Electric Car Charging Stations

Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market

The increase in the use of electric vehicles around the globe has inadvertently affected the surge in the development of EV charging stations. The rise in the popularity of these electric-powered vehicles necessitates the market for the accessories and infrastructure that are required to support the cars. One of such needed accessories is an electric vehicle charging station. 

An electric charging station is a unit designed to deliver the electrical charge to the battery of your electric vehicle.  It does this by converting AC current that is found in the home into the DC energy needed by the vehicle batteries to function optimally. Its primary function is to deliver power to the battery for storage. 

An electric vehicle charging station has different pseudonyms which include; EV charging stations, Charging points, Charge point, ECS (electronic charging station), Electronic recharging point and EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment). Charging stations are categorised into four types. The Residential charging stations, charging while parked, Fast charging at public charging stations and battery swaps or charges in under 15 minutes. 

This article is, however, based on smart home charging stations. The residential charging stations permits its owner to plug in when he or she returns home. The car is usually charged overnight, and it does not require a user authentication nor metering, but it may require wiring a personal circuit. Some of this home portable chargers are wall mounted.   To charge at home, some Electric vehicle chargers have onboard converters plugged into a standard electrical outlet or a high-capacity appliance outlet.

Despite various available means of charging your car, it is always better and comfortable to charge at home. Your car is supposed to have a plug which you only have to connect to any outlet in your house. This is called level 1 charger. It does not have fast charging ability. However, there is a piece of good news here. There are other options for you to get your car charged at a fast rate without spending much. 

One benefit you get by having a home EV charging point is that you spend less and at the same time, you have access to a fast and safe charge without worry. With a level 2 charger, you can easily get your car charged in couples of hours. Charging in public places attracts per hour billing while charging at home will prevent such charges. Also, there is convenience when you install an electric vehicle charging station at home. You charge at your own pace.   Having an EV charger at home has its usefulness, and it is of great benefit. Moreover, there are certain features that one must consider before one acquires an EV charger. Below are what you need to consider.

Features you should consider when buying an EV charger

  • The power output capacity: before you buy your Smart EV charging station, you need to check out the output capacity of the charger. How powerful it is and how much can it give to your car? These are the questions that should run through your mind when you plan to get one EV charger for yourself. Electric cars charge at different rate and capacity. Some are faster while some are not. The power needed to charge ranges from 3.7 KW to 22 KW, and this depends on the inbuilt onboard charger of a particular electric car. There are level 1 and level 2 chargers you can get. Level 1 is quite cheaper; however, it is slow and will take a long time to power your vehicle fully. Level 2, on the other hand, is costly, but it delivers more power and charges your vehicle faster. Well, there is also the level 3 charger, but it is so powerful that it is not permitted for use at home.
  • The length of the Power cable: you need to consider the location of the mounted power outlet. How far is it to your vehicle’s location? You can always get a long power cable for your charger regardless of the distance between your vehicle and the charger. There is provision for 25-foot long power cable which is the maximum length you can get. This means that why you install the Electric vehicle charging station into your home, you need to be mindful of your car location. 
  • Consider your connection model (Hard wired or Plug?): you need to look your preference of which connection model you would prefer. How will your EV charger be connected to the power supply? A hardwired charger is quite difficult to install, but it is cheaper, and it is more secure and difficult if not impossible to steal. It has a direct connection to the power supply, while the plugged also known as plug and play model requires a suitable power outlet that it can fit into. It is easier to install, quite cost and is not secured, unlike the hardwired model.  
  • Consider various high ends: this includes the time delay, remote charging monitoring and remote activation. All these are the smart features that are not available on all chargers. You need to lookout for those chargers which have them before considering which you would buy or not. These features are premium added, and they serve different functions. The time delay switch helps set the time you start charging your vehicle, while remote activation control is advanced with its use of WiFi and connectivity. One thing you must know before you go for these is that, though they are excellent features to have, they add to the price of the charger. 

Consider the EV charging station manufacturer: finally, you need to consider the right manufacturer for the electric car. You need to check out if the manufacturer has the approval and listing of prominent automobile manufacturers. This will help you to identify which charger is compatible with your car.

I have five top station points you can use in your home below. Read them carefully to get access to their functions and capacities. 

EO Mini Smart Home

EO Mini Smart Home Charging Station - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

EO Mini Smart Home Charging Station

When you talk of a durable, smart and effective home charging point, the EO Mini comes to mind. It is mind blowing for its super qualities and efficiency. The EO Mini Smart Home has a Mini charger and includes a solar panel integration, which gives it an advanced function of charging your electric car using renewable energy. How does that make you feel? Two sources of power supply in one charging point. Yes it is. The EO Mini charger is compatible with various brands of vehicle plug-in. It further borrows from the digital age with its ability to monitor the energy use through your smartphone and with its intelligent charging software that uses WiFi updates. It has a reliable active load management. 

The EO Mini Smart Home also affords you the possibility of saving £500 of your home charger cost if you have access to off-street parking and purchase your plug-in vehicle after 1st October 2016. It qualifies as a home charging point and this is proven by its accreditation by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). It has various cable length, which are, 5m, 7.5m and 10m while it is also designed in various dimensions of h. 175mm, w. 125mm and d. 95mm. For your colour preference, the EO Mini comes in varieties of Blue, Grey, Black and White. Below are its essential Features.

Essential Features

  • The EO Mini Smart Home includes an EO Mini charger and EO Home Hub.
  • It has universality, as it is compatible with all plug-in vehicle brands.
  • It has the power capacity rate of 3.6kW and 7kW. 
  • It has a solar panel integration.
  • Both its socket and tethered are universal (Type 1 or2).
  • It has the approval of OLEV.
  • It complies with the 18th edition of IET wiring.
  • It comes with a 3 years warranty.

Pros

  • It has two source of power: Solar and electricity.
  • It works with all plug-in vehicle brands.
  • It comes with a whole 3 years warranty.

Cons 

  • It has a low capacity rating.
  • It is quite expensive without the OLEV eligibility.

The Pod Point Home Charging Point

The Pod Point Smart Home Charging Point - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

The Pod Point Smart Home Charging Point

With the Pod Point smart home charging point, charging your electric vehicle will be faster, safer and stress-free with its WiFi enabled ability. One great move you can make to charge your electric car at home is to get yourself a Pod Point home charger. With the Pod Point charger, you do not stand the risk of failure in compatibility as the charger is designed to work with all plug-in vehicle brands including, Nissan, Tesla, Hyundai, KIA, LandRover, Renault, Chevrolet and others. 

The Pod Point home charger stands out with its standard installation of which 90% of drivers qualified. It makes it easier and faster to charge while the car works longer on the road with its 3x faster than a 3-pin plug charging capacity. Its durability and reliability rate has earned it trust from over 40,000 customers with 4.8/5 star rating. In order to put your mind at rest, the Pod Point home charger comes with free 3-year on-site warranty.

The Pod Point charger comes in three different power rating and various prices. The 3.6kW solo charger is the lowest with 1.6x faster than a 3- pin plug. It provides an EV with up to 15 miles of range per hour (RPH). Its price goes for £779 without OLEV grant and £229 with OLEV grant. The 7kW solo charger is quite stronger with its 3x faster than a 3-pin plug and provision of EV with up to 30 miles of range per hour (RPH). It is priced at £859 without the OLEV grant, and as £359 with OLEV grant.

The Pod Point goes a bit further with 22kW solo charger that is 10x faster than a 3-pin plug. It gives an EV with up to 50 miles of range per hour (RPH) and it is only available with a universal socket or tethered type 2 connector. The 22kW solo charger requires a three-phase power and just like the 3.6kW and 7kW, the 22kW is prone to restriction from charging at its full capacity because of either your cable or your vehicle.

Essential Features

  • It is compatible with all plug-in vehicle brands.
  • It has the power capacity rate of 3.6kW, 7kW and 22kW.
  • Both its socket and tethered are universal (Type 1 or2).
  • It has the approval of OLEV.
  • It has a 3-year on-site warranty.

Pros

  • It is compatible with all plug-in vehicle brands.
  • It has a strong power rating and capacity (22kW).
  • It is durable, waterproof and designed to last.
  • It is WiFi enabled.

` Cons

  • The car or cable can restrict it from charging at its full capacity.
  • It does not make use of renewable energy such as solar.
  • It is quite expensive without the OLEV grant. 

 ChargePoint Home Enabled Electric Vehicle Charger

ChargePoint Home Enabled Electric Vehicle Charger - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

ChargePoint Home Enabled Electric Vehicle Charger

The ChargePoint Home EV Charger is one other charger you can place your money on to get yourself a faster means of charging your electric vehicle. The ChargePoint charger is designed to charge your EV 6x faster than any other standard Wall outlet. It is a WiFi enabled charger, which makes it digital in use and easy to utilise. The chargerPoint EV charger is a level 2 electric car charger that designed to work with all forms of electric vehicle brands.

The smart home ChargePoint EV charger moves a step further with its charging schedule ability. With your ChargePoint app, you can easily schedule your charging rate; you can track all of your charging in one place and plan a reminder so that you will not forget to plug in. The other added advantage is that the ChargePoint is easy to install. All you need to do is to hire any licensed electrician and get a 240V, 40A and a 2-pole circuit breaker then you can complete your installation without any delay.  The ChargePoint EV charger works with Alexa and this gives you the opportunity to manage your home charging with your voice. Wow! Charging made simple indeed! With all these features, the ChargePoint EV charger offers a 3-year warranty for all buyers. 

Essential Features

  • It works with all EV brands including: Chevy Volt, Honda Clarity, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S and X, Toyota Prius Prime, BMW i3, X5 and 530e, and many more.
  • It is designed with Level 2, 240V, 32 amp electric vehicle (EV) charging point that charges 6x faster than a standard wall outlet and it adds up to 25 miles of range per hour
  • The plug-in station (for the indoor installation only) makes use of a NEMA 6-50 outlet.
  • Package dimensions is 19.1 x 14.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Price £491.66
  • It has a 25Ft cable and many more.

Pros

  • It is easy to install.
  • It has a high power rate and capacity.
  • With the ChargePoint app, charging becomes easier.
  • It uses 40% less energy on average than any other car chargers. 

Cons

  • There is only level 2 of the charger.
  • It does not support OLEV grant.
  • It does not support solar power

Wallbox Pulsar Plus Home Charger

Wallbox Pulsar Plus Home Charger - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

Wallbox Pulsar Plus Home Charger

When you talk of compact chargers available on the market that can fit into almost any garage, the Pulsar Plus comes to mind. It is available with Type 1 and Type 2 cables. The Wallbox Pulsar  plus is one of the unrivalled home chargers that give you a fast charging experience and it is a new model of the Pulsar brand that is designed with Ethernet and WiFi connectivity. You will experience a 3x faster than a 3-pin plug charging speed for the 7.4kW and a 10x faster than a three-pin plug charging speed for the 22kW (which is for larger domestic dwellings commercial buildings.) 

With the aid of Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, you can send each programmed operation of your Pulsar Plus to the Wallbox app for you to be able to monitor and be in charge of your charging. All you have to do is to download the free wallbox application for either your android or iOS device. 

The Pulsar Plus comes with a cable of 5m length and a 7m optional length that makes it easier for you to park your car at your own pace and taste while you get it charged. It is a universal EV charger, which also works with various brands of Electric Vehicle.

Essential Features

  • Model Pulsar
  • Connector type Type 1 or 2
  • Dimensions 166x163x82mm (without cable)
  • Weight 1.9kg (without cable) 
  • Output 7.4kW(1 Phase) & 22kW (3 Phase)
  • Input voltage 230V (1P) & 400V (3P)
  • It makes use of Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for communication.
  • Price £809 VAT included

Pros

  • It is very compact and easy to install.
  • It is dynamic (available for Home and Commercial use)
  • It gives control over energy consumption with the access to Wallbox app.
  • It gives room for low cost charging through its charging sessions schedule ability. 

Cons

  • OLEV grant does not cover it. Hence, it is expensive.
  • It does not give room for renewable energy.

Wallbox Copper Smart Charging Station

Wallbox Copper Smart Charging Station - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

Wallbox Copper Smart Charging Station

If your looking for the most innovative company producing electric charging stations for vehicles, WallBox are certainly pioneers of the industry. There latest smart home charging station the Copper, is probably the best yet. Its latest technology “Facial Recognition”  allows you to charge your car without having to punch in a pin code or press a button internally on the house. Even though it is packing the latest technology it is  still one of the smallest smart charging station around and it offers the best combination of technology and functions that is designed with Ethernet and WiFi connectivity. One important feature of this charger is its face technology and sense technology which make it easier to operate the charge with the use of your gesture.

The Wallbox Copper is designed to work with all brand of electric vehicles. With the aid of Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, you can send each programmed operation of your Wallbox Copper to the Wallbox app for you to be able to monitor and be in charge of your charging. All you have to do is to download the free wallbox application for either your android or iOS device. 

The Wallbox Copper comes with a cable of 5m and 10m length that make it easier for you to park your car at your own pace and taste while you get it charged. With the wallbox application, you can adjust the power output of your copper charger either manually or automatically via Home Sharing. The app also makes it possible to lock your charger remotely in the local network or online when you are far away from your charger. 

Essential Features

  • Model Copper
  • Connections It uses Bluetooth, WiFi and Ethernet
  • Dimensions 167x167x54.5mm (without cable)
  • Weight 3.5-4.5kg (without cable) 
  • Output 7.4kW(1 Phase) & 22kW (3 Phase)
  • Max Power 22kW
  • User Face recognition and sense technology
  • It makes use of Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for communication.
  • Price £805 – 905 

Pros

  • It is very compact and easy to install.
  • It is dynamic (available for Home and Commercial use)
  • It gives control over energy consumption with the access to Wallbox app.
  • It gives room for low cost charging through its charging sessions schedule ability. 

Cons

  • OLEV grant does not cover it. Hence, it is expensive.
  • It does not give room for renewable energy.

The WallPod EV HomeSmart

The WallPod EV HomeSmart - Best 5 Smart Home Charging Stations on the Market - EV Cable Shop

The WallPod EV HomeSmart

The WallPod EV charging point is the latest among the range of smart EV charging Points created by Rolec EV, a leading UK’s EV charging station manufacturing company. The WallPod is specifically for home use to serve the need of every driver who wishes to charge their cars easily and faster in the comfort of their home. 

This EV charger has the approval of OLEV grant, which makes it less costly for anyone who wishes to buy it. It is set to make it easy and simple for every Electric vehicle owner to remotely manage and track their charging point through their smartphones or laptops. 

The WallPod EV HomeSmart offers industry standard Mode 3 communication and a fast charging speed of either 3.6 kW(16A) or 7.2kW(32A) through a socket connection or tethered lead. In addition to all these is its compatibility with all EVs.

With £295, you can have access to a WallPod EV HomeSmart provided you are eligible for the OLEV grant. 

Essential Features

  • It supports mobile App controlled smart Charging
  • It supports GPRS connectivity
  • It has the charging speed of 3.6 kW (16A) & 7.2kW (32A).
  • It has a built-in DC sensitive protective device
  • A built-in LED charging status indicator
  • A built-in GPRS communication antenna
  • IP65 Weather proof & UV resistant and many more.
Pros
  • It has secured communication
  • It saves money and reduces your carbon emission.
  • It is easy to utilise and set up.
  • It has weather prove ability.
  • It has location locator ability (GPRS communication antenna)

Cons

  • It is only ideal for Home use but can function only for light commercial use.
  • The 3.6kW is only suitable for all night charging since it takes it approximately 8 hours to fully charge.

Here at EV Cable Shop we feel that the smart homes charging stations above are currently the best in the UK, you can select your preference and make your experience with your electric vehicle a memorable one. 

Why You Should Get a Charging Station

Are you confronted with the question of why you have to get a charging point fixed at your home? At least, there are lot of available means of charging your EV. So, why bother about getting a charging station for your home. This is a possible thought you might have, however, there are certain benefits you stand to get by installing a charging station in your home and you cannot enjoy such benefits if you use public charging points. You can charge your Electric car from the mains through an extension lead, you can charge it at a public charging point and you can install a charging point at home. Below are the reasons you should get a charging station installed in your home.

  • Home EV Charging Stations cost less

The home EV charging stations are less expensive because the OLEV grant often gives every buyer a 75% discount of the actual cost of the charger. The amount paid by OLEV is as much as £500 and this makes every other expenses lesser. Though you will have to pay for the installation, your subsequent payments will be much cheaper. The cost you spend afterwards may be as low as £3 depending on the model of your car and your electricity tariff.

  • It is more Convenient to use

Having an EV charging station fixed in your home makes you charge your electric vehicle at your own pace without any need to do it out of compulsion or fear. It gives you a sense of absolute control without relying on any public charging station to charge your electric vehicle.  The convenience you get by having an EV charging station fixed at your home includes, not waiting in line for the person ahead of you to finish charging before you charge your car. Home charging makes it feasible for you to charge your car at home in the evening after the day’s work while you do other things and you may only be required to charge your car in public charging stations when you are on a journey.

  • You Charge Faster Using Home EV Charging Station

You can get your car charged between 1 and 7 hours depending on the size of the electric vehicle charging station you install. Using the home EV charging station is faster than the mains that takes minimum of 6 hours to fully charge and the public charging points are slower except if you use a rapid charging point and this is not quite expensive. Hence, you charge within a reasonable amount of time at a cheaper rate when you install a home EV charging station.

  • Home EV Charging Stations Tend to have Positive Effect on your Battery Life

Just like every other batteries, an electric car battery also drains and loses its efficiency with charging over time. It is better to have your electric car almost fully charged rather than having it charged fully. This will aid the battery life and it is easier for you to do this when you are in charge of charging your electric vehicle yourself.

These are the reasons you may consider to go for a home EV charging station. If you have decided to get yourself one, you will be confronted with questions on how to install it. Here is the answer to your question.

How to Install your Home EV Charging Station

There are three types of electric car charging stations and each of them has their method of installation.

How to Install a Level 1 Electric Vehicle Charger

The Level 1 EV chargers is the easiest to install. It comes with your electric vehicle and does not require any spectacular method of installation.  You are required to simply plug your Level 1 charger into a standard 120 volt wall outlet and it is ready for use. The Level 1 charging system does not have any extra costs associated with an installation, and you can set the entire charging system up without a professional.

How to Install a Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger

Level 2 EV charger uses 240 volts of electricity unlike the level 1. This gives it its ability of offering faster charging time. However, it requires a special installation procedure as a standard wall outlet only provides 120 volts. Installing a level 2 EV charger requires you to run 240 volts from your breaker panel to the location of your charger, it requires a double-pole circuit breaker that will help in doubling the circuit voltage to 240 volts and it requires a 4-strand cable. The technicality involved in the installation of the level 2 EV charger makes it a necessity for you to hire a professional electrician for the installation.

How to Install a Level 3 Electric Vehicle Charger

The Level 3 charging stations also called DC Fast Chargers are not for home installation. They are primary meant for use in commercial and industrial settings, as they are usually expensive and require specialised and powerful equipment for their operation. The level 3 EV charger requires the help of a professional electrician for its installation.

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