You are looking at purchasing a home EV charging point, but do you invest in a tethered or untethered EV charger? What is the difference between the two? Which is better? If you are new to the EV world, you might need some help, and we are here to hold your hand every step of the way.
So, stay tuned to find out exactly what is meant by an untethered EV charging unit, a tethered EV charger, and what the main advantages are of each.
However, in terms of which is better, tethered chargers are not better than socketed chargers, and vice versa. All in all, the decision comes down to your own personal preferences, budget and the specific aesthetic you are after.
Below is a brief diagram displaying the differences between tethered and untethered (socketed) home electric car chargers.
A tethered 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 a tethered EV home charger is like!
With tethered chargers, the cable is supplied with the unit at no extra cost. The length of the cable offered differs depending on the manufacturer, but it is usually somewhere between 2-10 metres. It goes without saying the longer the cable, the more expensive the charger.
Ohme Home Pro Tethered EV Charger (cable permanently attached)
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 – you just plug your car in to charge, and ta-dah! This 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. Socketed 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 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, and it can not be removed (so it can’t be stolen!).
EV charging cables are not the cheapest, and replacing them can set you back around £100-£200. Whilst socketed EV chargers usually have certain smart features that provide security, such as cable lock or pin protection, if you want 24/7 permanent security from theft, a tethered charger is probably your best bet.
Indra Smart PRO Tethered Home EV Charger
An untethered electric car charger, or sometimes called “non-tethered” or “socketed” EV charger, is when the charging cable is not permanently attached, meaning it is 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 socket and your phone and then store it somewhere else.
With an untethered unit, you will have to buy the cabling as an additional purchase. However, you can select how much cabling you would like. The length of the EV cabling varies depending on the manufacturer, and as mentioned previously, this is usually between 2-10 metres.
VCHRGD Seven Socketed Home Charging Unit (Cable not attached)
A socketed home EV charger offers more flexibility than a tethered home unit. For example, you can use your cable not just at home but 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). This flexibility is just not possible with tethered units.
In addition, 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!
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 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. 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.
The socketed EV chargers can also be more aesthetically pleasing 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 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 cater for the cable, though, and so it just depends on your own personal style and budget.
Easee One Untethered Home EV Charger (red cover)
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, for example. You can use the cable lock feature on the Easee App to lock your socketed cable in place. You can either lock the cable whilst charging your EV or keep it in the ‘Always Locked’ state, whereby the cable is locked into the unit until changed on the App. This gives it the look and feel of a tethered unit, but you can easily switch it back on the App to a socketed unit if you wish.
However, please note features such as cable lock are not on all home untethered EV chargers. So, be wary as other socketed chargers might not perform this feature.
Easee One Socketed Charger (black cover)
Overall, it is completely up to you whether you want a socketed or tethered EV charger, as there are pros and cons to both. But we hope this blog has helped you make an informed decision! Some EV charger manufacturers even produce both tethered and socketed versions of their units, such as the VCHRGD Seven.
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.
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.
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.