Understanding the differences between EV Chargers can help EV owners select the most suitable charger for their needs, whether for home charging, workplace charging, or public charging stations.

Understanding EV Chargers

Here we take a quick look at what an Electric Vehicle (EV) charger is, what different types of EV charger there are, the components of an EV charger, and the benefits of having an EV charger installed on your property.

  • What is an EV Charger?

    An Electric Vehicle (EV) charger is a device that supplies electrical energy to recharge the battery of an electric vehicle.
    Overall, EV chargers play a critical role in supporting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles by providing reliable and efficient charging solutions for EV owners.

  • Benefits of an EV Charger

    EV chargers typically consist of a charging unit, a power cord or cable, and a connector that plugs into the EV's charging port.
    Convenience: EV chargers provide you with convenient access to charging infrastructure, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles at home, workplaces, or public locations.
    Sustainability: EV chargers enable you to drive your vehicle using clean, renewable energy sources such as solar power, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
    Cost Savings: Mile for mile, driving an electric with charged with electricity from a domestic or commercial tariff is typically cheaper than driving a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle. Further savings can be made if electricity generated by solar panels is used, either directly or from battery storage.

  • Types of EV Charger

    EV chargers come in various types and configurations, ranging from basic home charging stations to public charging stations and ultra-rapid chargers.
    Residential EV Chargers are typically installed in residential settings and are designed for overnight charging or daily charging needs. They come in various power levels, ranging from 3kW to 7kW, that offer different charging speeds.
    Public EV Chargers are installed in public locations such as car parks, shopping centres, motorway service stations and airports to provide charging access to EV owners whilst on the go.
    They generally offer a higher level of charging power when compared to residential EV chargers, such as "Fast", "Rapid" or "Ultra-Rapid" charging, which can charge a battery in as little as 20 minutes.
    Public EV Chargers also tend to be untethered to allow compatibility with different types of electric vehicles and connectors.
    Commercial EV Chargers are the same as public EV chargers, except that they are normally installed on commerical business properties to facilitate charging of employee or fleet electric vehicles.

  • Components of an EV Charger

    EV chargers typically consist of a charging unit, a power cord or cable, and a connector that plugs into the EV's charging port.
    The charging unit is the main component of an EV charger that delivers electrical energy to recharge the EV battery. It includes circuitry for power conversion, control, and communication with the EV and charging network.
    The power cord or cable connects the charging unit to the EV's charging port. It delivers electrical power from the charger to the vehicle for charging.
    The connector is the interface that plugs into the EV's charging port to establish a connection between the charger and the vehicle.

What to Look for in an EV Charger

Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers vary in their charging speed, connector types, power output, and compatibility with different EV models.

Here are the main differences between various types of EV chargers.

  • Charging Speed & Power Output

    The speed at which an EV charger can get your EV battery from empty to full will depend on its power rating.

    Residential properties generally have a single-phase electricty supply, which will allow EV chargers with a power rating of between 3kW and 7kW to be installed.
    3kW Home EV Chargers will take upwards of 12 hours to fully charge a typical EV battery.
    7kW Home EV Chargers will take around 6-8 hours to fully charge a typical EV battery.

    Commercial properties are normally served by a three-phase electricty supply that allows for higher powered EV chargers, rated at 22kW and above, to be installed, although installation may require permission from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO).
    Fast EV Chargers are rated at around 22kW and can charge a battery in as little as 3 hours.
    Rapid EV Chargers are rated at around 50kW and can charge a battery to 80% in around 40 minutes. After 80% the rate of charge is reduced to protect the health of your battery.
    Ultra-Rapid EV Chargers can be rated at a whopping 350kW and can charge an EV battery to 80% in as little as 20 minutes, again reducing the rate of charge after 80% to protect the health of your battery.

  • Connector Types & Compatibility

    EV chargers feature different connector types to match the charging port of the EV. The most common connector types include:
    Type 1 is an older-style connector that can charge at rates between 3kW and 7kW
    Type 2 is the most commonly used connector in the UK, which can charge at rates between 3kW and 43kW
    CCS (Combined Charging System) connectors are commonly used for DC fast charging in North America and Europe, integrates both AC and DC charging capabilities into one connector.
    CHAdeMO connectors are primarily used for DC fast charging in Japan and some regions of Europe and North America.
    Tesla Supercharger is a proprietary charging connector used exclusively by Tesla vehicles at Tesla Supercharger stations.

  • Features

    Below are just a few examples of the diverse range of product features available in EV chargers, catering to the needs of different users, applications, and charging environments.
    Tethered EV chargers have a permanently attached charging cable that is integrated into the charging unit. The charging cable is typically of fixed length and securely stored within the charger housing when not in use.
    Tethered chargers offer convenience as the charging cable is always readily available for use, eliminating the need for EV owners to carry their own charging cable and are more suited to residential installations.
    Untethered EV chargers do not have a permanently attached charging cable. Instead, they have a socket or port where an external charging cable can be plugged in. EV owners need to provide their own charging cable, which may be purchased separately or come with the vehicle.
    Untethered chargers offer flexibility as they can accommodate different types of charging cables and connectors, making them compatible with a wider range of EVs and more suitable for commercial installations, or residential installations that require multiple connector compatibility.
    Solar and battery compatibility allows an EV charger to charge electric vehicles using renewable energy sources such as solar power stored in batteries.
    This functionality can not only save you money, but it also enables you to maximize the use of clean energy, reduce reliance on the grid, and achieve greater energy independence while charging your EV.
    A scheduled charging feature in an EV charger will allow you to take advantage of time-of-use tariffs, such as Economy 7, which can significantly reduce the cost of charging your electric vehicle.
    Security protection is an important feature in an EV charger, especially if it is located in an area that is easily accessible by the public. Using a PIN code, or an app to activate the EV charger prevents unauthorised use.
    Mobile apps and integration into your smarthome, such as your Google or Alexa device, can be an important feature as it allows monitoring and configuration of your EV charger.
    Software updates ensure that your EV charger system is kept at peak performance and gives you access to any new features that become available from the manufacturer. They can also increase compatibility with new EV models, charging protocols, and standards as they are introduced to the market.

  • Cost & Installation Requirements

    The cost of EV chargers varies depending on factors such as charging speed, power output, features, and manufacturer.

    EV chargers with a lower power output are typically the least expensive option, as they do not tend to require any specialized infrastructure.

    Installation costs also vary based on factors such as electrical upgrades, phase requirements, permit fees, and site preparation requirements.

Installation Process Overview

Installing an Electric Vehicle (EV) charger involves several steps to ensure safety, compliance, and optimal performance.

By following these steps and working with qualified professionals, EV charger installations can be completed safely, efficiently, and in compliance with regulations, ensuring reliable charging infrastructure for electric vehicle owners.


Like always, we'd like to have a chat with you to understand your requirements and go through the EV Charger options that are available to you, including any governemnt grants that you might be eligible for.

We want to make sure that you choose the best solution for your property and your vehicle that meets all of your requirements, considering factors such as charging speed, connector type, and compatibility with the EV model.

Site Assessment

Once you've selected your preferred options, we'll visit your property to evaluate the best location for the EV charger installation and to look at other factors, such as proximity to the electrical panel, parking space accessibility, local regulations, and any zoning requirements.

We'll also determine the capacity of the existing electrical infrastructure to support the EV charger, including available voltage (phase), amperage, and circuit capacity.

Finalisation & Agreement

Once you're happy with the proposed system design and terms, a final agreement is reached, detailing the scope of work, project timeline, payment schedule, warranties, and any other contractual terms.

Both parties sign the agreement to formalize the collaboration.

Electrical Upgrades & Permissions

If any electrical upgrades or modifications to accommodate the EV charger installation are required, such as upgrading the electrical panel, installing dedicated circuits, or increasing circuit capacity, our resident NAPIT electrician will undertake the required electrical work to ensure adherence to safety protocols and regulation requirements.

Also, if you have a three-phase electricty supply and have opted for an EV Charger that is above 22kW then you may need permission from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), which Solar Tech can apply for on your behalf.


On installation day, we'll mount the EV charger unit securely on a stable surface, such as a wall or pedestal, using appropriate mounting hardware and brackets.

Our electrician will connect up the charger to the electrical panel (consumer unit) using conduit, wiring, and junction boxes, ensuring proper grounding and electrical connections according to manufacturer instructions and regulations.

We'll also install any necessary accessories, such as cable management systems, conduit covers, or weatherproof enclosures, to protect the charger and wiring from environmental conditions, ensuring the safety, durability and longevity of your new system.

Testing & Commissioning

Following the physical installation, we'll test the EV charger system to ensure proper functionality, including voltage and current measurements, ground fault detection, and safety features.

We'll also perform a commissioning procedure to verify that the charger is communicating with the EV, initiating charging sessions, and delivering power safely and efficiently.

User Training

Now that your shiny new EV charger system has been safely installed, we'll provide you with an overview of the system, along with any training and information required for system operation, including best practices for charging etiquette.

We'll give you a demonstration of how the system works and provide you with any user manuals, troubleshooting guidance, and warranty information, and then leave to enjoy your new EV charger!


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