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Buyers Guide: Tethered vs Socket EV Chargers

February 21, 2024

Both options have their unique advantages and considerations. Here is a breakdown of the features to consider.

Detachable Cable for AC Destination Charging

Many public AC destination chargers are socket chargers and you must bring your own cable. Installing a socket charger at home means you’ll already have this cable that you can take with you when you plan to use destination charging.

If you install a tethered charger at home, you will also have to purchase a cable (type 2 to type 2) to make use of many public AC chargers.

Cable Length Customisation

Another benefit of a socket charger is that it allows you to change the length of the cable in the future. This feature comes in handy if you switch to an EV with a charge port in a different location. Instead of purchasing a new charger with a different length cable, or relocating your existing charger, you can simply buy a different length charging cable that you connect yourself.

Alternately - using a tethered charger at home lets you optimise your home cable length for easier management, whilst still owning a long cable for hard-to-reach charging spots when charging away from home.

Enhanced Security

If your charger is located in a public area that may be at risk of vandalism, having a socket charger provides an added layer of security. You can easily take the cable inside, protecting it from potential damage or theft. This feature gives you peace of mind and helps safeguard your charging equipment.

Check that your charger offers socket locking (preventing the cable being removed) if you want to leave the cable connected when you’re not home.

Space Consideration

A socket charger may require more space around the charger where the cable plugs into the socket. With a tethered charger, the cable often exists through the base dropping down the wall and requiring less space.

This can be a potential issue if you have a small garage or limited space for installation.

Neat and Compact Design

One of the key advantages of a tethered charger is its neater and less bulky appearance. With a tethered charger, the cable is permanently attached to the charging unit, providing a streamlined and compact design. This can be visually appealing and may suit those who prefer a cleaner and more organised look.


Some chargers are available in both socket and tethered versions, whilst others are not. If you’re fixed on one or the other you may have a smaller range of chargers to choose from.

Alternately - if you’ve already decided exactly which EV charger you want - the decision might already have been made for you.

Other considerations

In every other respect socket or tethered versions of the same charger will be the same. Both will charge at the same speed.