With electric vehicles (EVs) set to play a big part in our greener future, at-home EV chargers are not only a cheaper and more convenient option than filling up at a regular gas station, they may even increase the value of your home too. But which to choose? If you are keen to understand a little more about the types of charger and process of getting yourself one, have a read of our article here, before moving onto our recommendations below.
When purchasing an EV charger, there are a few things consider. EV chargers that communicate energy usage allow you to keep track of consumption, and systems with a protective earth neutral (PEN) fault detection system remove the need for bulky earth rod units. Other features you may want to look out for include:
- Charging speed; wall box chargers come with a variety of charging speeds, with the slowest in the range of 3kW, mid range products around 7kW and the priciest options as high as 22kW. Its important to consider the range you need from your vehicle here day-to-day; for instance a fully-charged standard Tesla Model 3 has a range of 374 miles on a full battery – likely to well exceed most people’s standard daily commutes – which would take around 15-22 hours (or an overnight charge) to achieve
- Dynamic load monitoring; this is a feature allows you to set a limit on the charger to avoid overloading your domestic electrical system
- Photovoltaic (PV) integration – this allows the charger to source power from solar panels and/or wind energy
- Integration capability – ideal chargers will integrate seamlessly with existing home electrical systems
To be eligible for the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) grant, which currently offers up to £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing an EV charger, certain criteria must be fulfilled. The majority of retailers will highlight whether their product is eligible, and more details are available from the OZEV website. Worth noting; the eligibility criteria for OZEV grant applicants will be changing in April 2022, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates.
Our Top Picks…
Company: 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 EVs, rather than exporting back to the grid. The product range suggests that they have a broad understanding and strong commitment to renewables and the smart grid, and we look forward to further innovations. They also use only recycled and recyclable packaging.
Product: the Zappi is a fully featured, well designed EV charger with great flexibility. 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 modes approach. Device monitoring and timers to utilise economy tariffs allow you to get the most out of your charger, and built-in PEN fault technology eliminates the need for extra costs for earth rods. As a standalone charger, Zappi will charge your EV at a speed of 7kW from a mains-only power source.
The Zappi also has a small screen so information can be viewed without always using the app. It can be fully integrated with Myenergi’s other home energy offerings too, including Eddi; the eco-smart solar power diverter that re-directs energy from solar or wind sources back to your home heating systems, and Harvi; a smart device that facilitates the wireless and battery-less installation of Zappi and Eddi devices. The hub allows you to remotely monitor and control your devices.
The Zappi starts at £695 excluding OZEV grant and installation. It is quick and easy to get a fully purchase and installation quote from the Zappi website.
Company: 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, including for the like of companies including Uber, Sainsbury’s and Amazon.
Product: EO have three charger offerings; the EO mini, EO mini Pro 2 and the EO Basic. As the only model currently eligible for the OZEV grand, the Mini Pro 2 is a small discreet charger, with no screen but instead app communication built-in. Optional extras including load management to prevent system overload and solar charging integration are offered at additional cost. Charging is at a rate of 3.6kW or 7kW; the downside to this little charger is that separate installation of an earth rod is required at additional cost, a discount on which is offered by the EO site.
Purchase including installation starts at £595; excluding extra features; earth rods, and possible OZEV grant.
Company: EVBox is a Dutch company with a clear commitment to sustainability. It is one of the biggest players in the EV charger market and as such has played its part in electrification of business fleets including for big corporations such as Unilever, in addition to providing public charging points. To celebrate delivery of 100,000 charging points in 2019, EVBox launched their OneChargerOneTree initiative, planting a tree for every port they deliver. EVBox also aim to reduce unnecessary transport costs by utilising manufacturing plants and distribution centres across North America and Europe.
Product: the EVBox ELVI charger’s size lies between the Mini Pro 2 and the Zappi, is well designed, but has no screen. The charger’s modular design promises the ability to change and/or 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 app, although simply plugging in and charging is possible. In this case, load balancing and solar/wind power integration are achieved via a separate option (EV Smart Charging) available through a partnership (Smappee). This partnership brings the promise of other future developments. Charging can be achieved at rates of 7kW, 11kW or 22kW.
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 do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. 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!