This charger has now been replaced by the BG Sync EV charger. Check out our BG Sync EV charger review.
The Sync EV is one of the most popular untethered chargers in the UK because it’s affordable, smart, and charges at the max single-phase speed of 7.4kW. But is it any good? Should you go right ahead and buy it?
To find out, we’ve put it through its paces. Read our Sync EV charger review to find out if it’s the perfect EV charger for you.
In a nutshell: The Sync EV is a decent value for money, with its 7.4kW charging speed, small form factor and the ability to control it with an RFID card or the app. It is a good choice for those with limited space, as it is small and unobtrusive. However, it does not have the most feature-filled app and the LED status ring isn’t the brightest.
Price when reviewed: From £949 with installation (no OZEV).
Sync EV charger review
The Sync EV is simple and easy to use, with an LED status ring, RFID card control and a small form factor. It’s small and inconspicuous, yet charges at 7.4kW, adding up to 30-miles of range per hour. The app is average but that’s the only compromise. Overall, it’s a solid buy.
- No earth rod
- LED light ring
- RFID card included
- App is basic
- More colours would be nice
Charging at the maximum single-phase speed of 7.4kW, the Sync EV adds up to 30-miles of range per hour. It’s a dinky charger, measuring only 90mm thick and sitting flush against the wall, making it a great choice for small outdoor spaces.
I love the LED light ring, which is far better than the EO Mini Pro 2’s LED bulb. The unit feels well made and is easy to install, requiring no earth rod.
Despite its modest price tag, the Sync EV packs RFID card support and good build quality.
Downsides? The app is basic, but it’s reliable and easy to use. Overall, you can’t go wrong with the Sync EV. It’s a great charger.
How easy is the the Sync EV charger to install?
The Sync EV is easy to install for an electrician, with built-in earthing and a built-in Type A RCD. However, it needs a CT clamp for dynamic loading.
The Sync EV charger doesn’t need an earth rod because it has built-in earthing. This feature removes the requirement for an earth electrode and the SYNC unit may be connected directly to a TN-C-S (PME) earthing system.
“The Sync EV is extremely well designed with loads of room inside the casing to wire it up. Despite having more terminals than the EO Mini Pro 2, it’s more spacious inside and this makes life easier. It also has hard-wired load curtailment and a built-in RCD with PEN fault, making it very much a plug and play device.”
Luke Mason, Luke Mason Electrical Ltd
Additionally, the SYNC EV charger has a Type A RCD with 6mA DC protection, so the circuit at the source should be installed with a 40A B Type MCB. In normal words, it means no special arrangements are needed for most installations.
The Sync EV has dynamic load management, achieving this with a CT clamp clipped onto the supply cables at the meter and wired back to the charger. With the CT Clamp, the charger can be set to 60A, 80A or 100A.
Monitoring of the main fuse is done via the CT clamp, which is clipped to the supply cables at the electric meter.
Once the unit is wired in, all that is left to do is connect the front of the charger using the pre-wired cabling and plugs and test everything out. Overall, it’s an easy installation, taking 2-3 hours assuming a cable run up to 5m.
Sync EV charger design
There’s only so much anyone can do with a black box, but we like what Sync EV has done here. The charger is extremely compact, measuring 187mm x 122mm x 90mm, which is taller than the EO Mini Pro 2 but slightly narrower and a lot thinner.
The case is made from ABS, finished in black, rated for IP54 ingress protection, making it suitable for outdoor installations.
The LED status light ring is a great feature, making it easy to see charger status at a glance without looking at your smartphone. The LED light ring has 4 states (ready/preparing/charging/fault) and it helps lift the design which would otherwise be rather bland (it is a black box, after all).
You control charging via the app (more on this below), with the untethered connection compatible with Type 2 cables. Like all chargers, the Sync EV locks the cable into place when charging, with the cable released when charging stops.
Overall, the Sync EV looks great and inspires confidence with a rock-solid build. We can’t fault the design.
The Sync EV charges at 7.4kW, which adds up to 30-miles of range per hour. For reference, a 7kW charger adds 25-miles of range per hour. This puts the Sync EV up there with the fastest single-phase AC home chargers on the market.
My favourite feature of the Sync EV has to be the RFID card. With it, you can lock and unlock the charger, start and pause charging and have exclusive control over the unit, in addition to the app on your smartphone. The RFID card works faultlessly and makes life so much easier when you need to top up but don’t have your smartphone on you.
The Sync EV charger is supplied with one pre-programmed RFID Card and you can order spare cards for other people or just in case you lose yours.
You set smart schedules in the app. You can create unlimited schedules, although most people only need one or two (for weekdays and weekends). Updating schedules is as simple as opening the app and adjusting the time and data parameters. The schedules are useful, with the LED light ring pulsing blue/green in scheduled mode.
Custom charging rates
You can also set a custom charging rate in case you have periods of high load. You can change from 32-amps to 16-amps and vice versa on the fly.
16-amps will be sufficient for PHEVs, while the higher-power 32A mode is best for fully electric vehicles. A lot of EV home chargers don’t have this feature, so it’s really nice to see here.
The Sync EV has Wi-Fi and requires a stable connection to connect to your smartphone. Breaks in connection create errors in the app, so I recommend sticking to Ethernet. Another option is the optional 4G, although you’ll need to sort your own SIM card for that. In my tests, I had no issues connecting over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
LED status lights
The LED light ring has 4 states (ready/preparing/charging/fault):
- Solid blue means the charger is ready to charge
- Solid green with a slight pulse means the unit is charging
- Blue/green pulsing means the unit is in a scheduled mode
- Red indicated a charger fault
Sync EV app
One of the frustrating things about home EV chargers, in general, is the app/software experience. We are yet to see a clear leader in the space, with Ohme having the best app we’ve tried so far (tested with the Ohme Home Pro).
It is very much the case that most EV home charger manufacturers are hardware-focused, with software an afterthought. This is a backwards approach when companies like Tesla are proof you need to do both to dominate.
I digress. The Sync EV app is another case of an average app. It isn’t the worst we’ve tried but it isn’t the best. Reviews on the App Store give it a score of 2.8/5 and reviews on the Play Store give it 2.4/5. Clear room for improvement.
First, the good news – I didn’t experience any connectivity issues or errors with the app, nor did I have any performance issues.
The problem with the app is it doesn’t divulge an awful lot of information, and it sometimes doesn’t update information.
You get more information from your EV, so that’s what I ended up looking at most of the time. The app is fine for turning off charging and scheduling charging, but other than that, your EV probably offers more insight.
The graph, for example, is slow to update and it only shows daily information. You can see the charging history, but you can’t compare sessions. An annoying quirk is the ability to filter charging sessions for the last 30 days, but not per calendar month, which would be a lot handier.
Some app users are reporting problems with the charger not initialising and are having to reboot the charger. It appears this is a common issue as of March 2022, but read the latest reviews for a taste of what to expect.
Overall, the Sync EV app requires improvement as far as features and data are concerned. Performance-wise, it worked fine for me but other people are having problems going by the reviews.
The Sync EV has over-the-air updates over Ethernet and Wi-Fi, with updates pushed through by the user. When an update is available, the app tells you.
Firmware updates happen every few months on average. Additionally, the app is updated every few months.
Warranty issues are handled by the company. Our electrician says warranty claims aren’t a problem and Sync EV has a good customer satisfaction record.
“We once had a problem with the Sync EV unit tripping the PEN fault due to overvoltage from the grid. We called Sync EV and within 5 minutes had spoken to someone at technical support and resolved the issue. The customer support is first class and a breath of fresh air in the industry.”
Luke Mason, Luke Mason Electrical Ltd
Sync EV charge verdict
Overall, the Sync EV is a top-class home charger. The RFID card is handier than you think, allowing you to lock and unlock the charger and scan to charge.
The build quality is solid, although the materials are not high-end. The small footprint makes it inconspicuous but also means you can’t loop the cable around the charger (you need a separate wall hook).
Downsides? The app is bang average. Other than that, there’s nothing to moan about. The average price of supply and installation is £559 after the OZEV grant, but this will rise to £899 in March 2022 when the OZEV grant ends for homeowners.
Overall, the Sync EV achieves a solid score of 4.2/5.
Sync EV alternatives
The main alternative is the EO Mini Pro 2, which is similar in size and looks. We awarded the EO Mini Pro 2 3.8/5, marked down for a poor app.
Another option is the Wallbox Pulsar Plus, which is the smallest charger of the bunch. We awarded it 4.2/5, the same as the Sync EV.
The Pod Point Solo 3 is another good charger. It’s stylish and easy to use, with a simple but intuitive app that lets you set charging schedules and add tariff details (kWh prices) to track costs. Read our Pod Point Solo 3 review.
Sync EV documentation
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!