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What's the Difference Between Cable-Connected & Socket-Only EV Chargers?

Updated: Mar 6

When it comes to choosing a commercial EV charger for your premises, it can be difficult to know which one would be best for you. Something that you can do to prepare is to know the difference between socket-only and cable-connected EV charging units. However, when you choose EvieLife for commercial EV charger installation, you can rest assured that you’ll be given the best possible customer service, along with professional, expert advice. 

We have the knowledge and expertise needed to be able to help you make the ultimate decision when it comes to which type of EV charger you should have at your workplace. To ensure that you’re armed with as much information as possible, we’re going to go through what the main differences are between socket-only and cable-connected commercial EV chargers, together with some of their benefits and a few other things to consider. Let’s take a closer look:

What is a cable-connected (tethered) EV charger?

A cable-connected EV charger is also referred to as a tethered EV charger. It comes with a Type 2 cable that is wired into the EV charging unit, so your employees and site visitors won’t have to go to reception and ask for cables and wires to charge their electric vehicles. Tethered EV chargers are most commonly found on commercial property, such as in supermarkets, hotels and office buildings.

There are some cable-connected EV charger models where the cable is visible when not in use, whereas other models have the cable contained within a box. Most people will choose a tethered EV charger for their workplace, because it’s one of the most simple, quick and efficient ways of charging an electric car at a commercial premises. 

There are some upgrades available when it comes to cable-connected (or tethered) EV chargers, and you may have to decide on the length of the cable you want. But much like choosing a commercial EV charger in the first place, the professionals at EvieLife will be able to advise you on this based on your individual requirements.


What are the benefits of a cable-connected (tethered) EV charger?

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by choosing a cable-connected commercial EV charger for your workplace, especially when you look at all of the benefits associated with tethered EV chargers. Along with a built-in cable and added convenience, some of the advantages of choosing a cable-connected EV charger for your workplace are as follows:

  • You won’t have to worry about misplacing your charging cable in the workplace

  • There’s no need to keep tabs on the charging cables that are handed out to electric car owners at work

  • It’s a quick and efficient way of charging an electric vehicle, making it the perfect solution for those who are on the go

  • It’s not possible to remove the charging cable from the unit, reducing the chances of them becoming lost or stolen

  • You won’t have to pay extra for a charging cable 

  • There’s no stress involved when it comes to remembering to bring a cable to work

  • There’s no chance of someone forgetting to bring the charging cable back to your premises for safe-keeping

  • They can charge a variety of different types of electric cars, including vans and SUVs

Things to consider when it comes to cable-connected (tethered) EV chargers

There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing cable-connected commercial EV charging points. Where these shouldn’t be looked at as disadvantages, they should, instead, be looked at as something that might have an effect on your requirements. 

For example, the cable might be on show when the EV charger is not in use. Messy cables can be an eyesore, so is this something you’ll be able to put up with? If not, then tethered EV chargers might not be the solution for you as a business owner.

You should consider the needs of your employees and your customers. Will they find it quicker and easier to use tethered commercial EV charging units or do you think that they would find it more beneficial to use a different EV charging model? 

You should also remember that, here at EvieLife, we offer maintenance plans on our EV chargers, so you can leave it in our capable hands to manage the upkeep of your EV charging units, regardless of how many you have installed or the industry you work in.

What is a socket-only (untethered) EV charger?

An untethered, or socket-only, EV charger is self-explanatory; it’s an EV charger that doesn’t have a fitted cable as part of the unit. The charging cable is something that you would need to supply. A socket-only commercial EV charger will have a separate outlet available for you to plug the cable into. Subsequently, you will plug the other end into your electric vehicle. 

Your employees who own an electric car, along with your customers, will need to be aware that they will have to take a separate charging cable with them to work if they wish to charge their electric vehicle at work. Most of the time, charging cables are sold separately from the EV charging unit, so discuss your options if you choose to have commercial EV charging installation carried out. 

It might be easier for you, as a business, to count on employees and customers bringing their own charging cable with them, as opposed to paying for your own and loaning them out. This is also an ideal option for businesses who don’t wish to have wires and cables on show directly outside of their premises. 

However, something to keep in mind is that some socket-only EV chargers will come with cable holders, meaning that the cable can be stored away neatly when not in use. Although, this is down to the person using the charger. As a business, you could always provide those holders for the convenience of the electric car owners, or you could keep it as simple as possible and only offer the EV charging unit as a stand-alone facility.

What are the benefits of a socket-only (untethered) EV charger?

Just as with cable-connected EV chargers, there are several benefits of having a socket-only commercial EV charger. Whether you’re looking to make some upgrades, buy your charging cables for the convenience of your employees and visitors or provide boxes for electric car owners to keep their charging cables in for the short term, here are all of the advantages you can expect when choosing a socket-only, otherwise known as untethered, commercial EV chargers:

  • It’s a versatile solution as you’ll have the choice between providing cables or not

  • They can charge a wide range of different electric vehicles, regardless of their size

  • It looks neat and tidy, even when not in use

  • You have a variety of charging cables to choose from, with each one catering for different vehicles types and being available in various lengths

  • There’s an option to provide boxes for your individual charging cables

  • You won’t have to worry about supplying the charging cables as you can ask your employees and customers to bring their own if they wish to use your EV charging facilities

  • There’s the option to purchase a brand new cable should it become old or worn, rather than replace the entire EV charging unit

Things to consider when it comes to socket-only (untethered) EV chargers

There are multiple things to consider when it comes to untethered, or socket-only, commercial EV chargers. Again, these aren’t disadvantages to socket-only EV chargers, they’re simply things that you should look at before making the ultimate commitment to commercial EV charging installation. The number one thing is that the cable is sold separately. 

You should make your employees and customers aware that EV charging facilities are present at your premises, but that they will be responsible for bringing their own charging cables if they wish to charge their electric car at your workplace. 

The fact that separate cables are needed to use a socket-only EV charging unit means that they can be easily misplaced or stolen. Where this is unlikely if the right measures are put in place, something you might wish to do as a business is have several spare EV charging cables available to electric car owners, just in case theirs go missing or if they have forgotten to bring one from home.

EvieLife is pleased to provide commercial properties with a wide range of commercial EV charging units, including tethered and untethered models. We can supply a wealth of different industries and sectors with commercial EV charging units that will seamlessly meet your individual needs and requirements. For further information about the commercial EV charging installation services we have available, or to discuss the models we have, get in touch with a member of our expert team today - we are proud to operate throughout the UK.

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