Half of electric car charging stations are insufficient, German tests show

By DPA | 6 December 2018

BERLIN: To be able to charge your electric car at home, you need a charging station, called a wallbox, which is mounted on a garage or carport wall and is connected to the power grid.

However, with so many options on the market, a study by German safety organisation ADAC, found problems with every second wallbox model on sale.

While dealers often provide these boxes along with the car, other providers also sell e-car charging stations, which ADAC says can be problematic.

In a test of 12 wallboxes costing between 303 and 1,903 euros (RM1,430-RM9,000) and providing a charging power of between 3.7 and 22 kilowatts (kW), half were not deemed as "sufficient."

Reasons for failing this test included safety deficiencies — such as being a fire hazard — and, while the cheapest device proved as sub-standard, one wallbox on sale for more than US$1,500 (RM6,300) also failed ADAC's test.

The best performers were the 11-kW "ABL eMH1" box for around US$1,000 (RM4,200), the "Keba KeContact P30" for a maximum of 4.6-kW charging power for around US$850 (RM3,540) and the 22-kW "Mennekes Amtron Xtra for around US$2,150 (RM8,942) — the most expensive in the test.

Three other boxes are "good", the cheapest of which is the "Wallbe Eco 2.0" with a maximum of 3.7 kW charging power for around US$550 (RM2,290).

The installation of the wallboxes may only be carried out by a qualified electrician, says the ADAC, who advise motorists to use universal 11-kW systems as they are a good compromise between performance and costs.

(Note: Video in German language)