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Last updated: 18th March, 2024

Guides

Best Home EV Chargers

Best Home EV Chargers

Key takeaways

  • Home EV chargers offer convenience, faster charging, and cost-effective solutions.
  • Selection criteria should include compatibility, efficiency, design, and smart features.
  • Safety, compliance, and sustainability are crucial for charger choice and installation.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have transformed the way we think about personal transportation, necessitating a shift in how we refuel—or in this case, recharge.

With electric vehicles (EVs) becoming a more common sight on roads, the convenience of home charging solutions gains prominence.

In 2024, the range of home EV chargers available to consumers is broader and more advanced than ever, marrying functionality with design, and often incorporating smart technologies that offer a seamless charging experience. 

The right home charger can drastically reduce the time it takes to charge an EV, ensuring that it's always ready for the daily commute or long journeys, while potentially reducing the cost of charging compared to public solutions.

When selecting a home EV charger, it's essential to consider factors such as the compatibility with your vehicle, charging speed, cost, ease of installation, and whether the charger supports smart charging features. 

Moreover, design aesthetics and the charger's environmental impact are also becoming significant considerations for many homeowners. Safety and regulatory compliance remain a priority to ensure secure charging at all times.

Brands now offer a myriad of options, from minimalist and stylish to robust and feature-heavy chargers, catering to individual needs and preferences, and providing insight into an increasingly eco-conscious consumer base.

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Understanding EV Charging at Home

Electric vehicles (EVs) have transformed the way we think about personal transportation, necessitating a shift in how we refuel—or in this case, recharge. The convenience of charging at home cannot be overstated; it's akin to having a petrol station in your own garage.

The Importance of Home Charging

For EV owners, the ability to charge at home is paramount. It offers the convenience of starting each day with a "full tank," as electric cars can be charged overnight. This not only circumvents the need to find public charging stations but also capitalises on off-peak electricity tariffs, potentially saving money.

Types of EV Chargers

Home EV chargers come primarily in two forms:

  • Level 1 Chargers: These are standard chargers that can be plugged into a typical household outlet. While accessible, they offer a slower charging rate.

  • Level 2 Chargers: Requiring a dedicated circuit, Level 2 chargers significantly reduce charging time and are considered the ideal choice for regular home charging.

Tethered vs Untethered Chargers

When selecting a home EV charger, one must decide between tethered and untethered units.

  • Tethered chargers come with an attached cable, ensuring that you always have the correct connector for your vehicle. They provide a straightforward, plug-in-and-go solution.

  • Untethered chargers allow for a cleaner installation and the flexibility to use different cables for various vehicles, which may be advantageous for households with multiple EV types.

Selecting the Right Home Charger

While choosing a home EV charger, consumers should prioritise charging speed, ease of use, and the installation process. Identifying the ideal charger involves assessing these crucial features in tandem with specific needs.

Features to Consider

Selecting a home EV charger is a decision that hinges on numerous preferences and requirements. The choice is influenced by:

  • Connection Type: Tethered units come with attached cables; untethered chargers need a separate cable.

  • Tethered/Untethered: Consider the convenience of a fixed cable (tethered) against the flexibility of using any cable (untethered).

Charging Speed and Power

The charging speed, measured in kilowatts (kW), directly affects how quickly the vehicle's battery is charged:

  • Slow Chargers: Typically rated at up to 3.6 kW, suitable for overnight charging.

  • Fast Chargers: Commonly offer speeds between 7 kW and 22 kW, which can recharge most cars within a few hours.

Further, it's imperative to check the charger's compatibility with the car's onboard charger to fully utilise the available power.

Ease of Use and Installation

Ease of use encapsulates user interface design, app integration, and accessibility:

  • User Interface: Seek clear indicators of charging status and easy-to-navigate controls.

  • Smart Features: Features like scheduling and monitoring add convenience.

The installation process warrants a certified electrician’s expertise. Regulatory compliance and warranty support remain paramount. Consideration for the location of installation underscores the need for a robust, weather-resistant unit if outdoor placement is intended.

Assessing Compatibility and Integration

When selecting a home EV charger, ensuring a match between the vehicle and the charger is important, as is the ability of the charger to integrate seamlessly with smart home systems.

Vehicle-to-Charger Compatibility

The electric vehicle (EV) market is diverse, with each model possessing its unique set of charging requirements. It is imperative that owners verify that the chosen home EV charger supports their specific vehicle model. Most EVs make use of a J1772 connector for Level 2 charging, a common standard across various brands. Chargers like the Wallbox Pulsar Max or the more affordable Evec VEC03 offer tethered connections, catering to most vehicles with such a port. The charge rate varies, with some chargers capable of up to 22kW, provided the home electric supply can support it.

Compatibility Checklist:

  • Ensure the charger's plug type matches the vehicle's inlet.

  • Check if the charger supports the car's maximum charging rate, to utilise the full potential of the vehicle's onboard charging capability.

  • Opt for a charger with a tethered cable for convenience, or a universal socket for a more adaptable solution.

Smart Home Integration

Modern home EV chargers often boast features that enable them to integrate with smart home ecosystems.

Chargers like the Emporia Smart Charger can connect to Wi-Fi, allowing for control via a smartphone app. Some, such as those compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, provide voice control for an enhanced user experience. Integration allows for sophisticated functionalities like scheduled charging during off-peak hours to take advantage of lower energy prices – a feature particularly relevant in the EOS (Energy Operating System) for smarter energy consumption management.

Integration Features:

  • Smartphone apps for remote monitoring and control.

  • Voice command capabilities through smart home assistants.

  • Energy management systems like EOS for optimal charging times.

By prioritising these key components – vehicle-to-charger compatibility and smart home integration – homeowners can ensure a high-functioning, cohesive charging setup for their electric vehicles.

Evaluating the Cost and Efficiency

When selecting a home EV charger, the cost of operation and potential energy savings are vital factors to consider. These can impact not just initial outlay but long-term expenses too.

Charging Costs and Energy Tariff

The price of charging an electric vehicle (EV) at home hinges on the energy tariff you're on, which can vary significantly. For an economical charging experience, it's recommended to choose a tariff with a low off-peak rate, allowing you to charge your EV during times when electricity is cheaper. This is where timers on chargers can prove useful, enabling charging to commence when tariffs are lowest. Additionally, it's worth investigating if your charger is solar compatible; linking to solar panels can further reduce charging costs while enhancing eco-friendliness by utilising renewable energy.

Energy Efficiency and Eco-Friendliness

An efficient home EV charger not only mitigates costs but also supports environmental sustainability. Look for chargers with high energy efficiency ratings to maximise power conversion and reduce waste. The eco credentials of a charger can be bolstered if it supports green energy inputs or if it's manufactured with sustainability in mind. Moreover, consumers in certain regions may benefit from tax credits when investing in energy-efficient devices, which can significantly offset the initial expense. Always confirm the availability and eligibility criteria for such incentives before purchasing.

Top EV Chargers for your Home in 2024

Selecting the right home EV charger in 2024 requires considering various models and their innovative features. This section explores the industry leaders and the technological advancements that set them apart.

Leading Charger Models

  • MEGEAR Level 1-2 EV Charger: This model stands out as an exceptional budget-friendly choice, priced at £169, addressing the essentials of EV charging without compromising quality.

  • Easee Home Charger: Ranking high in consumer surveys with a satisfaction rate of 95.30%, the Easee charger excels in user-friendliness and efficiency.

  • Anderson A2 Home Charger: Renowned for its compatibility with solar energy, the Anderson A2 combines eco-conscious technology with a premium aesthetic.

  • Emporia EV Charger: Noted for being an affordable, fully-featured connected charging solution, offering considerable value.

  • Hive Alfen Eve S Line EV Charger: Merges sleek aesthetics with advanced functionality, delivering up to 11kW charging and intuitive user controls for an enhanced experience.

  • Evec EV Charger - Type 1 & Type 2, Single Phase, Untethered VEC01: Offers versatility with support for both connector types and up to 7.4kW charging, making it a practical solution for everyday use.

Innovative Features in 2024 Chargers

The advancement in home EV chargers is distinguished by their integration of innovative features:

  • Wallbox Chargers: Chargers like Vorsprung EV Wall Box now include screens for better user interaction, making it simpler to monitor charging status and energy consumption.

  • Electricity Meter Compatibility: Chargers such as Green Cell GC PowerBox Wallbox are introducing variable charging, optimising power delivery by integrating with home electricity meters.

  • Solar Energy Utilisation: Chargers from brands like Anderson and Zappi lead the charge for solar energy use, underscoring the market's shift towards sustainable power sources.

The best EV chargers of 2024 not only deliver power to your vehicle but also become a seamless and smart part of the energy ecosystem within the home.

Considering Aesthetics and Design

When selecting a home EV charger, aesthetics and design are increasingly pivotal. Owners now demand units that complement their home’s facade and reflect their personal style.

Charger Style and Build Quality

The build quality of a charger ensures longevity and consistent performance. Premium models boast robust casings and often present a sleek silhouette, marrying durability with elegance. Style becomes apparent through clean lines and minimalist design, with some chargers featuring gentle curves that evoke a modernist appeal. LEDs serve as both functional indicators and subtle style enhancements. Many chargers integrate LED lights that inform the user of the charging status without compromising the unit's sleek design.

Colour Options and Display Features

Colour options afford the ability to match or contrast with a vehicle or the exterior of a home. Select chargers offer a spectrum of shades, whilst others maintain a standard palette leaning towards neutral tones that blend with various surroundings. Chargers like the Andersen A2 are noted for their array of colour choices, catering to bespoke aesthetics. Units with an LCD screen impart crucial charging information and add to the charger’s functionality. These screens are often designed to be unobtrusive yet clear, boasting a crisp display that can be read at a glance without deterring from the charger's overall visually appealing nature.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Home electric vehicle (EV) chargers are a critical component for the transition to eco-friendly transportation. Utilising renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, these chargers can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. The interplay between EV chargers and solar energy is intuitive; surplus power generated during daylight can feed into the charging process, making it a sustainable choice for EV owners.

The manufacturing of EV chargers holds implications for sustainability. Eco-friendly materials and processes are a pivotal aspect. Production techniques that minimise waste and pollution contribute to the chargers' overall environmental performance. Indeed, many manufacturers are pivoting towards materials with reduced environmental impact, ensuring that sustainability is woven into every facet of the charger's lifecycle.

Installation and operation of home EV chargers also present a unique opportunity for sustainable practices. Chargers with energy management systems can optimise charging times, tapping into off-peak hours where possible. This strategy not only conserves energy but also mitigates the strain on the electrical grid, fostering a balanced energy flow.

More broadly, the shift towards home charging infrastructure symbolises a move to a more eco-conscious lifestyle. It signifies a commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and enhancing energy independence. As the infrastructure for EVs expands, the integration of eco-friendly chargers could play a vital role in combating climate change and promoting environmental stewardship.

Installation and Maintenance

Selecting the right EV charger is just the beginning; proper installation and ongoing maintenance are pivotal to ensure safety and long-term performance. Installation complexities can affect costs, while regular upkeep can prolong the charger's life.

Professional Installation

The installation process typically involves several key stages: an initial assessment, physical installation, electrical wiring, and system testing. Service providers often conduct a pre-installation survey to determine suitability and provide a detailed quotation.

  • Initial assessment: A technician checks the electrical system's capacity, parking feasibility, and internet connectivity for smart chargers.

  • Installation service: The provider usually offers different packages, making it clear whether there are extra costs for additional cabling or complex wall penetrations.

  • System testing: Post-installation, systems are tested to comply with the latest regulations, ensuring the setup is safe and functional.

  • Customer service: After the installation, reputable firms offer robust customer support for technical issues or warranty claims.

User Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Maintaining an EV charger doesn't generally require extensive knowledge, but users should be aware of basic troubleshooting and care.

  • Regularly check for any visible damage or wear.

  • Keep the connector and cable properly stored to prevent damage from weather or vehicles.

In case of technical difficulties:

  • Resetting the unit can often resolve minor software issues.

  • Referencing the user guide can help troubleshoot common problems before contacting customer service for assistance.

Smart Charging Technology

In 2024, Smart Charging Technology has redefined how electric vehicle owners interact with their home EV chargers. Providing seamless integration with everyday technology, these chargers offer innovative features like app control and intricate cost tracking, ensuring charging is not only convenient but also cost-effective.

App Control and Connectivity

Modern home EV chargers are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity that enables owners to connect their smartphones directly to the charger through a dedicated app. This feature grants the possibility of remote activation and monitoring of the charging session, enhancing the convenience manifold. For instance, chargers compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant allow users to manage charging processes with simple voice commands.

Scheduling and Cost Tracking

The integration of smart technology allows users to schedule charging sessions to take advantage of off-peak energy rates. Owners may program their charger to activate during times when electricity is cheaper, thus reducing the cost of charging. Moreover, these smart chargers come with sophisticated cost tracking capabilities. They provide real-time data on energy consumption, enabling users to track and manage their spending more effectively. Users can view their charging history and energy costs directly in the app, ensuring they are always informed of their usage patterns.

Smart tech-equipped home EV chargers have ushered in an era of unprecedented control and efficiency for electric vehicle owners. With powerful capabilities like app-based control and scheduling, these chargers are not just tools but active partners in the transition towards sustainable transportation.

Safety and Regulatory Compliance

Selecting a home EV charger not only demands attention to performance and compatibility but also necessitates a rigorous assessment of safety features and adherence to established regulations.

Certifications and Ratings

Regulatory compliance is enforced through a series of certifications and ratings that chargers must obtain to ensure they meet specific safety and performance standards. In the UK, CE marking is a mandatory conformity symbol for products placed on the market, signifying compliance with health, safety, and environmental protection standards. Additionally, EV chargers should conform to the BS EN IEC 61851-1 standard, which covers general requirements for electric vehicle conductive charging systems.

  • IP Rating: The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is a crucial metric evaluating a charger's resistance to dust and water. For example, an IP rating of IP65 indicates that the device is dust-tight and can withstand water jets, a level of protection suitable for outdoor installations.

  • OLEV Approval: The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provides grants, such as those under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). Chargers that are OLEV-approved have been tested for reliability and safety, qualifying them for these incentive programs.

Safety Precautions

Ensuring safety transcends beyond compliance to include measures and features that manufacturers introduce within EV chargers to prevent mishaps.

  • Overcharge Protection: Devices like the Wallbox Pulsar Plus are designed with advanced systems to avoid overcharging and overheating, ensuring the longevity of the battery and safety of the vehicle.

  • Ground Fault Protection: A fundamental safety measure, this protects against electric shock due to current leakage. A residual-current device (RCD) must be integrated to detect differences in input and output currents.

  • Built-in Cable Storage: Chargers featuring built-in cable storage, such as the Andersen A2, aid in preventing tripping hazards and preserving cable integrity.

By adhering to these certifications, ratings, and embedding necessary safety precautions, home EV chargers become reliable components of domestic infrastructure, promoting electric vehicle usage while ensuring users' protection.

Brands and Manufacturers Insight

This section dissects the current landscape of the home EV charger market, highlighting key players, prominent models, and emerging manufacturers. Readers will glean insights into the offerings and strategic positions of established and new brands alike.

Market Leaders

The EV charging sector is led by a cohort of veteran companies known for their robust technology and market presence. Tesla remains a significant figure with its Tesla Wall Connector; a favoured choice for Tesla vehicle owners due to seamless integration and performance. EO Charging, with its EO Mini Pro 3, caters to UK consumers seeking compact solutions without compromising on smart capabilities. Pod Point, also based in the UK, is another vanguard, supplying a range of user-friendly, intelligent charging systems widely adopted across the region.

Best Models

Highlighting the standout chargers in the market:

  • Andersen A2: Priced from £1,199, the A2 leads for its aesthetic appeal and customisability. It offers a tethered connection, cable storage, and a maximum charging speed of up to 22kW (three-phase supply).

  • Emporia: This model is noted for its affordability and full-feature connectivity, competing with pricier alternatives without compromising on functionality.

  • Grizzl-E Classic: A budget-conscious choice that doesn't skimp on output, delivering a 40 amperage rate and compatibility with virtual home assistants.

  • Hive Alfen Eve S Line EV Charger: The Hive Alfen Eve S Line combines sleek design with smart functionality. It supports a maximum charging power of 11kW, and offers features like RFID and app control, making it a top choice for those seeking style and convenience in one package.

  • Evec EV Charger - Type 1 & Type 2, Single Phase, Untethered VEC01:Priced for accessibility, the Evec EV Charger is a versatile solution for EV owners. It supports both Type 1 and Type 2 connections, offering up to 7.4kW of single-phase charging. Its untethered design adds to its appeal, providing flexibility and ease of use for everyday charging needs.

For those seeking advanced technology, models integrated with Wi-Fi and smart home devices are on the rise, like those compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

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Up-and-Coming Brands

There's a burgeoning segment of new entrants making waves in the EV charging market. Easee from Norway is gaining attention for its sleek design and innovative features. Ohme stands out in the UK with the Ohme Home Pro, targeting tech-savvy consumers who prioritise granular control over their charging experience. New EV, a relatively fresh name in the industry, is pushing boundaries with high-tech offerings that challenge the incumbents. These brands are steadily chipping away at the market share, promising a dynamic shift in the industry landscape.

Understanding the Future of EV Charging

The landscape of electric vehicle (EV) charging is rapidly evolving, with infrastructure developments and technological advancements leading the way. Infrastructure investment is pivotal, aimed at supporting the increasing number of EVs. This encompasses both the expansion of public charging points and the fortification of the National Grid to handle the greater demand.

Public chargers are becoming more prevalent, characterised by high-powered stations capable of rapid charging. The future trend gravitates towards ultra-fast charging, reducing wait times and making EVs more attractive to consumers. In contrast, commercial installations in workplaces and retail car parks are focusing on smart chargers that offer efficient energy management and user-friendly interfaces.

Integration with renewable energy sources is also on the rise, reflected in the compatibility of home chargers with solar power. This trend not only enhances sustainability but ensures a reliable, cost-effective energy supply.

In terms of future trends, the synergy between EV charging systems and smart grid technology is expected to grow. Innovations in bi-directional charging might allow vehicles to feed electricity back into the grid during peak times, turning EVs into mobile energy storage units.

The development of wireless charging pads, while still in the nascent stages, promises to add a layer of convenience, hinting at a possibility where charging becomes an effortless, automatic part of parking.

Overall, the focus remains on creating an ecosystem that is both user-centric and environmentally robust, paving the way for a future where EV charging is seamlessly integrated into daily life.

EV Charger Installation with iHeat

When considering the installation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charger in the UK, iHeat offers efficient solutions tailored for private homeowners. 

Answer a few simple questions about your home and current car, (don’t worry, it only takes 60 seconds).

Choose from our range of EV chargers suitable for your home. Then checkout securely online.

Our expert engineers will install your new EV charger, we will also arrange your warranty. Thanks to our fully inclusive after care, you won't have to worry about a thing.

  • We can only install where the cable wouldn't run across public land

  • We install Nationwide

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best electric car charger for home use?

The best electric car charger for home use typically balances functionality with cost. Chargers like the Pro Earth EV, noted for compatibility with solar energy and a timer function, are considered to be among the top choices.

What is the fastest home charger for EV?

The fastest home charger for an electric vehicle is one that offers the highest kilowatt (kW) output compatible with the vehicle. Generally, a 22kW charger would provide the swiftest charging, assuming the domestic electrical installation and vehicle can support it.

Is it worth buying a home EV charger?

Purchasing a home EV charger is often worth the investment for the convenience of overnight charging and the potential for lower electricity rates, depending on the energy provider's tariffs and the charger's smart features.

Can I have a 22kW charger at home?

Installing a 22kW charger at home is possible if the property's electrical infrastructure can support it. It requires a three-phase electricity supply, which not all homes have.

Can I install an 11kW charger at home?

An 11kW home charger is a more feasible option for many homes. It requires a less demanding electrical setup compared to a 22kW charger but still offers faster charging than lower kW models.

How many miles will a 7kW charger go?

The mileage provided by a 7kW charger depends on the vehicle's efficiency. Typically, an hour of charging might add around 25-30 miles of range, but this is a rough estimate and can vary significantly by model.

Should I get a 3.6 kW or 7kW charger?

Choosing between a 3.6kW or 7kW charger depends on individual needs. If overnight charging suffices, a 3.6kW charger may be adequate. However, for faster charging, doubling the output to 7kW could be more efficient.

What is the difference between 7kW and 22kW charging?

The primary difference between 7kW and 22kW charging lies in the charging speed. A 22kW charger can replenish an EV battery much faster than a 7kW charger, assuming the car and home electrical system can handle the increased power.

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Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.