Image credit: Garo Charging
This is an overview of the electric vehicle device from the context of connectivity. We look into the connectivity possibilities, as well as ease of installation, from a connectivity perspective.
In this review, we have concentrated on the wallbox models of Garo EV Chargers, especially connectable wallboxes. There are also older and newer versions of their offering in this segment. It appears the controller on the unit has changed between these two versions. We have focused on the newer version.
Major benefits of choosing Garo Wallbox electric vehicle charger
Garo Wallbox unit delivers almost everything you might need from a communicative charger. It has an easy setup page that is accessible through the local network where the charger has been connected. Additionally, it can also be accessed through a USB cable connected between the charger and your laptop, but no additional setup applications are needed.
Unit provides both 4G and LAN connection options for the network and supports OCPP 1.5 and 1.6 communication standards.
Drawbacks of choosing this product
We don’t usually focus on mechanical or installation issues in these reviews, but a point to mention is that in order to access the unit (for connecting e.g., Network cable) you’ll need to have enough room on the bottom of the device as the front cover slides down the length of the entire cover. If you don’t have room to slide the cover all the way, you’re in trouble, and the same issue applies when putting it back.
Connectivity-wise, you need to make sure you secure your local network to prevent access to the configuration page (which is a basic web page on the unit). You also need to have a good understanding of all the different configurations you might want to change, in order to gain desired functionality out of the system.
Who is this for?
Mainly focused on semi-public charging networks. Can also be used for larger home charging locations, for example in housing condominiums. The non-communicative units from the same range of Garo wallboxes are also available for single-family homes etc. We did not test the non-communicative units.
Ease of integration
The communication protocols this device range provides are:
- OCPP 1.5 (with SOAP)
- OCPP 1.6 (with SOAP or JSON)
- Proprietary binary version of both OCPP versions
It has a full coverage of all the use cases of the OCPP standard, also Smart Charging features of 1.6. Basically, integration was quite easy, the only headache might be that you really need to know how you wish the charger to behave. There are so many configuration parameters to choose from that setting up a good config might take a while.
Where to buy the product or service
This is a good product when you are building charging sites with several chargers. The portfolio has a good range of different models, and especially the newer version controller units have tons of configurations to choose the desired behavior. You will not go wrong with these units when it comes to integrations.
Looking for other product reviews by eMabler? Here is the complete list of what we already done.
About the author:
Ville Parviainen is a Co-founder and CTO of eMabler. He has been working with EV chargers / EV charging and the IEC committee. Additionally, Ville has +15 years of experience in software development, integrations and managing large scale IT systems.
Based in Helsinki, Finland. We believe that eMobility is the way forward, having worked in the industry for over a decade and we see a great boom in eMobility. We’ve also seen many platform providers develop closed ecosystems and realized that there’s a need for a more flexible solution that focuses on end-user experience.
That’s why we decided to build an open platform that lets you integrate your EV charging data into any existing systems, please contact us.