What is a Tethered EV Charger?
If you’re looking at installing a home EV charger, you’ll likely have noticed that there are two key types – tethered and untethered. We’re going to look at tethered chargers, and their pros and cons.
In simple terms, a tethered EV charger is an EV charger with a fixed cable that cannot be removed, rather than an untethered charger where the cable can be removed.
Benefits of Using a Tethered Home EV Charger
Thanks to the use of a fixed cable, tethered EV chargers offer a number of key benefits for homeowners.
Tethered home EV chargers shine in their improved convenience. Your cable is always exactly where you left it, ready to use the next time – no faffing around trying to find it or get it plugged into the wall, and no untangling unruly cable nests.
Also, if your EV charger is outside in the wet, do you really want to spend extra time plugging in cables and then folding a soggy wire into your nice clean car? We thought not. With a tethered EV charger, you simply unplug and hit the road.
2. Greater Security and Theft Protection
As we know, people will steal anything, and the metals inside your EV charger cable are a potentially tempting option, as is the resale value of your cable itself. However, with a tethered home EV charger, any would-be thieves can’t simply walk up your drive and take your cable.
Having your cable permanently attached to your charger makes it considerably more difficult to steal and will likely deter all but the most determined and well-equipped thieves.
3. Your Tethered Cable is Included in the Overall Price
When you buy an untethered EV charger, you have to account for the price of the charging unit itself, and then also for the cost of the cable separately.
With a tethered EV charger, the price of your cable is included in the overall cost of your charger, with no extra charges for a specific kind of cable.
This simplifies your buying process and means you have one easy sum to pay.
Tethered EV Charger Cons?
1. Restricted to Either a Type 1 or Type 2 EV Charging Connection
Having a permanently fixed cable can have its drawbacks, however. With a tethered home EV charger, you’re tied to one particular kind of charger, whether that’s the older type 1 charger, or the newer type 2.
This means that those who bought a type 1 tethered EV charger are stuck with that now largely redundant charging head, and if they purchase a newer EV, they’ll have to purchase a new charger alongside it, as most EVs now take only type 2 chargers.
2. Limited to the Cable Length Provided by the Manufacturer
Again, because of the fixed nature of the cable on your tethered EV charger, you’re limited to the cable length that’s supplied with it. Typically, these are around 5m, and can be as long as 10m, so plenty for most home situations.
However, some manufacturers offer cables that are around 2m in length and are a little more limited in their reach as a result. If you do your research before buying, you can find the right cable length for your needs.