Most electric vehicle owners prefer to install a home charging system. Arriving on the market in 2014, the Green’Up socket offers an optimized charging solution compared to a conventional socket. If it seduces by its ease of use and its affordable cost, the reinforced grip also has its limits. Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages, without forgetting the real cost of installing a Green’Up socket…
A Green’Up socket, what is it?
In the family of reinforced grips, I ask for the grandmother! The Green’Up is indeed the first of all, the ancestor of reinforced holds. She is still very young! Invented in 2014 by Legrand, a specialist in electrical equipment, it was designed to meet the needs of the first owners of electric vehicles. In terms of power, the reinforced socket is halfway between the ordinary socket and the charging station.
How does a reinforced grip work?
The principle of the reinforced grip is simple. Although it looks like a conventional power socket in appearance, it is more powerful and safer. While an ordinary socket delivers a current of 2.3 kW (10 A), the reinforced socket offers up to 3.2 kW. And that in single-phase alternating current (14 A in 230 volts). This allows you to improve the charging time of a car by about 35%!
To achieve this performance, the Green’Up socket has undergone a few modifications:
- the conductivity materials has been improved by the introduction of silver contacts;
- a system of reconnaissance connection cable has been added, in the form of a magnet that detects the compatible charging cable.
In addition, the reinforced socket benefits from a differential circuit breaker to avoid any risk of overheating of the domestic electrical network.
To work, it needs two ingredients:
The Green’Up solution works with two elements: the prise wall and the cable charging, absolutely essential. Without a compatible cable, its capabilities are reduced to those of an ordinary outlet. It will therefore be ensured that this cable is available as soon as the vehicle is purchased. The first to have provided it is the small Renault Zoé. But not all new electric vehicles have followed this example.
The Green’Up has cousins!
Since 2014, the family of reinforced sockets has grown. In addition to the Green’Up (Legrand), still the leader, other reinforced sockets are now available on the market:
- the Witty socket (Hager), which can be used indoors and outdoors;
- the much more powerful Mennekes socket (up to 32 A in single phase);
- the Bals socket, designed to connect a mobile socket to a three-phase electrical network.
As for the Green’Up grip, it does not just offer an improvement over the basic grip. Thought as a solution scalable, the circuit breaker and the cable can withstand 3.7 kW (16 A) at 230 volts. We can therefore replace it with a wallbox if the need arises.
What are the advantages of a Green’Up socket?
Performance and simplicity are its first assets compared to a classic grip. But not only…
- Performance. By having greater electrical power, the reinforced socket considerably reduces the vehicle’s charging time. Where it takes 25 hours to fully charge a vehicle with a domestic socket, this time is reduced to 18 hours with a Green’Up. Depending on the vehicle, the charging time decreases by 25 to 35%. On a day-to-day basis, this has two advantages: the car is ready more quickly and it has more range.
- Security. Unlike an ordinary socket, the Green’Up guarantees the safety of your electrical installation. No risk of overvoltage or overheating; as soon as the battery is charged, the socket switches itself off automatically. In addition, since this type of socket is now required to be installed by a certified electrician, the installation complies with all safety rules.
- Economy. Installing a Green’Up socket is less expensive than installing a charging station, which partly explains its success. But to see more clearly, we detail the total cost of this investment a little further on…
- Ease of installation. There are almost no constraints when installing a Green’Up reinforced socket, apart from the need to place it 80 cm above the ground. It can therefore be installed anywhere in the house, garage, etc. As it does not require any preliminary work, its installation is simple and fast.
- Ease of use. The Green’Up plug is smart. Control it remotely from your smartphone; you can turn it on, off or program it. Start recharging during off-peak hours, for example… and save money on the electricity bill!
There are a lot of downsides too, right?
But yes ! The Green’Up plug does not meet all needs. It’s up to you to see if it meets your expectations or if you need another charging solution.
- As we saw above, the Green’Up socket works best with a compatible charging cable. If this cable is not supplied with your vehicle, you will need to obtain one. And that is precisely the difficulty… It is really difficult to find one on the market, whether in dealerships or second-hand.
- If you have a powerful vehicle with a large battery to charge, the Green’Up socket may prove to be insufficient. More powerful than a domestic socket, it is much less so than a charging station. Likewise, this system is not suitable for professional use in a company.
- Charging takes his time… On average, allow 10 to 12 hours to recharge a vehicle. It is ideal for daily use and not too much mileage. The car is charged overnight; in the morning, it is ready to travel 150 to 300 km depending on the model. In one hour, the reinforced socket provides the vehicle with 20 to 40 km of autonomy. If like the majority of drivers you drive an average of 30 km per day, that’s more than enough. If you need a fast total recharge, other solutions exist.
- In theory, the Green’Up system is compatible with public terminals. But in reality, few public infrastructures integrate a Green’Up socket.
- If we count all costs installation, the Green’Up plug is not that cheap.
And precisely, what is the price of a Green’Up socket?
If the Green’Up socket is not very expensive compared to a wallbox-type charging station, you still have to add three items of expenditure:
- The Green’Up reinforced grip can be found from 150 euros. On the Legrand site you are offered a complete pack (around 270 euros excluding taxes) including in particular the differential circuit breaker. Be sure to buy a better quality NF C61-314 or IEC 884 standard socket. Other brands offering reinforced sockets at different prices, do not hesitate to compare.
- The Green’Up compatible charging cable is not included in this price. Either you already have it, as it comes with most new electric vehicles, or you need to get one. In this case, plan 150 to 200 euros.
- L’installation must be carried out by a IRVE certified electrician. Labor time shouldn’t be very high, as it’s a simple and quick installation. The bonus is that the VAT is reduced to 10% in this case. On the other hand, if your electrical installation is old, the professional may have to carry out a diagnostic prior, to be added to the installation cost. Hoping that there is no work to bring it up to standard…
The total cost may also vary according to certain criteria:
- Installation mode socket: built-in, surface-mounted, column-mounted, etc. To be chosen according to the configuration of the premises and your aesthetic taste.
- The level of innovation of the socket : “intelligent” models are more or less expensive depending on the options they have. It is always useful to be able to control charging remotely, manage schedules and consumption, etc.
- The location chosen for the socket : interior or exterior? Outdoors, opt for a superior quality socket that is resistant to rain, dust and shocks (IP66 and IK08 standards).
- Some companies offer installation formulas including supplies and labor. Review these proposals and request quotes. These “all-inclusive” packs often turn out to be more interesting than buying the equipment yourself and then looking for an installer.
As a bonus, don’t forget that you can benefit from public aid provided for under the Energy Transition. In particular the CITE, a tax credit (limited to €300) up to 75% of the price of the equipment, installation costs included. In addition, car manufacturers frequently offer you the installation of a Green’Up socket when purchasing an electric vehicle. What more ?