What to look for in an EV chargepoint

28 April 2021

As more drivers in the UK turn to hybrid-plug-in or electric vehicles, there has been an increase in the number of home chargepoint installations.

The EV revolution is very much the future and so too is the technology behind charging your vehicle at home.

Since July 2019, the Government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant of up to £350, has been limited to the purchase of smart chargers.

What does OZEV mean by a smart chargepoint ?

When it comes to deciding which chargepoint to install at home, there are many variables to consider.

The Government has defined that ‘smart’ charging is when a chargepoint can send and receive messages and is able to respond automatically to a remote signal by adjusting the electricity consumption flowing through the chargepoint. 

Certainly, if you want to qualify for the Government grant, your charger needs to be smart. This means that it can connect to the internet and is online. It is also required to meet the required security requirements and be compliant with the open chargepoint protocol standard or similar, but there it ends. It is also required to charge at a standard rate, which is anything from 3.6kW which is not considered fast charging

Not all smart chargepoints are equal

The speed at which you can charge is dependent upon the vehicle battery, power supply to the property and type of charger.

The technology built into the charging infrastructure will determine how quickly you can charge and no chargepoint can charge a car faster than the EV’s own charging rate allows. 

Some EV chargepoints in the marketplace, including those provided by Romatech, can charge at 7.4kW, much faster than charging from a three-pin home socket and other standard chargepoints, which only charge at 3.6kW.

Those at 7.4kW will charge a car battery roughly twice as quickly as the standard versions. So if speed is of importance to you, and you need a full battery by morning, this might be the preferred option and it definitely is worth double checking the power of your chosen chargepoint.

When your vehicle is fully charged, the chargepoint will automatically switch off. Furthermore, these chargepoints have safety mechanisms built-in and operate on their own circuit, allowing you to monitor usage separate from other electrical loads in your home.

Really smart EV chargers also use a smartphone app to determine when your vehicle charges.

What are the benefits Smart EV charging

There are various EV chargepoints on the market that claim to be ‘smart’. However, in some cases it is debatable whether they actually do meet the OZEV requirements in order to qualify for the EVHS grant.

True smart EV chargers will also include additional features like ‘intelligent’ charge scheduling, enabling you to set charging to the cheapest times via an app on your phone. 

These can be controlled remotely and enable you to keep tabs on your expenditure.

The big benefit of this feature is the ability to programme your charging at the cheapest time, usually the middle of the night, which also puts less demand on the grid, making it a greener and cheaper option by around £200 per year for an average mileage.

Chargepoints such as the KEBA and Ohme, can also receive, understand and respond to signals sent by energy system operators, to determine the optimal time to charge at the cheapest and greenest times.

Why install a home EV chargepoint?

The electric vehicle is the future and we are increasingly going to be relying on chargepoints to power vehicles.

Venson Automotive Solutions recently conducted a survey which indicated that 19% of people asked, indicated that their next car will be electric, with 26% saying they would be switching to an EV in the next five years. Twelve months earlier, 31% said they would buy an EV, but not for 10 to 15 years, so demand has grown significantly.

Charging from home means you can set off on longer journeys with a full battery, allowing you to plan your trip with fewer stops at public chargers.

It can be cheaper to charge from home; not only compared to petrol and diesel prices, but also using a public charger.

What Car? recently reported that using the UK’s fastest public EV chargers can cost around seven times more than charging from home. Additionally, by charging from home, you won’t have to wait for other people.

Romatech is a Government-approved OZEV installer and we are able to claim the OZEV grant on your behalf. We work only with approved smart EV Chargepoint suppliers and with accredited installers. 

Contact us to discuss our range of products.

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