How to Pick an EV Charger for Your Electric Car

Electric cars are growing in popularity, with more drivers going for electric or hybrid options. EVs require charging to get impressive mileage, but which EV charger is the right one for you?

We’ve put this guide together detailing everything you need to know about EV chargers and the types you should consider if you’re planning on going electric. 

What is an EV charger?

You might have noticed charging stations in and around your area that allow you to plug your car in and charge while it’s parked. But what about when you’re at home? 

If you don’t live near a charger, you’ll need to charge from home, which is more convenient anyway. That’s where an EV charger for your house comes in handy.

There are plenty of options and styles on the market, which is why we’ve listed the key features to look out for when buying a charger for your electric car. 

Different types of EV chargers

There are several options when it comes to the type of EV charger you choose for powering your electric car.

Some are free, some are relatively inexpensive, and others come with all the bells and whistles and cost a fair amount. 

Three-pin socket

You don’t actually need to buy a charger for your car. That’s because you can use a standard domestic three-pin socket to charge it up.

It’s the most affordable option, but it also has the longest charging time, around 26 hours, which is not very helpful if you need to drive your car soon. 

3.6kW charger

The next option on the list is a 3.6kW charger wall box, though it’s only marginally faster than a domestic socket.

Wallbox chargers are the most popular, as they sit nicely on the wall somewhere (usually in your garage) and can also power your home. If you have low daily mileage, then a 3.6kW might be enough.

But if you use your car more frequently, a 3.6kW probably won’t provide you with the juice needed for some serious and regular drives. 3.6kW options retail for between £300 and £450. 

7kW charger

The 7KW charger is the most popular option on the market and meets the needs of the majority of electric car owners.

It charges the battery at twice the rate of a home socket and will cost about £800, though there is a government scheme where you can claim money back (more on that in a bit). 

22kW charger

A 22kW charger is currently one of the fastest available. Charge time is around nine hours, and you can expect to fork out anywhere between £1,200 and £1,500 for this charger.

You’ll also need to check if your home electricity supply can handle a 22kW charge before you decide on getting this type of electric car charger. 

Government EV scheme

Just like tax advantages, electric cars also have benefits when it comes to choosing a charger. Opt for a charger that's included in the Government’s approved list.

You can apply for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which is worth up to 75% of the purchase price of a wall box (maximum contribution of £350). 

To tether or not to tether?

Tethered electric car chargers have cables attached to them, whereas untethered options only offer a charge point with no cable attached.

Your car should come with a cable, so you may opt for an untethered option as they are slightly more aesthetically pleasing.

However, there’s no doubt that tethered options are more convenient as you simply need to unwind the cable and plug it in. 

Type 1 or Type 2?

Expect to find two different types of connectors for charging: Type 1 and Type 2. Most electric cars in the UK use Type 2 connectors, as they were mandated by the EU in 2014.

Some older cars use Type 1 sockets, though they’re rare in the UK. You can also buy converters for both types to be safe. 

What about smart chargers?

Unsurprisingly, there are smart options for electric cars. These are chargers that can be powered remotely through an app.

That means you can monitor your car’s charging and choose charging times without needing to be next to the charger.

These are slightly more expensive but are growing in popularity thanks to their convenience. 

Charge me up!

With the information in this guide, you can feel more confident about finding the right option and enjoying a fully charged electric car when you hit the road.