We get a lot of questions about chargers, and sadly some first buyers get a costly surprise a few years down the road. Many companies and MDU sites have bought expensive equipment that they just a few years later needs to get rid of when they need to scale the system with more chargers.
We have the following checklist we use:
A. Build quality of the product
B. Readiness to be smart and access to an open protocol (e.g. OCPP1.6 J)
C. Will, the purchase lock you into buying the same charger when you later want to scale your system, or can you freely scale your system by buying other chargers from other brands?
D. What is the total cost of the purchase including instalment cost and operational expenses.
It is now more than 40 brands offering AC chargers, so how to be able to differentiate between the bad, medium and good offers?
A. Get references from earlier buyers. Check that the product has the CE marking. Check that the cover will withstand punch and it is sufficient dust and water tightness.
B. Almost all products mention OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol), but when we test some of them we see it is not implemented according to the standards and they only cover the minimum of functions. Ensure that you can get in the contract that the product provides access to OCPP 1.6 and it will be upgraded free of charge to 2.01 at a later stage
C. The «lock-in effect» we see from many manufactures of chargers who want you as a client forever.
D. Some chargers can be cheap but also look into instalment cost (time for the electrical to install) and the cost for connecting the charger to the management system (Simcard/internet connections)