Before buying an electric car, everyone should also consider the charging infrastructure. This still needs improvement in many places, and it’s not particularly smart to rely exclusively on publicly available charging stations. Therefore it is advisable to consider the installation of a wall box.
Here we give you an overview of the steps you should take into consideration when buying your own wall charger. Don’t panic, there are only a few points to consider, so let’s jump right into it!
Why a wall box at all?
The question may seem strange to you, but in fact, many people first think about whether they should not charge their electric car through an ordinary socket. Short answer: No, please don’t! Charging power alone (2.3 kW) is reason enough to refrain from doing so. Compared to the charging box, which can charge up to 22 kW, you will have to wait longer for a full battery.
But safety is more important. The commercially available Schuko plugs that you use to charge your smartphone, for example, are not designed for the large loads that would be necessary to charge your car. As a result, cables and sockets can overheat, which in the worst case can lead to cable fires. In addition to security, there are other advantages that support the installation of a wall device.
- You can charge your car at any time because you use the wall box alone
- Save yourself the search for public charging points
- The charging power between the electronic car and your wall device is automatically regulated
- If the wallbox has a backend, you can bill the business owner for the electricity charged for the company car
You have to think about it before buying a wall box
Unlike other technical equipment, you first need to make sure that you are authorized to install the wall box at your workplace.
Homeowners have it easier because they don’t have to go to the owner. In your home, simply build the wall box where you want it. However, if you live for rent or own an apartment in an apartment building, you must first obtain permission from the landlord or the owners meeting. However, in principle, the “right to the wall” applies, even to tenants. However, there can be reasons for installation conflicts – eg, structural obstacles to the site.
If the landlord gives you the green light, you should also go to the network operator (not necessarily the electricity provider!). The charging power is decisive here: up to 12 kW you only need to register the charging box, from 12 kW you also have to get approval from the network operator. However, as a rule, the electrician you commissioned the installation to take care of.
Spatial requirements and installation
Some requirements regarding installation must also be met: in Germany, the use of a fault circuit breaker is mandatory. This ensures that no reverse current (DC) enters the power grid (AC) when charging the electronic vehicle. This protection is usually (but not always) built into the charging case.
In addition, there must be enough free slots in the power distribution box for installing the RCD and MCB. Finally, the connection to the home to the public power grid must have a sufficiently large home connection value. This is the only way Wallbox can deliver its full power. Here, the electricity supplier can adjust the power if necessary, if the value is too low.
It also makes sense that the spatial conditions are correct. In other words, you have at best a parking space protected from the weather such as a garage or garage. Ensure that the cable is the correct length and that you do not run the risk of cable tripping. Speaking of cables: Clarify in advance whether you need a Type 1 or Type 2 charging cable. Type 2 is mainly used in Europe.
buy wall box
As with any purchase, price naturally plays a role. In the case of the wall box, it consists of several elements. Is there an upgrade? Do you pay or does the lessor pay? Do you own a photovoltaic system? How much does it cost to install? You should keep an eye on all of this in addition to the bare-bones purchase price of the hardware.
Wallbox and installation costs
First of all, of course, you want to know the cost of the devices themselves. It depends on the manufacturer and the set of functions and starts around 400 euros. As a rule, devices cost no more than 1500 euros, although there are some more expensive variants. We’ll get to installation by an electrician in more detail later. But here, too, you can assume that you will have to pay at least 400 euros again.
Depending on the amount of work involved, it can quickly reach over €2000. The Central German Electrical and IT Dealers Association estimates the range from 1,000 to 2,500 euros including purchase, delivery and installation – so this is the framework you should plan with.
If you are discovering something about the wall charger, you should definitely check if you are taking advantage of your electricity provider’s offerings or you are offering installation packages. My dear colleague Camila, for example, currently has an offer from Vattenfall where a bonus of 200 euros can be taken for devices with a wall box. E.ON INSTALLATION CHECK* is provided. This gives you cost security and prevents the electrician from requiring additional fees for fat afterwards.
Is the purchase funded?
As is known, there was support in Germany from KfW, where the wall box was supported at a fixed price of 900 euros. Unfortunately, the project ended in 2021 and was not extended by the government or launched in a new form. However, you can still be lucky in Germany and receive funding at the state level. In the state of NRW, for example, there are still utensils that can be used to support a wall box. Maybe just check out the E.ON Electric Mobility financing database – there you can search for financing programs using your zip code.
Wallbox performance and features
The range of functions and charging capacity also determine the price of your shipping box. It may be easy for you to get a wall box that provides 3.7 kW for your electric vehicle and your charging needs. But also keep in mind that a wallbox is a long term investment and you may need much more charging power for your next car.
Higher performance does not necessarily have to lead to a significantly higher price. ADAC award-winning and “Stiftung Warentest” from Austrian go-e company, the 11kW go-eCharger Homefix, is available at just under €600. For the 22 kW version, only a hundred is due.
As for the functionality: Don’t pay for a lot of features that you don’t need at all. Before buying, consider whether you want, for example, to settle your costs with the employer or the tax office and whether you need a corresponding job. Want to maintain control via an additional app or screen, integrate a wall box into the photovoltaic system, or restrict access with an RFID card? Watch all of this before you invest too much in a wall fund.
Recommended wall boxes
We haven’t been able to test any wall boxes ourselves so we’re not in a position to compile a list of the best for you. But we can at least see what those who know recommend it. The aforementioned 11 kW go-eCharger HOMEfix managed to win the test winner crown at both ADAC and Stiftung Warentest.
This is a fairly inexpensive wall box. Reading the rating and features list, this product is almost too good to be true. The charging box from the Austrians is not only cheap at less than 600 euros currently, but also charges your electric car safely, quickly and reliably.
If you want, you can also use the time switch feature via the very successful app. This is practical if, for example, you want to use a cheaper electricity tariff during off-peak times.
Other recommended wall boxes:
The “KEBA KeContact p. 30-Wallbox is the model proposed on Camila, which also ended up in the top ten on ADAC. The Green Edition announces it is the company’s first CO2 neutral charging station. As with the model above, there is a six-meter charging cable and a charging capacity 11 kW.
Also on top in several tests: Wallbox Commander 2 With Wallbox chargers. This is much more expensive at more than 1,100 euros, but also offers a charging capacity of up to 22 kW. There are also many functions such as an additional 7-inch screen, RFID card reader, WLAN and Bluetooth support, and IP54 certification. The cable here is five meters long, although you can also order a wall box with a seven-meter cable as an option.
wall box installation
Actually you don’t have much to do with the actual installation. You should definitely leave the installation to qualified electricians! Above we already talked about the cost of installation. You can either secure a package that already includes the installation in addition to the hardware, or you can hire an electrician yourself.
If possible, you should agree with him that he looks at conditions on site. The professional has a different point of view about the different points to consider. With this initial check, he can present the costs to you more accurately. These depend, among other things, on the complexity of the installation, whether wall openings are necessary, how high the voltage connection is from the wall box and much more.
We’re done with that and hopefully you’re the wiser one when it comes to installing a wall box for your electric vehicle. Have you ever tried using your own wall charger? Tell us in the comments!