EV advice: Tethered VS Free

A tethered cable is one that is wired into and always attached to the Tethered charge point, whilst a free cable unplugs from a Socket/Free charge point and is therefore able to be carried with the owner and plug into other charge points. There are pros and cons of both, but here is some of our advice so you can make the best decision!

Imagine for a few seconds, it’s a Monday morning, it’s raining and you are on the way to work; you unplug your i3, lump the cable into the boot and try to coil it up tidily. Not only are you soaked but the boot is a mess and there is water everywhere: it’s not a great start to the week!

Tethered cables often result in less hassle unplugging and plugging your EV and are more secure as they cannot be stolen or unplugged. Tethered can sometimes work out as the more cost effective option. For example, our Tethered charge points start from £395 and whilst our Free charge points start from £390, if a charging cable is required then this is a significant additional cost (starting from £110 for a quality cable through us.)

Socket/Free charge points on the other hand enable a significant level of future proofing. The problem could be that your new Tesla Model 3 needs a Type 2 charger, but your tethered charge point is a Type 1. Or a friend comes to visit and their pre 2018 Leaf requires a Type 1 cable and your charge point is a Type 2. A Socket/Free type gives you much more flexibility; you can use your cable on public charge points, at your friends house and also means much less fuss if you get a new EV (potentially only needing to acquire a new charging cable rather than installing a new charge point). 

Tethered Pros

  • EASY
  • No manhandling cable when unplugging and plugging
  • Secure as the cable cannot be unattached
  • Can work out cheaper if no cable is supplied with your car

Free/Socket Pros

  • Future proofing for new models with different sockets
  • Visitors able to plug in their own cable
  • Use your cable on public chargers

*** prices are exc VAT



Another happy Viridian customer!

Another successful charging solution has been supplied to a customer through our B2C channel, where a little bit of customer support went a long way. His requirement was a touch different to a run-of-the-mill install so he needed to make sure he was getting the right kit to do the job. We're happy to have received this review on Speak EV:

I recently acquired an EV and needed a home charging point.

After evaluating what was on the market, I decided to go with a Viridian Wall Mounted Charger on the following Basis:-

-All Metal and Very Strong Tough Metal Box (its a thick walled die casting)
-All Discrete components inside
contactor, correct DC sensitive RCBO, protocol controller
-All Din Rail Mounted, easy to replace any component if it fails/wears out by ANY local based electrician (no need to wait for service engineers)
- A choice of motor or solenoid operated socket lock (for the free cable socket).

I decided to go for the motor operated socket lock. This operates on a 12volt circuit and is controlled by an inside (the house) 12volt rated circuit/switch. No one can enter my back yard and steal my cable if I have it locked, and I can use my free cable as a tethered on that basis.

Come the summer, I can control the protocol controller (just by selecting the correct resistor value again remotely) so that most of my EV charging will be met from solar. That's the beauty of the Viridian system.

After having specified the outside colour, the choice of motor operated socket lock, 32A rating etc, it took about 3 days for the delivery. The unit construction was first class, very sturdy backing plate for the DIN rails etc. The unit has been wired up with oversized 16mm cable through the wall, and even with wires this large, there was enough space and large enough terminals to get everything tidily wired up. A little tricky to get the socket drain tube installed through the tight grommet.

Overall, this is a quality piece of kit and very flexible in terms of use. The customer support at Eco Harmony was great as well. One thing that might act as a barrier to greater sales was that the grant approved installer covering my part of Scotland(they are based in Falkirk), does not advertise the fact that he was approved to install Viridian charge points.... so you have to ask. They do advertise the fact they can install Rolec so if you just phoned up and wanted any old cheapish stuff, that is what you would probably get.

Source: Speak EV


RAU buzzing for electric motors

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is thrilled to be getting its first electric vehicle charging point in September, thanks to our partnership with local manufacturer Viridian EV, based in Cirencester.

As part of the RAU’s environmental commitments, and our new Travel Plan Strategy, sustainable travel options will be encouraged throughout the University.

In a rural area, electric vehicles (EV) are a fantastic low emission option – they reduce local air pollution, cost as low as 3p per mile to run, and are supported by government grants to run.

The new charge point will use a state of the art 3-phase power system to charge a car or van to full within four hours, and will be used to help transition the University’s vehicle fleet to electric over the next five years. The RAU has three solar PV arrays on campus to help power the chargers, as well as only purchasing grid electricity from renewable sources.

Viridian EV presenting the charge point to the RAU

Viridian EV presenting the charge point to the RAU

Viridian EV, a specialist manufacturer and solutions provider for EV charge points, kindly donated the charge point and provided advice on electric vehicle charging and its requirements, before arranging for a local installer, Telemental, to provide valuable advice on the installation. Set up by Allan Burns in 2016, Telemental Ltd provide a design consultancy service which offers advice on how to make buildings and projects smarter, and more energy efficient. Allan visited the RAU campus to help plan our infrastructure, and ensure the EV charging points are able to meet an increasing demand.

With both Viridian EV and Telemental, and soon the RAU, running electric vehicles, this is a very low-carbon and sustainable project.

As well as being good for the environment, this type of technology fits in with the RAU’s new Farm491 innovative, which encourages entrepreneurship in the agritech sector.

The RAU will also offer student, staff and visitor charging points from October 2016.

Read an article in the Wilts & Glos Standard about our donation

Viridian EV @ Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2016

Come and say hello @ LCV2016!

Viridian will be exhibiting at the Low Carbon Vehicle Event, organised by Cennex and hosted at the Milbrook test tracks near Bedford, UK.

It's running on the 14th & 15th Sept.

We will be displaying our range of quality-made charge points as well as introducing you to some of the technology we are developing. Including the favourite amongst EVSE DIYers: the EVSE Protocol Controller (EPC) as well as the new Solar Charge Controller (SCC) which we will be launching at the show.

The show is free to attend so come along and say hello. Info here: http://www.cenex-lcv.co.uk/2016/


Viridian EPCs on tour in France

The France Electric Tour 2016 route

The France Electric Tour 2016 route

Less than a month ago a number of keen Electric Vehicle advocates achieved a cross-country tour, travelling from Paris to Cagnes-sur-Mer, and taking a range of EVs a total of 1200 km in 4 days. An average of 300 km / day.

The France Electric Tour 2016 objectives:

  • Demonstrate the EV is capable of daily mileages that are adequate for many needs
  • Demonstrate the need for further deployment of multi-standard DC charging infrastructure to allow more rapid charges
  • Demonstrate the the need for a charging infrastructure that is interoperable

This years eco-rally organised by TVE was a fairly large affair with about 17 different organisations bringing 20 EVs, including the Nissan Leaf & ENV-200, Kia Soul EV, Tesla Model S and Renault Zoe to join the adventure. Charging logistics was high on the agenda for this event and it was interesting to learn that they opted to stop at every service station with DC rapid-charging capability along the highway instead of when they needed to - here they would charge each car for 6 mins, getting a quick top up of energy, before moving off again. This avoided longer waiting times had they chosen to stop every 3rd or 4th service station and had to charge for longer. It sounded like a very thought out plan, with overnight charging made available through grid hookups provided by ERDF.

Mark's 3 x 7kW chargers with Viridian EPCs inside!

Mark's 3 x 7kW chargers with Viridian EPCs inside!

Tasked with organising and implementing the overnight charging was Mark Nitters of AVEM, a participant and partner of the tour.  There were to be 3 x 32A 3-phase supplies at each location and Mark's idea was to have 2 boxes with 3 x 1-phase sockets (one on each phase) and one box with 2 x 3-phase sockets (the load balanced between them). Here's where Mark turned to us to provide charge controllers for the 2 single phase boxes (pictured right). Six of our EVSE Protocol Controllers in total would be built into custom boxes, providing the communications to control a charging session for 6 vehicles from 2 power sources! (Seen in use in the photos below)

These boxes were successfully used again on the Vendee Energy Tour 2016 at the beginning of this month and are set to make another appearance during the Tour Poitou-Charente in September.

An interesting project put to use at some great events promoting cleaner driving in France!

Case Study: The Swan Goes Green

New Case Study has been added.....

Adnams brewery manage a number of hotels and one of these is The Swan Hotel of Southwold. Inline with Adnams' stance on sustainability and with the rise in ownership of EVs, The Swan saw a requirement to offer charging facilities to the hotel guests. We were asked to supply a charge point for their car park. We were delighted to hear this had been a success with their patrons and that they have decided to install charge points at their other hotels and public houses too.

> Full case study can be read and downloaded here

Other links

Adnams website

Article: Electric car charge point at The Swan Hotel

Local Business installs Viridian vCharge Classic Stations

Shipton Mill is located in a beautiful setting in the Cotswold valley near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. The mill in Shipton Moyne Wood has been producing flour since the time of the Domesday Book. Today it produces a wide variety of speciality flours, using both traditional grain and traditional methods.

Shipton Mill shares the same principles of ‘preserving and maintaining our earth’, keeping as much carbon in the ground as possible and moving towards more renewable resources. They’re bringing this to reality whilst producing a key ingredient to our food industry; flour (and all its yummy varieties).

They currently have 4 of our vCharge Classic charging stations installed across their mill locations for their staff to use, going a long way to promote the use of EVs amongst the workforce.  

Pictured is one of the installed charging stations. In this case the client was able to select a style that matched the building and next to it, coincidentally, is a fig tree, the leaf of which we use in our logo!

More about the history of the mill and details of where you can purchase their flour can be found by visiting their website: