With over 1,000,000 battery electric vehicles in use across the UK, the demand for home electric vehicle chargers is on the rise. And it comes as no surprise given the benefits of smart EV chargers – such as more convenient, faster and safer EV charging sessions.
However, when assessing what’s needed for a successful home EV charger installation, one question that frequently appears is – Do home EV chargers need Wi-Fi?
In this blog post, we’ll explain why Wi-Fi or some form of connectivity is essential, explore the benefits and considerations of Wi-Fi-enabled EV home chargers against mobile-enabled chargers and shed light on how smart home EV chargers enhance charging convenience, monitoring, and cost savings.
The answer in its shortest form is yes – due to smart charging regulations, home EV chargers do need Wi-Fi or at least some form of connectivity (4G) between your EV charger, your EV and the electricity grid in order to access smart features. Whether through an internet connection or via a mobile data connection (3G, 4G or 5G sim card), a home EV charger requires some form of connectivity so you can remotely control your charger via an app.
In fact, this is the case for all UK commercial, workplace and home EV chargers under the government-enforced Smart Charging Regulations, stating that all EV chargers legally have to have smart functionality.
So, yes, EV home chargers need either an internet or mobile connection in order to be compliant with smart EV charging regulations.
This has not always been the case – while smart chargers are the norm nowadays, dumb EV chargers used to be on sale in the past.
Prior to June 2022, the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) regulations did not exist. And so, non ‘smart’ electric vehicle chargers – nicknamed ‘dumb EV chargers’ were available on the market.
With these dumb chargers, you could not manage, monitor or take advantage of any smart features due to the lack of connectivity; you simply plugged in and charged.
Dumb EV charging stations were not common before these regulations came into play; however, it is now illegal to purchase a dumb EV charger, making them almost non-existent.
As previously mentioned, EV chargers need an internet connection or 4G connection because of the Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Regulations. However, this law came into force in order to help reduce the strain on the national grid.
With smart electric car chargers, you can set charging schedules – timing exactly when your EV will stop and start charging. With this, EV drivers can set their EVs to charge during off-peak hours when the demand for the grid is lower, supporting the health of the electricity grid. In comparison, dumb chargers can not be scheduled or controlled, much like iPhone or laptop chargers; they simply charge when plugged in and only stop when unplugged. With this in mind, if everyone made the switch to electric and charged simultaneously with dumb chargers, significant strain would be placed on the grid due to the lack of charge scheduling.
There are perks to charging off-peak, too; energy is cheaper overnight, meaning smart EV charger owners can save substantially on EV charging costs. Energy is also more renewable during these off-peak hours, too, meaning you can charge greener. And finally, smart EV chargers provide more safety and security than their dumb counterparts.
Yes, you can charge an EV without Wi-Fi; you can use a three-pin plug charger. However, three-pin plug charging is the slowest charging speed available and brings many disadvantages. Industry experts only suggest three-pin plug charging as a last resort.
Another route is using your smart EV charger – which may sound counter-intuitive – however, certain home chargers offer alternative charging methods for those who prefer the more simplistic, traditional plug-in and charge routes.
And while your charger still needs a Wi-Fi or mobile connection to be legally compliant, you don’t have to take advantage of the intuitive smart connection. Instead, opt for EV chargers with the Plug & Charge feature (where you simply plug your cable in, and it will start charging) or RFID card charging (where you scan an RFID card to stop and start charging sessions).
Of course, you can also opt for a home electric car charger with mobile data connectivity if you want to avoid a Wi-Fi-enabled unit.
Since home electric car chargers can come with either Wi-Fi connectivity or 4G mobile connectivity, many of our customers ask which is better for a home electric car charger.
In short, Wi-Fi-enabled EV chargers are not better than mobile-data-enabled chargers, and it simply depends on your personal circumstances and choice which you choose. They both provide the same access to the unit’s designated smart features; it is simply the connection that is different.
When deciding between the two, you should take into consideration the following:
Like everything, cost is an essential factor to consider when it comes to your EV charger’s connectivity.
Typically, EV chargers with Wi-Fi connectivity come at no extra cost, as your engineer will link your home charger with your pre-existing Wi-Fi. Most smart EV chargers only offer Wi-Fi connectivity and offer it as standard, resulting in no additional charging costs.
On the other hand, mobile-enabled home chargers will require data. And while some, like the Easee One, come with a free 4G lifetime data subscription, meaning you don’t have to worry about additional costs, other EV charging manufacturers may only offer free data for the first few years, and after the initial period runs out, there will be subsequent charges.
It’s also best to consider where you want your electric vehicle charger installed – on your driveway, in your garage – the places are endless. But when deciding where to install your EV charger, you need to consider whether your Wi-Fi connection will reach where you want your charger installed. For example, if your garage is located at the far end of your property, away from your router, your connection may not stretch enough to provide sufficient Wi-Fi connection for smart functionality to work.
Of course, if you really want to use Wi-Fi connectivity and not cellular data, boosters can be attempted in an effort to improve broadband connection. However, in our expertise, we would err on the side of caution to this, as the connection may still be unreliable, causing disrupted charging sessions with unstable access to smart features.
In some cases where you are interested in a Wi-Fi-enabled EV charger, certain EV chargers offer an ethernet connection, meaning you can have a stronger Wi-Fi connection and don’t have to resort to mobile connectivity.
If you do not have Wi-Fi at home, the answer has been made for you – a cellular EV charger, such as the Ohme Home Pro or Ohme ePod, is your only option. Cellular data electric vehicle chargers provide the same features as Wi-Fi-connected units, so you aren’t missing out on smart features.
If your Wi-Fi is patchy or your broadband signal is unstable in general, you should opt for a mobile EV charger in order to ensure a seamless connection – we’d recommend a charger with a 4G or 5G sim card.
With unstable connections, controlling your electric vehicle charger may become difficult, with smart features becoming unavailable when the connection is down. This could be worse for those interested in saving on charging costs, as it could impact your tariff-integrated charging sessions.
|Home EV Charger
|Wi-Fi or mobile data enabled
|Both – Wi-Fi and free lifetime 4G built-in eSim
|Mobile data only – 3G/4G – free for three years
|Ohme Home Pro
|Mobile data only – 3G/4G – free for three years
EV chargers can come with either Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity – or sometimes, both. While there are slight differences between mobile data-enabled and Wi-Fi-enabled home EV chargers, the functionality remains almost identical, with both providing smart features and access to an app.
The choice between Wi-Fi or 4G for your home EV charger therefore remains a personal choice. That said, if your Wi-Fi is unreliable, we would recommend investing in a mobile data EV charging point to ensure smooth, smart charging.
If you are in the market for a Wi-Fi or mobile-enabled home EV charger, feel free to browse our range of market-leading 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 out the contact form below. Our expert customer service team are always happy to help – our lines are open seven days a week, including bank holidays to provide unbiased, free advice.
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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.