The Best Home EV Chargers (A Buying Guide For 2021)
Looking for the best home EV charger in the UK? Look no further than this here buying guide for the year 2021.
With a home EV charger, you never have to go to a public charging point ever again — unless you need a top-up on the road, of course. That being said, finding the best home EV chargers can be a daunting task, especially when you haven’t a clue where to start.
Thankfully, your options aren’t limited to one or two electric chargers; dozens of companies are out there. Simply Googling “best home charging station” will result in pages upon pages of worthy units.
Another option would be to check out the charging points we’ve carefully selected for your viewing pleasure. Know that they all range in quality, consistency and, most of all, power.
For example, Level 2 EV chargers are a lot quicker than Level 1 chargers; consider this your first fact. Work-orientated drivers, this should sound like music to your ears as you could be knocking valuable minutes off of your standard routine.
Alternatively, you could charge your vehicle overnight. Still, some paranoid buyers would rather avoid the risk, despite it being perfectly safe to do so.
These are general facts that you need to know if you’re in the market for a home charging system. Speaking of facts, you’ll find a lot of them down below, alongside our picks for the best home EV chargers available to you in 2021.
So what are you waiting for? You’ll be charging your car from the comfort of your above in no time if you read on below!
A Quick Overview of Home EV Chargers
Knowledge is indeed power when it comes to anything regarding EV. It’s why we need to clarify a few things before we continue.
First, understand that electric car chargers are an investment. They’re a tad expensive at their current price, depending on the charger, but think of how much money you’ll save in the long run. Your electricity bill might be a little higher, but you’re paying for convenience; remember that.
Your average EV charger will cost around £1,100; again, this depends on what you’re looking at. The more you pay, the better experience you’ll have, which tends to be the way of all things.
Here’s an important tip for you: make sure the charger you’re looking at comes with the cable because some don’t. Cables can be expensive, so ensure you it’s included in the package or risk forking out more money for an essential part of the kit.
Also, know that the proper terminology for an EV charger is electric vehicle supply equipment — or ‘EVSE.’ Why is that? Because, at the end of the day, home charging kits are external, they aren’t built into the car.
For the sake of familiarity, we might call them charging stations or chargers on occasion. The companies behind the equipment basically call them that anyway, so why can’t we?
It’s an obvious statement, but avoid buying any electric car charger from an unknown manufacturer, especially online. Ensure that every seller has the right licenses ahead of time or risk doing some serious damage to your vehicle.
Our Picks for the Best Home EV Chargers in 2021
Disclaimer: The effectiveness of some chargers will depend entirely on the electric car you own. After all, battery capacity does differ from vehicle to vehicle. Cars with higher capacities will still take hours to charge fully, even with a Level 2 charger.
We’ve done our research and discovered 7 of the best EV home chargers available to you right now. Our goal here was to provide a diverse list of chargers that appeals to a wide range of potential buyers reading this.
You’ll find a mix of cheap home EV chargers, chargers with dedicated apps, 22kW chargers, chargers with built-in LEDs, and so much more. We hope you find what you’re looking for, or at least get a better idea of what’s out there in 2021.
1. Zappi Electric Car Charge Point
- Solar compatible EV charger, perfect for those with solar panels at home.
- Multiple charging options are available in Eco, Eco+ and Fast.
The first unit to find itself on our list of the best home EV chargers is a solar powerhouse, one that doesn’t require an earth rod to work! Understand that Zappi Electric Car Charge Point is an essential piece of kit if you have solar panels installed at home.
There are two versions of the Zappi available. You have a 7.4kW version and a quicker, 22kW version. Both come with three distinct power modes (Eco, Eco+ and Fast). This allows owners to prioritise solar energy or focus on getting their car topped up as quickly as possible.
Buyers can purchase a tethered unit — which comes with the cable — or an untethered version depending on preferences. The Zappi comes with a complete pin security system, too, meaning you have an additional layer of security.
E4TP Says: Harvest the power of the sun with Zappi, and you’ll power your car for many years to come. Moreover, Zappi comes with a 3-year warranty should anything go wrong. Zappi and happy rhymes for a reason. Trust us.
2. Juicebox Smart EV Charger
- Compatible with Amazon Echo/Google Home, allowing you to use voice commands.
- The 32 and 40 amp versions can act as either a plug-in or hardwired charger.
Buyers have multiple options when it comes to the Juicebox Smart EV Charger. You have a 32 amp, a 40 amp and a 48 amp version. Know that the 48 version is a hardwired EV charger, whereas the others can be used as a plug-in or a hardwired, thus allowing you to charge your way.
An electric charging station like the Juicebox Smart EV Charger has a lot going on tech-wise. For starters, you can control this unit with your smartphone via the JuiceNet app. The app lets you do just about everything.
These chargers are fully compatible with Alexa and Google Home, meaning you can use voice commands to issue certain controls!
E4TP Says: The Juicebox Smart EV Charger is a Level 2 unit with a lot to offer, especially if you’re a tech-savvy electric car owner. We’d recommend going with the 40 amp version for maximum efficiency and functionality.
3. Bosch EV200 Charger
- A reputable name like Bosch guarantees what you’re buying is quality.
- The Bosch Level 2 EV charger is weather resistance, allowing you to use it outside.
Looking for something a lot more refined from a key name in the world of electronics? Bosch’s EV200 Charger could be to your liking. After all, you can use this electric car charger indoors and outdoors thanks to a weather-resistant NEMA 3R enclosure.
LEDs found on the front of this unit displays all relevant information, including power status. Unlike many EV charging stations, the Bosch EV200 Charger comes with an on/off switch, allowing you to preserve as much energy as possible when not in use.
Two versions of the Bosch EV200 exist; both are considered Level 2 chargers. Each version extends the length of the cable. The 16A has a 12” cable fit for charging PHEVs, whereas the 30A version comes with an 18” cable. Look to the latter if you own a charging battery electric vehicle.
Like the 30/40 amp Juicebox, you have the option of turning this unit into a hardwire or plug-in charger. Be warned, as adding a plug to this charging unit will void the warranty.
E4TP Says: This is easily one of the best home EV chargers you’ll find. Reviews for this charger are positive across the board. It might not offer any fancy LED displays, but it does the job.
4. Amazon Basics EV Charging Station
- It’s a Level 2 EV Charger with a lengthy cable stretching 25-foot.
- The Amazon Basics EV Charging Station can charge up to 6x faster than most outlets.
Yep, Amazon has a department dedicated to crafting a range of unique products. One of them is an electric charging station. This is a Level 2 charging unit. In other words, you’re getting a 240-volt charge courtesy of a 25-foot cable (an 18-foot cable option is also available).
This EV charging station comes with a NEMA-4 rating for water/dust protection and an IK10 rating for impact resistance. In other words, it’s rather durable, allowing you to install it inside or out, whichever works for you.
“Highly rated products at low prices,” is the tagline behind Amazon Basics, which explains the low price point for a charger of this kind. Size-wise, the unit measures around 11.2 by 7.6 inches, which is neither big nor small; it’s just right, like that infamous third bowl of porridge.
E4TP Says: Amazon isn’t looking for a simple cash grab with this unit. The Amazon Basics EV Charging Station is a fantastic option for budding electric car owners. Oh, and this charger won an award for its design; that’s how good it is.
5. Wallbox Pulsar Plus
- The Wallbox Pulsar Plus is compact and has multiple variations based on spec.
- Download the app for this EV charging station to access additional features.
It’s compact, and it’s affordable; say hello to the Wallbox Pulsar Plus. This EV charging station is one of the smallest hardwired units you’ll find (6.52” by 6.42”). It doesn’t need an earth rod either, thanks to built-in open PEN protection.
Multiple types of the Wallbox exist, but we’re highlighting the Pulsar Plus over all the rest. It offers something different in terms of size. The plastic finish might not appeal to some, but you can’t deny the build quality and lighting; it looks sleek because it is.
This is an ideal option for all types of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids. Buyers have two options in the 7.4kW and 22kW versions.
E4TP Says: Small but mighty, the Wallbox Pulsar Plus is deceptively powerful — especially those 22kW versions. We should also highlight the Wallbox app, which is a cut above other EV charging apps, in our opinion.
6. Siemens VersiCharge
- Three versions of the VersiCharge gives buyers multiple options.
- A 3-year warranty covers you should anything bad happen.
Similar to the Bosch charging unit at our fourth spot, the Siemens VersiCharge is a fast-charging unit built to last. This home EV charger belongs in the Level 2 category, regardless of the version you pick, generating 7.2kW with each use.
You see, there are three models to pick and choose from: Hardwire, Universal and Smart Grid. Selecting the Universal option does come with more freedom in where you can set it up; just saying. The cable length is slightly shorter with the Hardwire version (14-foot), whereas the other two models feature a 20-foot cable.
Versatile is the word associated with the VersiCharge (it’s basically in the name), as it works with Tesla’s and other J1772 compliant vehicles.
This is an award-winning EV home charger, winning The Wirecutter’s “Best EV Charging Station” in 2017. We know that was four years ago, but time has only made this unit better. It comes with a 3-year warranty too, covering it for quite some time.
E4TP Says: Siemens has, really, caught lightning in a bottle with their VersiCharge home unit. Multiple versions do vary in price, so choose wisely. The Universal version is our pick because it’s excellent value for money, unless you think differently?
7. Project EV Pro Earth
- The Project EV Pro Earth is solar compatible, generating natural energy to put into your vehicle.
- A cheap/worthwhile option for those searching for the best EV home charger in the UK.
Don’t care too much about the bells and whistles, or find yourself on a tighter budget? Check out the last charger on our list here; the Project EV Pro Earth charger. According to the maker, it’s fully compatible with every electric vehicle there is, but don’t quote us on that.
It’s cheap yet stable, as it has an IP65 protection grade, covering you completely during harsh conditions. The app is somewhat basic, sort of what you might expect from a cheaper home charging station.
The EV Pro Earth comes with built-in earthing protection. In other words, it doesn’t need an earth stake to be installed. You will need to install this unit to the wall or pole (if you live near one). Another option would be to buy the floor stand sold by Project EV directly.
How much does it cost? Right now, you can pick this electric car charger for £450, making it one of the cheapest available; not bad for a 7.4kW unit.
E4TP Says: The Project EV Pro Earth is a sure-fire contender for the best EV home charger in the UK because of how cheap it is. This home charger has no right to be as good as it is for how much you pay.
The Best Home EV Chargers Buying Guide
You might have your eye on a few of the best home EV chargers shown above, but you only need one to get your motor running.
It isn’t always as simple as buying a charger you like the look of either; you need to consider multiple factors first. For example, do you own the place you’re currently staying at? If not, do you have permission to install a hardwired charger? Yeah… you might want to ask your landlord first.
Always make a decision based on your own specifications; we say this a lot in our guides because it’s true.
If you know your current electric vehicle can only accept 7.7kW, then why would you go and buy a 22kW charger? That’s like buying a size 10 shoe for a size 7 foot. Unless you’re planning on buying a new EV soon, which would justify a more powerful purchase.
How much cable do you need to charge your electric car? Most units come with a 16-foot cable. You tend to pay more for a longer line, but perhaps you need a 25-foot cable to make your ideal set-up possible.
Touch base on every consideration, and the best home EV charger will present itself soon enough. Who knows, you might have met it already.
Level 1 and Level 2 EV Chargers Explained
You might have noticed we’ve mentioned Level 2 chargers quite a lot in our list of the best EV home chargers above. But what are Level 2 chargers exactly? Well, how fast a vehicle can be charged is determined by level; the higher the level, the quicker the charge.
- Level 1 Chargers: 120-volts and 20 Amp circuit
- Level 2 Chargers: 240-volts and 40 Amp circuit
Level 1 chargers are far more accessible as you can plug them into standard electric outlets without worry. Stronger Level 2 chargers are mostly hardwired to walls, attached to the mains directly.
In fact, Level 1 chargers are often provided whenever you buy a new electric vehicle. Here’s another exciting EV fact for you: Level 1 chargers aren’t used in Europe.
EV home chargers that fall into the Level 2 category charge your vehicle much faster, adding between 12 and 60 miles per hour. This isn’t certain either, as some onboard chargers can only accept so much power at any given time. Level 1 chargers can only deliver between 3 and 5 miles per hour in comparison.
Every charger you come across can fit into a distinct category. Slow chargers, fast chargers and rapid chargers are all accessible to the modern EV owner. Rapid charging is arguably the best, with its ability to charge a Tesla Model S in under an hour. The only downside is it doesn’t apply to a lot of vehicles — especially PHEVs.
Slow chargers tend to be the cheapest, powering around 3.3kW on average. Most transportable plug-in electric chargers are of the slow variety. On the other hand, fast chargers, like their name suggests, speed up the process drastically. Most of the home EV chargers shown above are fast charging just so you know.
The Difference Between Hardwired and Plug-In Chargers
You can tell the difference between hardwired and plug-in chargers by simply looking at them. Plug-in EV chargers are pretty self-explanatory in that they go in any standard wall outlet.
On the other hand, hardwired EV chargers need to be physically installed into the wall, generally via an electrician. It’s an extra cost, but a hardwired EV charger could be considered the safer option depending on your stance.
Some will try to install their hardwire EV charge themselves; we’d advise against it. YouTube tutorials are great and all, but leave installing equipment like this to the professionals, or risk getting a nasty shock.
So, which is better? In our opinion, you should go with a plug-in every time. Why? Because they’re a lot more reliable, and if they break, you don’t have to hire the electrician to come back and detach it from the wall.
Moreover, some plug-in EV chargers you can take with you on holiday, as long as the outlets can generate enough power, as mentioned in the previous section. Also, if you move, you can bring the charger with you without worry, again, without needing to make any awkward calls with an electrician.
Reasons for choosing a hardwired charger are limited in contrast. Hardwired EV charging stations offer better security. In other words, thieves will leave them alone most of the time as the unit is mounted to a wall.
The Best Home EV Chargers (A Buying Guide For 2021)
Did we help in any way with our home EV charger selections, or at least give you something to think about? We hope so, as putting this 2021 guide together was quite educational, even for us.
Soon everyone will own an electric car; this is a straight-up fact, not a prediction. This was one of the main takeaways from our guide on buying an electric car now vs waiting. It’s never too late to prep for the upcoming shift in power.
More EVs will equal more options when it comes to home charging units. In other words, we can’t wait to do a Best Home EV Chargers Guide redux for 2031 when that comes to pass. That guide could contain hundreds of options; imagine that!
For now, though, check out the Juicebox Smart EV Charger and the Bosch EV200. Those two stood out to us the most for some reason. Yes, they are a little pricey but worth every penny if you can afford them.
The Best Home EV Chargers FAQs
What is the best home car charger?
Our pick for the best home car charger is the Juicebox Smart EV Charger due to its unique features and power. Another option would be the Bosch EV200, as it comes in two versions and can survive the toughest conditions if you choose to install it outside.
What is the best home charger for a Tesla?
Tesla’s charge better when the charger you own is hardwired, plug-ins are great and all but aren’t nearly as consistent. We’d recommend the Juicebox as it feels like an unofficial Tesla product in a way. Another option entirely would be to purchase Tesla’s official Wall Connector.
How long does it take to charge an electric car fully?
Charging times vary from car to car and the charger you use. A typical electric car with a 60kWh battery will take around 8 hours to charge from flat from a 7kW charging point. Some chargers can add up to 100 miles of range in under 30 minutes! Again, this depends on the car and the charger.
Do I need to visit a public charging station again if I buy a home EV charger?
In our opinion, you should charge your car as and when you need some juice. We’d love to say “yes, you never need to visit a public station again,” but we can’t guarantee that. If you’re going on holiday and covering hundreds of miles, then, chances are, you’ll probably need to stop somewhere for power. It doesn’t matter if you own one of the best home EV chargers, you’ll still be miles away from it.