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Smart charger versus socket for charging electric vehicles at home

Smart charger vs socket

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A smart charger is a device that safely connects an electric vehicle to a high-power electric supply to charge the vehicle at fast charge speeds.

Smart chargers are often more efficient than a conventional socket and can provide faster charging times, with speeds up to 7.4kW with a single-phase supply.

Smart chargers are superior to standard sockets for EV home charging for the following reasons:

  • Smart chargers provide more safety and convenience by automatically shutting off when the car is fully charged, helping to eliminate overcharging.
  • Smart chargers offer faster charging times due to higher voltage and current capabilities.
  • Smart chargers allow for more precise control of the charging process, allowing EV owners to better manage their charging needs.
  • Smart chargers can be programmed to charge at different times of the day, allowing EV owners to take advantage of lower electricity rates.
  • Smart chargers are more reliable than standard sockets, as they are designed to withstand the higher levels of current needed for EV charging.
  • Smart chargers often come with smartphone apps that allow EV owners to monitor charging progress or start and stop charging from anywhere.
  • Smart chargers can be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing EV owners to track energy usage and monitor their EV’s performance.

Weighing up the differences

Smart chargers include features such as monitoring the vehicle’s charging progress and alerting owners when the battery is full.

Smart chargers also offer safety features that protect against overcharging, short circuits and other potentially dangerous situations.

In contrast, a conventional socket is a basic electrical connection that provides power to an electric vehicle but at a significantly lower speed.

A 3-pin socket gives you up to 230v of power – so low that it takes over 24-hours (and in some cases as much as 72-hours) to fully charge an electric vehicle.

Sockets also do not provide the same level of features and functions as a smart charger, nor do they offer the same level of safety or efficiency.

However, the biggest problem with 3-pin sockets is they are not designed to output their maximum 230v of power for significant lengths of time and are at risk of overheating.

Another option is a Commando socket which will typically offer 3.6kW of power, but again, these are not as safe or as efficient as smart EV chargers.

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