Technology & software

A Buyer’s Guide to Home EV Chargers

It’s easy to understand how driving an electric vehicle (EV) can lower your carbon footprint. Unlike combustion engine vehicles, you won’t produce any direct emissions with an EV since it runs on electricity, not fuel. However, the EV itself is only a part of owning an electric-powered vehicle. There are other components you have to be knowledgeable about to get the most out of your EV. Take the home EV charger for instance. Although there are EV charging stations located in several parts of the UK, not every existing or aspiring EV owner has easy access to them. To solve this issue, many EV users invest in a home EV charger so that they can easily top up their vehicles’ batteries at home.

The concept of the home EV charger is simple, but you need to do more research on the different types of home EV chargers available on the market. You want a device that’s compatible with your vehicle and offers efficient charging. That’s why, in this EV charger home buyer’s guide, we’ll have a look at the things you have to take note of when you’re buying a home EV charger.

Choose an Installation Type That Suits Your Needs

When it comes to selecting a home EV charger, one of the crucial aspects you need to consider is its installation type. The type of installation for your home EV charger directly influences the different factors of your charging setup, which include its appearance, accessibility, and functionality. The two primary options to consider are hardwired EV chargers and plug-in EV chargers, each coming with its set of advantages and considerations, as added by Zolb EV, a supplier of EV charging solutions.

Hardwire EV Chargers

Hardwired EV chargers are directly connected to your home’s electrical system. They offer a clean and fixed installation, eliminating the need for a power cord that can be plugged and unplugged. This type of installation is often considered more permanent and provides a seamless, integrated look. Thus, hardwired chargers are commonly chosen by those who have a dedicated parking space and want a tidy, unobtrusive charging setup.

Due to how they’re designed, hardware EV chargers must be installed by a professional. That’s why, if you’re interested in getting a hardwire home charger, like a Hypervolt charger, it’s in your best interest to look for a company that offers quality Hypervolt EV charger installation services. Not all home EV chargers follow the same installation and setup process, so it’s in your best interest to let a qualified technician handle the process to ensure that the device is installed properly.

Home EV Chargers

Plug-in EV Chargers

On the other hand, plug-in EV chargers are more versatile and can be easily plugged into a standard electrical outlet. This flexibility makes them suitable for individuals who may not have a dedicated parking space or those who anticipate moving their charging stations. Plug-in chargers are generally easier to install and can be a convenient option for renters or those without a permanent residence.

When deciding between hardwired and plug-in chargers, consider your lifestyle, the availability of a dedicated parking space, and your preferences for long-term versus flexible installations. This choice will set the foundation for your home charging experience, so it’s essential to align it with your specific needs and circumstances.

Familiarise Yourself with the Different EV Charging Levels

Once you’ve decided on the installation type, the next thing you want to do is understand the various charging levels that are available for home EV chargers. Electric vehicles typically support different charging levels, each offering varying speeds of charging. Familiarising yourself with these levels helps you make an informed decision based on your charging requirements and time considerations.

Typical home EV chargers offer two types of charging levels: level 1 and level 2. Level 1 charging involves using a standard household electrical outlet to charge your EV. While this method is the slowest, it can be convenient for overnight charging. Level 1 chargers are often included with electric vehicles, requiring no additional installation. However, it’s essential to be aware that the charging speed may not be sufficient for daily commuting or frequent long-distance driving.

Level 2 chargers are the most common choice for home installations. These chargers use a 240-volt electrical supply and offer significantly faster charging times compared to Level 1. A Level 2 charger can provide you with a full charge overnight, making it suitable for daily use. Installation may require a dedicated circuit and, in some cases, the services of a professional electrician.

Check if Your Electric Panel Can Support the Electrical Capacity of a Charging Station

 Before you finalise your decision on a home EV charger, make sure to check whether your home’s electrical panel can support the electrical capacity required by the charging station. The electrical panel is the central hub that distributes electricity throughout your home, and checking the compatibility between your chosen EV charger and your home’s electrical capacity is a proactive step that prevents potential issues and ensures a smooth charging experience.

Consider hiring a qualified electrician to evaluate your home’s electrical system. They can assess whether your panel can handle the additional load of an EV charger. If needed, they can recommend and carry out any necessary electrical upgrades to ensure a safe and reliable charging experience.

Moreover, if you anticipate adding more electrical appliances or upgrades to your home, factoring in these potential future loads in your decision-making process ensures that your electrical panel remains capable of supporting all your energy needs.

Keep in Mind the Features You Want

Home EV chargers with features that meet your specific requirements can clearly enhance your overall charging experience. Keep in mind, however, that each device comes with different features. Thus, before buying a charger, consider your preferences and lifestyle to determine which features align with your needs. Here are three common features that are offered by some EV home charging units:

Energy Saving Capabilities

Some home EV chargers come with energy-saving features that allow you to optimise charging times based on your electricity rates. These features may enable you to schedule charging during off-peak hours, taking advantage of lower electricity costs.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Chargers equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity let you monitor your charging sessions, receive notifications when charging is complete, and access data on your energy consumption remotely. This connectivity allows for greater control over your charging habits, ensuring you stay informed and can make adjustments as needed. Home EV chargers that have this feature typically come with an app that enables you to control its settings via your smartphone.

Smart Charging Options

Investing in a charger with smart features adds a layer of intelligence to your charging setup. Smart charging options may include the ability to set charging schedules, remotely start or stop charging sessions, and integrate with smart home platforms. These features provide you with a level of customisation, allowing you to tailor your charging routine to fit your daily schedule and preferences.

To make the most out of your home EV charger experience, you have to make sure that the device you’re using suits your driving needs. With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to find and purchase a home EV charging unit that fits your driving lifestyle.