Things to Consider

Aug 22, 2022

8 Things to Consider when Buying a Home Charging Station for your Electric Car

Last updated: Oct 12, 20228 minutes read

Whether you own an electric car or a plug-in hybrid, sooner or later, you will consider installing a home charge point. No wonder, as the benefits of owning an EV charging station far outweigh the costs. In this article we’ll give you some tips, what to consider when buying a charging station for your EV.  

Let’s get started!

 

1. Type of Usage: Tethered or Untethered Charging Station

First, we suggest you think about where, when and how you want to use your charging station. 

Do you want to charge your electric car only at home, or is there any chance that you might want to take the charging station with you on a trip or to a friend, for instance?

Tethered or Untethered Charger

Untethered (Mobile) Charging Station

If you want to charge your electric car on the move, for instance when you want to take it on a trip or to your family, you need to buy a mobile charging station, such as our go-e Charger Gemini flex.

The advantage is that the untethered charging station comes with a plug instead of a connection cable for a fixed connection to the building's power supply, like tethered ones. You can plug it directly into a red CEE socket or via an adapter, for instance, to a household socket. Therefore, the charger can be installed without an electrician

 

That’s pretty cool, right?

 

Tethered (Stationary) Charging Station

On the other hand, stationary chargers are not portable and you can get such a charging point installed by a professional only. They usually do not differ significantly in price and can have the same technical parameters as a mobile wallbox. 

However, you need to be aware that the installation of tethered chargers requires special knowledge. An electrician should check in advance whether your home network connection is designed to use such a wallbox. 

An advantage of the stationary charger compared to the mobile charger though is that you are more likely to get financial support from the government

For instance, German companies and municipalities can get a maximum of 900 euros back from the state for each newly installed wallbox. However, you won’t get grants/subsidies for mobile charging stations in Germany, but for instance in Austria. On top of that, some electricity providers prohibit using mobile charging stations. 

Therefore, we at go-e suggest you to check these aspects before purchasing a wallbox. 

go-e Charger Gemini flex 11 kW
go-e Charger Gemini flex 11 kW

The intelligent 11 kW charging station can be used both stationary in the wall bracket and mobile. No electrician is required for installation.

go-e Charger Gemini flex 22 kW
go-e Charger Gemini flex 22 kW

The intelligent 22 kW charging station can be used both stationary in the wall bracket and mobile. No electrician is required for installation.

go-e Charger Gemini 11 kW
go-e Charger Gemini 11 kW

The compact 11 kW charging station for stationary use, at home or at the workplace. Simple installation, intuitive operation and smart comfort functions.

go-e Charger Gemini 22 kW
go-e Charger Gemini 22 kW

The compact 22 kW charging station for stationary use, at home or at the workplace. Simple installation, intuitive operation and smart comfort functions.

2. Check the Power Panel Capabilities

The electrical panel in your house does have some limitations. So make sure to check the power panel capabilites before buying a charging station for your Home.

Let us show you how this can affect your choice of an EV charging station.

Make sure you have enough current

The go-e Chargers, for example, consume 6-32 amps, depending on the variant. If the EV home charging station was the only thing on the whole panel, you would be fine either way. In reality, you most probably have other appliances that need amps too. That’s why if your power grid doesn’t have enough current, you will only be allowed to use a charger with a lower power consumption (e.g. 11 kW go-e Charger instead of 22 kW)

Note: with the go-e Chargers, you can adjust the current from 6 to 32 A.

Note: if you use several chargers simultaneously, they should have a load balancing feature to prevent household connections overload. The go-e Chargers have such a feature, for example. When this function is on, the charging units will distribute the current in such a way that the total current is not exceeded.

Make sure there is enough space on your fuse box

An additional point you should consider is whether there is physically enough space on your fuse box. A high power fuse box will be no use to you if every single circuit breaker is already wired up. So, it’s better if you ask your electrician whether there is enough space on the panel. If there isn’t, have an additional unit with several circuit breakers available installed. 

3. Check the Plug Type of your Electric Car

Your electric vehicle has either a type 1 or type 2 charging socket. Most charging stations come with a type 2 socket or plug as it is most commonly used in modern electric cars. If in any case you’ve got an EV with a type 1 charging port, you can simply buy a type 1 to type 2 adapter and use it with your charger.

But how do you find out what plug type your EV has? 

Take a look at the shape of the charging socket. It tells you what plug type your car has. See examples below:

Type 1 vs. Type 2 plug type

4. Consider the Charging Speed of the Wallbox

Whatever charger you buy, it comes with a certain charging speed limit. You can find public charging stations that offer rapid charging (20-30 min). However, these ultra-fast chargers are not suitable for home installation. 

So, which wallbox can charge at which speed if you want to charge your EV at home (or on the move)?

There are two main possibilities.

A 22 kW charging station is a good option if:

  • your car can be charged with 22 kW alternating current
  • the connection capacity of your building is sufficient for 22 kW or you are willing to pay for the expansion
  • your electric car can only be charged with 1 phase, but you want and are allowed to use the full charging power of e.g. 7.4kW
  • you drive over 250 km every day
  • you have little time to recharge during the day.

 

An 11 kW charging station is a great choice if:

  • drive less than 250 km per day
  • you often charge your car at night or at work
  • cannot charge your car with more than 11 kW AC.

Remember: your car’s charging speed is also limited. So, no matter how fast the charging station can charge, if the car can only accept 11 kW, you cannot charge it faster.

You can also charge your car from a standard household socket that some also call a “granny cable”. But the thing is, such charging is going to take a significant amount of time. For instance, charging a car with a 40 kWh battery from zero to full might take about 24 hours.

5. Consider Where You Want to Install Your Charging Station

Before buying a charging station, think about the place where you want to install your new wallbox. 

EV chargers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so consider it alongside with location. To find the perfect location, you need to think about where your car’s rear port is. 

If it's located at the front, as in the case of a Nissan Leaf, try to find a place where you can park the car directly in front of the charger.

If you drive, for instance, a Tesla Model 3 with the charging port on the left, think about how you'll park your car and look for a way to charge it with the shortest possible cable. 

Of course, you can buy a cable with any length you want, but the longer the cable is, the more it costs. 

6. Think about the Features of your Charging Station

Modern EV wallboxes allow their owners to charge their vehicle with the utmost convenience. It’s a pity to miss the opportunity to use all the benefits you are offered, right? 


Intelligent wallboxes, such as our go-e Chargers, come with an app that allows you to connect them to the internet and benefit from extra functionality. Let us show you three smart features you might find interesting.

Full control from the couch

If the charging station you bought has an app, you can probably monitor power consumption, adjust the charging speed and start and stop charging with a few clicks on your smartphone. 

Scheduler

Many EV drivers prefer charging their car overnight as, at this time, electricity is cheaper. But going out to start a charger at 11 pm is probably the last thing you want to do in the evening. That’s why more and more electric vehicle charging units come with a scheduler feature. 

It allows you to decide when the charger starts and stops transferring power to your vehicle by setting the time in the app. With the go-e Charger, you can even set the amount of energy you would like to be transferred to your car’s battery within a certain time period. 

RFID management

Many EV charging stations come with an RFID chip. It enables sharing your station with your neighbours and see the amount of electricity consumed per user. 

Here is how it works: after a person swipes his RFID chip on the charger for the first time, you will see it in your app and will be able to add his details to your account. 

After that, every time that person charges his car from your station, his card will be identified. It will allow you to see how much electricity was used by everyone who used your charger.

The RFID chip has to be learned by the go-e Charger only once.

The absence of some of these features can make a charging station cheaper, but the convenience provided by all the extra functions cannot be overestimated.

7. Think about the Design of the Charging Station

If you want to buy EV charging station for your home, consider the following:

  • Style - what colour should your charger have?
  • Location – if you are going to place the charger out of sight, you will probably not care about how it looks. But if it's fixed on the front of your house building visible to everyone, you may want something a bit more stylish.
  • Size and shape – EV chargers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so consider it alongside with location. 

 

8. Consider your Budget: What Does a Charging Station Cost? 

Last but not least, let’s talk about your budget.

The financial factor might not be the most important one, but it is certainly one you should consider. Luckily, you’ll find charging stations in a wide price range on the market, which makes charging at home available for everyone. 

Prices for these charging stations start at about EUR 550 (for charging stations without any additional features), and as for the highest price - the sky's the limit. To give you an idea, you can find chargers that cost EUR 1600 and more. 

There is a common opinion that high quality is expensive. We managed to break this myth. Our go-eCharger HOMEfix 11 kW became the winner of the Stiftung Warentest in February 2022. And the fact is that our charging station, RRCP priced at EUR 679, was the cheapest of the 12 models tested. 

It shows that you don’t need to spend a fortune to buy an electric car charging unit that fully meets your needs. 

Cost and quality for EV charging stations

Summary

The factors listed above will allow you to find a charging unit that suits your vehicle and meets all the additional requirements you might have. Once you know what characteristics your charging station should have, you need to make sure that it is made by one of the quality charging manufacturers.

We suggest you check out our go-e Charger Gemini flex and our go-e Charger Gemini as one of them might be an ideal charging solution for you.


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