What to Look for
Choosing an electric car charger is not always easy. With the green mobility sector accelerating, EV chargers will be a large part of a greener future.
We have three main criteria when it comes to choosing your EV charger. First, to reduce cost, and enable your charger to communicate its energy usage (an important part of the future Smart Grid), your chosen charger should qualify for the OLEZ electric car charger grant.
Second, the feature set available to optimise/integrate its use with an existing/planned home electrical system, for instance load balancing ( your charger can detect how much power is available and adjust ) or micro generation (solar/wind) compatibility.
Third, how much monitoring/control of the charger is available, and how flexible it is.
The Brand: a UK based company, myenergi has built a set of products with a view of enabling a home energy system based around renewables. For now, that essentially means intelligently allowing homes to use as much of the solar/wind energy they produce as possible including charging electric vehicles, rather than exporting back to the grid.
The product range, however, suggests that they have a broad understanding and strong commitment to renewables and the smart grid and we look forward to further announcements. They also use only recycled and recyclable packaging.
The Product: the Zappi V2 is a fully featured, well designed EV charger with great flexibility. To get the OLEZ grant you will have to add the Hub product, but this is not expensive and allows you to use the remote monitoring and control capabilities through their app.
The system has the built-in capability to intelligently detect and adjust output to the available power in the home and combine grid and home solar/wind energy sources, through its multi charging mode approach. The Zappi V2 also has a small screen so information can be viewed without always using the app.
With the OLEZ grant, the system (including the Hub) will cost around £800 to install.
The Brand: again a UK based company, the EO product set is focussed on EV charging capabilities to grow the use of electric vehicles by consumer and business alike.
EO have a strong track record installing large multi charge point facilities enabling out-of-the-home charging and the migration of companies to large electric fleets. EO have also partnered with Octopus energy to allow the simple choice of a green energy provider and tariff integration, which also makes taking advantage of off peak pricing easier.
The Product: the Mini Pro 2 is a small discreet charger, with no screen but with app communication built in. Although not as intuitive or flexible to use as the Zappi V2, in this case optional CT Clamps can be purchased to enable detection and adjustment to available power in the home and the ability to switch to charging from home generated solar/wind energy.
With the OLEZ grant the basic system will cost some £550 pounds to install. The optional features (CT clamps) are not too expensive at around £100 pounds per each installed.
The Brand: EVBox is a Dutch company looking to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. It is one of the biggest players in the EV charger market and as such has played its part in electrification of business fleets and providing public charging points.
It also made commitments in 2019 to plant a tree for every new EV charger unit sold (now over 100,000 trees).
The Product: the ELVI charger’s size lies between the Mini Pro 2 and the Zappi V2, is well designed, but has no screen. The charger’s modular design promises the ability to change/upgrade both charger cable and charger power based on the evolution of electric cars.
As with the EO, communication with your box is via an application, although simply plugging in and charging is possible. In this case load balancing and micro-generation integration are achieved via a separate option (EV Smart Charging) available through a partnership (Smappee). This partnership brings the promise of other future developments. The end result, however, is not yet as intuitive or flexible as the Zappi.
To install the basic options (a cable holster is included) the cost would be some £900, with the Smart Charging option adding another £250.
All of the above manufacturers provide a 3 year warranty We try our best to research and find the best environmentally friendly companies to recommend here. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future.