7 things to think about when investing in a home EV charger - We Power Your Car
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7 things to think about when investing in a home EV charger

7 things to think about when investing in a home EV charger

You have your electric vehicle and are now wanting an EV charger… but how do you choose? What things do you need to consider?

Don’t worry – we are here to help! In this blog, we will explain the seven things you need to think about when investing in a home EV charger.

Couple Charging their EV with black socketed Easee One

1) Is your electric car a Type 1 or Type 2?

Your electric vehicle will have a connector, which is the part of your electric car that you plug your charger into (like the picture below). There are currently two types out there – type 1 and type 2. In the UK and Europe as a whole, a type 2 connector is standard and therefore more common; however, whilst type 1 electric vehicles are more typical in the Asian, American and Japanese markets, some EV’S in the UK still have a type 1 connector (typically older models, for example, the old Nissan Leaf 2012-2017).

Whilst most electric vehicle chargers are available in both type 1 and 2, some are only available in type 2 formats. If this is the case, you will either have to forgo the charger or you will have to purchase a type 1 to type 2 cable.

To check whether you have a type 1 or type 2, please check your manufacturer’s guide, or have a look at your car connector. If the connector has a 7-pin design, it is likely to be a type 2, compared to if it has a 5-pin design, which would be a type 1 (see the image below).

Below is a list of electric vehicle models in the UK that utilise the type 1 socket:

Citroen C-Zero (2016-2020) Nissan Leaf Mk1 (2012 – 2017)
Ford Focus Electric Peugeot iOn EV (2011-2018)
Ford C-MAX Energi (2013-2017) Renault Fluence (Pre-2014)
Kia Soul EV (2017) Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (Pre-2017)
Mitsubishi I-MiEV Vauxhall Ampera
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Renault Kangoo Phase 1
Nissan e-NV200 Combi

To understand in detail the differences in EV charging connectors, please read our blog post here.

2) Do you want a tethered or an untethered (socketed) unit?

Tethered electric vehicle charger

A tethered EV charger is a unit that has a charging cable permanently attached to it. You will not be able to remove the cable from the tethered EV charging point (no matter how hard you try!). You could compare it to a petrol station pump, where the hose is permanently attached  – that’s what an EV tethered home charger is like!

Some of the advantages of a tethered EV unit include:

  • Convenience – One of the main advantages of having a tethered EV charging point is that you do not have to faff around with connecting and disconnecting the charging cable; it’s easily accessible.
  • Theft protection – The cabling with the socketed charger is embedded directly into the unit, and it can not be removed and, therefore, can not be stolen!

Some examples of our tethered units include the Hypervolt Home 2.0 and the Ohme Home Pro.

White Hypervolt EV Charger on the side of a wall

Socketed/Untethered electric vehicle charger

A socketed electric vehicle charger, sometimes called “non-tethered” or “untethered” EV charger, is when the cable is not permanently attached to the unit, meaning it is separate from the EV charger. Every time you want to use your EV charger, you will have to plug one side into the unit and the other into your EV. Think of it like a phone charger, where you have to plug both the cable into the socket and your phone and then store it somewhere else.

Some of the advantages of a socketed/untethered EV charger include:

  • Future proof -If you decide to change your EV in the future, you can without worrying about repurchasing an entire new EV charging point. Furthermore, if you decide your charging cable is too short or too long, or you just fancy a change, you don’t have to fork out for another EV unit, like you would with a tethered charger. So, you aren’t limited to the cable you possess at the beginning.
  • More aesthetically pleasing (subjective) – The socketed EV chargers can also be more pleasing to the eye if you are not a fan of the thick cables being on show. You can remove the cable whenever you want, and place them wherever you want, which means you can move (or hide) it out of sight. Socketed units also mean no messy trailing cables across your land if they haven’t been securely and tidily put back on the unit.

Some of the socketed units here at We Power Your Car include the Easee One and the EVE Seven.

Can a charger be both tethered and untethered? 

The Easee One is the only electric vehicle charger that can act as both a tethered and untethered electric vehicle charger! With the Cable Lock feature, you can simply swap between the two with a touch of a button. Just plug your cable into your EV charger and permanently lock it in the Easee App. This feature will give it the use and appearance of a tethered charger, and the cable can only be removed once unlocked on the app, reverting it back to a socketed unit. Talk about future proof!

Please click here to learn more about the difference between tethered and untethered electric vehicle chargers.

Explanation of Tethered and Socketed EV Chargers

3) What aesthetic are you after?

Do you want your unit to be more neat and discreet, something like the Ohme Home Pro? Or perhaps you are after the flashiest unit, like the Hypervolt Home? Take a think about what sort of style, size or colour you are after – whether appearance is important to you, or whether functionality and features are your priority, or perhaps you want a charger that has it all? Take a look at our blog here, and find the right electric vehicle charger for you. Or, just let us know what you are after – we have a charging unit for everyone!

Units that come in different colours include:

EV Charger Colour
Easee One Black as standard. Red, Blue, White or Anthracite Grey (£45 additional cost)
Hypervolt Home 2.0 White, Black or Grey (No extra cost)

 

4) What smart features are you interested in?

In accordance with the upcoming electric vehicle charger regulations, all our electric vehicle chargers are smart and have the capability to offer charge scheduling. However, just how smart do you want your EV charger?

Each of our electric vehicle chargers offers a wide array of exciting and unique features, some of which have never been seen before! For example, the Hypervolt Home 2.0 has smart home integration, meaning you can sync your Hypervolt charger with Amazon Alexa, and easily control a variety of features such as LED brightness and schedule charging by simply using your voice! The Ohme Home Pro is also the only electric vehicle charger that is compatible with the Octopus Agile Energy tariff and is perfect for cosy-savvy customers!

Solar compatibility, load balancing and RFID are just a few of the exciting smart features that some of our units possess. To find out which features each of our future-proof and beloved units has, you can always take a peek at our website or take a look at the comparison tables in this blog.

Got some specific features in mind? Give us a call and let us know your preferences – we will find you a charger that meets all your needs!

For a more detailed explanation of the electric vehicle smart charger features out there and what they mean, please click here.

5) Price

As with any sort of purchase, the price is something to think about. However, it’s important to keep in mind that electric vehicle chargers are an investment. Certain smart features such as solar compatibility or smart home integration will be more expensive too, which is then reflected in the charger price. Despite this, there is a wide range of options out there. If you are wanting our most cost-effective electric vehicle charger, the Easee One is for you.

Not wanting to pay for your new electric vehicle charger in one large sum? Spread the cost of your electric vehicle charger with finance! Call 03333 44 96 99 for more information.

6) Location

Where would you like your electric vehicle charger to be installed? The side of your house? In your attached garage? Have a think about where you would want your charger, as well as the distance from your fuse box to its desired location and how much cabling in metres, might be required (10 metres of cabling is included in our standard installation and covers the majority of installations). Bear in mind that the location of the charger might influence your choice of the charger, too – if it’s at the front of your house, you may want something sleeker or smaller, compared to if it is tucked away, unseen by prying eyes.

Wi-Fi connection is also important when choosing the location of your electric vehicle charger. So, try and gauge how strong your Wi-Fi connection is in different parts of your property. You must have a reliable Wi-Fi signal at the installation location for your electric vehicle smart features to work correctly, so try and find the best spot for your electric vehicle charger. In some cases, if your Wi-Fi is too weak, it might affect your ability to charge your car as there will be a lack of connection between the unit and your mobile phone. Don’t panic, though! If you have a weak Wi-Fi connection, some electric vehicle chargers, such as the Easee One or Ohme Home Pro, come with a 4G connection so that you can utilise a mobile connection rather than Wi-Fi. Again, the units will rely on the mobile connection for the smart features, so a strong signal is needed.

7) Electricity Supply

When thinking about investing in an electric vehicle charger, there are a few factors to think about and a couple of checks you could carry out to get a rough idea about your electricity supply. Have a peek at your main fuse (located in your meter box); how many amps is it rated at? Do you have a single-phase electricity supply or a three-phase?

Single-phase electricity supply -A single-phase electricity supply is the most common in the UK and is usually found in standard residential properties. With a single-phase power supply, you’ll only be able to install an electric vehicle charging point of up to 7kW. This is the maximum level your EV can be charged with. Therefore, if you have a single-phase electricity supply but want an 11kW or 22kW charger, you will need to contact the DNO for an upgrade.

Three-phase electricity supply – A three-phase electricity supply is typically found in industrial or commercial properties, and it’s rare to find in UK domestic homes. Suppose a house does have a three-phase supply. In that case, it’s likely to be a large property with multiple sizeable electrical appliances that need to draw a significant amount of electricity to function (i.e. hot tubs). Three-phase is faster than single-phase, but it is expensive and time consuming to upgrade.

Please note – to benefit from 11kW or 22kW charging, not only does your electricity supply need to be three-phase, but your vehicle will have to have an on-board charger that can take that amount of kW. For example, a Nissan Leaf has a 6.6kW on-board charger, meaning even if you invested in an 11kW or 22kW charger, it would not charge any faster.

Issues with electricity supply to be aware of:

With every electric vehicle charger order at We Power Your Car, we have to contact your DNO before booking your installation date as a legal requirement. DNO stands for Distribution Network Operator and, in simple terms, are the people in charge of your electricity supply.

It’s important to be aware of the issues that could arise in relation to your electricity supply. If this occurs, your DNO would have to intervene in your installation.

Looped supply – A looped supply is when your property’s electricity supply is connected or “looped” with your neighbours. A looped supply will need to be separated before you can have your charger installed.

Fuse upgrade – If you have a 60 amp fuse, or sometimes an 80 amp fuse, it will likely need to be upgraded. The upgrade is to ensure your main fuse can handle the electrical demand of a new EV charger (so the extra load from your EV charger doesn’t blow your fuse).

Another factor to consider is whether you want a 7kW, 11kW or 22kW charger; however, your ability to have an 11kW or 22kW charger depends on your electricity supply.

How do I identify whether I have a single-phase or three-phase electricity supply?

For a single-phase electricity supply, there will be a single fuse where the power enters your house/meter (one wire). On the other hand, three-phase can often be identified as having three 100amp fuses where the supply enters the building or the meter (three wires).

How do I know if I have a looped supply?

If you have a looped supply, you will see two cables entering the bottom of your meter box, below the fuse (see below). If you have a looped supply, it means your electricity is directly connected to your neighbours.

To understand the ins and outs of a DNO, please click here. Please click here to read more about the advantages and disadvantages of both 7kW and 22kW charging.

Are you looking to get an EV charger installed? Let We Power Your Car sort it for you!

If you are thinking about getting a home EV charger installed, please get in touch with us for helpful and unbiased advice.

You can browse our exciting range of dedicated home EV charging points here.  Or, if you still don’t know where to start and prefer to speak to someone directly,  call us on 03333 44 96 99, our expert customer service team are always happy to help.

You can get a quick and free quote for your smart home charger installation today!

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Also available over 24, 36 and 48 month periods.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 12.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.