Whether buying new or used, if your next car is an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, working out how you keep it charged is an important consideration. If you have off-street parking, the most convenient and cost-effective solution is almost certainly to install a home charge unit.
A home charger allows you to charge your car on your driveway at your standard electricity tariff. Depending on your electricity rate, and the efficiency of the car you are buying, this could allow you to ‘fuel’ your new electric car for as little as 1p per mile.
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So, you know you need a home charger, but which one should you buy? Well, there are plenty of things to take into consideration, such as cost, quality of aftercare and ease of installation. But, seeing as your home charge unit will be stuck to the side of your house, you also want one that looks the part.
This guide runs down the four best-looking home chargers on sale in the UK today.
Before we get started
Just before we get too carried away, it’s important to first decide what kind of home charger you want. Units that enable electric car charging at home typically come in three guises: 3kW, 7kW and 22kW.
If you have a plug-in hybrid vehicle, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, then a 3kW charger is probably ample. A 7kW charger is the most common choice and is capable of charging a mid-size EV, such as the Kia e-Niro in around nine hours – perfect for overnight charging. 22kW chargers are better suited for charging EVs with larger batteries but be warned that these units only recharge the car faster if the vehicle’s on-board charger is set up to do so.
Remember that the government, through the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) also offers a £350 home charge grant towards the cost of your home charger. For ease, any prices quoted in this guide are with the OZEV grant already applied.
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Right, now on with the beauty contest…
Let’s face it, as good looking as an EV charging unit can be, sometimes the best design is one that just isn’t seen. This is even more of a consideration if you live in one of Shropshire's many listed buildings, in which case you will need to get Listed Building Consent.
The Pulsar Plus is provided with a 5m or 7m tethered cable (that means it’s permanently attached) and offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, so it can be operated remotely. It is also what is known as a ‘smart’ charger, meaning that it can monitor energy use and set a charging schedule accordingly. Prices start at £639.00 for the 7kW unit, rising to £859.00 for a 22kW charger.
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Continuing on the ‘smaller is better’ theme, the EO Mini Pro 2 claims to be the world’s smallest home charger. That said, it measures 17.5 x 12.5 x 12.5cm, so in terms of overall volume, the Wallbox Pulsar Plus is actually littler. However, the EO Mini Pro 2 is still perfectly discrete and can be specified in black, grey, white or blue depending on your taste.
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The Mini Pro 2 is only available as a 7kW unit, with prices starting from £595.00 without a charging cable, increasing to £665 for a tethered cable. EO’s unit is also smart and can be used in conjunction with the brand’s Smart Home app.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Andersen A2. Designed and hand-built in the UK, this unit takes the idea of an EV home charger from being a simple appliance and turns it into a thing of beauty.
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You can customise your Andersen A2 in one of eight metal colours or four real wood finishes (at an additional cost), which can really help to settle it into the Shropshire countryside. Its clever design completely hides the integrated cable, which can be specified in lengths of 5.5m, 6.5m or 8.5m. The unit itself can be ordered in 3kW, 7kW and 22kW guises, while Andersen’s KØNNECT+ smart technology enables charge scheduling, solar charging and over-the-air software updates.
As you might expect, this is one of the pricier home chargers, starting at £1,045.00 for the basic 3kW unit, and rising to £1,710.00 for a 22kW unit with a wood finish.
Easee calls its home charger a ‘Charging Robot’ and, looking at its futuristic, prismatic design, we can see why. The Home is available in five colours, from a subtle anthracite grey to a bold scarlet red. Designed and produced in Norway, Easee claims that the Home has been developed to endure a long life under harsh conditions – so it should just about cope with our winters.
If you don’t want to mount the Home to your wall, you can also specify a free-standing post, which bolts to the floor. The Home by Easee starts at £795.00 excluding installation and is offered in power ratings up to 22kW.
So there you have it: four stylish electric vehicle home chargers. But, what are your thoughts? Leave a comment below to tell us which charger you think is the best-looking.