Home EV Chargers
Home EV Chargers – A Guide
With the UK government’s targets laid out to stop the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrid vehicles by 2035, the race to develop attractive, affordable electric cars is on among car makers around the world. The advent of greater electrification in the automotive sector opens up interesting new dimensions to car ownership, chief among which is the issue of fuelling, either on your travels or at home and this article specifically explores the option of choosing and using home EV chargers.
For generations now, the standard method of fuelling a vehicle has been to take it to a petrol station, access a pump, fill the tank, pay at the cashier or at the pump itself, and then drive off. Electric cars don’t use petrol of course, but are battery powered, and those battery packs need charging. In terms of public infrastructure, the public charging station or charge point is already a reality that allows EV owners to plug their cars in while they get a meal, go shopping or otherwise busy themselves. Some well known networks in the UK include Tesla Supercharger and Instavolt, but there are more emerging both established and emerging networks. The new dimension to all this, however, is home EV charging.
How do Home EV Chargers Work?
With a bit of deft work from a qualified electrician, electric vehicle owners can create their own home charging solution where they plug their car in overnight or any time that it’s idle in the garage or on the drive. EV chargers for home can be installed indoors or outdoors, some needing no additional installation steps as they can be plugged into existing sockets like dryer sockets or even home wall sockets.
The most convenient and stable solution, however, is to hard-wire home EV chargers directly into the ground so that they don’t have to rely on being plugged in or switched on or off. They are always charged and ready to go. The vast majority of home EV chargers are also weather-resistant, waterproof and even lightning proof.
Attached to the charging station main box is a long cable, typically 18-25 feet in length. At the end is a connector that you simply plug into your EV charging socket. Simple units just require you to plug in and allow the charging to happen, but now the market is home to much more sophisticated units as well.
These advanced EV chargers for home use feature Wi-Fi capability, remote functionality, smart charging timers where it will only work when electricity is at the off-peak rate, and more. Many can be controlled via apps on your smartphone or tablet. In terms of power ratings, home EV chargers range from 8 amps all the way up to 40-50 amps, and at their fastest and most powerful settings can add between 30-40 miles of range to an EV each hour.
Where Do You Find EV Chargers For Home?
Some OEMs make their own brand of home EV chargers. Tesla, for instance, makes their own home charger — known as the Tesla Wall Connector — which you can purchase for £460, and have installed for at least another £480. The unit uses the Tesla connector, which is different from the North American standard SAE J1772 connector and the European standard connector the IEC 62196 Type 2 connector. The former is known by many as simply “The J-plug,” and the latter as “mennekes.”
So we know there are two main connectors in each market, namely Tesla and everyone else, but where do we find home EV chargers to buy? Most of them are purchased online from places like Amazon, but the UK is also home to some native EV charging brands which sell their services as a more all-in-one package that includes installation. For example, Pod Point in the UK supplies EV chargers for home, commercial use and also for workplace charging solutions.
If you don’t use a service like Pod Point, you can instead purchase a unit online and then arrange for a qualified electrician to come to your home to install it and hard-wire it to the main electricity supply. These home units are known internationally as “Level 2,” which is to be distinguished from “Level 1” in North America where charging is done with mains electricity at just 120 volts. In Europe, since 220 volts is the standard, all charging is Level 2.
EV Chargers: Home Charger Brands
Which are some of the biggest brand names for home EV chargers, we’ll take a look at some well-known ones below.
Tesla Home Charger – Wall Connector
As mentioned further above, Tesla has their own brand of home EV chargers and they call the product the “Wall Connector.” It is the only charger that makes the Tesla connector the standard. To use other brands with a Tesla car, you need an adapter, though that situation is changing in Europe, with some new models featuring the standard Type 2 connector.
Rolec EV Charger
Their flagship product is known as the Wallpod and costs from £445 including VAT. Units from Rolec can be controlled via mobile apps and contain many excellent smart-charging features.
Zappi EV Charger
The Zappi smart EV charger is quite unique because it can be set to use power that you generate yourself as well as power from the national grid. If you have a wind turbine or solar power array, it can first draw power from that source to minimize power generated from outside, for which you pay.
Also mentioned further above, Pod Point is one of the UK’s biggest suppliers, including units for home use, commercial use and for workplace use.
Benefits of Home EV Chargers
Let’s look at some of the many ways in which people benefit from using home EV chargers.
First of all, there’s the financial rebate available via the OZEV Grant. The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) runs a scheme called the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) for which they provide up to £350 to offset the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point. This means you can make the switch to EV home chargers much more affordably.
Second, no more visiting the petrol station! The ability to charge at home means you no longer depend on the operation hours of a filling station, nor do you have to queue up on busy weekends to fill up and pay. You also don’t have to rely on public charging infrastructure, which in many areas is still lacking.
Finally, start every journey with a “full tank.” When you employ us to install, test and certify your home EV chargers, you can set off on every journey with a fully charged battery and your range at maximum. When you take longer journeys for business trips or holiday driving, you may have to rely on public chargers, too, but for your day-to-day driving you can manage it yourself.