If you’re among the many people currently considering making an investment in a home EV charging point, you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “does it matter what make of charger I buy?” The simple answer, barring a few exceptions, is that by and large, home EV chargers are compatible with a broad range of car makes and models (although it always pays to check first).
While standard cables and connections will work across a range of motors, there are other features of home EV charging points that may work best for your individual needs. These include things such as the speed at which your car charges, or whether your charging cable is permanently attached to the unit, or removable.
Here, we run through some of the main features for you to consider.
1. Charging speed
Most entry-level chargers will start with a power rating around 3kW, which will get the job done, albeit… slowly. Moving up a bracket to the 7kW band will offer improved performance, while the fastest charge speeds can be found in charging points offering 22kW power. To put it in real terms, the latter of those would charge a small city electric in under two hours, while the least powerful charger would take at least 12 hours. While faster chargers cost more money than basic models, it could be a worthwhile investment if convenience is key for you.
2. Cable type and length
Have you thought about where you intend to position your home EV charger in relation to your car and parking space? One of the most basic considerations is to make sure you get a cable long enough to comfortably reach from the charger to the vehicle. This is especially important with so-called tethered connections, which have a fixed-length cable pre-moulded onto the charging point, meaning it cannot be removed or extended. Untethered connections come with a loose cable and give you more flexibility. And another quick word on cable type: look out for Type 1 and Type 2 connectors. British and European drivers will almost always use the latter, but there are universal adaptors available that will ‘bridge’ the different technologies if necessary.
No, nothing to do with the rock band – this one is about different types of electrical current. AC is your standard household electricity supply and works fine for small appliances. Increasing numbers of home tech items – including EV charging points – now use DC (direct current) for drawing power. This allows for much faster charging times than you would get off the normal household ring, as the tech in the charge station and car work together to convert the electric current automatically. Make sure you don’t get stuck with an older model of home EV charger, as those without DC power can be painfully slow to charge.
4. Apps. WiFi and other mart features
Sure, you’ll want top-notch charging functionality straight out of the box, but what about the added features that will make your life easier and your charging more efficient? Newer models of home EV charging points come with their own dedicated apps, so you can access analytics data about your charger and its performance at any time of day or night (should you want to). If convenience is key, look out for EV chargers with WiFi functionality, so you can access and control them remotely from your phone. Start, pause and end charges; view in-depth usage and performance data; set schedules and routines using smart AI features – all of these are possibilities with the best home EV chargers.
_EV charging stations are better value and more feature-packed than ever before, but it makes sense to do your research before choosing one. Get expert advice and find out how to apply for your government funding grant – get in touch with us today. _