How to choose the right EV charger

How to choose the right EV charger

Published On: April 19, 2023Categories: EV Charger Guides
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, and with good reason. They offer a cleaner, more efficient, and more cost-effective alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. However, with the growth of the EV market in the UK, it can be challenging to choose the right charging equipment. In this article, we will cover the essential factors to consider when choosing the right EV charger.

  1. Type of Charger:

There are three main types of electric vehicle chargers available in the UK: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

  • Level 1 chargers

Level 1 chargers are the most basic and use a standard 240-volt outlet to charge an EV. They are slow, but they are convenient because they are easy to find and can be used almost anywhere. Level 1 chargers typically deliver a charging capacity of around 3kWh.

  • Level 2 chargers

Level 2 chargers are the most common and offer faster charging speeds than Level 1 chargers. They use a higher voltage outlet and require professional installation. Level 2 chargers typically deliver a charging capacity of above 7kWh.

  • Level 3 chargers

Level 3 chargers, also known as DC Fast Chargers, offer the fastest charging speeds and are designed for commercial and public use. They typically deliver a charging capacity of over 22kWh.

  1. Charging Speed:

The charging speed of an electric vehicle charger is a critical factor to consider when choosing a charger in the UK. The charging time depends on several variables, including the size of the battery, the type of charger, and the voltage. Level 1 chargers are the slowest, taking several hours to charge a typical electric vehicle battery. On the other hand, Level 2 chargers are faster, taking around four hours to charge a typical electric vehicle battery. Level 3 chargers offer the fastest charging speeds, with the ability to charge a typical electric vehicle battery in under an hour.

  1. Tethered vs Untethered (Socketed)

Additionally, chargers can be either tethered or untethered. Tethered chargers come with a cable attached to the unit, while non-tethered chargers do not have a cable, and a separate cable must be purchased.Zappi Tethered home Charger

  • Tethered Charger:

Is an EV charger that is complete with a trailing charging lead and socket. The socket is generally type 2 and the trailing lead is commonly between 5-6 meters.

The Pro’s: Convenience, Convenience and Convenience. What more can we say….pulling up on to the drive, reaching for the lead and instantly plugging to start charging is a nice feeling.

The Con’s: Wrapping the lead around the charger can make a messy appearance. The only other downside to a tethered unit, is if the lead is type 2 then visiting friends and family can only use the charger if their EV or hybrid car is type 2 or they have a type 1 or 3 convertor to type 2.

  • Non-Tethered Charger:

Pod Point Home EV Charger InstallationThis is an EV charger that comes with either a Type 1, 2 or 3 socket outlet and would require a lead to plug into the charger and Electric Vehicle to work, similar to many of the roadside public EV charging points.

The Pro’s: Slightly cheaper than the tethered unit but added flexibility in terms of usage. If the correct adaptors are used, all EV and hybrid cars can use a universal charging socket. They also have neater appearance.

The Con’s: Less convenient as the driver will have to repeatedly get out the EV charging leads and plug in to the car and charger. There is also the added cost of the lead itself.  However, if you are planning to use public EV charging stations, then you would need these leads anyway.

  1. Compatibility:

It is crucial to make sure the electric vehicle charger you choose in the UK is compatible with your electric vehicle. Some chargers are designed for specific electric vehicle models, while others are compatible with multiple electric vehicle models. It is essential to check the compatibility before purchasing a charger to ensure it will work with your electric vehicle.

  1. Portability:

If you plan to take your electric vehicle on long trips or use it for outdoor activities in the UK, it may be useful to choose a portable charger. Portable chargers are compact, lightweight, and can be easily transported, allowing you to charge your electric vehicle when you are away from home.

  1. Cost:

The cost of an electric vehicle charger is another important factor to consider in the UK. The cost will depend on the type of charger, the charging speed, and the features. Level 1 chargers are the most affordable, while Level 3 chargers are the most expensive. It is important to consider your budget when choosing a charger to ensure you get the best value for your money.Zappi Charger Installation. installing right ev charger

  1. Installation:

The installation process for an electric vehicle charger is another critical factor to consider in the UK. Level 1 chargers are the easiest to install, as they simply plug into a standard outlet. Level 2 and Level 3 chargers require professional installation, which can be expensive. It is essential to consider the installation process when choosing an electric vehicle charger to ensure it will be easy and cost-effective to install.

  1. Safety Features:

Safety is a critical concern when it comes to electric vehicle charging in the UK. It is important to choose a charger with built-in safety features, such as over-voltage protection, over-current protection, and short-circuit protection. These features will help to ensure the safety of both you and your electric vehicle while charging.

In addition, the right EV Chargers should come with build in PEN fault device. Apart of being an additional safety feature, it eliminates the requirement to installing an additional earth rod (earthing), which will actually saves you some money in the installation.

  1. Connectivity:

Many electric vehicle chargers in the UK now come equipped with Wifi connectivity and other smart features, such as the ability to remotely monitor and control the charging process. These features can make the charging process more convenient and give you greater control over your electric vehicle’s charging schedule.

  1. Solar Integration:

Solar Panels integrationFor those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, it may be useful to choose an electric vehicle charger that integrates with solar panels. This type of charger will allow you to harness the power of the sun to charge your electric vehicle, reducing your dependence on traditional grid-based power.

  1. Warranty:

Finally, it is important to consider the warranty when choosing an electric vehicle charger in the UK. The length and coverage offered by the warranty will vary depending on the manufacturer. Make sure to review the warranty before purchasing a charger to ensure it meets your needs.

Summary

Installation of the right EV charger - domestic & commercialIn conclusion, choosing the right electric vehicle charger in the UK requires careful consideration of several important factors, including the type of charger, charging speed, compatibility, portability, cost, installation, safety features, Wifi connectivity, solar integration, and warranty. By taking the time to research and compare the different options available, you can ensure you choose the best charger for your needs and enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle at its best.

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