Looking for a smart charger that lets you tap into cheap tariff rates? The Indra Smart PRO offers this and a bounty of other features.
In addition to scheduling and ready by time features, you can delay charging sessions to ensure they take place at the cheapest time. This is fantastic if you have an EV tariff that offers cheap rates for a few hours a day.
Are there any downsides? It’s big, and curiously, there’s no Wi-Fi as standard, only Ethernet, although you can add a 2.4/5GHz Wireless USB Wi-Fi Adapter or 4G dongle. Our Indra Smart PRO review reveals all.
Let’s jump in:
Indra Smart PRO Review
The Indra Smart PRO is a great charger with solar integration and a reliable web-based app. It’s British-made and charges at speeds up to 7.4kW, adding up to 30-miles of range per hour. It’s easy to install and use, with scheduled charging and a tariff mode to fine-tune when and how your car charges.
- Tariff integration (ideal for EV tariffs with special rates)
- Solid as a rock
- Good web app
- Solar support
- Multiple charge modes, including a Boost Mode for max power
- Tethered or untethered
- Not very inconspicuous
- No all-black option to blend in
- No Wi-Fi as standard (Ethernet only, although you can add 4G and Wi-Fi optionally with USB expansion)
- Quick review
- Quick specs
- How easy is the Indra Smart PRO to install?
- Indra Smart PRO design
- LED status lights
- Charging speed
- 3 charging modes
- Smart scheduling
- Solar matching
- Tariff integration
- Indra Smart PRO app (Kaluza)
- Firmware updates
- Customer support
- Indra Smart PRO verdict
- Indra Smart PRO alternatives
- Indra Smart PRO documentation
The Indra Smart PRO makes charging your electric car easy, with dedicated modes for smart scheduling, off-peak charging, ready by time and solar matching. In fact, we listed it as one of the best EV chargers with solar you can buy.
There’s also a Boost mode on the charger and in the app for overriding schedules, and a tariff mode that lets you input your tariff details, so your car starts charging at the off-peak rate when it becomes available.
It charges at 7.4kW (the fastest speed for single-phase) with variable 6A to 32A charging. In use, the Indra Smart PRO is a dream and it’s a well-engineered product from an electrician’s point of view with proprietary PESTs technology for PEN faults.
Overall, there’s nothing bad about the Indra Smart PRO. It’s a solid all-rounder.
- Rated power 7.4kW
- Mode 3: Type 2 socket, Type 1 or Type 2 tethered cable
- Charging current 6A-32A variable
- Protection 6ma DC leakage detection
- Standby consumption <5W
- Type: Tethered or untethered (5m cable if tethered)
- Dimensions 200mm x 420mm x 130mm (WxHxD)
How easy is the Indra Smart PRO to install?
The Indra Smart PRO has several design features that get the thumbs up, including Wago connectors instead of screw terminals, and an earth reference electrode setup for PEN faults (proprietary technology called protective Earth, Simultaneous Touch (PESTs) protection). It can also be installed without a reference electrode for installations that do not fall under the requirements of 722.411.4.
“The Indra Smart PRO has easy termination with Wago connectors and the CT clamp connection is simple. The only downside to installation is it is bottom entry only, so the cabling needs to run below the unit, so hiding it behind the casing isn’t an option. A Type A RCD is required but earthing is built in. The PESTs earthing is an elegant solution unique to Indra; it makes sense and inspires confidence in the design, which I have to say is impressive.”
Matt Yates, Severn Sparks Ltd
The PESTs technology is unique to the Indra Smart PRO. It’s a handy technology for solar support because if the solar causes a fluctuation, then the PEN fault won’t kick in, because the charger will check the earth via a reference spike.
Because it has in-built earthing, no earth rod or earthing device is required, and installation is a case of connecting it up to a Type A RCD (Max 30mA). It is good practice to use a double pole isolator switch for the EV charger.
The CT clamp is installed with a punch down tool. Inside the casing, there’s enough room to move the wiring around and the Wago connectors make termination easy. The circuit board and residual components are of good quality.
Overall, the Indra Smart PRO is no harder than any other charger to install. It feels solid and the internals are all made to last.
Indra Smart PRO design
If you want an inconspicuous home charger, look away now.
The Indra Smart PRO is on the larger side, measuring 200mm x 420mm x 130mm (WxHxD). To put that into context, it’s shorter and narrower than the Zappi v2 but a little thicker (the Zappi v2 measures 282 mm x 439mm x 122mm).
Home chargers being as large as this isn’t a problem for me, especially with tethered units on which a cable tends to blend in.
The cable tidy is neat, with the cable wrapping around the back of the device out of sight. The charger end slots into a recessed holster built into the front of the charging unit, creating a seamless all-in-one unit.
The colour scheme is white and black, and that’s the only option. We’d like an all-back option, but the Stormtrooper colour scheme here looks great.
The front of the charger is home to LED status lights. The primary status LED highlights the operational state and mode, and there are four small individual LEDs below it that indicate whether the unit is disconnected from your EV, idle, or charging.
The front of the charger also has a BOOST button, which when pressed overrides any schedules and charge settings and gives maximum power immediately. This is useful when you want to top up without messing about with your phone.
In terms of build quality, the Indra Smart PRO is satisfyingly robust. It doesn’t move when you use the cable, and the holster has a small click when the charger is inserted. It inspires confidence and is as well made as the Hypervolt charger.
LED status lights
- White – Smart Mode. The unit is connected to Indra for scheduled charging.
- Blue – Boost Mode. Activated via the Indra App or using the Boost button.
- Orange – Solar Match Mode. The Indra is being powered by solar.
- Purple (flashing on start) – Booting up.
- Blue (flashing) – Software updating.
- Purple (flashing after start-up) – Communication problem to Indra App.
In addition, there are two fault modes:
- Red (flashing) – Temporary fault. Try resetting the charger.
- Red – Fault Mode. The Indra has a permanent fault and needs to be inspected.
The Indra Smart PRO charges at speeds up to 7.4kW, adding up to 30-miles of range per hour. The current load is variable, so the charge speed can drop as low as 2.3kW (the same as a 3-pin plug) when needed.
3 charging modes
There are 3 charging modes: Smart, Boost & Home Alone
- Smart Mode: This is the default charging mode. It automatically calculates your charging schedule every time you plug in using information about your energy tariff and charge by time (if set). This mode makes use of scheduling.
- Boost Mode: Boost mode overrides all schedules and settings, providing immediate access to charging at the fastest possible speeds. You can switch Boost Mode on and off in the App or on the front of the Smart PRO itself.
- Home Alone Mode: Home Alone is a dumb charger mode that doesn’t require an internet connection to work. In this mode, the Indra Smart Pro works as a simple socket, providing a source of power when you plug into it.
The smart scheduling feature is managed in the web app. By default, the smart schedule is set for 7 am weekdays and 9 am at weekends but you’ll probably change this to something that suits your lifestyle more.
Scheduling requires inputting your vehicle’s battery capacity (kWh). Once set up, scheduling is handled by Smart Mode and can be overridden with Boost Mode.
The Indra Smart Pro is solar PV ready, capable of diverting surplus energy into your EV for off-the-grid charging. As always, the charge speed on pure solar is limited by the size of your solar PV setup, with most homes generating under 4kW.
Thankfully, like all EV chargers with solar support, the Indra Smart PRO can use a combination of solar and grid. In this configuration, your solar panels might provide 1-2kW of power and the Grid might supply the rest to make 7.4kW.
Solar matching is set up in the Indra App, which provides a useful snapshot of information including energy from the grid and energy from solar.
For me, tariff integration is the Indra charger’s best feature.
Tariff integration lets you add your energy tariff details to ensure the cheapest charging session, and it also shows charging costs. It’s an excellent feature that many chargers don’t have, and it makes the Indra Smart PRO very handy.
The Indra Smart PRO has Ethernet as standard, so no Wi-Fi. 4G connectivity and Wi-Fi is available optionally to access smart features with no home internet connection.
In practice, having no Wi-Fi isn’t a big deal. Ethernet is more reliable. The only problem with Ethernet is the need for an Ethernet cable. You might not have one of these close to the install point, so it may add an additional cost to your installation.
Indra Smart PRO app (Kaluza)
The Indra App is the best web app we have used on a smart charger, and it works well everywhere, including Android, iOS & Windows. You access it via a web browser, and you can save it as an icon on your home screen for fast access.
The app is provided by Kaluza and integrates with Indra’s hardware perfectly.
Following installation, you get a welcome email from Indra detailing how to register for the Indra App. Basically, all you need to do is visit the Indra App webpage, create an account and connect to the charger wirelessly.
The setup wizard takes a few minutes to complete, babying you through the different modes and detailing how to add local generation and other things. It’s an elegant, refined experience that instils a sense of quality in the software.
Unlike some apps, the Indra App shows detailed Analytics with things like how much you’ve spent charging and how much energy you’ve used. You can see power draw in a graph and view a graph of all your previous charging sessions.
You can switch Boost Mode on and off in the Indra App, which enables full power charging from the mains supply, overriding other settings.
Overall, the Indra App is a smart, elegant piece of software that delivers a great user experience. Being a web app, it isn’t stored locally on your smartphone, but this is actually a plus, since it eliminates the need for app updates.
The Indra Smart PRO has over-the-air (OTA) updates. Firmware updates are handled automatically for a seamless ownership experience.
Indra has favourable reviews online and electricians we’ve spoken to rate the support desk highly, with phone calls typically answered in 5-10 minutes. The customer telephone number is 01684 770 631. You can contact them here.
Indra Smart PRO verdict
With full tariff integration, the Indra Smart PRO is an outstanding choice if you have an EV tariff with special kWh rates. You can set it to only charge between certain times and at certain prices, ensuring the cheapest possible charge.
Concerns over it only having a web app are unfounded, with the Indra App providing an excellent user experience, one that is better than most apps from other providers. Besides, you can always save the web app to your home screen.
The lack of standard Wi-Fi tethers you to Ethernet unless you get a Wi-Fi USB adapter or 4G dongle, and the unit itself isn’t particularly small. No all-black option means it always stands out.
Overall, the Indra Smart PRO lives up to its smart name. It achieves a score of 4.5/5, marked down for no standard Wi-Fi and a limited colour range.
Indra Smart PRO alternatives
The only smart home charger to achieve a score as high is the Hypervolt Home 2.0, which is in the same league and a direct alternative.
Another alternative is the Zappi v2, which is enormous but well made and smart. We awarded the Zappi 4.3/5, so less than the Indra.
Indra Smart PRO documentation
More resources can be found here.
This review was produced in collaboration with Severn Sparks, OZEV Approved Installers of electric vehicle home chargers in Gloucester and the Cotswolds. We extend our thanks to Matt at Severn Sparks for the photos used in this review. Be sure to visit them if you like what you see!