Our verdict: the 5 best EV chargers on the market today
The 5 Best home EV chargers on the market 2021
We’ve tried out dozens of different electric vehicle charging systems in order to find out which ones are worth buying. Here’s our top 5 – and because they’re so good, these are now the only ones we install…
Having an EV charger installed at your property is a big moment for a car owner. There’s a lot to take in, and for those people who like to really know what they’re buying, there can be an almost overwhelming amount of technical terms, acronyms and options.
GreenMile Electrical has been installing EV chargers in and around Manchester for more than 2 years and, during this time, we’ve had hands-on experience of numerous different models. They all work – but some are definitely better than others.
In order to offer the best possible value to our customers, we recently made the decision to offer just five EV chargers. By knowing these models inside out, it means we can fit them with less fuss, and it also means we have a better relationship with the manufacturers if/when we need replacement parts.
In this round-up, we go into detail about what we consider to be the 5 best EV chargers on the market in the UK right now. We look at what makes them special, how they look on a house/garage wall, why we like them and what kind of EV owner they might suit best.
The bottom line, though, is that they’re all great chargers – and any of the five will keep your vehicle topped up with minimal fuss.
Before we get onto the reviews, though, here’s a quick explainer of a few key terms – our very own EV charger glossary.
Charging speed – when buying electricity from a charging point at a service station, a rapid charge is standard, but this isn’t the case with domestic chargers. At home, the idea is to charge the vehicle overnight, and most chargers (including all five of our picks) charge at the same speed, which is 7kw/32A.
PEN fault detection/O-PEN detection – systems with this built in mean you don’t need to install earth rods into the ground or add an additional bulky unit to do the job. All five of our models have this built in.
Dynamic load monitoring – all of our five EV chargers have this as standard. It means you can set the charger to a particular limit so that you don’t overload your fuse. This offers further protection when it comes to making sure that your EV charger doesn’t overload your domestic electrical system. We can advise on when these are necessary.
Tethered/untethered – a tethered EV charger comes with a charging cable permanently attached to it. You wind/loop it away when not in use, and when you need it you take this lead to your car. With an untethered system, the charging cable is usually stored in the boot of your car, and you plug that in to both the car and the charger when you need it. It’s all a question of personal choice.
PV integration – photovoltaic integration. A charger with PV integration can be configured to work with a domestic solar power system. If your system is big enough, you can charge your car for free.
GreenMile Electrical’s top 5 home EV charging systems
Why we love it: that small LED screen on the front packs in a lot of useful information, and the Zappi is one of the few EV chargers to go down this route.
It’s got some great internal features, too, such as PEN fault detection, which is brilliantly designed and, whenever we’re installing one of these, we can’t help but marvel at what a well thought-out product it is. It was also one of the first EV chargers on the market, and has really proven itself.
It is, in fact, the top-selling British-made solar EV charger, meaning it can be wired into an existing solar panel system if you have one and can then make use of the sun’s rays to charge your car. Most people, of course, don’t have such a set-up and use their Zappi as a standard charger connected to their electricity supply.
You can connect to it and control what’s going on through a really nice, easy-to-use app on your smartphone – meaning you can see at a glance how much energy your system and your car is using.
Special features: if you do happen to have solar power coming into your property, the Zappi is a brilliant choice, and it enables you to choose from which source you’re getting your energy from – set it to take 100% green energy if you want to, or choose a mix.
It’s also got a really neat 5-digit pin code security feature, which eliminates the chances of a cheeky neighbour stealing your electricity while you’re asleep.
Looks: The Zappi isn’t the smallest EV charger, but from an installation point of view that’s a good thing, as it’s not as fiddly as some models can be and it feels solid and well-made in the hand.
There’s a clear love-affair with green energy from the makers of the Zappi, who supply it in recycled packaging, and they’re big on giving the customers what they need – such as quality spare parts and a generous 6.5m charging cable.
They’ve also thought about aesthetics and offer a choice of two colour schemes: black and grey or white and grey. For total flexibility, the Zappi comes with the choice of being either tethered or untethered.
Verdict: We love the Zappi. It’s a well-built, well-proven mid-priced EV system, and it becomes part of an especially intelligent set-up when paired with the Myenergi Hub, an affordable optional extra.
This is probably the most popular model we install, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep a tab on things, you’ll likely fall in love with its app and its visual charts that allow you to monitor, record and export all of your usage data.
Best for: anyone who already has a solar/wind generation set-up on their property (or is thinking of getting one). But don’t be put off if – like most people – you’re a regular mains grid user. The Zappi is a smart choice no matter what power source you’re using.
Why we love it: this British-made tethered charger is relatively new to the market, but we’ve been really impressed by the lengths the manufacturers have gone to to create a product that really meets what people are looking for in an EV system.
It has the longest guarantee (for a small optional fee) of five years, as well as free lifetime operating system updates and PEN fault detection built in. It only comes with a 5m cable, but longer ones all the way up to 10m are available.
Special features: In the rare instance the charger has a fault, it can be rectified remotely in 95% of cases, and you can also integrate the Hypervolt into your smart home Alexa system.
Looks: This is a seriously refined-looking device that brings to mind something that Tesla might make. Its sleek fascia is adorned with multi-coloured led lights – which can be turned off if that’s more in keeping with what you’re looking for – and while only currently available in white, a black version is coming soon.
Verdict: We really like the Hypervolt and not just for its looks. Its price isn’t especially high and certainly seems fair for what you’re getting – namely a brilliantly-designed system with a stack of built-in features. It also comes with built-in solar PV integration.
Best for: homes where the charger will be on view. Why fit something run-of-the-mill when you can fit something that looks really great? The Hypervolt is also a good contender when a longer EV charging cable (up to 10m) is needed.
Wallbox Pulsar Plus
Why we love it: this is the smallest tethered charger currently on the market – and that’s exactly what some buyers are looking for. Measuring less than 10cm wide, it really is a tiny little EV charging system, and while it might look simple and unassuming, the app that lets you control everything is one of the most user-friendly and well thought out ones that we’ve come across.
Special features: you can remote lock the Wallbox Pulsar Plus from anywhere in the world via the app, which is a nice touch. Another cool feature – you can connect to the system from your smartphone using Bluetooth if you have poor wi-fi reception. That facia isn’t entirely decorative either: different coloured LEDs mean different things (amber for locked, purple for charging, and so on).
Verdict: every time we install a Pulsar Plus we can’t help but marvel at how small it is. Its diminutive size isn’t for everyone, but some people definitely want something discreet that doesn’t hog the limelight. It’s also more affordable than some models – but that does mean that some of the things that often come standard (such as CT clamp and cable holder) do need to be bought as extras.
Best for: people who just want to get an EV charger installed and don’t really want to make a big song and dance about it. The Pulsar Plus is small, so it’s an excellent choice if you have limited space.
Why we love it: honestly? We reckon this is the nicest looking EV charger on the market. It costs a few hundred pounds more than most other models, but here’s the thing: an EV charger is something that’s probably going to last you many years, and you’ll likely be looking at it every day. So why not spend a little extra to have something installed that puts a little smile on your face every time you use it?
Beyond its aesthetics, the Andersen A2 EV charger is British made, and optional extras include dynamic load monitoring and an 8m tethered lead.
Special features: If you care about such things and you like your garage/parking space to be neat and tidy, the A2’s integrated cable is hidden within the charging point when not in use. Another nice touch: it also has a series of little brushes built in that actually clean the cable when you wrap it back up.
Looks: The A2 is a beauty: it’s available in eight colours and four different finishes (including stainless steel and a really beautiful Accoya wood), and each model is custom hand-built.
From an installer’s point of view, it’s one of the more challenging models to fit because it has so many parts when assembling. This isn’t a problem, but if you’re trying to get your installer in and out as quickly as possible, the A2 typically takes an extra hour our two to fit compared to other models.
Verdict: a stunning bit of kit that wears its ‘premium’ credentials on its sleeve. We often think that this is the EV charger that 007 would have outside his luxurious Mayfair home, and if money’s no object it’s a great choice.
Best for: anyone who’s really enjoying/living the whole electric vehicle experience and sees their charger as an integral part of all this. It looks especially cool on an old stone town house or cottage, although it will add a dash of style to any property.
Why we love it: this is the smallest untethered EV charger available, and while it might be petite, it has everything you need packed under the hood: built-in PEN fault detection/O-PEN detection… type A RCD… solar PV integration and dynamic load monitoring. The CT clamp is an optional extra.
Special features: the Sync was designed by EV installers for EV installers, and while it might not be the flashiest on the market, it’s well designed and does a great job. There’s an LED halo ring on the front that makes use of different colours for different modes.
Looks: if you want your EV charger to impress people, the Sync EV might not be your first choice, but if you’re looking for something more functional and maybe even industrial-looking, the Sync EV is a rock-solid option.
Verdict: this is a feature-packed charger that is neatly and cleverly designed inside a really small box – less than 200mm high and only 122mm wide. Like other EV chargers, you have full control over it with a smartphone app.
Best for: anyone who wants a discreet, compact untethered charger that doesn’t attract much attention and which really delivers the goods in terms of performance and features. It really is a miracle of miniaturisation.