The four main considerations that EV drivers have when purchasing an EV home charger are: energy efficiency, ease of use, warranty, and data insights.
EV charging is a new experience for many
As the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road skyrockets and is expected to reach 200 million by the end of the decade, more and more people are discovering the benefits of driving electric and the ability to charge their cars at home.
Still, for many, driving electric cars is a completely new experience, let alone charging one. With a myriad of different home charging stations, each offering various features, charging speeds, and coming at a range of costs, how do you know which one is the best for you?
In our latest Mobility Monitor report, we’ve asked thousands of EV drivers which factors they find most important when buying a home charging station. In this article, we break them down for you so that you’ll know exactly what to look out for when you’re in the market for a home charging station.
What is the best EV home charger?
While there are many different types of EV home charging stations, there is no single perfect one: the best EV home charger is the one that fits your needs the most.
As such, simply choosing the fastest or most advanced charging station may not be the right option if it doesn’t fit your needs.
For instance, you might not need the fastest charger if you use your car for commuting to work and mainly charge at night, as even “slower” charging stations can charge an average EV up in less than 8 hours.
Based on our research in collaboration with Ipsos, we identified the four main considerations that EV drivers have when purchasing an EV home charger:
Ease of use;
Long warranty and service;
Let’s look at each of them in more detail.
1. Energy efficiency
With the energy crisis and rising costs across the world, it’s not surprising that energy efficiency is a key consideration for many EV drivers.
Our research – conducted before the height of the energy crisis – shows that 67% of UK EV drivers consider energy efficiency as the most important factor when looking to purchase an EV home charger, and we can imagine this number will have only increased since.
Beyond just choosing the most efficient charging station for your home, it’s often worth considering smart charging features offered by newer chargers that let you monitor and control your energy use, helping you save even further on charging costs.
2. Ease of use
The second most important feature that EV drivers in the UK look for in an EV home charger is the ease of use, with 59% citing it as their main consideration. Switching to electric mobility can seem daunting and complicated enough, and moving away from the familiarity of the petrol pump is a big step.
As such, having a charger that makes the transition easy can be a major benefit. For instance, many EV home chargers come with easy-to-understand LED lights that let you quickly tell the status of the charging session. On top of this, many connected charging stations offer smartphone apps that allow you to monitor and control the charging process remotely.
3. Long warranty and service
While EV home charging stations come in many different shapes and sizes, they all generally represent a considerable investment. It’s not surprising, then, that 42% of EV drivers cared most about long warranties and 23% about preventative maintenance services.
Indeed, it’s worth taking steps to ensure that your EV charger will last as long as possible. While charging stations almost always come with a standard warranty, some vendors or manufacturers can offer an extended warranty or extra service options. Even though these come at a premium, they may be worth it to help guarantee your home charger's longevity.
Connected charging stations can also benefit from software updates and open up opportunities for remote servicing.
Keeping your charging station up-to-date will ensure optimal performance, while remote maintenance allows service providers to diagnose problems remotely based on real-time data and insights, often eliminating the need for an in-person visit altogether.
4. Insights into charging behaviour
Perhaps the most underrated aspect of an EV home charger is its connectivity and the insights it unlocks. Still, our research shows that 54% of EV drivers from the UK state the ability to view charging session costs and fees as their main consideration, while a further 31% consider access to insights as the most important aspect of an EV home charger.
Connected charging stations can unlock access to a range of real-time insights about energy use and costs, allowing drivers to stay informed throughout the charging process and adjust their behaviour accordingly. For instance, knowing your EV’s energy use and how much you currently pay for charging allows you to find ways to reduce and optimise charging costs.
Find out which home charger works best with your electric car
Choosing the right EV home charger for your home can be a difficult decision, so before diving into all the possible options, it’s essential to consider your priorities. As with any investment, it’s worth considering the long run and not making a decision overnight.
If you want to know which type of EV home charger fits best with the capabilities (or limitations) of your electric car, have a look at our handy tool. If you’re looking to make the switch to electric mobility, or have just bought an EV, take a look at our complete EV charging guide to answer all your questions.