Your questions answered

Tethered or untethered home charger?

Should you choose a wallbox with an integrated cable, or without? We explain the pros and cons of each

Aside from the power output of your home electric car charger, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want a tethered or untethered unit.

It sounds complex, but it simply describes whether or not your charger has an integrated cable. Tethered chargers have their own cables hardwired in, while untethered units require a cable to be connected each time.

There are no hard and fast rules, and it’ll come down purely to personal preference in the end. So which should you choose?

Tethered wallbox chargers

Many electric-car and plug-in hybrid owners choose the tethered option, because it means they can leave their car’s cable in the boot. You simply park up and plug in. It really is the last word in convenience.

Tethered chargers come with two notable drawbacks. Firstly, there’s the issue of potential obsolescence. While most home chargers come with the almost-universally used Type 1/Type 2-style socket, it's just one of the standards out there. Should there be a wholesale shift to another kind of connector, you may find your next car isn’t compatible – meaning you’ll need an adaptor.

Also, unless the unit has a handy way of coiling the cable, you could end up with it trailing across the ground. And even if it does, you’ll still have to coil the cable up neatly each time.

It’s also worth noting that tethered chargers have cables of a fixed length, meaning you can’t usually purchase a longer cable if you need one.

Untethered wallbox chargers

 

If you go down the untethered route, you’ll have to supply your own cable. In reality, that’s not a big deal, as most plug-in cars are usually supplied with one. However, if you lose yours or simply want an additional cable, you can expect to pay more than £100.

Unlike a tethered charger, you’ll have to dig around in the boot for your cable each time you want to charge – and repeat the process when you unplug.

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.

Recommended

Electric car charging points near me: UK map and network guide
Charging

Electric car charging points near me: UK map and network guide

3 Dec 2020
Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network
BP Pulse chargers
Your questions answered

Complete guide to the BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) charging network

3 Dec 2020
Complete guide to BP Pulse (formerly Chargemaster) home chargers
BP Chargemaster wallbox
Your questions answered

Complete guide to BP Pulse (formerly Chargemaster) home chargers

3 Dec 2020
Electric-car charging market set for government examination
News

Electric-car charging market set for government examination

3 Dec 2020

Most Popular

New 2020 Ford Kuga hybrid: prices, details and specs
Ford Kuga Hybrid
Ford Kuga Hybrid

New 2020 Ford Kuga hybrid: prices, details and specs

Prices and efficiency figures have been announced for the Ford Kuga, with mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and plug-in-hybrid technology all offered
17 Nov 2020
Best small electric cars 2020
MINI Electric
Best cars

Best small electric cars 2020

A compact electric vehicle makes a perfect urban runabout or small family car. These are the best small electric cars you can buy
17 Nov 2020
Best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021
Best cars

Best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021

Family cars must be practical, and there are lots of seven-seat electric and hybrid models that offer exactly that
30 Nov 2020