To meet the charging needs of an electric or hybrid vehicle, many individuals choose home charging. As the domestic socket is not the most efficient solution, it is better to have a wallbox installed. A charging station at home is simple, practical, secure, fast and economical. Here is an overview of its advantages and disadvantages, without forgetting the budget to plan for its installation.
Say sir, what is a wallbox?
Well, it’s an electric vehicle charging station that you can install at home. As its English name suggests, it comes in the form of a box fixed to the wall. The wallbox is a kind of mini electrical service station, connected to the electrical installation of your home. Just connect the car to it using a suitable cable, and you’re off to a full load of energy! You can install a wallbox terminal in a garage, but also outdoors, for example on a parking space.
Much more powerful than a standard or reinforced socket, the wallbox recharges a battery much faster. There are different types of terminals, with various capacities. The less powerful are 3.7 kW, which is already much more than a simple socket (2.3 kW). The most common offer a power of 7 kW or 11 kW. There are also high-power terminals, at 22 or 50 kW. We guess that the more powerful the terminal, the shorter the charging time.
What do you need to know before having a wallbox installed?
The first thing to do is to choose the wallbox model that meets your needs. No need to choose a very powerful terminal if your vehicle has a small battery. Conversely, a powerful vehicle requires an adequate terminal. Whatever the case, choose the terminal that best suits the needs of the car. If it benefits from optimized charging cycles, the battery lasts much longer.
Second point: check the electrical power of your installation. An electric vehicle consumes much more than a vacuum cleaner! Joking aside, before having a wallbox installed, it is essential to be able to cope with the increase in electricity consumption. It may be necessary to adapt or bring up to standard an insufficient or outdated electrical installation. Do not forget to update your subscription, after consulting your electricity supplier.
What are the benefits of a home wallbox?
When we know that 90% of current recharges are done at home or at work, it is that there are certain advantages to taking advantage of a private terminal…
It’s so convenient!
Recharging your vehicle at a public terminal is not always easy… You already have to find one. You don’t necessarily have a charging station near your home. And it still has to be available when you need it (and in working order). In short, EV owners are sometimes tired of running after recharging. With a wallbox at home, there’s no need to search! Just plug in your vehicle when you’re at home, and that’s it. Convenience is letting your EV recharge while you sleep… When you wake up, the car is ready to go.
Unlike a conventional socket, the wallbox is equipped with a protection system. Connected directly to the electrical panel, the charging station has its own circuit. A wallbox is capable of supporting up to 16 amps of charge (while a conventional socket is limited to 10 A) and is not afraid of overheating. Thus protected, the wallbox is safe from any risk of short circuit, or even fire, linked to an overload or overvoltage. Which is not the case with a household outlet. And as it must be installed by a certified professional, you are guaranteed an installation that complies with all standards and safety rules.
Cooldown: we go from turtle to hare!
An undeniable advantage of the wallbox is the speed with which it charges your vehicle. If we compare with the time of a recharge on a conventional socket, it takes 30% less time.
While it takes more than 10 hours to recharge a small electric vehicle with a conventional socket, a medium-power wallbox does it in 7 hours. Even better: a terminal operating on 22 kW in three-phase recharges you a Zoé in 2 hours!
You save money
Certainly, the installation of a wallbox has a cost. But it is quickly amortized, and this for two reasons:
- Public terminals are not necessarily economical. They may be quite far from your home. The big brands that offered free terminals tend to remove them. Overall, charging prices are on the rise. The wallbox saves you time, that’s for sure, but also money.
- The wallboxes are programmable : this means that you can plan to recharge your vehicle to take advantage of off-peak hours. You might as well optimize your subscription so that the electricity consumption of an EV costs as little as possible!
The State helps you pay for the installation
The installation of a wallbox at home is part of the efforts for a successful energy transition. This is why public aid is planned to help you financially. You will be entitled to the CITE, the Energy Transition Tax Credit: 300 euros for supply and installation work.
What are the disadvantages of a wallbox terminal?
It is quite expensive
The main drawback is its total price, purchase and installation included. But if a wallbox represents a significant financial effort, it must be compared with the foreseeable savings and the comfort of use. Without forgetting that for the most powerful cars, the charging station becomes essential.
It is imposed by certain car brands
Sometimes you don’t have a choice. The Zoé de Renauld, to name but one, must be recharged using a wallbox-type charging station.
Installing a wallbox: what is the total cost?
The cost of the installation can vary according to different criteria: the state of your electrical installation, the type of vehicle you own, the model of charging station you wish to install.
Adapt your electrical installation
Before installing a charging station, the professional must carry out a diagnostic of your setup. If it is old or insufficient, it will have to carry out work to bring it up to standard or adapt it. To recharge an EV, your home must have an earth connection. The cost of any work is added to the budget.
Arrange the parking space
Can your electric vehicle be parked less than eight meters from the charging station? This is the maximum cable length. If necessary, some small development work can be useful.
Buy a wallbox kiosk
In the Wallbox family, you have a choice! The price of a terminal is generally between 500 and 1500 euros. The price varies depending on its power and features, but also on the brand. A 3 kW wallbox costs around 500 euros, while the price of a more powerful wallbox (7 kW) is between 800 and 1000 euros. The wallbox is usually sold with a circuit breaker and its protective equipment. Opt for programmable models that will allow you to program your wallbox to take advantage of off-peak hours. The additional cost will be quickly amortized by the energy savings.
Have the wallbox installed by a pro
Don’t think about installing it yourself. Since 2017, this type of terminal (from 3.7 kW) must be installed by a professional electrician certified IRVE. Count around 300 to 600 euros for his intervention, depending on the configuration of your site. The professional’s service includes the diagnosis of the electrical installation, the installation of the charging station and the load test. All in compliance with the NF 15-100 standard.
Lighten the bill thanks to state aid
We have already said it: you are entitled to a tax credit of 300 euros, the CITE. If you live in collective housing, you can add the Individual Solution from the Advenir program.
Once the wallbox is installed in your home, you can save up to 750 euros per year. This figure takes into account the cost of a recharge, estimated on average at two euros for 100 kilometres. Filling up a 50 kWh battery will cost you more or less ten euros. In comparison, fuel for a thermal car costs between 6 and 8 euros per 100 km.