I’ve recently bought an electric car and, having had my fair share of stressful adventures when it comes to charging, wanted to supplement the vehicle with a home EV charger. While I’ll still need to use commercial EV chargers when I’m out on longer runs, my car should be just fine being charged at home. Being able to do this at my leisure, usually overnight, means there’s no hassle and it should be cheaper too.
However, there’s quite a lot of choice out there when it comes to choosing the best EV chargers for home use. I’d been mulling it over for quite some time before deciding to go with the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger. One of the best things about this unit is its size because it’s very compact and fits perfectly on the front of our house without being too obtrusive.
I was initially a little bit nervous about how complicated installing a home EV charger might be. Thankfully though, installation of the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger has been quick, straightforward, and relatively fuss free.
If you’re thinking about buying an electric car and want to make life easier for yourself, it’s therefore well worth thinking about even though there’s an added cost initially. Over time, however, you should recoup this by saving both time and money by making less stops at commercial EV charging points.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Price and availability
The EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger is available to buy right now and can be purchased from online outlets including Amazon, which has it for £746.48. This price is for the universal socket model, which means you can plug in your own car cable when charging.
There’s also the Type 2 Tethered Socket model, which is listed at £820 and that comes with a charging cable permanently attached. Bear in mind there is also a cost for installation, which should be done by a qualified electrician. This also ensures you get a safety installation certificate to comply with building regulations.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Design
One of the major appealing factors for me with the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger is its compact dimensions. As its own brochure points out, this unit is the same size as an A5 notepad, which is really quite dinky. It looks cool in black too, with just the EO logo and a small LED under that to show the charging status of the unit.
Power-wise, this is a 7kW wall charger, which means it’s ideally suited for EV owners who want to charge in their own time and frequently overnight. Plug in an average electric saloon for the hours of darkness and it’ll be good to go again in the morning.
The EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger comes with the option of being supplied as a tethered unit, which means there’s a charging cable permanently attached, or socketed. The latter option means it’s possible to plug your own car’s cable into the unit and that way there’s no cable hanging around.
I decided to go down the socketed route as unpredictable British weather and damp winters made it feel logical to have something where a cable wasn’t going to be hanging around all the time. I think this also makes the EO seem even less obtrusive too.
However, the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger is IP54 certified if you’re choosing a socketed model and IP56 certified if you prefer a tethered unit, so either way it’ll be fine whatever the weather throws at it. Impressively, the EO will also operate down to a temperature of -25 degrees.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Features
Another plus with the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger is its set of features. These are more quality than quantity in nature, but it’s another bonus with the British-made charger. For example, there’s built-in PME (Protective Multiple Earthings), which basically means there’s no requirement for earth rods helping to keep costs down and the installation is more straightforward as a result.
Going back to the size aspect again for a moment – the dimensions of the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger are 230mm high, 151mm wide and 125mm deep, so it really is a compact unit. The socketed or tethered 5m cable compatibility means it’s perfectly suited for Type 2 connections and the EO is OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) compliant, with 1.6J as standard, so it’s bang up to date.
The connectivity aspect of this unit includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Cat 5 ethernet. There’s 4G cellular connectivity available as an optional extra.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Installation
Prior to installation, the company was in touch with me to get a few details. They requested some photos of my fuse box, my electric meter box and wanted a rough idea of where I wanted the charger placed. Luckily, everything was pretty much in the same place, which did make the installation that little bit easier. After submitting the pictures, they got back in touch with a proposed installation date and that was it – it was only a few weeks too.
Prior to the installation guy turning up, I took the cover off my fuse box but other than that wasn’t sure if I needed to do anything else. When he arrived, it turned out to be even more straightforward than expected. He didn’t need to come inside and didn’t need to touch the fuse box either.
Instead, everything was done from outside, thankfully on a dry and reasonably sunny day. He did need to turn off the mains power for a short period, but other than that the work was done quickly, efficiently and to a very good standard. I’d say this is a part of the EV charger buying process that makes things much more enjoyable.
Once he’d finished the installation, he took me on a tour of what had been done. The charger unit itself had been fixed on the outside wall where I’d asked for it to be located. From there, a chunky cable came out from underneath and had been fixed via clips and screws a short distance to a hole in the wall (nicely tidied up afterwards incidentally), which connected through to the electric meter box and the mains. Inside the box, he’d installed the safety add-ons to ensure adequate power balancing and prevent blackouts from overloading.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Software and app
The EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger comes complete with its own supporting app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. I installed the app on my Android phone and, once we were ready to set up the unit, proved to be slightly problematical. After completing the quick registration process it turned out I had to sign out, the engineer signed into my account on his device, tweaked the settings and then we switched back.
Since I’ve been using it, the app seems okay, but is perhaps the weakest part of the EO package. I haven’t tried it on an iOS device yet, but I do find that the app seems a little unresponsive and not all screen options appear to be active.
However, it can be set up to connect automatically or you can configure the app to charge your car during specific times, which is useful if you have a tariff with cheaper usage periods during the day. Hopefully EO will address some of these (apparently known) issues and offer an update before too long.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Charging
So far, it’s been all good with the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger, with successful charging sessions that don’t tend to take too long at all with our car’s smaller battery. A few hours for a 20 to 80 percent charge seems pretty good to me at a largely spot-on 7kW charging speed.
The unit’s LED indicator glows green if everything is going as expected and the car switches off when it’s full, removing the need to go out of the house and disconnect overnight. As with any other charger, the cable is locked on to the car until you release it.
EO Mini Pro 3 Smart EV Charger: Verdict
Overall, I’m very pleased with the EO Mini Pro 3 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger. It’s been installed nicely, seems to function as expected and will hopefully offer good service over the coming years. I love its simplicity, the minimalist design and unobtrusive dimensions.
If EO can tweak the Android app to make it function a little more efficiently that’ll be the icing on the cake. Even now though, it does let you do what you want to do but doesn’t seem to be quite as responsive as it could be. A minor grumble for an otherwise excellent home EV charger.