British made. Solar integration. In-built cable tidy. LCD control panel. Tethered or untethered. No earth rod is required. On the face of it, the Zappi v2 ticks every box for a home charger, but is it all show and no go?
It should be said that the Zappi v2 (2.1) is one of the most popular smart home chargers in the UK with both homeowners and electricians. Owners swear on its reliability and electricians are adamant that it’s a seriously good piece of kit.
Our review will look at the Zappi v2 charger objectively, to help you decide whether it’s the right EV charger for you.
Let’s jump in:
Note – Zappi updated the v2 charger in May 2022 to the Zappi 2.1 with in-built Wi-Fi, making the Zappi Hub obsolete. You now do not need a hub for the charger to work and we have updated our review accordingly.
Zappi 2.1 review
The Zappi isn’t the smallest charger on the market, but it is exceptional at its job. With reliable performance and integration for solar, wind and micro-hydro, it’s a great choice if you produce renewable energy, and overall, it should be on your list for a smart home charger.
- In-built controls
- Great build quality
- Tethered or untethered
- Solar, wind, and micro-hydro support
- Multiple charge modes
- Body acts as a cable tidy
- Not the sleekest
- App is average
I’m impressed with the Zappi. Sometimes, function beats form and the Zappi demonstrates this with aplomb. It is competent in most areas and exceeds expectations.
You can schedule charging sessions and integrate your solar feed, charging with 100% solar power or a combination of grid and solar.
The build quality is rock solid, and the size of the charger means you can loop the cable around it, so it acts as a natural cable tidy.
An improvement I’d like to see is a boost to 7.4kW (that 0.4kW adds an extra 3-4 miles of range per hour) and a smaller form factor. Other than that, it’s good to go.
Is the Zappi easy to install?
The Zappi doesn’t require an earth rod or earthing device like a Garo because it has in-built protection against the loss of the protective neutral and earth (PEN) conductor. It also has a built-in 30mA Type A RCD and 6mA DC RCD protection.
On a single-phase supply, the Zappi requires a 230V/240V nominal AC supply from a 32A circuit breaker. Most homes will satisfy this configuration with minimal electrical work, making the Zappi a very easy install for a competent electrician.
“The Zappi is a relatively simple install, requiring no earth rod or external RCD in most installations. It can hook up to renewable energy sources including solar and wind, and it has special smart settings for these. Our customers love the Zappi v2, and as electricians, we love installing them.”
Luke Mason, Luke Mason Electrical Ltd
Wiring up the Zappi is easy: like a light switch, there are only three cables (earth, neutral, live) for a single-phase supply into the unit to provide power.
There’s also a CT (current transformer) terminal for CT installations and an eSense input, which senses the availability of economy tariffs and boosts the charge when in ECO or ECO+ charging modes. Very handy for charging on the cheap!
To sum up installation, it’s a doddle. Curve B circuit breakers should be used and an external RCD is not usually required. Installation takes around 3 hours, including drilling and cleaning up. Your electrician will be done in no time.
Designed and made by myenergi in Great Britain, the Zappi is something of a national treasure in the electric world. The functional design is rugged and robust, clearly built to last rather than excite or turn heads.
It’s available in white and light grey or black and light grey. Both colour schemes look good, so which is best depends on the install location.
The shape is definitely interesting, reminiscent of an old wall clock with a curved top and angled bottom. It tapers at the sides, creating the illusion of a slimmer charger. I also like how the charging port is recessed into the body.
The Zappi measures 439 x 282 x 122mm which is big for a home charger. For reference, the Hypervolt Home 2.0, which isn’t small by any means, measures 328mm x 243mm x 101mm – so the Zappi is taller, wider and fatter than the Hypervolt.
The Zappi’s large size means it doesn’t blend in with its surroundings, but truth be told most people won’t care because the Zappi is so good to use.
The front hosts an LCD display (backlight activated by tapping the charger) and four control buttons, which let you control charging and view charger information at the charger. The Ohme Home Pro does this as well, and we wish more chargers did.
The display is easy to read in direct sunlight and dims itself when not in use. The only sign the charger is on, ready to charge, or charging is an RGB LED indicator on the front of the charger. Simple but effective.
The case is made from acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), which is fully recyclable, so I have no concerns about the unit being repurposed in the future. The enclosure is IP65 rated, so it is considered weatherproof and suitable for all installations.
Tethered or untethered
The Zappi is available tethered or untethered. We’ve written a guide to untethered and tethered chargers, but the gist of it is:
- Get an untethered charger if you want to be able to remove the cable or want the cleanest install possible
- Get a tethered charger if you don’t want to mess around with a cable and aren’t bothered about a less tidy installation
Me, I’d choose the untethered Zappi because I much prefer the clean look (also, no cable when not in use makes sense to me).
The untethered Zappi is clean and less fussy than the tethered Zappi, but the tethered Zappi has an elegant cable tidy; the cable wraps around the unit and is hidden by the body, with the charger end plugged into the body.
The Zappi charges up to 7kW single-phase and 22kW three-phase, with 3.6kW single-phase and 11kW three-phase charge speeds also available.
The 7kW Zappi adds 25-miles of range per hour, charging most cars with a battery under 60kWh in around 9 hours. Cars with a larger battery will take up to 12 hours.
Here for the solar charging? I don’t blame you. The Zappi is renowned for its solar power integration, letting you charge up your EV with 100% solar power generated from your solar panels (or a combination of solar and mains).
The Zappi has two ECO charging modes to automatically adjust the charging current in response to on-site generation and household power consumption.
Check out our roundup of the best EV chargers with solar for more charger ideas.
With 100% solar, the Zappi will charge your car with whatever your solar panels produce, which will probably be 3-5Kw (up to 18 miles of range per hour).
Wind turbine and micro-hydro
In addition to solar PV support, the Zappi can also be fed with power from your wind turbine or micro-hydro system. There are no special settings required for these features; they hook up to the same terminal as the solar panels do.
The Zappi charger is a dream to use. You can set up charge schedules to make power available when you need it and lock the charger from the unit. The lock feature requires a PIN number to be entered before the unit can be operated).
Charging is handled by three charge modes (ECO, ECO+, FAST) with Boosts for the ECO and ECO+ modes to utilise fast charging sporadically.
You can control the charger with your smartphone using the Zappi app, or you can do it all from the charger itself. The charger’s LCD display readout has a simple menu system with four buttons used to toggle between them.
The untethered Zappi has a charger lock built into it, so it locks the cable in place whether it is plugged into your car or not. The tethered model has a holster for the charging socket and a wraparound cable tidy to keep things neat.
Charging and boost modes
There are three charging modes:
- ECO: Power is adjusted to changes in power generation from your home; keeps your vehicle charging until full using renewable (solar, wind, micro-hydro) and grid energy. The minimum charge rate is 1.4kW.
- ECO+: Pauses charging when too much grid power is being used, thus minimising consumption of power from the grid. If the surplus power goes below 1.4kW then the Zappi will pause
- FAST: Charges your vehicle at the maximum charge rate (7kW) using renewable and grid energy or 100% grid – whatever it needs!
In addition, there are three boost modes in ECO and ECO+:
- Manual Boost: In ECO and ECO+ modes, Manual Boost charges at maximum power until the battery hits a charge percentage that you set. After which, Zappi will revert to ECO or ECO+ mode and slow the speed.
- Smart Boost: You set a target time for energy and the Zappi gets to work, alternating slow and fast charge speeds to improve efficiency. This boost mode ensures you get the energy you need efficiently.
- Scheduled: Scheduled boosts let you select four time periods when the Zappi will charge your car on FAST power. This is most useful when you have an Economy 7 tariff, or a tariff with reduced rates at certain times.
It really irks me when EV charger brands design great hardware and ship it with awful software. The EO Mini Pro 2 is a case in point. That charger is designed beautifully, but the app is poor, and it shows in the app store reviews.
The Myenergi app is hit and miss. It’s certainly intuitive, fast and easy to use, but it doesn’t have all the settings the charger display panel has.
For example, you can’t lock and unlock the charger in the app and there are no profile settings. Another frustration is the inability to drill down into minutes and hours on charging graphs, so the face value data is all you get.
However, it does let you see charging data at a glance, set timers, use boost functions and prioritise your myenergi chargers. The app is pleasing on the eye, we just wish it had all the information and features we want.
List of features I’d like to see:
- See historic (monthly) data
- Ability to export data
- Locking and unlocking in the app
- Firmware updates through the app
- All charger settings in the app
- Advanced profile management in the app
Firmware updates are pushed through to the Zappi charger over Wi-F, which you can push through via your smartphone.
Myenergi offers excellent customer support, resolving complaints within a few days and responding to important queries on the same day. You can request a return and report a fault online and submit warranty claims. They also publish a phone number (0333 300 1303) and welcome the opportunity to help on the phone.
Zappi v2 verdict
The Zappi v2 is a fantastic smart home charger. It’s British made, built to last, solar, wind and micro-hydro integrated, and available tethered or untethered. It checks all the boxes I look for in an EV charger.
However, it isn’t perfect.
The only caveat is the size of the charger. While it acts as a cable tidy, the case could be sleeker without sacrificing functionality.
As things stand, they are not significant barriers to purchase.
The Zappi 2.1 is highly recommendable. It achieves a score of 4.5/5.
This review was produced in collaboration with Luke Mason Electrical, OZEV Approved Installers of home chargers in Cheshire and the surrounding area. We extend our thanks to Luke Mason for the photos used in this review. Be sure to visit them if you like what you see!