What is a Tethered EV charger? Pros & Cons

After the purchase of your new electric vehicle, you may be considering installing an at-home charger to save both time and money in the long run.

And, while that’s a great idea, there are different styles of EV chargers to know about so you can make the purchasing decision that suits you best.

There are two main types of home EV chargers which are:

  • Tethered Chargers
  • Untethered Chargers

Tethered wall box chargers are the most popular style out of the two. It has a type 2 charging cable permanently attached to it. Like a petrol pump, the cable cannot be removed from the tethered charging point. The cable is usually supplied with the unit for no additional cost.

An untethered EV charger is when the cable is not permanently attached so when you want to charge your car, you’ll need to plug the cables in manually on both ends. As the cables are detached, they can be easily tucked away to tidy up the driveway.

Now that we’ve identified the two main styles of EV chargers, let’s breakdown the pros and cons to help you weigh up the options.

Advantages of Tethered EV Chargers

High Convenience

As the cable is already attached to the charging point, it’s a simple, handy process to uncoil the cables, plug them in and charge your vehicle. Overall, there’s a lot less steps involved compared to untethered charging points.

It means the charging point is ready to go when you are, which is especially helpful in bad weather conditions, or if you’re just in a bit of a time crunch!

It also stops you from misplacing the cables, helping you avoid any high-stress situations.

Protection Against Theft

EV cables can be targeted by thieves because of their value. Tethered chargers are less likely to be subject to theft due to the cables being permanently connected to the charging point, so if you’re looking for the safest option – tethered is the way to go!

Cost Efficient

If you’re looking to keep the price tag down, tethered EV chargers are much more cost-effective as you don’t need to pay an additional cost for the cables. Tethered charging point includes all the relevant materials in a set price, so you’re set to go once it’s all hooked up.

Disadvantages of Tethered EV Chargers

Less Tidy Appearance

With the inability to detach the cables after use, this can create a slightly messier appearance in your driveway. The best way to solve this would be to install a hook or a cable tidy next to the charging point to tie them around after charging.

Limited Choice of Cable Lengths

Most manufacturers of tethered EV charging points only offer attached cable lengths between 4m and 8m. This means you’re more restricted to how far your charger can stretch.  For people who’s EV charger points are slightly further from the location of the vehicle, this may be an issue.

Restricted to Type of Vehicle You Can Charge

When you buy a tethered EV charger, it will either be compatible with a Type 1 electric car, or a Type 2 as the cable cannot be removed to adapt to different types. Some families may need the flexibility to charge both types of electric cars which, in this case, it would be better to opt for a charger that can be detached.

Tethered EV charger: Summary

Tethered EV charging points are the top choice for most consumers because of their easy set-up and overall charging process. Here’s a round-up of our detailed guide:

  • Tethered EV chargers have the charging cable permanently attached to it, like a petrol pump
  • Cable is included in the price of the charging point which cuts down on additional costs
  • Tethered EV chargers are more convenient than untethered chargers as they don’t require a manual plug-in process
  • Tethered charging points can protect you against theft and misplacement of cables
  • Cable lengths are more limited with tethered chargers, and they can be a little less tidy in appearance
  • Tethered cables are not compatible with both type 1 and type 2 vehicles so if you change your car, you might need to change the charger!