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Best EV chargers showcased in the Clenergy EV offices - a leading provider of charge point management system
07 July 2023

How to Choose the Best EV Charger

So, you've decided to join the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. Good on you! But now you're faced with the task of choosing the best EV charger. No matter what you need, this guide is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about choosing the best EV charger in the UK.

The Best EV Chargers start with OCPP Compliance

First things first, let's talk about the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) - this is an essential element to understanding the best EV charger. OCPP, is a open-source “language” that allows charging stations and central management systems to exchange data. At its most basic level, OCPP is a common communication protocol used across multiple manufacturers - meaning consumers have greater choice over the hardware and software they use. It’s used for both private and commercial EV charging use cases. Chargers that comply with this protocol are flexible and are compatible with a wide range of software or Charge Point Management Systems - opening up the possibilities of EV charging, which makes them a popular choice for commercial EV charging, installers and consumers.

How to check a charger is OCPP Compliant

If in doubt, you check if a charger is OCPP compliant by referring to a data sheet or simply asking the manufacturer. The Open Charge Alliance (OCA), the body responsible for OCPP, is available to anyone within the EV industry to join. It allows members to have an input into the development of OCPP and share best practices.

However any company can follow the OCPP with its hardware or software - it’s open by its nature.

Some hardware products are also certified against specific criteria by the OCA - and this can be checked on the OCA website. If the charger you're considering is included in this list, it signifies that it has officially received certification. If you’d like to know more about OCPP, check out our guide.

Different Sectors - private and commercial EV charging

EV chargers aren't one-size-fits-all. They cater to a wide range of sectors and use cases. Whether you're a business owner looking to provide charging for your fleet, a homeowner wanting to charge your EV overnight, or even an installer looking to win more work and level-up your knowledge, there's a charging station out there for you.

Generally speaking, EV charging stations can be split into two groupings: those more suitable for Commercial EV charging use cases, and private residential charging.

Commercial EV charging:

Destination Charging: Ideal for stadiums, hotels, shopping centres, and other public venues. These chargers provide a convenient way for EV drivers to recharge while they shop, dine, or attend events. They can attract more customers and encourage them to stay longer, boosting business.

Fleet Charging: Perfect for businesses that manage a fleet of EVs. These chargers can be installed at business premises or other managed sites, allowing fleets to recharge whenever they're not on the road. This ensures fleet vehicles are always ready to go, improving efficiency and reducing downtime.

Public Sector Charging: Great for public organisations such as local councils or government departments. These charging stations can be installed in public car parks, near public buildings, or in other areas accessible to the public. They provide a valuable service to the community and help promote the adoption of EVs.

Workplace Charging: Perfect for businesses of all sizes. These chargers can be installed at your workplace, providing a convenient way for employees to charge their EVs during the workday. They can also be a great perk to attract and retain employees.

Private Residential EV Charging:

Residential Charging: Ideal for homeowners, landlords, developers and property managers. These chargers can be installed in private residences, apartment complexes, or other residential properties - be they privately owned or managed as part of a larger estate, in a shared car park. These chargers, equipped with smart OCPP software, allow residents to conveniently charge their EVs while ensuring charging access control. They also offer an attractive amenity for potential renters or buyers.

Remember, the best EV chargers for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. 

AC vs. DC Charging Stations

Next up, you'll need to choose between Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) charging stations. AC stations are more common and can be installed in homes and businesses, but they offer slower charging speeds - anything from 3kWh to 22kWh. These are the most widespread charge points and they can have either one or two plug sockets.

Generally, AC chargers can be found anywhere someone is going to park their vehicle for a significant amount of time - it covers almost every commercial EV charging use case covered above, as well as residential.

DC charging stations, on the other hand, provide much faster charging but are more expensive and require a more complex installation process. They directly charge the battery of the vehicle and can reach up to 400kWh. 

You will only find DC charging stations in commercial settings - not residential - because of their cost to install and the resource needed. You tend to find them on motorways when drivers are pit stopping for a charge, before continuing on their journey. They can also be found charging specialist fleet vehicles, like electric refuse collection vehicles with 300kW batteries.


Popular Charge Point Brands and Manufacturers

Supported Hardware Brands on the Clenergy EV Platform

Whether you're looking for the fastest EV charger, the cheapest EV charger for your budget, or the best home EV charger, Clenergy EV can help guide you to the most suitable option.

Clenergy EV supports a wide range of OCPP hardware brands, each offering unique features and benefits. The future of transportation is electric, and the journey starts at the charging station. With the knowledge of how to choose the best EV chargers at your fingertips, you're well on your way to a greener, more sustainable future.

The world of EV charging may seem complex, but with the right information, you'll be well-equipped to make the best choice for your needs.