Following last year’s testing of 12 home charging points, this year's comparison covered no fewer than 16 points. Half of them were produced by car manufacturers, the rest by specialist companies. In this first part, we focus on the manufacturer-branded charging points.
With the range of home charging points produced by car manufacturers growing rapidly, we thought it was time to take a look at these charging units and put them to the test. All eight of the car manufacturers' charging points performed well in our test, despite their prices ranging from €500 to €999.
The differences in features are sometimes every bit as evident as the differences in price, with those points that are too basic unsurprisingly lagging behind the others. It's also worth noting that consumers are placing increasing importance on the smartphone apps that allow them to use their charging points and view information such as the charging history.
Hyundai’s charging point comes out on top
With a score of 1.8, Hyundai's Pulsar Plus charging point topped our ranking. Retailing at around €911, it was one of the most expensive units in the test, but for the money you do get an ultra-compact and reliable charging point, all topped off with the best app of any we tested. It was even rated "very good" for functionality and usability, allowing the consumer to adjust the charging current in real time, for example.
Coming joint 2nd in the test were the Mercedes-Benz Wallbox and the Peugeot ePro Full, both of which scored 1.9. These charging points also offer safe charging and both boast an integrated mobile phone modem with a SIM card slot, enabling them to connect to a network even where there is no conventional Internet coverage.
Just behind this top trio came the other five charging points that achieved a 'good' rating. The BMW Wallbox Gen 3 at €600 and the Ford Connected Wallbox at €689 both scored 2.0. The BMW terminal offers very good cable management, but the app can only connect with the charging point via short-range Bluetooth. Ford’s equivalent has much more to offer in that it can be accessed via the web and you can also authorise the charging point to charge via the app.
Next, with a score of 2.1, came Tesla’s Gen 3 Wall Connector and Volvo's Garo charging point, the former priced at €500, the latter at €999. Bringing up the rear was the Volkswagen ID. Charger at €569, which focuses solely on charging and boasts no special functions or even an app. Its real added value lies in its very low power consumption in standby mode.
But who produces the manufacturers’ charging points?
BMW and Ford’s charging points come from automotive suppliers Delta and Webasto, while the Volvo and Hyundai models are manufactured by Garo and Wallbox Chargers. The Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen models are also manufactured by a charging point specialist in the form of Dutch company EV Box. Only the Tesla and Peugeot charging points are actually manufactured by the car manufacturers themselves.
- Charging points should only be installed by a qualified electrician.
- Consumers should ensure that the declaration of conformity is enclosed or at least available to download from the manufacturer's website.
- Electric vehicle charging point installations must be registered with the network operator.
- Charging points with sockets should have a switchable lock on the charging cable to protect it against theft.
- If the charging point is to be incorporated into a photovoltaic system, ensure that the interfaces are compatible.
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