If all you want to do is plug in and charge your EV with no smart features, a dumb charger like the QUBEV will fit your lifestyle perfectly.
What is a dumb charger? A dumb charger is a powerful socket with a Type 2 connector wrapped up in a plastic box. You plug in to charge and unplug to stop charging, or you can control charging sessions via your vehicle or OEM app to connect to your vehicle.
The QUBEV charger is one of the most popular dumb EV chargers on the market, but is it any good? Our QUBEV review reveals everything you need to know. The variant we have for review is the 18th Edition for British Standards BS 7671:2018.
QUBEV Charger Review
The QUBEV charger unlocks 7.2kW charge speeds on the cheap with no smart features. It works well as a plug and play device, and you can still control charging inside your EV or via your OEM app. Overall, if all you want is an outlet that adds up to 28-miles of range per hour, you can’t go wrong.
The QUBEV charger gets the job done. It is a simple a plug and play device, or you can set schedules and control charging via your vehicle. Because of this, the QUBEV will never become obsolete, adding even more value to the £299.99 price.
In terms of charging experience, this is almost entirely determined by how you intend to use the QUBEV. As a plug and play device, it is faultless, with an adjustable amp rating (10A, 16A, 20A, 25A, 32A) and an LED status light indicator.
Is the QUBEV charger easy to install?
Editor’s note: Electrical work must be performed to the current Electrical Wiring Regulations. Only a qualified electrician can install the QUBEV.
The QUBEV requires an earth rod or an earthing device (like a Garo or Matt:e) and an RCBO needs installing outside the unit. The RCBO should be scaled up, with recommended ratings of a 20A RCBO for a 16A supply and a 40A RCBO for a 32A supply.
The 18th edition comes as standard with a RCD + MCB enclosure. The C40A MCB is for AC overload protection and the Type B RCD for AC and DC fault protection.
QUBEV includes a fixing template in the box. You use the fixing template to mark the mounting position. Like all EV chargers, the QUBEV needs to be level, but it can be installed anywhere that’s flat, be it a stone wall or sturdy post.
After drilling holes using the template, you cut a hole in the bottom of the charger casing to allow the power cable to enter. A cable gland is required for weatherproofing, otherwise moisture and insects could get inside.
Wiring the QUBEV starts with terminating the supply cable and then feeding the terminals inside the case. The terminations are the screw-down type. The circuitry inside feels robust and there’s enough space to work comfortably.
The QUBEV is as anonymous as home chargers get. It’s a black plastic box with a logo and an LED status indicator, with a bottom entry for the power supply cable.
Measuring 150mm x 200mm x 100mm (W x H x D), it’s 25mm slimmer than the EO Mini Pro 2 but 10mm thicker than the Sync EV (both these smart home chargers are black boxes too, so they make ideal products for comparison).
The only colour is black, and the box is matte black except for a strip section down the front that is glossy black, helping break up the design for the logo.
The build quality is as you’d expect for a charger made from cheap plastic. There is no play in the device when installed.
I’d say it’s as well made as the EO Mini Pro 2 and a touch behind the Sync EV. There’s nothing that concerns me, and the internals are nicely laid out.
Setting the charger power
The 18th edition of the QUBEV charger loses the rotary knob found in earlier versions that lets you adjust the amp rating externally.
Instead, the 18th edition version requires you to remove the front cover of the charger and locate the Amp Setting ‘DIP’ switches.
The removal of the external knob makes sense from a security standpoint because it makes it less likely the knob will be tampered with. It’s important to note that you couldn’t lock the knob in earlier versions, so it was susceptible to tampering.
In the new QUBEV charger, you squeeze the top and bottom of the casing front to release the facing. The DIP switches are located at the bottom edge of the unit. Setting the charger power is as simple as flicking the right switch.
There are DIP switches for 10A, 16A, 20A, 25A, and 32A.
For safety, you should isolate the power feeding the QUBEV before opening the case and the current rating must not exceed the supply rating.
When the QUBEV is ready to charge (steady blue light) you plug the cable into the charger and your car (or vice versa). Your EV will then start charging at the amp rating that is set via the DIP switches inside the charger.
Charging happens automatically when plugged in, and there is no way to stop a charging session other than unplugging the cable from your car. However, you can control a charging session inside your vehicle or with the OEM app when connected to the charger.
If your vehicle or OEM app lets you pause and control charging, set a charge time and other things, the QUBEV will happily follow your requests by following the lead of your EV. So, while the QUBEV is a dumb charger, it happily cooperates with your smart vehicle.
When a charging session is complete, the LED status indicator displays a steady green light,
Charger status indicators
The QUBEV has an LED status light indicator that offers an at a glance view of the current charging status. It’s a simple solution that works well.
The status lights are as follows:
- No light – no power
- Steady blue – Ready to charge
- Flashing blue – Good connection
- Steady green – charging
- Flashing green – charging complete
- Steady red – overheating
- Flashing red – fault, requires inspection
When you connect the cable to the EV and charger, the QUBEV LED status light flashes blue to let you know the connection is good.
QUBEV charger verdict
Overall, the QUBEV ticks as many boxes as it can for a glorified power socket, with solid build quality, a status light indicator, and an adjustable amp rating, now installed inside the case with DIP switches.
The build quality isn’t exceptional, but it is solid, with a one-year warranty for peace of mind. Overall, if you want a dumb EV charger, the QUBEV is best of breed.
It achieves a score of 4/5.