Complete guide to Rolec EV home chargers
Rolec EV is a British electric-vehicle charger manufacturer that builds a number of outdoor chargers for a variety of applications. Its electric-vehicle chargers are a common sight, with some eligible for government grants.
The brand’s range of home chargers is varied, spanning basic three-pin models to solar-powered points and upgradeable, smartphone-connected points to help futureproof your home charging setup. Rolec offers a number of tethered and untethered models and even gives customers a choice of colour for some models, unlike many rivals.
In March 2020 the firm closed its doors temporarily in response to the coronavirus pandemic; in May 2020, it resumed operations, albeit at reduced capacity.
What do Rolec chargers cost?
The company claims that its WallPod:EV HomeSmart charger is one of the cheapest wallbox on the market right now that’s eligible for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) grant. This deducts up to £350 from the cost of purchase and installation of a charger at home.
Prices for the untethered WallPod:EV HomeSmart charger (where you supply your own cable) start from £445, while tethered versions (with a fixed cable included) are priced at £515. A WallPod:EV can be had for £405 via a special offer that Rolec runs in partnership with green energy provider Ecotricity.
The former comes with a socket for Type 2 cables, while 3.6kW or 7.2kW versions of each are available, depending on whether you have a 16A or 32A single-phase connection at home.
At the highest rate, you could charge the standard 40kWh Nissan Leaf – which has 168 miles of range – in under six hours. On a typical household electricity tariff of around 12-14p/kWh, a full charge would cost around £5.60.
The tethered version delivers the same charging speeds, although you can opt for either a Type 1 or Type 2 cable; the latter of these is far more common on the latest electric cars.
Rolec home chargers are built in the UK and come with a three-year warranty. Prices include installation, too.
As of July 2019, wallboxes must be ‘smart’ to qualify for the OLEV grant: the WallPod:EV HomeSmart ticks that box, offering a range of connectivity features to make charging more convenient for drivers.
Using the EV.Energy app, owners can control the HomeSmart device directly from a smartphone or tablet. Charging can be started or stopped remotely, with timing programmes also available. The HomeSmart will even integrate with the electricity supplier in order to automatically charge when electricity is cheapest, usually overnight.
Other features include historical data, which allows you to review previous charging sessions, as well as the amount of energy drawn and the price you paid for it.
The company makes other chargers, such as the WallPod:EV Ready: containing a normal, three-pin socket delivering slow charging speeds of up to 2kW, it’s designed for customers who are considering an electric car or plug-in hybrid, and might want a more capable charger in the future.
Rolec EV says the WallPod:EV Ready can be easily upgraded into a fast charger, with kits available on the UK wholesaler network. In the meantime it acts as a handy outdoor socket, and it’ll still charge an electric car - even if a full charge of a Nissan Leaf will take some 20 hours.
Those needing faster charging times might want to consider the WallPod:EV Superfast. Like the WallPod:EV HomeSmart, it’s available as a tethered or untethered device, and with a three-phase electricity supply it’ll return charging speeds between 11kW and 22kW.
Having said that, this device isn’t ‘smart’, so charging can’t be controlled with a smartphone.
Solar powered charging
Elsewhere, Rolec has recently launched its WallPod:EV Solar Charge device: again this is available with a cable attached or without, and is intended for people who either have or are planning to install solar panels at home.
The charger can either top-up your car with energy exclusively harvested from solar panels, or it can deliver and mix of solar power and electricity from the grid for more reliable charging at speeds between 3.6kW and 7.2kW.
Charging information is displayed on an LCD screen, while the device itself can be purchased in a variety of colours.