What Is A Tethered Or Untethered Electric Car Charging Station? Which Is Better?

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Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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What Is A Tethered Home EV Charging Point?


Put simply, in a tethered home EV charging station, the EV cable that is used to charge your electric vehicle (EV) is permanently fixed (attached) to the EV charging station. The length of the attached cable varies depending on the manufacturer, but most manufacturers offer a length between 4m and 8m. In general tethered electric car charging points are popular with residential customers. Tethered electric car charging stations come with either a Type 1 or a Type 2 EV cable.

One of the arguments so far for choosing an untethered (socket only- cable not attached) EV charging station, is the flexibility for charging EVs that require either a Type 1 or Type 2 EV cable. However, most of the newest battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) require a Type 2 EV cable, therefore mitigating to a large extent the need for a Type 1 charging station. An example of an EV that requires a Type 1 cable is the older generation of the pure-electric Nissan Leaf. However, the latest Nissan Leaf EVs use a Type 2 EV cable.

The advantages of a tethered charging station are convenience and safety. In a tethered unit, the EV cable can be safely stored back into the unit after operation, reducing the risk of anyone tripping over an EV cable left on the ground. Moreover, with an attached cable, an EV owner simply has to come home and plug-in the charging cable, making it fast and convenient to commence EV charging. In the case of an untethered charging cable, the EV owner needs to remove the EV cable from the boot etc., which is not as convenient as a tethered charging station, in particular on cold days or after a long work day.

For some households, that only charge their electric car at home, buying a tethered EV charging station reduces the need for buying an additional EV cable. who also carry a spare EV cable in the boot for public charging.

zappi EV charger India
myenergi zappi Tethered Home Charging Point (credit: myenergi)

What Is An Untethered Home EV Charging Station?


In an untethered electric car home charging unit, the EV charging cable that is used to charge your EV is not permanently fixed to the charging station. Such an EV home charging station is usually referred to as ‘socket only’. An untethered home EV charging point is popular with those families that may need to have the flexibility to charge both a Type 1 and Type 2 electric car.

With a socket only charging station a user can use either a Type 1 or Type 2 EV charging cable. A socket only EV charger does not come with an EV cable, which needs to be purchased separately. One of the advantages of the socket only EV charger, is that the same EV cable can be used for home and public EV charging. The other advantage is that you can use an EV cable of any length and not restricted to just the manufacturers specifications. In some home, the EV charge point is located much further from the location of the electric vehicle (EV).

ev home charger EVBox India
EVBox Untethered Home Charging Point Available Via e-zoomed (credit: EVBox)

What Is Length Of A Cable In A Tethered Charging Unit?


There is no one length. It varies depending on the manufacturer and charging unit model. For example, an EVBOX Elvi charging point comes with either a 4 m or 8 m cable, depending on which specific Elvi model you choose. We at e-zoomed recommend choosing an electric car charging station that has at least a 5m tethered cable. It is far more practical for the long-term!

wallbox ev charger India
Wallbox Tethered Home Charging Point (credit: Wallbox)

What Is Length Of A Cable In A Untethered Charging Unit?


There is no one length. It varies depending on your requirements but usually sold at lengths between 5 m and 10 m. We at e-zoomed sell electric car charging cables (type 1 and type 2) in various lengths, from 2m up to 25m! We always recommend purchasing at least a 5m EV charging cable. It is practical for both home EV charging and public EV charging. We also offer bespoke lengths of any size. To enquire please email us at shop@ezoomed.com.

Type 1 EV charging cable India
Electric Car Charging Cables Available Via e-zoomed

Which Is Better: A Tethered Or Untethered Electric Car Charging Station?


In general, most EV drivers carry an EV cable in their electric car boot to enable EV charging when on the road. However, the majority of time, an electric car is charged at home and usually overnight when the tariff rates are cheaper. We always recommend using green energy to power your home and plug-in electric car.

By owning a tethered home EV charging station, the EV owner is not inconvenienced by removing the cable from the boot every time the green car needs charging. Practically the best option, given the weather and avoids the hassle of uncoiling and coiling an untethered cable. On the flip side, the length of the tethered cable is fixed and can sometimes have limitations for home charging if you need to change where you park or the type of electric vehicle to be charged.

Tethered cables can be stowed away in a tidy and easy manner which avoids any potential for tripping or injury when left running across the driveway. There is also the added comfort of security i.e. the cable cannot be removed or stolen from the charging station.

The advantage of untethered cables is that the EV driver is not restricted to a particular connector type, specially if the household has more than one electric car and different connectors are required or the household is looking to buy EV’s in the future that may need other connector types. However, if the family only owns one EV, then a tethered unit will do just fine. With untethered you are not limited to the length of the cable i.e. much more flexibility.

Lastly, as EV adoption increases, you may have guests that need to charge their EV. The choice between tethered and untethered will have an implication on their ability to charge, if the connector type is not the same. However, an adapter maybe used. In conclusion, there is no straightforward answer. It depends on the circumstances, the type of EV you own, your budget, aesthetics, future proofing and your personal choice.



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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