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Tethered or untethered home charger?

All the pros and cons of home wallbox chargers with either tethered or untethered cables

BMW i3 wallbox

Home wallbox chargers can come in two styles: tethered or untethered. If you’ve just bought, or are planning to buy a new electric car, you’ll need to consider whether to go for a tethered or untethered home wallbox depending on your circumstances. 

A tethered home wallbox charger means it has a cable attached which you plug into your car at the other end. Untethered wallbox chargers are designed to be used with a cable that has a plug on either end – one to plug into your car, and the other that plugs into the wallbox charger. 

Prices differ between the two, so read on to learn about the pros and cons of each type to help decide whether a tethered or untethered home charger would suit you best…

Tethered wallbox chargers

Tethered wallbox chargers are, in some ways, more convenient than untethered boxes, so this is the style most buyers go for. It means you don’t have to find your cable to be able to charge up – you just arrive home, park next to the box, unwind the cable and plug in. There is a possibility that by choosing a tethered charger you could end up with a box that you can’t use. It seems unlikely that anything other than Type 2 will be the norm in the future, but advances in tech could make it obsolete – or you might buy a car with a CHAdeMO charger in the future. You’ll also have to make sure you wind the cable back up and store it neatly, otherwise you risk driving over it or damaging it in some other way. You might also need a longer cable in the future, for example if you buy a car with the charging port in a different place.

Untethered wallbox chargers

Untethered wallbox chargers require you to connect your own cable to use them. Most cars come with this as standard, but sometimes it’s an optional extra and can cost hundreds to replace if you lose it. It’s more inconvenient than a tethered charger because every time you arrive home, you’ll need to open the boot, or wherever the cables are stored in the car, get them out and plug in at both ends. Then you have to do the reverse when you set off. However, without a cable, untethered units look a bit tidier on your driveway, and you can purchase cables of different lengths as required. They’re also the best way of future-proofing your charger, as you can simply upgrade the plug configuration when you need to.

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