Battle Royale Of EV Charger Warranties: Who Will Be Crowned Champion?

Ronald in boxing garb surrounded by EV chargers and warranty documents

I have 11 EV charger warranties, and I will make them fight.

From this battle, one shall arise triumphant as the EV charger Warranty Champion!  Another shall taste the bitterness of total defeat and be scorned as the Worst of the Warranties!

And there’ll be nine others that come somewhere in between.

If you’re wondering what an EV charger is, it’s a device that charges electric vehicles (EVs) faster than a normal power point but not nearly as fast as a large commercial DC rapid charger.  Some — like the Wattpilot Go — are portable but require the installation of a heavy-duty powerpoint.  For details, check out our EV Charger 101 Guide.

I got the 11 warranties from our EV Charger Comparison Table.  Currently, 21 manufacturers are on the table, but only 11 have provided us with warranties.  Actually, it was only nine, but I chased down the ones from Tesla and Victron because I strongly believe the world needs to keep an eye on both Elon Musk and the Dutch.

The Competitors

The 11 EV chargers I’ll force into battle, along with the lengths of their warranties, are:

Charger Warranty Length (years)
SMA EV Charger 5
Victron EV Charging Station 5
Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector 4
ABB Terra Wallbox 3
ZJ Beny AC EV Charger 3
Circontrol Wallbox eNext 2
Delta AC MAX (smart) 2
EVOS Fleet Home22 2
Fimer FLEXA AC Wallbox 2
Fronius Wattpilot 2
Schneider EVLink Home 2

 

I can tell you right now the winner is likely to be either the SMA or Victron chargers because their 5 year warranties put them — quite literally — years ahead of most of the competition.  But, we’ll see if that’s enough to make them the winners.

If you want to read about EV chargers themselves we have articles on two of them:

We also have an article focusing on the warranty of the Austrian-made Wattpilot:

As you’ve probably guessed from two of those titles, we think Austrians don’t need to be so stingy with regard to warranty length.

How They’ll Be Judged

In the battle royale, EV chargers will be judged on the following criteria…

  • Warranty length.
  • Australian presence.
  • No option for a potentially paltry payout instead of repair or replacement.
  • Labour costs covered.
  • Transportation costs covered.
  • Faults due to wear and tear covered.
  • Transferrable.

I will place different weights on these criteria and rank all 11 from best to worst.  These weights can’t help but be subjective, but that’s fine.  I’ll point out the strengths and weaknesses of each warranty, and you can decide how good or bad particular warranties are. 

What They Won’t Be Judged On

What the EV chargers won’t be judged on are…

  • Their real-life quality and reliability.
  • The actual support you’re likely to receive from a manufacturer.
  • The protections you’re entitled to under Australian Consumer Guarantees.

An EV charger could be reliable but still have a lousy warranty.  I’m certainly hoping this is the case for the majority of them.  But this article isn’t about how good the chargers are, I’m just comparing their warranties. 

You’ll often get better support than what the warranty promises thanks to Australian Consumer Guarantees.  I won’t go into the protections they provide, but I will say they’re comprehensive and worth checking out if you have a problem getting after-sales support.  But ideally, you want the protection to be in the warranty document itself.  That way you know you’re not likely to have to fight the company to get them to live up to their obligations under Australian consumer law.

And now… let the battle commence!1

Let them fight meme.

If you saw the monster movie this is from, you have my condolences…

Warranty Length

There are two clear winners when it comes to warranty length.  Tied for first place with five years are…

  • SMA EV Charger & Victron EV Charging Station

In third place with four years is the…

  • Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector

Then there are a couple with three-year warranties…

  • ABB Terra Wallbox & ZJ Beny AC EV Charger

While all the rest are slumming it with measly a measly two years2.

Australian Connection

A strong Australian connection is important for warranty quality. It makes it easier to chase them down when something goes wrong.  

I checked the strength of manufacturers’ Australian connection by looking at two things:

  1. Is it an Australian company?
  2. If it’s not an Australian company, do they have an Australian website or mention an Australian office or contact anywhere on their company website?

Taking first place for Australian connection was…

  • EVOS Fleet Home22

This was an easy win for them because it was the only Australian company.  Their EV chargers are made in Brisbane and Adelaide.   

In second place are a bunch of overseas companies that have Australian websites…

  • ABB Terra Wallbox
  • Delta AC MAX (smart)
  • Fronius Wattpilot
  • Schneider EVLink Home
  • SMA EV Charger
  • Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector
  • Victron EV Charging Station
  • …and I guess I’ll throw FIMER FLEXA AC Wallbox in there as well, despite committing the sin of having a combined AUS/NZ website. 

In last place are two companies with no mention of Australia on their website…

  • Circontrol Wallbox eNext
  • ZJ Beny AC EV Charger

Repair/Replacement Or Paltry Payout?

All warranties state the manufacturer can choose whether to repair or replace a defective charger.  They also usually have the option to reimburse the purchase price or pay to have your charger replaced with an equivalent unit.  

Unfortunately, some warranties say they can give the “market value” of the charger at the time it failed.  They don’t say how the market value will be determined, but I figure a second-hand EV charger probably doesn’t sell for much on eBay. 

Some warranties say they can give credit towards buying products from that company.  That’s particularly rotten since you’ll only get that credit after getting clear evidence that the company’s products aren’t always reliable.

Shut up and take my money!

The winners in this category don’t keep the option of paying less than the purchase price or replacement cost:

  • ABB Terra Wallbox
  • Delta AC MAX (smart)
  • EVOS Fleet Home22
  • Schneider EVLink Home
  • SMA EV Charger
  • ZJ Beny AC EV Charger

The four losers, who either say they can give a payment – potentially measly – or are ambiguous about what you’ll get – are…

  • Circontrol Wallbox eNext,
  • FIMER FLEXA AC Wallbox
  • Fronius Wattpilot
  • Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector
  • Victron EV Charging Station

In reality, it’s unlikely you’ll be offered a refund.  Some companies even give conflicting information on this.  For example, on page six of Victorn’s Warranty and Service Guidelines and Policy manual, they say they don’t give credit, which is exactly what their warranty document doesn’t say.  But even though manufacturers are unlikely to pull this stunt in Australia, it still means the losers’ warranties are weaselly and weak3.

Is Labour Covered?

Most warranties say they will not cover uninstalling defective chargers and installing replacements or repaired units.  This is a pain in the wallet because most EV chargers are hardwired. You may have to pay a pro hundreds of dollars to uninstall a faulty unit and the same again to have its replacement put in.  Fortunately, four warranties cover labour costs…

  • ABB Terra Wallbox
  • EVOS Fleet Home22
  • Fronius Wattpilot
  • SMA EV Charger

Tesla’s may be the best of the losing warranties, as it doesn’t rule out paying for labour costs.  Unfortunately, it’s not clear whether they will be covered4.

One does not provide nothing for labour.

Transportation Costs

If an EV charger develops a fault while in warranty, the manufacturer may want you to send it to them at your cost.

The winners, who promise to cover those transport costs, are the same as those who cover labour costs…

  • ABB Terra Wallbox
  • EVOS Fleet Home22
  • Fronius Wattpilot
  • SMA EV Charger

I find it insulting when warranties say they won’t spring for the cost of sending it in5.

Transporter costs not covered.

Wear & Tear

I’d hope anyone confident enough to sell EV chargers that carry lethal current, would also be confident in providing a product that won’t fail due to normal wear and tear within two to five years. But many warranties say they won’t cover “parts subject to regular wear and tear” or words to that effect.  This isn’t just scuffs and scratches; none of the warranties cover cosmetic damage.  This refers to wear and tear that prevents the charger from working properly.  

This is rotten.  If you make plugs, sockets, or other parts that regularly fail within five years of normal household use, you should find another vocation.  Possibly making meringues or Silicon Valley banks or something else people expect to crumble at a touch.  

If a warranty makes a vague statement about not covering “consumable parts”, then I’m lumping it with loser warranties that say they don’t cover wear and tear.  If they don’t like it, they should have used clearer wording.

Winners that don’t exclude faults resulting from wear and tear or “consumable parts” are…

  • Delta AC MAX (smart)
  • Schneider EVLink Home
  • Victron EV Charging Station

If a warranty excludes faults caused by wear and tear, it gives me a lousy impression of the product6.

Is It Transferrable?

Because the majority of EV charger warranties are short, most people won’t want to transfer them to a new owner before they end.  But being able to pass it on to someone else is still a useful option to have.  The only winner in this category is made in Austria:

  • The Fronius Wattpilot7

Crazy Exclusions

All EV charger warranties are pretty miserly, playing the blame game in the manufacturer’s favour. They all draw the line at ‘Acts of God’. So if a lightning bolt from Zeus damages your EV charger, too bad. 

But the standout laugh in this sad comedy show is…

  • The Fimer FLEXA AC Wallbox’s warranty

It quotes Australian consumer law one moment, then contradicts it the next. Plus, it’s specifically not covering damage by “acid rain and other pollutants”.

Where are they selling these – in the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus?

A superhero complaining that warranties do nothing.

It’s not quite that bad…

Best To Worst!

Below, I’ve ranked the warranties from best to worst, with one being the victorious champion and 11 the biggest loser.  I’ve also given them a score out of ten.  Ten does not represent a perfect EV charger warranty.  It simply represents a 5-year warranty with a win in every category, while 1 represents a three-month warranty with a loss in every category. 

Here’s how they compare…

Rank Charger Rating
1 SMA EV Charger 8.7/10
2 ABB Terra Wallbox 6.9/10
3 Victron EV Charging Station 5.1/10
4 EVOS Fleet Home22 5/10
5 Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector 4/10
6 Fronius Wattpilot 4/10
7 Delta AC MAX (smart) 3.7/10
8 ZJ Beny AC EV Charger 3.7/10
9 Schneider EVLink Home 3.3/10
10 FIMER FLEXA AC Wallbox 2.6/10
11 Circontrol Wallbox eNext 2.6/10

 

The results aren’t quite what I expected.  With its five-year length, I thought the Victron warranty would take second place8.  But it came third because it doesn’t cover labour or transport costs and can provide “credit” rather than a repair or replacement.  Despite only being three years long, the ABB warranty took second place by being nicer.

I was surprised, but not shocked, to see the four-year Tesla charger warranty in 5th place behind the two-year EVOs warranty.  But that’s what you get for not clarifying that you cover labour and failing in several other areas.  

SMA Is The Champion!

The SMA warranty is not just the champion but well ahead of the competition with 8.7/10 compared to ABB in second place with 6.9/10.  It achieved this with a five-year warranty covering labour and transport costs, while not reserving the right to fob people off with a potentially paltry payment. The only area where it didn’t shine was excluding faults due to wear and tear.

But note the SMA EV charger isn’t cheap.  It’s one of the most expensive on the market and can set you back around $2,500 before installation.

sma ev charger

The Winner! Congrats to SMA.

The Biggest Losers!

Last place was a tie between FIMER and Circontrol.  The FIMER warranty also managed to take the booby prize for having the most ridiculous exclusion, but that came down to luck. 

Both of them should improve their bloody awful warranty documents.

EV Chargers Have Competition

We’ve arrived at the end of the epic EV charger warranty battle.  While some did a lot better than others, none of them are what I’d call good.  To get that kind of praise from me, they’d have to last at least ten years and provide a level of protection at least equal to what Australian Consumer Guarantees already provide. 

Expecting a 10 year or longer warranty is not unreasonable.  If a solar inverter can have 10 years — as most do these days — then EV chargers can.  Not only is there less that can go wrong with them, but they also average far fewer hours in operation per day.  

Charger warranties are so short because they’re relatively new, and I suspect companies want to be sure their designs are reliable before lengthening them.  But manufacturers need to get their acts together fast if they want the Australian public to have confidence in home EV chargers. 

Footnotes

  1. Note: No EV charger warranties were harmed in the making of this article.
  2. For the purposes of scoring:A five-year warranty is 75% better, a four-year warranty is 50% better, and a three-year warranty is 25% better than a 2-year warranty
  3. If there’s a one in three chance one of these loser warranties will offer a payment that’s half the value to you of a repair or replacement then, all else equal, it would have 83.5% the value of one of the winning warranties.  But I’m bumping it down to 80%.
  4. Because removal and installation costs can be so high, all else equal, I’ll peg the value of a warranty that doesn’t cover labour costs at 70% of those that do.  I guess I’ll be kind and count the Tesla warranty as worth 72% as much, but only because Elon Musk pulled me out of a burning car when I was 6 years old.
  5. All else equal, I’d say the warranties of losers that don’t cover transport are worth 95% of those that do.
  6.  I will make a loser warranty worth only 90% of a winning warranty from a company that is confident their products’ quality isn’t shambolic. Shambolic combines the words “sham” and “bollocks!”  You can trust me on this because I’m on the internet.
  7. Because this isn’t very useful, I will assume this makes the Wattpilot warranty worth 2% more than an otherwise identical one.  And I’m only this kind to Fronius because I was once sprung from a loony bin by an Austrian bodybuilder.
  8. I did not mark Victron down because it’s a Dutch company.  Sure, I tried, but each time all that is good and decent inside me subtracted points, my evil Dutch half added an equal amount.
About Ronald Brakels

Joining SolarQuotes in 2015, Ronald has a knack for reading those tediously long documents put out by solar manufacturers and translating their contents into something consumers might find interesting. Master of heavily researched deep-dive blog posts, his relentless consumer advocacy has ruffled more than a few manufacturer's feathers over the years. Read Ronald's full bio.

Comments

  1. What about the myenergi ZAPPI EV charger?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      They didn’t give their warranty to us. If you can find a link to it, I can give you my opinion.

  2. Found this hidden away on the myenergi web site…

    https://www.myenergi.com/terms-and-conditions/myenergi-product-warranty/

    PeterY

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Thanks for that! Unfortunately, the warranty is for the UK. I’ll need a warranty document that says it applies in Australia. The UK warranty doesn’t seem too bad but leaves me with a poor impression because they say Myenergi has “sole discretion” to decide if a problem was caused by them or not.

  3. Ronald Brakels, I simply cannot understand how you are able to continue giving proper and truthful information on solar energy stuff to the public, how is it that the combined might of manufactures and re-sellers of this equipment haven’t taken to the courts to shut you down. It simply cannot continue that there is somewhere people can go to find truthful and realistic information on Solar power.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Thank you. Fortunately, we are allowed to tell the truth and we are allowed to give our opinions and we will keep doing that. I intend to keep it up until I retire. (Maybe after I’ve retired I’ll try lying through my teeth.)

  4. I’m not up with chargers but isn’t Zappi a good option?

    • Finn Peacock says

      If all you want is to solar charge, it’s fine. Just be aware that it is not OCPP compatible, so you can’t use it with services like ChargeHQ or Amber. OCPP is an open comms protocol that maximises the chance of future compatibility with 3rd party services.

      I bought a Zappi1 and didn’t have a good experience – it failed 3 times. I did get replacements under warranty each time – but I had to pay for the uninstallation and reinstallation myself. Zappi2 appears to be better.

  5. Would be interesting to see a price weighting added in, or as a separate column with ‘adjusted’ results. Agree on the SMA but yeah for 4x the cost of the Tesla charger for example it would have to be a series of pretty catastrophic failures to be worthwhile..

  6. I’d like to see estimated design life for at least 95% of output for all electircal and mechanical products. My experience is that its often a relatively inexpensive part that fails. Remember it was the $5 (?) part that failed and blew up the $1.96 Billion Challenger Space Shuttle. Then there might be less concern about warranties. Labour costs and all out costs are so high for repairs in Australia that peple would willingly pay a bit more for a longer design life product.

  7. We have been using a ZAPPI2 for the last 18 months to charge our ZOE from solar. After a bit of futzing around (installer put the battery CT on the wrong cable in the fuse box) it has been working as advertised.

  8. I had a Tesla V2 charger that came with the car I bought in 2019 replaced when it failed after 3 years. Tesla sent the new unit (a v3 version) and organised (and paid for) an electrician to do the replacement work.

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