If you plan on upgrading to an electric vehicle or have recently purchased one, you’ve probably thought about how you’ll power your car. Your electric vehicle cannot be ‘topped up’ quickly at a petrol station as you do with your current petrol or diesel model.
So, what are your options?
According to the UK government, at least 80% of electric vehicles are charged at home. The other 20% might be making use of public EV charge points. Public EV charge points are convenient for quick charges between trips, but using them to recharge your empty battery is impractical for most people. Home-based EV charge points represent the best alternative.
The big issue with home EV chargers is time. Standard three-pin sockets draw a maximum current of 3kW. Using them could take up to two days to recharge your electric car from empty to full. If you do a lot of driving, that’s far from ideal.
To overcome this obstacle, electric car owners are investing in wall-mounted charging units connected directly to their home’s mains electricity. These installations speed up the recharging process significantly by delivering electricity at a much faster rate.
But which wall-mounted or so-called “wallbox” EV charger should you choose? In this post, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning wallbox EV chargers, helping you to make an informed decision.
What Is A Wallbox EV charger – And Do I Need One?
As mentioned earlier, a wallbox EV charger is a specifically-designed charging unit that can be installed in your driveway or garage. This device lets you charge your electric car wherever you usually keep it parked overnight.
Electric vehicles come with a standard charging cable (with a three-pin plug), but most manufacturers warn against using this form of charging as a long-term solution. Home sockets can only supply a maximum of 3kW, so using them to charge your car is time-consuming and can damage the socket over time.
By contrast, home wallbox chargers have a power output range of between 3kW and 22kW. Depending on your car’s make and model, this could mean that recharging your electric car could take as little as a couple of hours.
How Do I Choose The Right Wallbox EV Charger?
There many are different types of wall-mounted home EV charge points to choose from.
First, you need to consider the cables and connectors. Wall-mounted chargers are available with Type 1 or Type 2 cable options. Most UK electric and hybrid models use Type 2 cable connectors. To be safe, you should check your electric car’s user manual to confirm which cable connectors should be used.
The second thing to consider is speed. Wallbox charger power capacity ranges between 3kW to 7kW, while some can charge at an incredible 22kW. The charging unit’s power output determines its price. The higher the power output, the more expensive the device will be.
Are There Any Government Grants For Wallbox EV Chargers?
The UK Government has announced that they will fund up to 75% of EV charger installations. This is made possible through the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) grant. As of 1 April 2020, the most you can receive from an OLEV grant is £350.
To be eligible for the grant, potential owners must meet several conditions. Most notably, the electric car’s charging points must be installed by a Government-approved company. The EV charging point must also be installed no more than four months before your electric vehicle is delivered or used.
To get help with the OLEV grant application process, you can ask an experienced EV installation company, such as ourselves here at Applegarth, for assistance.
What Are Smart Wallbox EV Chargers?
Smart wallbox EV chargers are future proof. Even if you upgrade to a new electric vehicle, your smart wallbox unit will still be able to charge your new car, provided that it is Type 2 compatible.
What makes smart Wallbox EV chargers “smart” is their ability to connect to the internet, which allows you to control your electric car charging remotely using a smartphone app. It also allows you to schedule charging sessions, allowing you to take advantage of electricity at off-peak times (such as in the middle of the night).
This is a crucial requirement, as you won’t be able to satisfy the OLEV requirements without a smart wallbox device.
How Do I Get Started With A Wallbox EV Charger From Applegarth?
The first step to a successful wallbox EV charger installation is choosing the right installation company.
Here at Applegarth, we are experts in residential and commercial EV charge point installations. We have been providing specialised services to homeowners, businesses and public authorities since 2006. Our services are available across the UK including, Wirral, Liverpool, Chester and Cheshire.
We are OLEV-accredited and are an approved EV charge point installation company for many smart EV charge point manufacturers. For more information about our services, call us on 0151 649 8350 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our trained team members will answer any of your questions.