Blog - 7kW VS 22kW - Which is better? - We Power Your Car
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Blog – 7kW VS 22kW – Which is better?

If you are after a fast home EV charger, there are two routes available – either a 7kW unit or a 22kW unit. But what’s the difference between the two? Which is better? Can everyone have a 22kW EV charging unit?

Don’t worry! In this blog, we are going to explain the difference between 7kW and 22kW EV chargers, let you know who can have 22kW charging points, and give you our honest and professional opinion on which is better.

Did you know that it’s possible to charge your EV at different speeds?

These are slow, fast and rapid. However, when people talk about home EV charging, they usually refer to slow or fast charging. Slow charging is where you use a 3-pin plug to charge your EV at a rate of approximately 2.3kW. In contrast, fast home chargers are typically rated at either 7kW (7.4kW if you want to be more specific) or 22kW and are dedicated charging points installed on your property.

Please read our blog here to find out more about slow, fast, and rapid EV charging.

What is a 7kW EV home charger?

The rate at which electricity charges your electric vehicle is measured in kW; therefore, this home EV charger can charge your electric vehicle at a rate of 7.4kW. This is the most common rate of power for dedicated home EV charging points, and to have one installed on your property, a single-phase electricity supply is needed.

What is a single-phase electricity supply?

Single-phase is the most common power supply 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, or more specifically, 7.4kW. This is the maximum level your EV can be charged with.

Can everyone have 7kW EV Chargers?

As long as you don’t have a looped supply, you will be able to have a 7.4kW EV charger installed on your property.

What is a 22kW EV home charger?

A 22kW EV charger is a dedicated home charging unit that charges three times faster than a 7kW home charger. A three-phase electricity supply is needed for a 22kW to be installed.

What is a three-phase electricity supply?

Three-phase is a much higher power rating than a single-phase and is usually found in large commercial buildings.

Can everyone have 22kW EV chargers?

No, not everyone can have a 22kW EV charger installed on their property as it depends on whether you have a three-phase electricity supply. Three-phase is typically found in industrial or commercial properties, and it’s rare to find in UK domestic homes. If a house does have a three-phase supply, it’s usually a large property with multiple sizeable electrical appliances that need to draw a significant amount of electricity to function (i.e. hot tubs).

You can apply for a three-phase upgrade by contacting the DNO (distribution network operator). The DNO manage the distribution of electricity around the country.

How do I know if I have a single-phase or three-phase electrical supply? 

If you find your fuse box/meter and take a look inside, you should be able to find what type of electrical supply you have. For a single-phase electricity supply, there will be a single fuse where the power enters your house/meter (one wire). Three-phase, on the other hand, can often be identified as having three 100amp fuses where the supply enters the building or the meter (three wires).

If you are interested in having a home EV charger installed, but are unsure what electrical supply you have, you can contact our first-class customer service team, who are always happy to help.

22kW three-phase charging VS 7kW single-phase charging – which is better?

Overall, we feel that 7kW charging is more worthwhile than 22kW as most homes have a single-phase electricity supply. Therefore, you are not having to spend additional and substantial time or money on upgrading your fuse.

If you are thinking about investing in a 22kW charger and are yet to upgrade to three-phase electricity, it’s also important to note:

  • To take advantage of a 22kW charger, your electric vehicle will need to accept 22kW AC.  If your vehicle can’t receive this electricity rate, even if you upgrade your supply and invest in a 22kW EV charger, your EV will only be able to charge at the maximum charge rate of the vehicle, thus not charging any faster.  Very few electric vehicles can accept a 22kW charge, with the most common being the Renault Zoe. Even the Tesla Model 3 has a charging capability of 11kW and would therefore not truly benefit from a 22kW charger, only charging at a rate of 11kW. The most common EV charging rate is 7.4kW, although some have a smaller charging rate.
  • Upgrading your fuse to three-phase will be costly, starting from £1,500 plus VAT, however, it averages between £3,500-5,500 (not including VAT) and can even reach up to £15,000 depending on the job. That’s not including the additional expenses of purchasing a 22kW EV charging point and having it installed, which would also be much more than a standard 7.4kW EV charger.

Overall, if you have three-phase electricity in your home, are happy to spend more on a 22kW EV charger, and have a vehicle that can take 22kW capacity, then yes, 22kW charging will be worthwhile as your vehicle will charge at the fastest rate possible at home. Otherwise, we recommend sticking to a 7.4kW home charger as 22kW comes with expensive costs and not everyone can reap the benefits.

However, it does depend on your individual and/or household charging needs. If you have multiple electric vehicles drivers in your household, a 22kW EV charger might be more ideal for sharing.

Please note 22kW AC home charging is different to DC rapid charging (the charging points found at motorway service stations).

Interested in a 7kW dedicated home charge point? Our expert advisers are standing by to take your calls on 03333 44 96 99. Alternatively, you can access our webchat service on our contact page or email us at [email protected]. 

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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.