If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle (EV), you need to know what types of chargers are available and which best suits your needs.
When it comes to EV Charging, we come highly recommended!
There’s lots of information out there to help you choose your brand-new electric vehicle (EV), however it’s not so easy to make an informed choice on picking the right vehicle charger. That’s why we (Glenfield Vehicle charging) have produced this handy EV charger installation guide.
We’ll help you understand what sort of chargers are out there, what they do, how much they cost, where to put the charger and lots of other useful information.
What exactly is an EV charger?
It might sound self-explanatory but it’s useful to know exactly what they are and what they do. EV chargers are the devices wired into the mains electricity to supply the power needed to charge the battery of your electric vehicle.
Most home chargers are roughly about the size of a standard chopping board, although some smaller models are available. They’re connected to the mains via an armoured cable that runs to the distribution board (the fuseboard to most people) which is either buried under, or, clipped to a surface.
Almost every charger available on the market is a smart charger. This means you can connect your charger to your phone (or smart home system) to charge it at different times to get a cheaper charge with the Economy 7 tariff, to check the charge level, update the charger and more.
Which charge point do I need and what are the differences?
Commercial chargers come in all different shapes and sizes as they must draw on more power to charge multiple vehicles at once. Most chargers have an interface that allows for payment too.
In most cases, groundwork has to be carried out to run the cables to the mains supply as commercial chargers are often further away from buildings.
Tethered or Untethered?
There are normally two options with chargers.
Tethered chargers are wired into the charge point itself and untethered chargers have a detachable lead which plugs into the charge point.
Untethered chargers provide greater flexibility when charging away from home as the lead can be stored inside your vehicle, ready for when you need it.
Tethered chargers are more convenient when charging your electric car in the same place the majority of the time, as there’s no need to plug the lead into the point. The leads can be quite heavy so tethered chargers are the better option for people who don’t want to carry them around often.
Which charger should I choose?
There’s well over 40 home chargers available, the manufacturers make lots of claims about what they can do, although they’re broadly similar in our experience.
Manufacturers will claim the more expensive the charger unit, the more features it has - the better the quality. You can pay twice the cheapest price, but we doubt you get twice the cheapest quality.
Equally, we’d question whether the cheapest options represent the best value, cheap can cause trouble. An unreliable charger could mean you can’t make a crucial meeting on time, or leave you rushing around to find an expensive fast charger.
Overall, beware installers offering an online package with the lowest prices – especially if they haven’t visited the charging location. It could mean they have skimped on the quality of the product they plan to install, or you could be charged more later, if something unexpected occurs.
So, we tend to supply and install two specific makes, carefully chosen for their features and good pricing that we think represents excellent value for money pound for pound, the right features and good reliability.
The Hypervolt 2.0 and MyEnergi Zappi chargers are the units we’ve found that electric vehicle owners find the easiest to use, both when charging and using the respective apps for the smart charging options too.
We can install other equipment if you a strong specific preference, although we will put your safety first so may say no to equipment we don’t know or trust.
We like the Hypervolt Home 2.0 7 kW fast charger as it has the following features:
Advanced cost reports
Can integrate with Alexa
Solar integration (at no extra cost)
Free software updates
LED status indicator
No earth rods required (provides a neater installation)
Works with all well-known car brands
It looks great
The Zappi has very similar features. We like the Zappi combination of quality and functionality at a reasonable price, and some of our customers like their extra green credentials as a company.
One of the key features is the safety already built into the system so that you don’t need earth rods (to earth the electricity supply). If you choose a system without this feature, depending on the location of the charge point, you may find the need for earth rods means intrusive work is required to your drive or the surrounding area. So, ask the question.
Do you need a specialist electric vehicle charger installer?
Any qualified electrician can in theory install your charging point if they have registered with the Office for Zero Emission vehicles and if they have specific skills & specialist accreditation for the hardware.
We’d recommend you use a specialist installer simply because you can be confident, they have gone through the specialist training that most equipment manufacturers now provide.
Your electrician will be working with higher currents than normal for domestic work and may require experience and understanding of advanced earthing and bonding.
Always look for evidence of accreditations and training when you choose an installer, most will advertise this on their website.
Is a survey necessary before you order an installation?
95% of the time we’d say yes, and here’s why. Lots of installers will say it’s not necessary but we’d prefer to see where you want the installation to go and make sure that will work and be safe before we quote you a price.
You can have a meaningful discussion with us on-site. That way you can be certain you are happy about what is best for you and your home.
You will see a number of websites quote what looks like a fixed fee for your electric vehicle charger and installation. This assumes your installation is standard and will require a
minimum amount of equipment and cable with no additional work required relating to your electricity supply. Once you ring, you’ll be asked for photos and/or videos to help them plan the installation and give you a better estimate of the price.
FAQ's - click to read more
Our experience tells us that in most cases, except for new build properties with an empty garage, there is no such thing as a standard installation. Part of the reason behind that is because we’re very safety conscious and electricity can be dangerous.
There are several variables, such as where you want the equipment to be located or where the car is best located to charge throughout the year. Above all you should make certain thepower supply will be safe. That includes checking no additional earths or bonds are needed. How the power supply runs to the charger is regulated by the government, obviously with safety in mind.
So, we recommend a survey by one of our qualified surveyors, and we don’t charge for that, it’s all part of the service. That way you know the final price before you start, your installation will be hassle free and we’ll make sure you’ll get a safe installation.
If you go to an installer who quotes the price with no survey, do ask to check the terms and conditions before you place your order and ask if the price is fixed. If you’ve placed an order and extra work is needed, you’re not in the best position to haggle over the charge for extra work if the price for that work seems steep.
Here’s our suggested list of what’s important to listen out for or ask when you pick up the phone to an installer:
Ask to what extent the price quoted is fixed. If they can’t give you a clear answer, beware
Ask what equipment they recommend and why. It’s a simple question and there should be a good answer
Ask what the warranty you get for your charger and installation. Equipment manufacturers will generally give at least a 3-year warranty, check what the installer offers to cover their work
Make sure you don’t have to wait too long for your installation date, if they’ve got too much demand you may struggle to get support if you have a problem
Make sure you can get through on the phone quickly and easily with your first call. If not you may struggle to get support later if you need it
Find out what support will be available once you’ve had your charger installed. It should be comprehensive and fast. If you have a problem you want to be able to fix it, fast
We’d say that two things are vital. Your safety comes first whenever it comes to electricity, so make sure your installer has a good reputation. The second is support, both on the phone for advice and on site if you need it. We give a guarantee on everything we do, but above all our over-riding guarantee on any work we do is this “if you’re unhappy about anything we do, let us know and we’ll fix it.”
That’s down to your choice. Some people prefer to deal with large companies because of their size and number of installs, however they often subcontract to local installers so it’s not clear who is completing the installation on the day.
Some people prefer local companies because they’re close by if they need support, and they must be more careful of their reputation in your area.
How much does an installation cost?
It’s dependent on how much the charger you choose costs, how much installation work is required and how far away the charger is from the mains supply.
A quote is the most precise way to give a price but typically, a home EV charger installation costs between £800-£1000 for both the charger and the installation costs.
With commercial charging, the price is dependent on how many units are required, how much groundwork is needed – a ballpark figure is difficult as every installation is so different.
However, there is a government grant available for commercial chargers, you can claim £350 per charger for up to 40 chargers. We assist in the grant claim process making it as hassle-free as possible.
And here’s the 7 reasons we think you should choose Glenfield Vehicle Charging for your EV installation
The equipment we install is carefully chosen for its quality and usable functionality at a reasonable price, so you get the best value for your investment
Our free survey means we can talk with you face to face, to make sure you get exactly what’s best for you, make certain your installation will be safe and the price will be fixed because we’ve seen where the charger needs to go
Our team are trained to give you all the information you need to choose the right equipment and then use that equipment without any problems or hassle
Our track record of EV installation means we know exactly what we are doing, giving you complete confidence in every aspect of your installation
Our installation team are prompt, polite and professional, always, so you’ll love our service
You get the manufacturers’ guarantee for the equipment, our 5-year guarantee for our workmanship and our over-riding guarantee, “if you’re unhappy about anything we do, let us know and we’ll fix it”
If you need to call us for support, the phone will be answered promptly, and we’ll help you promptly
Actually, there’s a number 8. Our customers love what we do, and as proof, just take a look at our Google reviews.
If you’d like us to provide you with a free quote and site survey for your vehicle charger call us today on 0116 366 1030
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