Tethered VS Untethered EV Chargers - We Power Your Car
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Tethered VS Untethered EV Chargers

Tethered VS untethered EV chargers

Electric vehicle chargers come in many different forms – different sizes, different aesthetics, and with different smart features.

And on top of this, electric vehicle chargers also come in tethered and untethered forms. And if you have recently purchased an electric car, you may be wondering – what’s the difference between the two? Which is better?

Keep reading to find out.

What is a tethered EV charger? 

In short, a tethered charger has the charging cable permanently attached to the unit. And you will not be able to remove the charging cable (no matter how hard you try). Think of it like a petrol station pump, where the hose is permanently attached.

It’s worth noting that the tethered charging cable is supplied with the unit at no extra cost. However, the length of the cable offered differs depending on the manufacturer, but it is usually somewhere between two to ten metres.

That being said, it goes without saying the longer the cable, the more expensive the charger.

Ohme Home Pro Smart EV Charger 7.4kW tethered 5m

What are the benefits of tethered EV chargers?

  • 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. This is especially beneficial in certain weather conditions (think heavy rain or snow) when every second outside counts – the charging cable is right there and ready to go for you.

What’s more, having the tethered cable in place is also 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 charging points usually have the cable coiled around the unit, but others, such as the Indra Smart PRO 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.

  • Theft Protection

Tethered EV home 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.


Sync EV charger tethered

home ev charger on red brick wall charging silver electric vehicle

What is an untethered EV charger?

An untethered electric car charger, sometimes called a “non-tethered” or “socketed”, is when the charging cable is not permanently attached, meaning it’s separate from the EV charging unit.

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 three-pin socket and your phone and then store it somewhere else.

With an untethered unit, you can use your cable provider by your car manufacturer or buy the cabling as an additional purchase. Different lengths are available for the socketed cabling, and some can provide additional benefits, such as enabling a cable lock. The length of the EV cabling varies depending on the manufacturer, and as mentioned previously, this is usually between 2-10 metres.


Zaptec Go untethered EV charger

What are the benefits of untethered EV chargers?

  • Flexibility

An untethered home EV charger offers more flexibility than a tethered home unit. Not only can you use your charging cable at home, but you can re-use it when you are out and about.

Think public charge points, workplace EV chargers or even at your friends’ house – all locations that offer socketed chargers are places you can top up (although this does depend on whether your vehicle connector fits, i.e. Type 1 or Type 2). Unfortunately, this flexibility is not possible with tethered units.

What’s more, if you have guests who have their own EV, they should be able to charge their vehicle at your house using your socketed EV charger, given that their specific type of cable fits in place (i.e. Type 1 or Type 2). With a tethered charger, this is not physically possible, as if the cable attached to your unit is non-compatible, 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.

  • Future Proof

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.

Furthermore, 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.

  • More aesthetically pleasing (subjective)

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.


Ohme ePod untethered

Is one better than the others?

In our opinion, tethered 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.

Can a home EV charger be both tethered and untethered? Can I convert an untethered EV charger to a tethered one? 

Whilst the answer is technically no, there are ways to get an untethered electric vehicle charger to act like a tethered one.

Take the Easee One and the Zaptec Go, for example. These home EV chargers come with the ‘cable lock’ features, meaning you can lock your socketed charging cable in place, giving the unit the look and feel of a tethered charger.

That being said, it’s important to note that not all home EV chargers offer the cable lock feature, so if you are wanting the flexibility of having an untethered EV charger that can act like a tethered one, you need to check the electric car charger specification. Other chargers offer a different version of the cable lock, such as the BG Sync EV, which allows you to lock your charger from unwanted use rather than allowing the illusion of a tethered EV charger.

Easee One Untethered


  • The difference between a tethered EV charger and an untethered EV charger is that the charging cable is permanently attached to the unit with a tethered charger, whereas you have to plug in the cable each time you charge with an untethered charger.
  • There are advantages and disadvantages to both tethered and untethered EV chargers, meaning it is not better to have a tethered or untethered charger – it’s down to personal preference.
  • Certain EV chargers with the smart feature ‘cable lock’ allow you to lock your charging cable in place, giving it the flexibility of an untethered unit while offering the look and feel of a tethered unit.


VCHRGD Seven socketed

Are you looking to get a tethered or untethered EV charger installed? Let We Power Your Car sort it for you.

If you are thinking about getting a home EV charger installed, whether socketed or tethered, please get in touch with us for helpful and unbiased advice. We install home, workplace and commercial EV chargers nationwide in as little as 8-10 working days from DNO approval.

You can browse our exciting range of dedicated home EV chargers 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 or fill in the contact form below. Our expert customer service team are always happy to help.

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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.

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.

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.

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.