Home electric car chargers promise cheaper, more convenient and faster charging sessions – but one key decision in investing in a home charger is whether or not to pick a tethered EV charger or an untethered charger. But what is a tethered EV charger? What is an untethered charger? What’s the difference between tethered and untethered EV chargers? Is one better than the other?
Whether you’re a seasoned EV owner looking to upgrade your home charging setup or a newcomer considering your first electric vehicle charger, this blog will serve as your comprehensive guide to understanding tethered vs. untethered EV chargers, sharing the pros and cons of both.
The difference between tethered and untethered EV chargers lies with the charging cables. Tethered EV chargers have the charging cable permanently attached and tend to come only with a Type 2 connector in the UK. On the other hand, you have to plug in the charging cable each time you want to charge with an untethered EV charger. And since you tend to use your own cable, untethered EV chargers can come with either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector – making them universal.
A tethered EV charger has the charging cable permanently attached to the unit. Think of it like a petrol station pump, where the hose cannot be removed. Since the cable is attached to the charger, you do not have to purchase a separate charging cable – but it means tethered EV chargers are more expensive.
If you have already invested in an electric car and frequently use the UK’s public charging infrastructure, you’ll have come across a tethered charger before since the majority of public electric vehicle charging points are tethered.
For tethered home EV chargers, you’ll have to choose the length of your tethered cable – which is usually from two to ten metres. The longer the cable, the more expensive the EV charger.
Examples of tethered EV chargers include:
One of the main advantages of having a tethered EV charging point is that you do not have to mess around with connecting and disconnecting the charging cable; it’s easily accessible. This is especially beneficial in certain weather conditions (think heavy rain or snow) when every second outside counts – your EV charger is ready to go. This is especially helpful when you are in a rush, as the last thing anybody wants to be doing when they are running behind is trying to find where they misplaced the cable.
Tethered EV chargers usually have the cable coiled around the unit, but others, have holders which you can place the cable into for neater storage. Whereas untethered cables are typically stored in boots or garages; however, your untethered cable could potentially get dirty, wet, or damaged from constant inside/outside use.
Tethered EV chargers provide an added layer of theft protection to your home EV charger compared to untethered EV home chargers. With tethered units, the cabling is embedded directly into the unit, ensuring it can’t be stolen.
EV charging cables are not the cheapest, and replacing them can set you back around £100-£200. Of course, untethered EV chargers typically have certain smart features that provide a security element, such as cable lock or pin protection. However, if you want 24/7 permanent security from cable theft, a tethered charger is probably your best bet.
Tethered Ohme Home Pro EV charger
An untethered EV charger is when the charging cable is not permanently attached, meaning it’s separate from the EV charger itself. Sometimes, untethered EV chargers are called “non-tethered” or “socketed”, but untethered is the most common.
Unlike a tethered charger, every time you want to use your untethered 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 the cable into the three-pin socket and your phone, then store it elsewhere.
With an untethered unit, you can use the cable provided by your car manufacturer or buy the cabling as an additional purchase. Different lengths are available for the socketed cabling; some can provide other benefits, such as enabling a cable lock. The size of the EV cabling varies depending on the manufacturer, and as mentioned previously, this is usually between 2-10 metres.
Examples of socketed electric car chargers include:
Ohme ePod Socketed EV charger (no cable attached)
An untethered home EV charger offers more flexibility than a tethered home charger. If you have guests who have their own EV, they should be able to charge their vehicle at your house using your untethered EV charger, given that their specific type of cable fits in place (i.e. Type 1 or Type 2), or if they have an adapter (Type 1 to Type 2 cable).
If the cable attached to your tethered EV charger is non-compatible with your guests EV, you are restricted with its use. This would mean your friends would have to go elsewhere or resort to a pesky 3-pin plug charger.
As the untethered cable is not fixed to the unit, you can ensure your EV charger remains futureproof. So, if you decide to change your EV in the future, you can without worrying about repurchasing an entirely new EV charging point.
And, if you decide your charging cable is too short or too long, or you just fancy a change, you don’t have to purchase another EV unit as you would with a tethered charger. So, you aren’t limited to the cable you possess at the beginning. This is especially helpful if you have your drive re-done and change where you want to park, as with a tethered EV charger, the cable might not be able to reach.
Untethered EV chargers tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. If you are not a fan of 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) them out of sight.
What’s more, untethered chargers mean no messy trailing cables across your land if they haven’t been securely and tidily put back on the unit.
That being said, some tethered chargers still uphold their sleek look by offering holders, or they are designed specifically so the cable is discreetly and neatly tucked away. However, not all of them do, so bear in mind where you would put the attached cable if not. Usually, the upper range of home EV chargers caters for the cable, though, so it just depends on your own personal style and budget.
In our opinion, tethered EV chargers are not better than untethered EV chargers, and vice versa – the decision comes down to your own personal preferences, budget and the specific aesthetic you are after.
That said, if you value convenience over style, a tethered EV charger would be best for you. On the other hand, if you want a neat, discreet charger with added flexibility, an untethered EV charger would be the best choice.
Whilst the answer is technically no, you can’t convert an untethered EV charger to a tethered one – there are ways to get an untethered electric vehicle charger to act like a tethered EV charger with the cable lock feature.
It’s important to note that not all home EV chargers offer the cable lock feature, so if you want the flexibility of having an untethered EV charger that can act like a tethered one, you need to check the electric car charger specification.
|Benefits of untethered EV chargers||Benefits of tethered EV chargers|
|Futureproof||Added layer of theft protection|
|More aesthetically pleasing|
If you are thinking about getting a home EV charger installed, whether untethered or tethered, please get in touch with us. We install home, workplace and commercial EV chargers nationwide – all with first-class customer service. Not only that, but we handle the entire process on your behalf from DNO application to grant paperwork – making EV charging simple.
Browse our wide range of market-leading tethered and untethered chargers, or if you still don’t know where to start and prefer to speak to someone directly, call us on 03333 44 96 99 or fill in the contact form below. Our expert customer service team are always happy to help and are available seven days a week to provide unbiased, free advice.
This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.
This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.
Spread over a 60 month period.
Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.
You decide the amount of months.
Minimum of £1000.
We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.
Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.
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.
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.
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.
A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation.
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.