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How to Choose the Best Home EV Charger for Your Electric Car?
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EV adoption has been increasing in the UK, as more and more people recognize the environmental and financial benefits of electric vehicles. One important aspect of owning an electric vehicle is installing an appropriate EV charger at home, which will provide you with a convenient and cost-effective way of charging your car. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best home EV charger for your electric car? In this article, we’ll provide you with some essential tips to help you make an informed decision.
Things to consider when buying an EV charger
Consider Your Car’s Requirements
The first step in choosing a home EV charger is to assess your car’s charging needs. Different electric vehicles have different charging rates and connectors, which can affect how quickly and efficiently they can charge. For instance, if your car has a larger battery size, then you might want to choose a charger with a higher power output, which can deliver a faster charging speed. You also need to check your car’s connector type and match it with your charger’s cable to ensure that your charger is compatible with your car.
Choose a Trusted Brand
Choosing a high-quality and reliable charging brand is essential, as it will help ensure the safety and longevity of your charger. There are several reputable EV charging brands in the market, including Rolec, EO, and PodPoint, which offer a range of products suitable for various homes and budgets. Be sure to check customer reviews and feedback to get an idea of the brand’s quality and reliability.
Check for Smart Features
Smart features can make your charging experience more convenient and efficient. For instance, some chargers come with smartphone apps that allow you to monitor and control your charging activities remotely, while others can adjust their charging speed based on the time of day or electricity tariff. Other useful smart features to consider include cable management, built-in safety features like EV Earth Leakage Protection (ELP), and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Consider Your Home Installation Needs
Before purchasing a home EV charger, you need to ensure that your home has the necessary electrical infrastructure to support it. You must have the right power supply, fuse rating, and earthing arrangements in place for your charger to work properly and safely. A professional installation engineer can help assess your home’s suitability for EV charging and advise you on the necessary precautions or upgrades you need to make.
Factor in the Cost and Eligible Grants
Different home EV chargers come at different price points, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. You need to determine your budget and find a charger that offers the best value for money. Fortunately, the UK government offers grants to help reduce the cost of installing a home EV charger. Through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, eligible car owners can claim up to £350 towards the cost of a qualifying homecharger.
What are your EV home charging options?
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when selecting the best home EV charger for your electric car. Fortunately, there is an extensive range of chargers available that offer varying levels of power output and features. Generally speaking, the two main types of home EV chargers are slow (3kW) and fast (7kW-22kW) chargers.
Slow chargers, also known as standard or overnight chargers, are the most basic type of home EV charger and provide a steady charging rate of 3kW. These are one of the most cost-effective options for charging an electric car at home, but they can take up to 8 hours or more to charge a typical EV battery.
On the other hand, fast chargers (also known as rapid or fast home chargers) provide much faster charging speeds of 7kW to 22kW and can fully charge an electric car in around 4-5 hours. However, they are generally more expensive than slow chargers and require a higher power supply to run safely.
In addition to the two main types of home EV chargers, there are also wall-mounted fast chargers and portable chargers that can be used at home. Wall-mounted fast chargers offer flexible installation options, while portable chargers provide a more convenient charging solution for those who don’t have access to an off-street parking space.
No matter which type of charger you decide to go with, it is important that you select a high-quality product from a trusted brand and have it installed by a qualified professional. This will ensure that your charging experience is safe, efficient, and cost-effective.
How are home charge point chargers installed?
Home charge point chargers must be professionally installed by an approved EV charging installer. This is to ensure the charger is safely and correctly connected to your home’s electricity supply. The installation process typically involves the following steps:
- Assessing your home’s electrical infrastructure and making any necessary upgrades, such as upgrading the fuse rating or installing a dedicated circuit for the charger.
- Installing the necessary cabling and control systems to connect the charger to your home’s electricity supply.
- Connecting the charger to your car using the appropriate cable or adapter.
- Setting up any smart features, such as a mobile app, that you have purchased with your charger.
- Testing and commissioning of the installation as required.
It is important to note that the installation process may vary depending on the type of charger you have purchased and your home’s electrical infrastructure. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a professional who can provide advice on the best approach for installing your home EV charger.
What are the benefits of having an EV charger installer?
Having a professional EV charger installer can offer numerous advantages, such as:
- A quality assurance guarantee – Professional installers will ensure that your charger is properly installed and meets the necessary safety standards.
- Expert advice – Experienced installers are able to provide valuable advice on the best type of charger for your vehicle and home’s electrical infrastructure.
- Time saving – Professional installers can complete the installation process quickly and efficiently, allowing you to start charging your car sooner.
- Value for money – Quality EV charger installers will provide a cost-effective service that meets your budget requirements.
Overall, engaging an experienced and certified EV charger installer is essential to guarantee a safe and efficient home charging experience.
In addition to the above benefits, many installers also offer maintenance and repair services for your EV charger, ensuring it continues to perform optimally in the long run. This can be invaluable if you encounter any issues or need to replace parts of the charger such as cables or connectors. By engaging a qualified professional installer, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home EV charger is correctly installed and maintained.
What does it cost to install an electric car charger?
The cost of installing a home EV charger will vary depending on the type of charger you choose and your home’s electrical infrastructure. Generally speaking, slow chargers can be installed for around £500-£1,000 while fast chargers start from around £1,500 upwards.
In addition to the price of the charger itself, there may be additional installation costs such as cabling, the upgrade of your home’s electrical supply, or the removal of existing chargers. It is important to factor in these additional costs when determining your budget for a home EV charger.
Fortunately, many installers offer discounts and special offers that can help reduce the cost of installing a home charger. Additionally, you may be eligible for government grants or subsidies, such as the OLEV grant of £500 towards the cost of a home charger.
In conclusion, Choosing the right EV home charger for your electric car can be a daunting task due to the variety of chargers available and the different factors to consider. However, by understanding your charging needs, researching all of your options, and engaging a qualified professional installer, you can rest assured that you will find an ideal solution for your home charging needs.
Furthermore, by taking advantage of government grants and special offers from installers, you can ensure that your home EV charger is installed in the most cost-effective way possible. With the right charger installed safely and correctly at home, you can look forward to a convenient and hassle-free charging experience with your electric car!