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The best home charger options to keep your EV topped up

23 March 2022 - 08:01 By Nafisa Akabor
A Range Rover PHEV topping up its battery.
A Range Rover PHEV topping up its battery.
Image: Supplied

It is estimated spend on electric vehicle (EV) charging at home will exceed R241bn globally in 2026, up from R51.2bn in 2021, and by 2026 more than 21-million households will recharge using a home wall box charger. This is according to Juniper Research’s EV Charging: Key Opportunities, Challenges & Market Forecasts 2021-2026 report.

The report recommends home charging vendors and automotive manufacturers form partnerships to make home charging central to future EV transitions, given the fragmented availability and high costs of public charging networks.

Public chargers are for quick charging when you’re not home or for traveling long distance. DC fast chargers are strategically located off highways for minimal interruption to travel times.

Industry experts agree that to get the full EV experience, you need to be able to charge your vehicle at home. Grid Cars recommends installing a home wall box charger instead of a basic one with limited facilities.

As mentioned in our EV charging article last month, the benefits of installing a home charger are faster charging times, lower prices compared to public chargers, the convenience of “plug and go” sans bulky cables and waking up to a fully charged vehicle.

The cost to charge at home is significantly cheaper at R2.20 per kWh vs an AC public charger at R4.70 per kWh and R5.88 per kWh on DC.

What manufacturers are offering

Volvo launched its full electric XC40 P8 Recharge this month at a media event in Sandton and confirmed its R1.2m offering will include a care package that consists of a fully installed home charging station and a separate charging cable for public charging.

Mercedes-Benz said it will provide each customer who purchases an EQ model with a complimentary wall charger installed at a location of their choice. BMW is offering a free wall box charger and installation worth R15,000 to all iX customers.

Audi has bundled a free home charger with an industrial plug (CEE) to all E-Tron owners, covering the installation cost of up to R5,000. Porsche offers a free wall box charger with the sale of all its EVs, but installation is for the customer’s own account.

Other manufacturers like Mini and Jaguar offer a basic free three-pin plug charger that uses 3.7kW of power which may not be ideal for large capacity batteries, with options to buy a separate wall box charger.

The maximum speed you will achieve at home with a wall box charger is 7.4kW on single phase power and 11kW to 22kW on three phase, depending on model and capabilities.

Third party consumer options

Customers who don’t get free home wall box chargers have third party options which are also suited for future proofing homes and offices.

EVCharge.co.za offers fast portable chargers, home chargers and public EV chargers, including accessories. The portable ones need to be plugged into an industrial CEE socket (special installation required), and are available in 7.4kW, 11kW and 22kW variations, priced between R6,999 and R12,999. The home wall box comes in either 7.4kW or 22kW, with select models offering WiFi and app support to monitor the charge. These are priced from R8,999 to R12,999.

Grid Cars has been rolling out most public chargers across the country for manufacturers but offers solutions to the public. It has wall box chargers that support single or three phase with a top of the range touchscreen option and power boosting capabilities available separately. It comes with a free app that supports power balancing or limiting, monitoring, renewable energy charging and more. Prices range from R16,710 to R25,580.

Takealot has a limited selection of charging cables, portable chargers and a wall box offering ranging from R3,800 to R11,990.


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