What are the best EV chargers for your home? That depends on how you’ll charge and what charging speeds you want. You might want a smart charger to schedule and tap into low kWh prices, a 3-phase charger to charge up to 22kW, or a 3-pin EV charger to charge at any regular socket up to 3.3kW.
There are a few different charger types, and it’s important to consider what configuration and features will suit your lifestyle most. Do you want a smart charger that taps into your energy tariff to access cheap off-peak rates? Do you want a 3-pin charger that’ll charge from any socket you plug it into? Do you need a specific feature like RFID for card/key verification, or solar integration to charge with solar panels?
Not to worry – we have you covered.
We’ve listed all the best EV chargers you can buy in this guide, including Type 2 chargers, 3-pin chargers, and commando socket chargers ideal for campsites.
Let’s jump in!
The Best EV Chargers
- The Best EV Chargers
- A Detailed List of the Best 3-pin EV chargers
- Best smart EV chargers
- Best 3-phase EV chargers
- Best commando EV chargers
- What is a smart charger?
Best EV Chargers By Type
- Best 3-pin EV charger – FNRIDS 3.3kW Charger Cable
- Second place: Vorsprung 10m 3-Pin Charger
- Best 7kW socket charger – VORSPRUNG Cyber
- Best smart EV charger – Ohme ePod
- Second place: Hypervolt Home 3 Pro
- Best smart EV charger with RFID – Zaptec Go
- Second place: BG Sync EV
- Best smart solar EV charger – Zappi v2.1
- Second place: Hypervolt Home 3 Pro
- Best smart EV charger under £400 – evec VEC01
- Best 3-phase EV charger 22kW – Pod Point Solo 3
- Second place: Zappi v2.1
- Best commando EV charger – FNRIDS 7kW Type 2 to Commando
|Charger||FNRIDS 3-Pin Charger||VORSPRUNG Cyber||Ohme ePod||Zaptec Go||Zappi v2.1||Pod Point Solo 3||FNRIDS Commando|
|Best for||3-pin charging||Dumb charging||Smart charging||RFID||Solar||3-phase||Commando sockets|
|Prices||£125||£350 unit only||£999 installed||£899 installed||£1,199 installed||£1,999 installed||£160|
|Warranty||2 years||1 year||3 years||5 years||3 years||3 years||2 years|
A Detailed List of the Best 3-pin EV chargers
The best 3-pin EV chargers go beyond simple cables with an LED display readout for the voltage and charge session duration, a battery level indicator, a carry case, and adjustable current settings from 6A (slow) to 13A (fast).
These are the best 3-pin EV chargers you can buy:
1. FNRIDS 3.3kW Charger Cable – Best 3-pin EV charger overall
A fast 3.3kW Type 2 to 3 Pin Plug charger with adjustable outputs, smart safety features, and a durable waterproof design. Comes with a carry case and a 2-year warranty with no-quibble returns. Priced around £125 with a 7.5m cable.
The FNRIDS EV Charger Cable is our top pick for a 3-pin EV charger that’s safe, smart, and convenient to use. A key feature is the large OLED display that clearly shows the charging current, voltage, and other stats for easy monitoring.
The adjustable output from 6-13A allows you to charge at different speeds – 13A for fast charging or lower amps overnight to reduce energy costs.
Safety is a priority with this charger. It’s built to IP67 waterproof standards so you can use it outdoors and has 10 safety protections like leakage and surge protection to prevent damage to your car’s battery. The cable withstands 10,000 plug insertions showing its durability.
We like that it intelligently monitors conditions and automatically stops charging if anything is abnormal, then resumes when normal. The plug locks after connecting to prevent detachment and theft.
With certification to UK and European electrical safety standards, you can have peace of mind using this charger. Its compatibility with most EV models like Tesla, BMW, Nissan makes it convenient for everyday charging needs.
Overall, with smart safety features, robust design for indoor or outdoor use, and the flexibility of adjustable charging speed, this FNRIDS EV Charger is an excellent choice for Type 2 electric vehicles.
2. VORSPRUNG Portable EV Charger Type 2 – Best 10m 3-pin EV charger
A plug and play 3-pin electric vehicle charger with an adjustable 6/8/10/13A power output, a carry case and UK/EU compatibility. Available with a 5m, 8m, or 10m cable. Priced around £200 for the 8m version.
The Vorsprung EV charger is our top pick for a 10m 3-pin charger thanks to its high-quality design, versatile charging options, and robust safety features.
This charger stands out with its large LED screen that clearly displays charging details like current, voltage, and elapsed time. You can easily adjust the output from 6A up to 13A to suit different charging needs – slow overnight conditioning charges at 6A or rapid topping up at 13A
We tested it at the full 13A and achieved the maximum 3kW charge rate, delivering faster charging than lower 10A OEM cables.
Safety is also a priority, with overcurrent, overvoltage, undervoltage, and overheat protection built in. It meets the latest UKCA, CE and TUV certification standards, giving peace of mind when charging. The durable ABS housing and IP67 waterproof rating mean it can withstand use indoors and outdoors.
With cable lengths of 5m, 8m, and 10m, this charger provides flexibility to charge in different locations. Whether you’re charging in the garage, driveway, or visiting a friend, this cable has the reach to get power where you need it.
With its quality engineering, versatile power delivery, and rigorous safety testing, the Vorsprung stands out as our top pick for 3-pin EV charging. We highly recommend it to EV owners looking for a robust, high-performance charging solution.
3. Vogvigo EV Charger Type 2 UK 3 Pin – Top-rated by users
A smart 6A to 13A adjustable 3-pin EV charger with a plug and play design, safety certified with 10 protections and backed by a two-year warranty for worry-free use. Priced around £130 with an 8m cable.
The Vogvigo EV Charger Type 2 UK 3 Pin is an excellent option for charging your electric vehicle at home. This charger features an easy-to-read LED display that shows you real-time data like charging current, power usage, voltage, and charging time during the charging process.
You can select between four adjustable charging outputs – 6A, 8A, 10A or 13A. This allows you to customise the charging speed to fit your needs, whether you want a slower overnight charge or need to rapidly gain more range during the day.
Safety is also a priority with this charger. It has over 10 built-in protection functions, including overvoltage, undervoltage, overcurrent, short circuit, leakage, and overheating protection.
The charger has been rigorously tested and certified by both TUV and CE standards, so you can feel confident using this device.
The cable and connectors themselves are also well-made, with high quality copper cores, insulated outer shielding, and reinforced strain relief to prevent damage.
With an IP67 waterproof rating, you don’t have to worry about using this charger outdoors in the rain. It can even be submerged in water up to 1 metre deep without issue. The 8-metre cable length provides flexibility for charging in different locations.
4. VECO Portable Type 2 Charging Cable UK 3 PIN
A portable, waterproof Type 2 charging cable for EVs. 5m, 8m or 10m length, with a 13A, 3.3kW power output. Includes LED indicators and a carry bag. Priced around £150 for the 8m version.
Searching for a reliable EV charger that allows you to power up your electric vehicle anywhere? Look no further than the Portable Type 2 Charging Cable by VECO. 5m, 8m, or 10m long charger has a durable, weatherproof design to withstand the elements.
Adjustable charging current from 6A to 13A allows you to customise the power output to suit your charging needs. The handy digital display clearly shows the selected amperage, as well as voltage, power, and temperature readings.
Safety is a top priority with integrated protection against overcharging, overheating, and more. This charger is CE and TUV certified for proven performance and peace of mind.
Compatible with nearly all type 2 equipped EVs like Audi, BMW, Nissan, Tesla, and more, this is a versatile charging solution. Everything stores neatly inside the included carry bag.
For a robust Level 2 EV charger designed to withstand heavy use, this Portable Type 2 Charger Cable is an excellent choice. Convenient, safe charging anywhere you go with power output adjustable to your needs makes this a must-have EV accessory.
5. EVDANCE EV Charger Type 2 to 3-Pin
Another great pick
The EVDANCE charger has 6A/8A/10A/13A adjustable amperage with a maximum charge rate of 2.99kW. It comes with a 6m cable (20ft) and has one of the sleeker designs out there. Priced at around £135.
The EVDANCE EV Charger Type 2 UK 3 Pin is an excellent portable electric vehicle charger for any EV or PHEV owner needing to charge on the go.
The charger is suitable for all UK and European electric cars complying with the IEC 62196-2 standard, making it compatible with Teslas, BMWs, Mercedes, and more.
It’s easy to use with the convenient carry case for portability. The 1.3 inch OLED screen clearly displays charging information. Safety features like overcurrent and overvoltage protection give peace of mind when charging.
Overall, this is a high quality and reliable EV charger with fast charging speeds – ideal for EV owners needing flexibility to charge anywhere.
Best smart EV chargers
The best smart chargers have a data connection to the car, energy grid, and your energy provider, allowing for the remote control and monitoring of charging time, speed, and costs.
Smart chargers can optimise charging by using cheaper overnight electricity rates, integrating with your energy tariff.
They are mandated by UK law for all new home EV chargers since June 2022. Their connectivity and smart features provide more efficient and cost-effective home charging than simple plug-and-play chargers.
You can get tethered chargers with a Type 1 or Type 2 cable attached, or untethered chargers that accept your EV charging cable (if you don’t have a charging cable yet, check out our guide covering the best EV charging cables).
These are the best smart chargers you can buy:
1. Ohme ePod
The Ohme ePod delivers smart, convenient home charging in a compact, minimalist package. Its slim wall-mounted design takes up little space while providing up to 7.4kW of power output for overnight charging. Safety features like the built-in earth leakage protection keep the system secure.
Installation is straightforward thanks to multiple wiring entry points and modest dimensions. The included 4G SIM card enables real-time connectivity to handle smart charging capabilities.
Through the intuitive Ohme app, you can schedule charging sessions, set charging levels, and view energy usage.
One highlight is the ePod’s integration with energy tariffs like Octopus Agile. This automatically starts charging when electricity rates are lowest, saving you money. The app lets you set price caps too, so you never pay over a set rate per kWh.
The ePod simplifies operation through its interactive buttons. Touch controls let you start, stop, and pause a session without pulling out your phone. The LED strip offers charging status briefly.
Over-the-air software updates keep the ePod current, while the weatherproof construction ensures it thrives outside. With a max 32A output, it charges most EVs overnight.
If you want a compact, set-it-and-forget-it EV charger, the Ohme ePod checks all the boxes. Its smart features help optimise charging costs, while the sleek profile blends seamlessly into your home. For fuss-free charging with smart capabilities, the ePod is a top choice.
2. Hypervolt Home 3 Pro
The Hypervolt Home 3 Pro delivers speedy 7.4kW charging in a sleek, compact design ideal for any home. Its polished aesthetics blend an LED-backlit faceplate with a durable polycarbonate and nylon casing. Colours like white, black, and grey let it match your decor.
Installation is straightforward thanks to the streamlined rear-entry wiring and mounting bracket. The Home 3 Pro supports both Type 1 and Type 2 cables from 5 to 10 metres with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 4G cellular as needed.
You get full control of charging through the intuitive Hypervolt app. Start and stop sessions, create charging schedules, and view real-time usage stats.
Switch between Plug & Charge and Scheduled Charging modes to optimise costs. Special solar charging modes maximise self-consumption when paired with PV panels.
Safety is assured by integrated DC residual current detection, protecting against electric shocks. The unit also actively balances household electrical loads to prevent tripping breakers. Rigorous UK and EU compliance provides complete peace of mind.
The LED light ring offers charging status briefly, pulsing different colours to indicate a session in progress, scheduling mode, or errors. Backed by DC residual current detection and weatherproof casing rated IP66.
With smart features tailored to solar self-consumption, robust safety protections, speedy charging capacity, and sleek aesthetics, the Hypervolt Home 3 Pro is an excellent choice for uncomplicated home charging.
3. Zaptec Go
The Zaptec Go is one of the most compact and versatile home EV chargers available. Installation is straightforward thanks to the charger’s minimalist design with fewer parts.
An electrician can install the Zaptec Go in 2-3 hours, provided your existing electrics are suitable.
The small size sets the Zaptec Go apart, measuring just 24 x 18 x 7.5cm. It can fit almost anywhere while taking up 80% less space than comparable 7.4kW chargers.
The contemporary styling blends nicely into any setting, with a choice of six interchangeable colour facias to match your décor.
Charging speeds reach a maximum of 7.4kW, adding around 28 miles of range per hour. A typical 50kWh EV battery can charge from 10% to 100% in approximately 6.5 hours. The Zaptec Go is compatible with all electric cars and single-phase electricity supplies.
Smart features come from the intuitive Zaptec app, available for iOS and Android. You can schedule charging sessions, monitor charging in real-time, create user accounts to control access, and lock the cable to the charger when not in use.
The app makes it easy to override the pre-configured off-peak charging schedule. But one drawback is the lack of energy tariff integration to view charging session costs.
Other highlights include an LED status ring that indicates charger status, and RFID technology for keyless authentication. Reliable Wi-Fi and 4G LTE-M connectivity ensures you can access the latest software updates.
4. Indra Smart Pro
The Indra Smart Pro is a feature-rich EV charger that offers intelligent charging capabilities for maximising renewable energy usage and minimising charging costs.
This British-made charger provides up to 7.4kW of power with adjustable 6-32A output for charge rates up to 30 miles of range per hour.
Installation of the Indra Smart Pro is straightforward thanks to the use of easy-to-wire Wago connectors, and a clever built-in earthing system called PESTS protection.
The bulky design may limit mounting options, but the durable construction and cable management system give it a premium feel.
Where the Indra Smart Pro shines is the smart features enabled by the intuitive web-based Kaluza app. Scheduled and delayed charging allows you to take advantage of cheap EV tariff rates. The solar matching feature uses any excess solar production to charge your EV.
The app also provides charging stats and costs, with the helpful addition of a tariff integration mode for optimising off-peak charging sessions.
The charging experience is seamless, with dedicated modes for scheduling, solar matching, and a Boost mode to override settings for immediate maximum charging. The LED status lights clearly indicate the charger’s mode and operation. Firmware updates are handled automatically for a fuss-free ownership experience.
5. Ohme Home Pro – Best EV charger with a screen
The Ohme Home Pro stands out as one of the most feature-rich and user-friendly home EV chargers. Its sleek design houses a handy LCD screen and control buttons, allowing you to monitor and adjust charging right at the unit.
Setup is straightforward thanks to the included 3G/4G SIM card.
Installation is simplified by the built-in earthing, requiring no earth rod or RCD. Safety features like integrated RCD protection and IP55 weather resistance provide peace of mind. The supplied wall bracket neatly stores the 5m charging cable.
In day-to-day use, the ability to initiate a full rapid charge or set charging schedules via the screen is invaluable. You can also limit costs by setting per kWh price caps. Smart charging functionality links with your energy tariff to find the cheapest charging times
The free Ohme app unlocks additional smart features like customisable charge schedules, vehicle preconditioning, and cost tracking. It connects to many car APIs to access battery data. Over-the-air updates keep the system up to date.
With a max 7.4kW charging rate, the Ohme Home Pro can add around 30 miles of range per hour. The integrated earthing and electrics make installation straightforward. While solar integration is lacking, for most buyers the pros outweigh this omission.
6. Zappi v2.1
It intelligently integrates with solar, wind, or hydro power generation, allowing you to charge your electric vehicle using clean, renewable energy produced at home.
The Zappi has two “ECO” charging modes that automatically adjust the charging speed based on the available solar or renewable output.
When paired with solar panels, the Zappi will charge your EV using whatever energy your solar array generates – usually 3-5kW, adding around 12-18 miles of range per hour.
The Zappi also minimises grid power usage when configured appropriately. The built-in LCD screen clearly displays charging status and settings. Users can easily configure charging modes, view energy usage, set schedules, and more directly from the charger itself.
At first glance, the Zappi v2.1’s large, rugged plastic casing may seem bulky. However, this provides a built-in cable management system.
The renewable integration and smart charging features make the Zappi v2.1 one of the most eco-friendly and forward-thinking EV chargers you can buy today.
7. evec Smart Charger
Priced at less than £400 with a fantastic app and adjustable power settings of 3.7kW/7.4kW, the evec EV charger is perfect for most homes. It has a 3-year warranty and complies with the latest electrical specifications.
The evec VEC01 is a sleek, wall-mounted electric vehicle charger that offers convenient at-home charging capabilities. With a max power output of 7.4kW, this unit can provide a full charge overnight for most EVs.
The VEC01 sports a minimalist design with a black finish that will blend seamlessly into any garage or driveway. It is IP55 rated for dust and water resistance, making it suitable for outdoor installation. The charger itself is fairly compact at only 12.6 x 19 x 30 cm.
A key feature of this charger is the adjustable power setting, which can be customised between 3.7kW to 7.4kW. This allows you to tailor the charging speed and energy consumption to your specific needs. While not the fastest charging speeds available, 7.4kW is sufficient for overnight charging and the adjustability is a nice perk.
Safety is also a priority with built-in PEN protection and compliance with CE and UKCA standards. The charger is able to handle extreme temperatures ranging from -25 to 50°C, providing peace of mind in various weather conditions.
The free evec app enables convenient charge monitoring and scheduling. You can start and stop charging sessions remotely via Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. This allows you to conveniently schedule charging when electricity rates are lowest overnight.
8. BG Sync EV
The BG Sync EV is available as a tethered model with a 7.5m cable or an untethered socket version, delivering up to 7.4kW of charging power, and as a 22kW three-phase charger. You can also get a model with RFID (model EVS7GGR-02).
With a robust weatherproof construction and interchangeable colour facias, the BG Sync EV is designed for convenient home charging. It can be installed vertically or horizontally and has a compact footprint. The tethered version neatly wraps its cable for tidy storage when not in use.
Through the user-friendly Monta smartphone app, owners can remotely monitor charging status, create schedules, and access a range of smart features.
These include matching the charging rate to the car’s onboard charger, dynamic load balancing to avoid tripping the main fuse, and variable tariff charging.
Integrated safety is a key feature, with 30mA RCD and 6mA DC fault protection built-in. An innovative earth monitoring system removes the need for an external RCD in most cases, simplifying installation.
Compliant with the latest UK and EU standards, the BG Sync EV supports OCPP 1.6J for smart grid integration. Over-the-air software updates ensure it stays compliant as standards evolve.
Best 3-phase EV chargers
The best 3-phase chargers support charging speeds from 11kW to 22kW on 3-phase (11kW domestic and 22kW commercial). They are usually bolstered versions of single-phase Type 2 chargers, as is the case with the 22kW Pod Point Solo 3.
The difference is that 3-phase Type 2 chargers have wiring terminals for the three active wires, each providing power at a different voltage. The cable is also thicker, and the circuitry is more robust to handle the higher power load.
These are the best Type 2 3-phase chargers you can buy:
1. Pod Point Solo 3 22kW – Best 3-phase charger overall
The Pod Point Solo 3 22kW is the latest addition to the popular Solo range, offering ultra-fast charging for homes and businesses with a 3-phase electricity supply.
With a maximum power output of 22kW, it can add up to 60 miles of range per hour – perfect for quickly topping up electric vehicles overnight or during the workday.
This new 3-phase model joins the existing 7kW single-phase and 3.6kW Solo 3 chargers. It retains the same sleek, oval-shaped exterior housing that neatly conceals the attached cable. The durable polycarbonate case and waterproof construction ensure it stands up well to outdoor use. Inside, the wiring and circuit board have been redesigned over previous generations for greater reliability.
Safety remains a priority, with 6mA DC leakage detection, dual power contacts in the socket, and rigorous compliance with the latest standards. The 22kW Solo 3 works with any standard three-phase electricity supply and tariff – handy for installing multiple chargers in commercial settings.
Like the other Solo 3s, built-in Wi-Fi allows connection to the Pod Point app for remote monitoring, cost tracking based on your energy tariff, and scheduling charging sessions.
There’s support for over-the-air updates to enable new capabilities over time. It can also operate as a plug-and-play charger without needing the app.
2. Zappi v2.1 22kW – Best 3-phase charger for renewables
The Zappi v2.1 22kW three-phase charger from myenergi is an intelligent and future-proof electric vehicle charging solution. With a power output of 22kW, it can charge compatible electric vehicles quickly and efficiently.
One of the standout features of the Zappi is its adaptive charging capability. It can automatically adjust charging rate based on available solar power, avoiding export, and making use of green energy.
The two eco-charging modes, ECO+ and ECO, are ideal for homeowners with solar PV systems, enabling free and optimised EV charging.
This second-generation Zappi has integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, making it Smart compliant without the need for a separate hub. It is also BS 7671 18th Edition ready, with built-in RCD and earth fault detection removing need for a Type B RCD or earth electrode.
Overall, the Zappi v2.1 22kW three-phase charger offers an advanced yet user-friendly charging solution. Key highlights are the adaptive solar charging features, future-proof design with integrated Wi-Fi and electrical protections, weatherproof construction, and universal compatibility for green-conscious solar businesses.
3. BG Sync EV 22kW – Best 3-phase EV charger with Monta
For those needing ultra-fast charging, BG offers a 22kW three-phase version of its smart Sync EV charger. Capable of adding over 90 miles of range per hour, it can fully recharge compatible electric vehicles in around 3 hours.
The 22kW BG Sync EV delivers commercial-grade charging performance for large scale deployments. Its robust polycarbonate housing and interchangeable colour fascias allow it to blend into any setting.
Smart capabilities come via the intuitive Monta app. This gives remote monitoring, charging schedules optimised for lowest cost or greenest energy, and load balancing. Users can easily restrict access to authorised drivers only.
The app provides real-time status updates and historical charging data. Charing can be remotely started, stopped or scheduled at the touch of a button. For public deployments, the app enables secure driver authentication via RFID cards.
With dynamic 22kW output, extensive app control, and integrated safety features, the three-phase BG Sync EV is ideal for workplaces, fleets and public charging hubs.
Best commando EV chargers
The best Type 2 to commando chargers charge over 3x faster than a household socket, providing 7kW of power with a 32A supply or 3.6kW at 16A. So, they are plenty fast, and adding a Type 2 to commando charger then lets you monitor the voltage and power flowing to your battery at the source, in addition to your vehicle’s companion app.
These chargers are ideal if you regularly go camping to access the commando sockets at these sites. For home EV charging, you can also install a commando socket and charge your car with a Type 2 to commando charger.
These are the best Type 2 to commando chargers you can buy:
1. FNRIDS 7kW Type 2 to Commando
Priced at only £160, this Type 2 to Commando EV charger has a 10/16/20/24/32A adjustable current and comes with a carry case. It’s backed by a 2-year warranty and worry free return and exchange.
The FNRIDS EV Charger Type 2 to Commando is an excellent electric vehicle charging solution for homes and public spaces with a commando socket.
With an adjustable output of 10-32A, it can charge most electric cars at speeds up to 7kW, delivering a full charge 3 times faster than lower amperage chargers.
The pure copper wiring ensures efficient power transfer and heat dissipation even at maximum 32A output. Multiple safety features like lightning, leakage and overcharge protection give peace of mind when charging overnight. The durable PC housing withstands up to 1.5 tonnes – unlikely to be damaged by a parking car.
The 5-metre cable length allows you to charge in most parking scenarios and the included cable bag keeps things tidy in storage and transport.
We like the upgraded 1.8” OLED display screen. It’s more durable than LCD and shows charging data clearly even in sunlight. The screen lets you monitor charging status, time elapsed, power consumption and troubleshooting codes.
With wide European compatibility, the FNRIDS EV Charger is suitable for most electric and hybrid cars like Tesla, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Peugeot, and Citroen models.
It works with all common public Type 2 charge points. Just plug into any suitable power socket and charging starts automatically.
Overall, this is an affordable, convenient, and safe 7kW commando electric vehicle charger, perfect for homes, workplaces, or public charging stations.
2. VORSPRUNG Portable Type 2 to Commando Charger
This Type 2 to Commando EV charger has a variable 6-13A charging rate up to 7.68KW. It’s TUV certified and includes a free carry case with an 5m or 8m cable. Priced from £318 for the 8m cable.
The Vorsprung portable electric vehicle charger is an excellent charging solution for EV owners looking for a convenient way to charge their cars at home or on the go. This UK-made charger stands out with its robust design and adjustable amperage settings, allowing you to customise the charging speed from 10A to 32A.
At 32A, this is one of the fastest portable car chargers on the market. With a maximum output of 7.3kW, it can charge an electric vehicle battery much faster than lower amperage models.
The 8-metre cable gives you flexibility in positioning the charger when charging at home. It’s also handy for taking to campsites with commando sockets.
The digital display provides helpful charging data including voltage, amperage, power usage, temperature, and estimated charge time. Safety features include overvoltage and overcurrent protection and it’s built to withstand tough outdoor conditions with IP67 waterproofing.
The brand Vorsprung is a UK-based company focused on EV charging technology and provides outstanding customer service assistance.
For EV owners needing occasional fast charging at home or a portable public charging solution, the Vorsprung adjustable portable charger is an excellent choice at a competitive price point.
What is a smart charger?
Smart chargers comply with The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 and are the next generation of electric vehicle charging equipment.
The key facet is that smart chargers must be able to communicate. They connect to an electronic network, allowing a central controller (that’s you) to monitor the charger, send it updates, utilise it for balancing grid demand, and collect data on its usage. T
The charger must maintain this connectivity even if you switch electricity suppliers. Pretty nifty, as it means your charger stays fully functional.
Adjustable charge speeds
Smart chargers can adjust charging speed or timing based on signals received. This enables utilities to run ‘demand response’ events.
For example, if grid demand spikes on a hot summer evening when everyone has their AC blasting, utilities can tell the chargers in the area to scale back momentarily. This helps take the strain off the grid and prevents blackouts.
Your smart charger will have default charging hours set – probably something like 11pm to 8am . This takes advantage of off-peak overnight rates when electricity demand and costs are lower. But you can review and tweak the hours if you want charging to fit your schedule rather than the other way around!
On the data side, your smart charger tracks detailed usage stats and makes these visible to you through an interface. You can check the juice dispensed per session, over the preceding month, or even see real-time power usage. This helps inform your charging habits and costs.
Safety protections make sure you don’t overcharge your vehicle and that the charger shuts off charging when complete. And the charger has security measures like encryption to guard against hacking. Updates provide protection against new cyberthreats.
What is a 3-pin EV charger?
A 3-pin EV charger provides a simple, convenient way to charge when you don’t have access to a dedicated Type 2 charger. The charging speed is slower than a Type 2 wall box, usually providing 1.3kW to 3.6kW of power depending on the current rating . On a typical EV battery, a full charge can take 12-36 hours.
The main advantages of 3-pin EV chargers are:
- Portable and compact. Easy to take with you or move between locations.
- No special infrastructure or installation required. Just plug into any normal household socket.
- Charge on the go. Top up at hotels, friends’ homes, destination chargers.
- Cheaper upfront cost than wall boxes.
- Adjustable charging current on some models – typically 6A to 13A, allowing up to 3.3kW of power transfer.
We recommend everyone have a 3-pin EV charger because they are portable and come in handy in a pinch.
What is a Type 1 and Type 2 EV charger?
Type 1 and Type 2 are the two main types of electric vehicle charging connectors used for alternating current (AC) charging.
Type 1 is a single-phase connector commonly used for EV charging in North America and Asia. It has a charging capacity up to 7.4kW, depending on the vehicle and electrical supply. Type 1 connectors are suitable for slow to medium speed charging at home or public stations.
Type 2 is the standard in Europe  and most parts of Asia for EVs produced since 2018. Type 2 allows faster charging compared to Type 1, with capacities up to 22kW for home charging and up to 43kW at public stations.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 connectors use five pins to deliver AC power, but Type 2 has three additional large pins to carry the three-phases. Type 1 plugs are compatible with Type 2 sockets, allowing North American and Asian EVs to charge when visiting Europe.
However, the reverse is not compatible, so European Type 2 plugs cannot connect to Type 1 sockets.
What is a 3-phase EV charger?
A 3-phase charger operates on a 3-phase power supply. Single-phase power, commonly used in homes, provides one alternating current using 2 wires – a live and a neutral.
3-phase power consists of 3 live wires carrying 3 alternating currents offset from each other. This 3-phase system provides more consistent power flow compared to single-phase.
The key advantage of a 3-phase EV charger is higher charging capacity, allowing faster charging speeds. A single-phase 7 kW home charger adds around 25 miles of range per hour. In contrast, a 3-phase 11 kW charger can add over 35 miles of range per hour.
To install a 3-phase EV charger, the property’s electrical supply needs to be upgraded from single-phase to 3-phase. This requires extensive modifications like new underground cables, fuse box, distribution panel and metre. Costs often exceed £3,500 due to the complexity – if you already have 3-phase, however, this is a moot point.
3-phase chargers must be rated 400Vac ± 10% to comply with BS-EN-61851-1:2019  and to permit installation compliant with BS 7671:2018+A1:2020.
What is a commando EV charger?
A commando EV charger connects your electric vehicle to a commando socket without additional hardware. A 32A commando socket charges over 2x faster than a typical home socket – up to 7.4kW on a single-phase supply.
However, a commando charger lacks any smart features itself – so, you need to use your vehicle companion app for scheduling and controlling the charging session.
Commando EV chargers are ideal if you do lots of camping trips or stay at holiday lodges, since these destinations usually have a commando socket on site (otherwise, most have a 3-pin plug, in which case get a 3-pin EV charger).
You can also get a commando socket installed at home instead of a powerful smart charger – you won’t have any smart features, but you will have a usable socket for other stuff.
A buyer’s guide to choosing the best EV charger
We recommend considering these factors before buying an EV charger:
- Consider where you will charge most often – at home, workplace, or on the go. This determines if you need a portable 3-pin or fixed EV charger.
- Decide if you want a smart charger. Smart chargers optimise charging times and rates through a Wi-Fi connection. Mandated in the UK for new home chargers.
- Determine your power supply by checking the fuse box. Single phase systems typically have one large fuse controlling the circuit. Three phase systems will have three equally sized large fuses, often rated for 100 amps each. The three fuses work in unison to provide power to the property. So, the presence of multiple large fuses in the fuse box indicates the home or building has three phase electrical supply.
- Select the connector type you need – Type 1 or Type 2 to connect to your EV, and the connector type for your power source, such as Type 2, 3-pin, or commando.
- Determine the features you need. You can get EV chargers with RFID for card/key control, solar integration, and kWh price caps.
- Check the power rating and voltage/current specs on the charger. These should meet your car’s charging capacity. Don’t overpay for a higher charging speed you can’t use unless you intend to use it in the future.
- Buy from reputable brands that comply with regulations and safety standards. All the chargers in this guide fit the bill.
- New power connections including smart chargers, wall boxes, and commando sockets require professional installation – do not DIY it. Expect to pay around £300 to an electrician to install your wall box, £150 for a commando socket, and £100 for a 3-pin socket. Look for NICEIC and MCS certifications.
- Pod Point (2021). The Electric Vehicles Smart Point Regulations and what they mean.
- Electrical Safety First (2023). Safety Advice: Plugs And Fuses.
- Renault (2020). The Type 2 connector: the European standard for electric cars.
- Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (2022). Residential charge points: minimum technical specification.