It's important to choose the best option for your budget, and decide whether a tethered or untethered EV charger suits you better.
Things to consider when buying an EV charger
Making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV) is a great way to cut some costs when it comes to fuel and improve your carbon footprint. As we move towards the 2035 ban of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicle sales, you might even want to get ahead of the game and switch early. Whatever your reason for coming to the EV-side, you’ll still need to find a way to charge your car.
There are a few things you’ll need to consider when you’re figuring out your best home charging set-up, including your budget, charging speed, tethered or untethered, and even whether you want to try solar power.
Getting a wall box charger fitted at your home is an ideal way to set up a convenient charging spot for your EV. These chargers attach to an exterior wall on your property, and have everything you need to plug-in and easily recharge.
We've partnered with myenergi to offer easy home charging solutions with the zappi home charger. This is an easy way to start boosting your car if you're buying an EV from cinch.
If you’re unable to charge your EV at your home or fit a wall box charger, there are still ways to get a boost.
You might even be able to find a spot to charge your EV for free.
What are your EV home charging options?
When you’re looking at options for an EV home charger, you’ll have a choice of wattages that will determine how fast you can charge your car. As you can plug your EV in overnight and get a boost that way, there isn't always a need to go for a fast charger.
You can also just choose to use a charger that plugs into a domestic socket in your home. This will offer a much slower charge than a dedicated wall box charger that you can have fitted at your address, but it’s still a handy option.
A 3.6kW wall box charger will be slightly quicker than your standard domestic plug. This would work for you if you make short daily trips, and won't be burning through your mile range at a rapid rate. These are also a good option for plug-in hybrid cars, as you won’t be requiring as big of a charge as a fully-electric car.
You can expect a 3.6kW wall box charger to cost around £350 to £600.
A 7kW wall box charger is significantly quicker than a domestic plug or the 3.6kW options, and will charge your EV at a doubly-fast rate. This is ideal for most people and will be enough to re-’fuel’ most EVs overnight. You can expect a 60kWh battery EV to take around eight hours to charge from empty to full, using a 7kW charging point.
A 7kW charger will usually cost around £850.
Not all houses can accommodate a 22kW charging point, as they require a three-phase electricity supply to work and most households have single-phase.
This is the fastest EV charger that’s currently available for home use, and can charge a Nissan Leaf from empty to full in just six hours.
A 22kW charger can cost between £1,200 and £1,500.
How are home charge point chargers installed?
Getting your home charge point fitted is a relatively easy process, especially if you own your home and don’t need to seek landlord permission before making these changes.
Your supplier will arrange for the home charge point to be delivered.
Once you’ve received your home charge point, your installer will drill through the exterior wall to allow the box to be connected to the electrics. It’s then wired to the household mains.
You should be able to monitor your home charge point charger through WiFi, allowing you to keep an eye on how much electricity you’re using, as well as the costs of charging.
How do you use home charge point chargers to charge your EV?
Exactly how to use your home charge point will depend on the one you choose, as it’s likely the process will differ slightly depending on your model. The good thing is it’s always straightforward and easy regardless of which charger you use!
Park your car in a spot where the home charge point can comfortably reach with the cable. If you haven't got a charger installed yet, think about where your car’s charging port is and where would be most convenient for you to park.
Most home charge point chargers use Type 2 connector cables. You’ll need to plug the correct end into your EV to allow it to charge, while the other end is connected to the home charge point. Some domestic/home chargers also have the option of a tethered cable, which is always connected to the charger – one less thing to remove and replace!
If your home charge point charger uses an app, open it up and go through the processes to start charging. You can even set a charge schedule to decide when you’d like to charge your car – off-peak times are best for saving money.
Once you’re ready to go, it’s as simple as unplugging, tidying up those cables safely, and getting on the road.
What’s your budget?
As all EV wall box chargers come in at a different price point, you might want to figure out what your budget is before you go shopping. Purchasing a wall box charger is a one-time expense that you’ll have to factor in when you make the switch to an EV, but there are some grants available in the UK and Scotland that might help with this.
You might also want to take a look into your energy tariff and see if you can find cheaper rates elsewhere, to keep the cost of charging itself low. A great tip to save some money is to find the off-peak energy times for your tariff, and schedule your EV to charge in this window.
Tethered or untethered EV charger?
You’ll have another decision to make when it comes to choosing your wall box charger – should you go for a tethered or untethered charging point?
Tethered EV charger
A tethered EV charger has the charging cable permanently attached to the charging unit, so the cable will always be on hand. Lots of motorists find this more convenient, as there’s no chance of forgetting your cable, or needing to faff around and attach it each time you want to charge.
With a tethered charger, you’ll have a choice of lengths provided by the manufacturer for the cable, and can’t swap and change for different ones. This means you’ll have to be certain on how long you need yours to be before you have it fitted.
Tethered chargers feel very similar to petrol pumps in the sense that all you need to do is grab the cable from the wall box and plug it in.
Advantages of a tethered charger
The cable is always conveniently attached and ready to use
Your cable is included with your wall box so you won’t need to purchase it separately
As the cable is permanently attached to the unit, it’s more secure
Disadvantages of a tethered charger
It can feel untidy as the cable will always be in view
It's restricted to your choice of cable lengths
It's limited to charging only Type 1 or Type 2 vehicles, depending on the cable you choose
Untethered EV charger
An untethered EV charger simply means that the charging cable can be removed from the wall box and stored away. The untethered wall box will have a socket for you to plug in your own charging cable, and then you’ll need to store the cable away when not in use.
These type of chargers are sometimes known as ‘socket-only’, and they’re more flexible for use. You’ll be able to swap and change your charging cable to suit the vehicle and the length of cable you need.
Advantages of an untethered charger
They’re more flexible as you can choose your own cable that can be used with either Type 1 or 2 cars
They look tidy as there are no cables permanently on display
You can switch between charging cable lengths
Disadvantages of an untethered charger
You'll need to supply your own charging cable and store it away after use
It can feel less secure as the cable is easier to remove
You might find that the cable gets wet or muddy and will then need to be stored away
Which EV charger is best?
The best EV charger is the one that suits your needs – take time to consider your budget, preference for tethered or untethered, and your ideal charging speed.
You might want to shop around and get some quotes from different suppliers to find the best deal, but this will also help you to see all the available options on the market.
If you feel like you might switch to a different EV in the future, an untethered wall box might be more convenient in case you’d like to change the cable. You might also choose a slower EV charger if you know that you won’t be burning through your mile range quickly, or a faster charger if you drive long distances daily.
Government grants for EV chargers
There are a few government grants on offer that will go towards the cost of purchasing and installing an EV charge point for anyone that fits the criteria. You’ll need to visit the gov.uk website to see the full details and check if you’re able to apply.
EV Chargepoint Grant for Landlords
If you live in a rented property, your landlord can apply for a grant that will cover up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing an EV chargepoint, up to the value of £350.
Landlords can apply for up to 200 grants per financial year on residential properties, and up to 100 grants for commercial.
EV Chargepoint Grant for flat owner-occupiers and people living in rented properties
If you own and live in a flat or rent any residential property, you could be eligible for up to 75% of the costs to have a charge point fitted, up to a maximum of £350 per grant.
This grant is provided by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), and you can also apply to use this grant to replace an older charge point at a property you’re moving into.
Can I charge my EV with solar panels?
You can charge your EV with solar panels if you have them fitted at your home or plan too. As you’re most likely to charge your vehicle overnight, you might want to invest in a solar battery storage system to collect the energy you generate through the daylight hours.
Like fitting a wall box charger, adding solar panels to your home will be an initial expense but will likely save you money on energy costs in the long run.