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KfW wallboxes put to the test: which is the best?

The state is currently providing 900 euros in funding for a private electric car wallbox. The run on the applications is enormous. But which box should you take? The ADAC has tested it - and gives tips on what electric car owners should definitely pay attention to when choosing.

  • Six eligible wallboxes in the test

  • Function, equipment and apps are contemporary

  • A wallbox fails in terms of security

The electric car market is booming like no other. No wonder, since electric vehicles are subsidized by the state with an attractive premium. Since November 2020, wallboxes have also received a grant under certain conditions. KfW (Reconstruction Credit Institute) approved relatively uncomplicated on application 900 euros Advancement ("Grant 440").

This has led to enormous demand: the list of eligible wallboxes now includes more than 300 products. Such a variety of offers surprised even industry experts. The selection of the test products was therefore not easy, and long delivery times were a hindrance due to the high demand.

After the system comparison in 2018, the test of uncontrolled wallboxes in 2019 and the load management study in 2020, a test of KfW-eligible models was now due. Ultimately, six wallboxes met the selection criteria and were subjected to extensive tests with regard to their safety and handling. The results make it clear what electric car owners should pay attention to when choosing.

For the first time, the criteria of equipment and operation via app were included in the evaluation in the ADAC wallbox test. The main features of the security test criterion were adopted from the previous wallbox tests, but the scope of the test, execution and weighting were adjusted. The new test methodology is no direct comparability on the test results from 2018 and 2019.

Result table: Six KfW wallboxes in the test

Four KfW wallboxes do well

With the Kostad TX-1000 there is a deserved, but unfortunately somewhat expensive test winner (grade 1.8). The wallbox works reliably, is safe and extensively equipped. The latter also applies to the app, which is currently only available in English. For this purpose, the charging current can even be set in real time via the app and there is a convenient energy display in this.

However, the Kostad is no longer available. However, according to the nameplate, the TX-1000 is based on the Terra AC wall charging station from ABBthat will still be available. The test results are very likely to be transferable to the ABB Terra Wallbox.

The place behind the test winner is shared with the Vestel EVC04-AC11SW-T2P and the Volkswagen ID. Charger Connect the two cheapest subjects in the test, who are also safe and reliable. The Vestel appeals with a very good app, while the VW-Box Wallbox shines with an error-free overall presentation and - together with the Kostad - the best security in the test. The cable management of both boxes has been solved in an exemplary manner: the charging cable can simply be wrapped around the boxes and the charging plug at Vestel can even be parked in a plug garage.

In the ranking follows with a grade of 2.2 hesotec electrify eBox wr30 right base 11 kW. With good basic virtues such as reliability and a lightning-fast start after a power failure as well as an attractive status display that can be customized by the consumer, the design wallbox made of stainless steel weakens in terms of equipment and is also quite expensive.

The wallbox Pro Connect 11 kW from is the only model with a modular and therefore repair-friendly structure - the other test candidates rely on integrated circuit board solutions. However, with this model there were deviations between the security technology installed and the security technology promised when the order was placed. The wallbox also makes a mistake during the conformity measurements and does not switch off the charge when simulating a vehicle with a gassing battery.

Risk: circuit breaker does not trip

As a loser from the test, she goes EVBox Elvi emerge. Basically, when considering the individual categories with good equipment, function and app, it is almost on par with the test winner, but in the safety test the wallbox makes a major blunder: the integrated residual current monitoring device does not trigger a series of measurements. This can lead to a "blindness" of the type A residual current circuit breaker in the house installation, which could not only pose a risk to life and limb, but could also result in the wallbox not being removed by the electrician. The wallbox therefore does not meet the requirements of DIN IEC 62955 and receives the overall rating "inadequate"(Rating 5.0).

For customers who have already bought such a box, the manufacturer already has one free firmware update in preparation. The ADAC recommends that affected customers contact the manufacturer directly. In addition, there has recently been a new version.

App leads to additional power consumption

A minimum level of networking is not only the basis for benefiting from KfW funding, but is also expected by customers in 2021. The test then showed, however, that the added value of using the app for the individual wallboxes is very different. In the worst case, the constant "online" status of the wallbox led to a standby consumption of around 5 watts. These are extrapolated approx. 44 kWh or around € 13 electricity costs per year.

Detailed evaluation of the KfW wall boxes (2021)

Requirements for KfW funding

  • Charging stations at parking spaces and garages that are used for Residential buildings belong and are only accessible privately.

  • For the charging station Electricity from renewable energies used (own photovoltaic system or green electricity tariff from the energy supplier).

  • The wallbox must be on the KfW list of subsidized charging stations.

  • The wallbox can have a Charging power of 11 kW do not exceed. In the case of 22 kW models, the electrician must set the charging point to 11 kW and issue a certificate for this.

  • The wallbox must have a intelligent control to communicate with other components of the power grid. With that, the Network operator limit or postpone the charging capacity if necessary.

  • The total cost (Charging station, energy management system, electrical connection and installation work) must be based on at least € 900 amount to.

  • The establishment and commissioning of the charging station must be carried out by a Installation company be made.

ADAC wallbox test 2019 (partly KfW-eligible)

ADAC wallbox test 2018 (partly KfW-eligible)

ADAC tips for consumers

  • The installation of a wallbox may only be carried out by a qualified Qualified electrician be performed.

  • Charging facilities for electric vehicles are at Network operator to be registered in principle and approval is required for more than 11 kW.

  • A well thought out Cable management (Winding) and plug garage make everyday use of the charging cable easier.

  • One integrated in the wallbox DC fault current detection reduces house installation costs. However, this must also function in accordance with the standards.

  • Before buying the Equipment requests precisely define the wallbox. These are heavily dependent on the domestic environment (e.g. integration in a photovoltaic system, control options, energy meters, etc.).

ADAC recommendations to manufacturers

  • A complete and visible from the outside type label should be permanently attached to the wallbox.

  • Operating and assembly instructions as Declaration of Conformity should be complete and legible with the wallbox. In addition, these should also be available on the manufacturer's homepage and ideally via QR code on the box.

This is how the ADAC tested

The selection turned out to be challenging in view of the diversity in the KfW list of eligible wallboxes. The relevant criteria were:

  • listed in the KfW list of eligible wallboxes

  • Max.charging power 11 kW (400 V, 16 A, 3-phase) according to the nameplate and data sheet / COC or a corresponding manufacturer certificate on the throttling of the wallbox

  • fixed type 2 charging cable

  • integrated DC residual current protection

  • Access to wallbox functions and / or wallbox information via smartphone app

  • Price up to 1200 €

  • Availability and delivery at the time of the test

Scope of delivery & assembly

With regard to the delivery packaging, enclosed accessories, assembly aids, tools, test certificates, warning notices, installation instructions and operating instructions were considered. In the Assembly it was assessed how easy the wallbox can be assembled and installed. In addition, it was determined how the supply line entry into the wallbox is designed.

The security checks focused on the following questions:

  • Charging communication with the vehicle

  • Correct functioning of integrated protective devices

  • Correct specification of the required external protective devices

These tests were carried out based on DIN VDE 0100 as follows:

  • Commissioning of the charging infrastructure according to the manufacturer's specifications

  • Test of the charging infrastructure using a vehicle simulator box including fault simulation using vehicle status specifications A, B, C, D and E.

  • Test residual current device, if integrated

A distinction must be made between the test samples according to the manufacturer's specifications, which protective functions are to be provided in the electrical house installation:

  • No AC fault protection and no DC fault protection specified: Both protective functions must be integrated in the wallbox and function correctly. Trip times and trip values ​​for both AC and DC faults were determined and evaluated

  • Only AC fault protection specified: Here, DC fault protection must be integrated in the wallbox and function properly. Trigger times and trigger values ​​were only determined and evaluated for DC faults.

The following test devices were used for the safety tests:

  • MENNEKES vehicle simulator box (320011)


The following measuring device was used for the quiescent current measurement:

  • CHRIST CLM 1000 Professional +

The reliability test tested whether each wallbox could charge different electric vehicles without any problems. For this purpose, a charging process was started six times with each vehicle on each wallbox and tested to see whether it started successfully and was not interrupted within a minimum of five minutes. For this purpose, up to 10 long-term charging processes of at least 60 minutes had to be carried out for each wallbox.

This test was carried out with the following electric cars:

  • Nissan Leaf II (2018)

  • Opel Ampera-e (2017)

  • Renault ZOE 50 (2019)

  • VW e-up! (2020)

  • VW ID. 3 (2020)

The following features were checked during the functional test:

  • Authentication (if any)

  • "Plug in" charging cable

  • "Start" charge

  • Displays and status messages

  • "Stop" and "Remove cable" loads

In addition, it was investigated how the following influences affect the charging process:

  • Behavior and start time after a power failure (authentication activated / deactivated)

  • Incorrect operation

  • Activations on the vehicle and wallbox

The stand-by power consumption of the wallbox was also determined.

With regard to the equipment, the following features were determined and evaluated:

  • Wireless and wired interfaces

  • Authentication

  • Energy meter and display

  • Setting the charging current

  • Communication and networking

  • Charging cable and charging socket

Testing the smartphone app belonging to the wallbox is also part of the scope of testing. The following points were primarily documented and assessed:

  • Functional scope, such as installation and configuration, start / stop of the
    Charging processes, authentication, timer, charging current settings and specification of the
    Loading amount

  • Information content such as charging processes, charging performance and history

  • Availability for Apple iOS and Google Android

Note: The functionality and / or information content of all apps can change within a very short time due to updates. (Test stand: February 2021)

Technical advice: Michael Peuckert, Matthias Vogt, ADAC Technik Zentrum

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