Buy a wallbox: You should consider these aspects

Would you like to charge your e-car or plug-in hybrid vehicle at home and buy a wallbox for it? In this guide, we explain what to look out for.


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What is a wallbox?

A wallbox is a compact charger that can be installed on a wall to charge electric or hybrid vehicles. The wall boxes are intended for use indoors (garage) or outdoors (carport).The wallbox acts as an interface between the electrical infrastructure of the house and the charging cable. It ensures safe and smooth communication between the electrical infrastructure, charging cable and battery of the electric vehicle. An electrician takes over the assembly of the wallbox and the connection to the domestic power grid. Before using the wallbox, it must be registered with the responsible network operator in the region.

Theoretically, an electric vehicle can also be charged from a classic household socket, but the charging process would be very slow in this case. In addition, the socket is not designed to transport large amounts of electricity over a long period of time – it can even lead to a cable fire.

Charge your e-car with the wallbox
The e-car can be conveniently charged at home with the wallbox.

Buy a wallbox: You should pay attention to this

  • Wallboxes charge with a nominal power of 11 kW (3 × 16 A) or up to 22 kW (3 × 32 A. Before buying the wallbox, you should check which charging power your vehicle supports. A higher nominal power shortens the charging process, 22 kW – Wall boxes, however, also require approval from the network operator. The 11 kW boxes are only registered, but do not have to be approved.
  • Anyone who owns a photovoltaic system should buy a wallbox that can be linked to the PV system. The e-car is preferably charged with solar power (“excess charging”).
  • Make sure that the charging cable is sufficiently dimensioned: some e-cars have their charging connection at the front, others at the side and others at the rear. The charging cable should be long enough to easily reach every (possible) charging connection on the parking space (including the electric cars that you will buy in the next few years) – regardless of the direction in which you have parked. You have the greatest possible flexibility with a wallbox, which is equipped with a charging socket for the charging cable – if necessary, you can simply replace the charging cable with a longer version over time.
  • Check in advance whether your wallbox should have access protection, for example with an RFID card. This can be useful if the box is installed in a freely accessible parking space, for example in an underground car park.
  • Which charging plug is required? The type 2 plug is standard in Europe. Only older e-cars may still be equipped with the type 1 connection. In this case, the wallbox should be equipped with a charging socket into which an adapter cable from type 1 to type 2 can be plugged.
  • You may be able to reduce the cost of the wallbox by taking state funding. Currently (as of November 2021) KfW has stopped the federal funding program for private wallboxes, but the program may be relaunched.
Excess charging of the e-car
Charge the e-car with solar power: With some wallboxes, the charging process can be tracked with an app.

What does a wallbox cost?

The question of costs cannot be answered across the board – it depends on what requirements you place on the wallbox. Simple models are priced between 500 and 600 euros. If you already have a photovoltaic system and the charging process of the electric vehicle should be intelligently controlled, you have to dig deeper into your pocket: Corresponding models are available from 2000 euros and up. The investment can be worthwhile, however, because thanks to the smart controls you can prefer to charge your car with solar power. This significantly reduces the costs for the charging process and improves the CO₂ balance.

In addition, there are the costs for the installation of the wallbox by an electrician. The effort depends largely on whether there is already a power connection or major renovation work is necessary. You can roughly calculate costs between 500 and 3000 euros here.

Display / Last update on November 22nd, 2021 at 12:43 PM / Affiliate Links * / Images: Amazon

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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