There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to choosing the best EV charger for you. Whilst some depend on your electrical set-up (single or three-phase?), others are purely up to you. Smart or basic chargers, RFID cards or apps and of course tethered or socketed.
Some people prefer the ease of driving up and plugging straight in with a cable that is already there, however, if you want to be ready to charge any vehicle that shows up, socketed can be better. Below we will outline the pros and cons of each option so that you can decide for yourself with all the information.
Tethered chargers have a cable permanently attached to the charger with the plug corresponding to the vehicle's type (1 or 2). These are usually 5-6m long and are hung with the charger.
Ready to plug in and start charging. This removes the extra time spent getting your own cable out of the boot and plugging in
Don't need to buy an additional cable
Better for outdoor or road facing units, not easily able to remove/steal the cable
Cables can become damaged and it is much harder to replace them when they are built into the unit
Limited to the single plug type (type 1 or type 2)
Visitors may be unable to charge if it is a different type to their car
Socketed chargers have no cable attached and are simply a socket for a cable to be plugged into. This is generally a universal type 2 socket with which a cable with type 2 on one end and the corresponding plug to the vehicle on the other can plugin.
Able to charge all vehicles so more of a future-proofed option
Less damage to the charger without a cable (cables are often dropped making the charger unusable if damaged)
Cleaner look as cables are not hanging around it
The cable is removable so can be used at public stations too
Need to buy an additional cable (often these are not supplied by the manufacturer)
Less convenient as the cable may not always be with the charger
Either of these options works for home charging, it is really up to your preference, with many liking the convenience of tethered. However, if you have multiple EVs, many visitors or want to future-proof socketed is the way to go. It may also be a good option if you plan on selling your home too so it is ready to charge any EV.
When it comes to staff or public charging we would recommend socketed chargers so that any vehicle is able to charge. It also reduces your maintenance costs when many different people are using the chargers and may damage the cables. Fleets may prefer tethered if their vehicles are all the same and intend on remaining with the same vehicles if they upgrade.