Newcroft Electrics, Swindon - Choosing an EV charger

Newcroft Electrics, Swindon - Choosing an EV charger

Buying an Electric Vehicle, you have done all your research and test driven lots of cars and decided on the one you love.

Then you need to think about how you are going to charge the car, hopefully at home as it will be far cheaper than at public charge points, and you need a charge point to do this.

We would strongly recommend a proper permanently installed type 3 EV charge point (CP) rather than use a granny charger on a regular basis.

So how do you go about choosing a charge point from the many on the market. Don't just start looking at the adverts for all of the chargers as it will just leave you confused and frustrated. The starting point is to think about what you need and the priorities.

Compatibility With Energy Tariff/ Supplier

Assuming the car will be driven more than say 2 or 3 thousand miles a years the starting point is probably choosing energy tariffs, which we will cover in another article. For now I would suggest looking at Octopus, OvO, EDF and Scottish Power, Octopus seems to be the most popular.
Many offer overnight tariffs at between 7p and 9p per kWh for between 4 and 6 hours per night and can be used with a simple schedule that can be set up on any currently available product.

If you are a heavy car user it's worth looking at the agile tariffs like Intelligent Octopus. These tariffs are a  bit cheaper and provide more charging slots, but to take advantage the car or charge point needs to be linked to and controlled by the energy supplier. This means that a compatible charge point or car is required.

If this is important to you then Ohme and Zappi are good options for Octopus, Indra and Ohme for OVO.

EV Chargers

Network Connection

The charge point will need to be connected to the internet. Either by your WiFi network, any mobile network or for best results hard wired, this is now a legal requirement for the installer. Charepoints will support one or more of these options. Make sure you have a good signal for the one you choose as a poor internet connection is probably the biggest cause of unreliable charging. So make sure the CP you select supports the connection method available at your home.

If all of the above are challenging, good installers like Newcroft Electrics can help you with solutions like installing WiFi extenders

Tethered or untethered

Do you want a charge cable permanently connected (tethered) or a socket (un-tethered), most prefer tethered, and many of those that buy un-tethered end up leaving the cable connected anyway.

Charge Cable Length

Tethered  CP's come with at least a 5m cable, but by the time it's dropped from the CP to the floor and then risen back up to the car charge port this can be quite short. Don't just think about the car you have now as cars have charge ports in different places, and what happens if you have more than one electric car in the future.

You can just drive in to the parking space in the right direction for the lead to reach, but if you have a 6.5m or 7.5m lead, in most cases this will reach any corner of the car.


Look at user feedback on support. Hopefully nothing will go wrong, but if it does you want it sorted out fairly quickly. Most mid range and and above manufacturers have a reasonable support service and will get back to you in 24 hours or sooner. Some of the lower cost units have a very poor reputation when it comes to support, one way to keep costs down is to have a small support team.

Will it look good on my house?

To some people this is very important. If this is important to you then at mid range products like Hypervolt tend to be popular. At the higher price point Anderson and Simpson & Partners are probably the best looking products on the market with their highly customisable covers etc.

Sometimes on listed buildings one of these products is the only way to keep the conservation officer happy, although I suspect that in most cases people don't ask the conservation officer and the conservation officer has bigger things to worry about.


The purchase price of most CP's is between say £600 and £800 with some outliers at either end, especially with options at the high end. There are some lower priced products from say £450. They will typically be simpler products with very limited support, If you won't be using the charger much and aren't that worried about support they are an option to consider. But just bear in mind how much money can be saved by using the best energy tariffs and how difficult it might be if you don't have a home charger for a few weeks.

If you are interested in having a home EV Charger Installed call Alan on 01793 200 153