Skip advert
Advertisement
Product group tests

Best home EV chargers 2023

We test the top ways to charge your electric or plug-in hybrid car at home

If you’re making the switch to an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’ll find life much easier with a dedicated EV charger at home. They represent a major investment, with even the cheapest likely to cost around £1,000 once fitted. But compared with using a three-pin plug, they’re safer, more convenient, faster and may actually pay for themselves over the course of a few years by allowing you to take advantage of cheaper overnight energy tariffs and renewable electricity from solar panels.

Advertisement - Article continues below

While all will do the same basic job of getting power into your car, there is a bewildering array of features and options from the increasing number of home wallbox chargers on offer. They vary wildly in price too, and here we’ve compared seven of the top models to help you pick the right one for your needs.

What to look for in a home EV charger

Before ordering a home electric car charger, think about what features you’ll need and ensure you are ‘futureproofing’. If you want to change your car or fit renewable energy in the next few years, you won’t want to have to pay for another unit.

Tethered chargers have the charging cable attached and are more convenient, but tend to be more expensive and bulkier. They’ll also not be able to accommodate different types of charging connector, which could be crucial if you currently have a car like an older Nissan Leaf and might want to upgrade in the future.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

If you have solar power integration at home the charger can be told to only take the ‘free’ energy being generated by your panels and won’t top your car up from the grid. All of the chargers we tested had built-in timers which let you take advantage of cheaper overnight electricity tariffs as well.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Some wallbox chargers have built-in screens, which show the settings and the energy being supplied. While this is easier than using an app, it can also be unsightly on the front of a house at night and may attract unwanted attention.

How we tested them

The features you need will determine which kind of home EV charger is best for you, but we were after the best combination of value, quality, style and usability.

We were looking for features that make using the charger every day easier, including a slick smartphone app to control and check the charging. As well as the overall price, we looked at the cost of upgrades, such as longer cables and solar integration. Given that installation costs vary according to the house, we are quoting the unit costs only. You should budget between £300 and £400 for a basic installation.

Finally, we took the charger’s looks and size into account. This may not be crucial if the unit will be mounted out of sight in a garage, but could make a real difference if it’s fitted to the front of your house.

Reviews

Simpson & Partners

  • Price: Around £600  
  • Tethered/untethered: +£50/Yes
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: Yes
  • Size: 286 x 196 x 111mm  
  • Rating: 5/5 stars
  • Website: simpson-partners.com
Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Ordering a Simpson & Partners charger is almost as exciting as choosing a new car. The basic price of £599 buys you three colour choices, but upgrade to the £759 Plus and you open up 13 choices of metal front, which can combine with different lids. For an extra £50 you can have an unusually long 6.8-metre tethered cable. 

A 10m length is available for £100. The charger is beautifully made and user- friendly. The price soon adds up if you want features such as solar compatibility and a courtesy light, but it still looks reasonable value and is the charger we’d want at home.

Buy now from Simpson and Partners

EVIOS One

  • Price: Around £675  
  • Tethered/untethered: Yes/No
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: Yes
  • Size: 221 x 396 x 137mm  
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Website: myevios.com

The One is a really well specified charger that is packed with features. Uniquely it allows users to be given a PIN to unlock it, so the cost can be assigned to a particular person. This could be handy in a shared house or communal car park. 

The EVIOS also has solar capability and an intuitive screen built in, plus a user-friendly app. It’s only available with the brightly coloured cable tethered, though, with 5m standard, and 7.5m an extra £50. Our main criticisms concern the unit’s bulk and utilitarian looks. It’s not the cheapest option here, either.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Buy now from myevios.com

Rolec QUBEV Smart

  • Price: Around £450  
  • Tethered/untethered: +£30/Yes
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: Yes
  • Size: 200 x 330 x 132mm  
  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Website: rolecserv.com

Rolec appears to be the Dacia of home chargers, offering a no-nonsense product with all the features most drivers will need at a keen price. It might be the second cheapest charger here, but it has a better spec than most of its rivals. 

There’s an easy-to understand and comprehensive smartphone app, which lets you select solar as your energy source and schedule timers. A tethered cable is a reasonable £30 option. Our only reservation is the looks. The Rolec is neither pretty nor compact, which means it might be best suited to locations where it’s hidden from view. 

Buy now from rolecserv.com

Wallbox Pulsar Max

  • Price: Around £525  
  • Tethered/untethered: Yes/No
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: Yes
  • Size: 198 x 201 x 99mm  
  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Website: wallbox.com

Wallbox’s Pulsar Max is a modern-looking and well specified charger that has recently dropped in price. It’s compact enough to be discreetly fitted, especially if you opt to turn off the bright LED ring that indicates the charging status. There’s also a choice of six colours to match your décor.

The timers and solar scheduling are all controlled via a simple app or even Alexa voice activation. You might decide the looks are enough to justify paying more than for the similarly specified Rolec, but it doesn’t quite match it in our objective tests. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Buy now from CEF

Ohme Home Pro

  • Price: Around £560  
  • Tethered/untethered: Yes/No
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: No
  • Size: 170 x 200 x 100mm  
  • Rating: 3.5/5 stars
  • Website: ohme-ev.com

Ohme offers two models: a smaller, untethered ePod, which has no screen, and the Home Pro, which has an LCD display and 5m cable. The Pro is only £50 more, so it seems like better value for most users.

We liked its compact size and simplicity, but the Ohme’s greatest selling point is that it’s compatible with energy supplier Octopus’ Intelligent tariff (the only model to do so along with the myenergi zappi). Oddly, it doesn’t have solar compatibility and relies on mobile data rather than WiFi to send information to your app.

Buy now from Electricpoint.com

EO Mini Pro

  • Price: Around £520  
  • Tethered/untethered: +£40/Yes
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: No
  • Size: 230 x 151 x 125mm  
  • Rating: 3.5/5 stars
  • Website: eocharging.com

The EO’s main attraction is its compact size, which means it won’t clutter up the front of your house. The single LED is discreet too, even at night. This means that all the functions are controlled via the app, which quickly connects to the Mini Pro using WiFi, Bluetooth or an optional 4G SIM card. This gives you the ability to schedule charges, check the status and look back at historical data.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The EO is reasonably priced too, but many of the desirable functions, such as solar compatibility, are ‘coming soon’. Until they do arrive, the EO is overshadowed by rivals with more features. 

Click here to get a quote from EO

Hive Alfen Eve S-Line

  • Price: Around £440  
  • Tethered/untethered: +£85/Yes
  • Timer: Yes  
  • Solar compatible: No
  • Size: 240 x 370 x 130mm  
  • Rating: 3/5 stars
  • Website: hivehome.com

Hive offers two home chargers that integrate with its home ecosystem of heating and electrical devices. These are all linked and operated via an app. The first charger is a rebranded (and more expensive) version of the EO Mini Pro, while the cheaper unit is this older Alfen Eve S-Line. 

It’s certainly good value – especially when you take advantage of offers from British Gas – but it’s not the prettiest, resembling a hand dryer, and it’s bigger than the other chargers in the test. The benefits come when you integrate with the Hive app to automatically charge when it’s cheapest. But if you don’t need the Hive functions, there are better chargers. 

Buy now from Superlec Direct

Verdict

Once you’ve decided which features you want from a charger and where you will place it, you’ll narrow down the shortlist considerably. The Simpson & Partners unit has all the features we value, plus great looks and high quality. It’s only a little more expensive than its rivals’ bland boxes.

If you are looking for value rather than style, then the Rolec is temptingly priced. The EVIOS offers a degree of futureproofing if you have solar or intend to install it, and the option to allocate costs to users.

  1. Simpson & Partners
  2. Rolec QUBEV Smart
  3. EVIOS One
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
Giant Panda electrified! New Fiat Grande Panda arrives with EV and hybrid power
Fiat Panda - front
News

Giant Panda electrified! New Fiat Grande Panda arrives with EV and hybrid power

Hybrid and electric versions will be available – the same as its sister cars, the Citroen C3/e-C3 and Vauxhall Frontera
14 Jun 2024