Which is the best EV home charger for you?
Updated: May 19, 2022
7kW vs 22kW EV chargers If you are looking for a fast home EV charger, there are two options available – either a 7kW unit or a 22kW unit. In this article we explain the difference between the two, who can have them and leave you with our professional opinion. In most instances when people talk about home EV charging, they usually refer to slow or fast charging. Slow charging is where you use a 3-pin plug via a conventional socket to charge your EV. To be clear we completely discourage this as it carries many dangers on top of the rate of charge is a mere 2.3kW. In contrast, fast home chargers are typically rated at either 7kW or 22kW and are dedicated charging points. 7kW EV home charger The rate at which electricity charges your electric vehicle is measured in kW. So a 7kW home EV charger can charge your electric vehicle at a rate of 7.0kW. This is the most common rate of power for dedicated home EV charging points, and to have one installed you simply need a single-phase electricity supply. Single-phase is the most common domestic power supply in the UK and is usually found in standard residential properties. With a single-phase power supply, you will only be able to install a 7kW electric vehicle charging point.
22kW EV home charger A 22kW e is a home charging unit that charges three times faster than a 7kW home charger but it needs a three-phase electricity supply. Three-phase has a much higher power rating than a single-phase and is usually found in large commercial buildings. That being said, certain parts of the country are now being equipped with three-phase supplies as developers are aware of the demand EV chargers and the way the market is moving. Not everyone can have a 22kW EV chargers installed as it depends on whether they have a three-phase electricity supply or not. Three-phase is typically found in industrial or commercial properties. If a house does have a three-phase supply, it’s usually a large property with sizeable electrical appliances that need to draw a significant amount of electricity to function like swimming pools and hot tubs.
You can apply for a three-phase upgrade by contacting the DNO (distribution network operator). The DNO manage the distribution of electricity around the country. How to establish whether you have a single-phase or three-phase electrical supply If you find your electricity meter and take a look around it, you should be able to find what type of electrical supply you have: For a single-phase electricity supply, there will be a single fuse where the power enters your house/meter (one cable). Three-phase, on the other hand, can often be identified as having three 100amp fuses where the supply enters the building or the meter (three cables). So which is better, some might wonder, 7kW or 22kW chargers We believe that 7kW charging is more worthwhile than 22kW because most homes have a single-phase electricity supply. We explain why below but to sum it up you are not having to fork out on upgrading your fuse. If you are thinking about investing in a 22kW charger or upgrading to three-phase electricity, it is vital to consider: Can your chosen vehicle can take up to 22kW in charge? To take advantage of a 22kW charger, your electric vehicle will need to accept 22kW AC. If your vehicle can’t receive this electricity rate, even if you upgrade your supply and invest in a 22kW EV charger, your EV will only be able to charge at the maximum charge rate of the vehicle. You will see you vehicle is not charging any faster. Up until today, very few electric vehicles can accept a 22kW charge, with the most common being the Renault Zoe. Even the Tesla Model 3 has a charging capability of 11kW and would therefore not benefit from a 22kW charger, only charging at a rate of 11kW. The most common EV charging rate is 7.0kW, with some have a smaller charging rate. If you have multiple electric vehicles, a 22kW EV charger is by far more ideal. Upgrading your fuse to three-phase will be costly, starting from £1,500. The average however is between £3,500-5,500 and can even reach up to £15,000 depending on the job. This is not including the costs of purchasing a 22kW EV charging point and having it installed, which is much more than a standard 7.0kW EV charger. If you have three-phase electricity and happy to spend more on a 22kW EV charger, and have a vehicle that can take 22kW charging capacity, then go for 22kW charging points. It will be worth the investment as your vehicle will charge at the fastest rate possible in a domestic environment. Otherwise, we recommend sticking to a 7.0kW home charger.