replaced if any part fails. These units will often be noisier during operation than PCB based units, especially those with non-moulded contactors.

Cost

The prices stated above show the cheapest option for a 32 amp unit available form each manufacture. This includes a standard install of around 10m of cabling, modern fuseboard with spare fuses, all cabling clipped direct or in trunking and no ground works.

Some will have a price difference between the 16 and 32 amp units. We recommend clients consider the maximum charge rate of their vehicle and their available spare capacity before deciding upon which unit to select.

For households with limited spare electrical capacity eHome units offer an intelligent sensor that prevents overload. The BEoN device will dynamically adjust how much power your charger uses, taking the consumption supported by your installation as a reference.

Tethered versus untethered

Tethered units are units with a fixed cable attached, normally around 5m. They have either a 5 pin connection (Type 1 mainly used by vehicles in the Far East) or a 7 pin one (Type 2 used by European manufacturers and Tesla).

Untethered units come with a 7 pin socket fixed to the unit. The end user must provide the cable. With charging cables costing over £125 you should factor this into your purchase.

An untethered unit gives greater options if there are more than one vehicle with different connections at the same household.

For single vehicle households most drivers find it more convenient to have a tethered unit as it is quicker and easier, especially useful on bad weather days.

Tethered cables also offer greater security as they cannot be removed from the unit end. Untethered units will require a DIY fix to ensure it is not removed unduly.

We hope this article helps differentiate between the different charging systems available. Contact us if you are still unsure and want more information.

2018-07-19T10:01:37+00:00