Electric car sales are soaring, but who wants an ugly charge box on their driveway? Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders may have the answer…
The Green Lane: Andersen EV
JS – In the beauty pageant of home wall chargers, there aren’t many contestants, right?
JT – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but no, very few companies offer a wall charger that’s pleasing to the eye. You could consider a Simpson & Partners Home 7, which is available either tethered or untethered.
What does that mean?
A tethered charger is one with its own cable permanently attached. Most home chargers require the charging cable to be kept in the car, or left hanging on a hook next to the wall charger itself. Ugly.
That’s not aesthetically pleasing – and who wants to do battle with a cable left in the car? From my experience, they get dirty and are awkward to handle. It’s easier to put a python in a basket.
Yes, and even with a tethered charger, the cable may be attached, but it still has to be stored somewhere near the box – which is why UK company Andersen seems to have found a charger-sized gap in the market.
Does it roll the cable up like a hosepipe on a spool?
Almost! Except the A2 model requires the cable to be manual coiled around a spool inside the box. There’s very little effort involved and, once completed, the unit looks discreet and rather neat on any wall.
That’s the cable sorted – but what about the plug connector?
The top of the A2 has a flip-up flap, large enough to fit the chunky connector itself. It also features a light, so you can see what you are doing at night-time, when most drivers plug in to charge cheaply.
The A2 looks like a large unit compared to some wall chargers…?
The Andersen is bigger, but that’s to house the spool of cable, which is available in two lengths up to 8.5 metres. Best of all, EV owners can colour co-ordinate the box to match their house, or even the car.
I see they have some fancy wood options!
Apart from choosing a paint colour for the box itself, buyers can also opt for a front cover with Accoya wood finish. It adds an extra £200 to the price, or there’s a limited edition carbon-fibre job for £320.
Nice, although I sense there is a ‘but’ coming – what haven’t you told me?
The Andersen is a premium product and comes with a premium price, starting at £1,199. The longer, 8.5 metre cable is an extra £100 and a standard installation is £395.
Indeed, but for people who want something that complements their lovely home and matching car, the A2 has few rivals. If you have a three-phase electric supply available at home, the standard 7kW charger can be upgraded to a faster 22kW unit.
I suppose when you look at the expensive list of options some people add on their cars, this is a drop in the ocean.
And the Andersen app, which has taken a bit of stick from users online, is going to be completely overhauled this summer to smooth out the owner experience. What’s not to like?
Explore Andersen EV at andersen-ev.com
Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.