Buying an EV charger for your home is a big investment, and for many people is a one time purchase. So, you’ve only got one chance to get it right. To ensure you buy only the perfect charging point for your home, read this guide from the Andersen EV team first…
Failing to understand your charging needs
The first - and arguably the most important - mistake that people make when selecting and purchasing a home EV charge point, is failing to fully understand their charging needs.
With such a wide selection of chargers on the market, it can be quite a process to sift through all the chargers available and decide which one is best. But, as you’ll soon see, not all chargers are created equal.
Choosing the right EV charger begins with getting to know your home’s power supply.
Understanding the electricity setup in your home is crucial to ensuring the charging point you buy is compatible and suitable.
Here in the UK, the majority of homes have what is known as a ‘single-phase’ power supply. But, what exactly does this mean?
Let’s break it down…
Single-phase vs three-phase: a single-phase electricity supply is the most common type of domestic electricity connection in the UK. As the name suggests, it supplies electricity via a single wire. In contrast, three-phase connections are generally found only at very large domestic properties or commercial buildings such as offices. If you’re not sure what type of connection your home has, take a look in your electric meter cupboard. If you have a three-phase connection, then you’ll see three main fuses as opposed to only one 100 amp fuse.
- Charge point options: EV chargers typically come in two power options; 7kW and 22kW. 7kW chargers are compatible with both single-phase and three-phase electricity connections. A 7kW charger will typically provide a charge from 0-100% in about 10 to 12 hours. On the other hand, 22kW chargers are exclusively compatible with three-phase electricity connections and charge much faster than their 7kW counterparts.
Why are these points important? Because your electricity supply determines what capacity charger you can use.
If you have a single-phase electricity supply, then a 22kW EV charger will not be suitable for your home. To make the correct choice, it’s essential to know your home’s electricity supply before deciding which charger best suits your needs.
Here is how to find out what electricity supply your property has.
Imagine the prospect of powering your electric vehicle with the Sun’s clean, renewable energy. Not only is this an eco-conscious choice, but can result in significant cost savings.
However, to turn this vision into reality, it’s important that you check whether your chosen EV charger is compatible with your home solar system. Choosing an incompatible EV charger is another mistake that’s often made when people are selecting a home charge point.
Here are the key points to consider:
Home solar array - in order to charge your EV using solar power, you’ll first need to install a solar array. This will take the form of a set of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that are installed on the roof of your home (typically south facing if possible). Then, via an inverter, wiring, and various other components, the energy produced by the solar panels will be made available to your home’s electricity system - and in turn, made available to your home EV charging point.
Compatibility matters - it’s not simply enough to have a home solar array. You will also need an EV charger that’s explicitly designed for solar charging. It’s important to invest in a home EV charger that features ‘smart charging’ capability.
- Understanding solar EV charging - when it comes to understanding the mechanics of solar EV charging, the key is comprehending the minimum power threshold needed to initiate the charging process. The minimum amount of energy required to start charging an EV is 1.4kW. This ensures your EV charger can draw power effectively from your solar panels, maximising the use of this renewable energy source.
Want to understand EV charging with solar panels in more detail? Octopus Electric Vehicles has produced a handy guide.
Overlooking your home’s aesthetic
The addition of an electric vehicle charger to your home is more than just a practical addition; it makes a very real visual statement. Yet, surprisingly, many prospective EV charger buyers tend to overlook the aesthetic aspect.
In this section, we delve into the visual impact of your EV charger, and why it matters:
The hidden elegance of EV chargers: modern EV chargers aren’t solely about function - they can also be a captivating blend of form, function and personal style. Imagine having the freedom to choose from a spectrum of designs, colours, and finishes for your EV charger. The Andersen A2, for instance, offers over 120 customisations, including metal and wood finishes, enabling you to harmonise your charger with your home’s aesthetics seamlessly.
The practical beauty of a hidden tethered cable: here’s where functionality meets aesthetics elegantly. The Andersen A2 is the pioneer of concealed tethered cables. This innovative feature is not only visually pleasing, but also very practical. With a hidden tethered cable, you eliminate the need to plug and unplug a cable every time you charge your EV. It’s a small change that makes a big difference!
Brushing off the details: small details can make a significant impact. The Andersen A2 incorporates brushes designed to effortlessly remove any residue or dirt from the cable when coiling or uncoiling the tethered cable. It’s these thoughtful touches that set a charger like the Andersen A2 apart.
- Curated curb appeal: for those who take pride in the appearance of their homes and understand the importance of ‘curb appeal’, selecting a design-driven EV charger is more than a choice; it’s a statement. Your charger can reflect your appreciation for aesthetics while seamlessly integrating into your property’s visual appeal.
We encourage you to explore the creative possibilities of selecting an EV charger that not only charges your vehicle efficiently, but also adds to your home’s aesthetic charm.
All too often, individuals buy EV chargers that are little more than ugly plastic boxes, which actually detract from the overall aesthetic of their home. Don’t fall into that trap!
Remember that your EV charger can be more than just a practical tool; it can be an enhancement to your home’s visual identity. Choose a charger that reflects your design sensibility and adds to your pride in your home’s appearance.
Failing to check the EV charger’s features
Whilst the aesthetics of your EV charger are important, it's the charger’s practicality and features that truly define its worth.
Yet, it’s unfortunately the case that many buyers make the mistake of not checking that their chosen charger has all the features they require prior to making a purchase.
Here are some of the key features to be aware of:
Charging at your fingertips: the convenience of controlling your EV charging through a smartphone app cannot be overstated. Most (but not all!) EV chargers offer a dedicated app. Some of these apps include features such as scheduled charging, the integration of energy tariffs for more control over your spending on electricity, and energy consumption reports.
The cable length: the practicality of your EV charger extends to the cable length. The question here is, ‘how much cable do you really need?’ It’s essential to consider your parking setup and the distance between your parking space and the charger. Too much cable can be cumbersome, while too little can limit your flexibility. Choosing the correct cable length ensures a hassle-free charging experience.
- The connector type: there is less of a risk than it used to be, but it’s vital that you check that your chosen EV charge point has the correct connector type for your EV. These days, the overwhelming majority of EVs and charge points use type-2 connectors and sockets.
In the world of electric vehicle chargers, the value of a warranty isn’t just as a financial safeguard, it’s the unsung hero that guarantees the longevity and reliability of your investment.
Yet, many people fail to check that their chosen charge point has a warranty (and if it does, what it covers).
In this section, we’ll delve into the importance of choosing a home EV charge point that has a solid and thorough warranty:
The assurance of warranty: picture your warranty as your steadfast companion on your EV charging journey. It’s not just a piece of paper; it’s your protection against unforeseen issues. When your EV charger includes a substantial warranty - like the generous three-year coverage provided with the Andersen A2 - it means you can trust in the durability and performance of your charger.
Installation flexibility: the warranties of some EV chargers are only valid if installed by a specified party. The beauty of the Andersen A2’s warranty, on the other hand, is that it’s not conditional on a particular installation type. Whether you opt for our in-house experts or engage your own qualified electrician, the warranty remains valid.
- Customer-centric support: beyond the assurance provided by the warranty, Andersen EV has a strong focus on customer service. Our customer-centric approach extends to unwavering support, ensuring your needs, questions and any technical hiccups are promptly and efficiently addressed.
Home EV charger buying checklist
As you’ve just read, there are several mistakes you need to avoid if you want to buy the perfect home EV charging point.
Just to recap, here are the key points to consider when selecting a charge point:
- Understand your charging needs and home’s electricity connection.
- If you intend to connect your charger to a home solar array, ensure it is compatible.
- Make sure that your chosen charger complements your home’s exterior and general decor.
- Check that your chosen charger has all the features you’d expect of it (e.g. an easy to store and clean charging cable).
- Ensure that the charger has a warranty, and what this warranty covers.
Check these things, and you’ll be on the road to buying a charge point that’s a joy to drive home to.
Looking for the perfect home EV charging point?
Then you’re in the right place. If you want a charge point that ticks all the above boxes and more, then choose the Andersen A2.
The UK’s only premium charge point, the A2 doesn’t just look beautiful, but is packed with the latest technology and features the most discerning buyers expect.
It’s for that reason that Andersen EV is the preferred EV charging provider of Porsche, Land Rover, and Jaguar.
Discover the Andersen A2 now
For more EV charging information, advice and insights, read the Andersen EV blog…