ADAC test: High additional costs for expensive wall boxes possible

The newly offered wallboxes enable a safe and reliable charging of the electric car at the domestic power connection. This is the result of a test by the automobile club ADAC, in which six models from different manufacturers were checked, However, there were clear price differences. In addition, not all expensive models have a type B residual current circuit breaker, which must be purchased in addition to high costs.

Job market

  1. ING DiBa, Frankfurt or Nuremberg
  2. Transdev GmbH, Berlin

The tested wall boxes allow charging by AC / AC with up to 11 kilowatts (kW). Last year, the ADAC had already tested twelve models whose performance varied between 3.7 and 22 kW.

Expensive models without residual current protection

Winner of the test this year was the Heidelberg Wallbox Home Eco, which, with just under 525 euros, is one of the cheapest offers. Much more expensive, however, is the Amtron Start C2 by Mennekes, which costs just under 860 euros. Despite the high price, the device does not have residual current protection (type A and B), which can cost several 100 euros, especially for type B (direct current). This also applies to the Pulsar Wallbox (834 euros) and the cheaper Ecoload Perdik (489 euros).

Although electric cars can be charged via adapter also via a household socket or three-phase socket. However, these are not designed for continuous operation with the maximum amperage of 16 amperes and therefore represent a fire hazard. The wallboxes, however, usually have their own CCS charging cable of type 2, so that no contacts can overheat on the box itself. In addition, the devices have a module for communication with the car as well as a circuit breaker for switching the current on and off.

All charging devices must be registered

Charging devices for electric cars have to be registered with the network operator since the coming into force of the Low Voltage Connection Ordinance of March 2019 (Paragraph 19). If the power of one or more wallboxes exceeds 12 kVA, the grid operator must agree to the installation. The subscriber must register a data sheet for charging devices for electric vehicles (PDF) Completion.

Larger charging devices with more than 12 kVA must also comply with the technical connection rules Low Voltage (VDE-AR-N 4100) "have a control / regulation capability (eg, in 10% increments), intelligent scheduling, or network integration control facilities that are interruptible by the grid operator", In addition, grid operators can also find their own supplements to Technical Connection Conditions (TAB) 2019 (PDF) make further specifications. So there are network operators who already prescribe such a control possibility for smaller wallboxes (PDF).

Other operators, such as Westnetz, say (PDF): "In principle, it is initially necessary to dispense with the installation of a technical device for specifying the active power reduction." This could, however "be prompted at any time by the Westnetz and must be installed within a reasonable implementation period and communicatively linked to the Westnetz", Therefore, it makes sense to contact an installer who knows the connection conditions before purchasing a wallbox. The installation on your own is not allowed anyway.