By on August 13, 2019

best ev chargers

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Like it or not, electric vehicles are one of the Ways Forward, knowing that we can’t suckle on the teat of fossil fuels indefinitely. We will leave the timeline of the total shift for another post, but suffice it to say there are enough customers in this country buying EVs to make a list like this worthwhile. Owners of Hellcats and GT500s can scroll down to the next news article.

Believe it or not, there are a plethora of manufacturers making EV chargers for home use. Before diving too far into this sea of electrons, it should go without saying that any installation of this type of unit should be undertaken by a professional. We don’t want any of our readers lighting up like a Christmas tree or melting into a puddle of chemicals because they (literally) got their wires crossed. Be safe with this stuff and don’t cheap out on the install.

With that out of the way, we’ve assembled a group of EV chargers that will keep your electric car juiced and your anxiety at bay. May your drives be smooth and your range be long, young grasshoppers.

(Editor’s note: As noted above, this post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)


1. Editor’s Choice: BougeRV Level 2 EV Charger

bougerv level 2 ev charger

This Level 2 EV charging cable will allegedly cram up to 5x the charging speed into your rig in comparison to an OE charger. Boosting 240-Volt and up to 32 Amp, it is said to provide a rapid charging rate of 7.2kw/hour, which equates to approximately 23 miles per hour of charge based on advertiser claims.

Said to be rugged and robust, the cord should be flexible in most weather, an oft-overlooked attribute of these things when most of them are about as easy to coil up as an oak tree. It is equipped with overvoltage, overheat, and overcurrent protection. This is unlike when my father used to string 94 sets of Christmas lights together off the same extension cord, producing enough heat to melt the snow in a two-inch radius around the cord snaking out the front yard. It’s a wonder the house didn’t burn to the ground. The

Pros: Compatible with most major EVs, 25ft cord, decently priced

Cons: Awkward plug angle

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2. Techie’s Choice: JuiceNet AeroVironment WiFi-Enabled EV Charging Station

juicenet aerovironment home ev charger

In my hometown, the term “juice arse” is used to describe someone of less than savoury character. JuiceNet, on the other hand, apparently refers to a home charging station that can be hooked into the Internet of Things. Connected via wifi, this unit allows owners to control the thing via smartphone app or through voice-controlled Amazon Alexa.

Weighing about 20 pounds, owners can set the time of charge and monitor instantaneous power. As if you don’t already have enough notifications in your life, this unit can be set up to alert you of start & end of charge, full charge by a certain time, and of system faults. Get access to your real-time & historical charging data on their website or through a smartphone app. If you live in Cali and are okay with the company peeping into your private charging info, a rewards program doles out goodies from participating energy companies.

Pros: Wifi-enabled, looks cool

Cons: ‘Spensive

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3. Familiar Bet: ChargePoint Home WiFi Enabled Electric Vehicle Charger – Level 2

chargepoint home wifi enabled ev charger

Every gearhead worth their weight in Castrol knows of more than a few easily recognized brands that would likely be obscure to anyone outside the car world: Brembo, Öhlins, Old Man Emu – names that would evoke a chuckle elsewhere are spoken with respect around these parts. Going forward, add ChargePoint to the list. They’re one of the few companies to emerge as a household name in the EV charging game.

It’s not cheap but this unit does come with a monetary credit to use at ChargePoint’s public stations. A good many EV owners probably already permitting this company’s app to take up space on their smart device, a bit of tech which works with this unit, too. Various cord length are available but you’d be silly to get anything but the longest one. This charger works with Alexa, too.

Pros: Familiar brand name, wide support network

Cons: Indoor installation only

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4. ClipperCreek Level 2 EV Charging Station

clippercreek lcs-20 16a level 2 ev charger

Sounding for all the world like a jacket or pair of pants from L.L. Bean, the ClipperCreek charger is another unit that purports to charge up your EV faster than the standard unit that came with the car.

The advertiser is quick to note this unit works with all electric cars. However, its 16A of power (3.3kW) is better suited for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) like the Chevy Volt, Prius Prime, and the Ford Fusion Energi. This one also has a 25-foot cord, which seems to be the industry standard. A simple padlock system looks decidedly low tech but will keep 10-year old (and 39-year old) pranksters from unplugging the thing in the middle of the night. Otherwise, you’ll jump in the car to go to work and find the range just says “2.”

Pros: Good extra system for your plug-in hybrid while visiting the cottage

Cons: Not great for pure EVs

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5. MUSTART Level 2 Portable EV Charger

mustart level 2 portable ev charger

Here’s a home charging unit bearing a brand name I wish was appended to my particularly ratty 1989 Ford Escort back in college. Compact size with 25 feet charging cable for flexible installation and usability. All you need is just a 220 Volt or 240 Volt NEMA14-50 outlet into which to plug the thing – in other words, a dryer plug will do just fine. Examine the different plug options shown here and make sure you order the correct one.

A 20-foot extension cord is available, super handy for the proles who don’t have a wired garage or carport. It is also said to be “lightening-proof” which we can only assume means it never loses mass. No mention is made of it being “lightning proof,” a much more common claim amongst these manufacturers.

Pros: Different plugs available, great overall customer reviews

Cons: Scattered ad copy errors give pause

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6. GoPlug Pro 40 Amp EV Charger

goplug 40 amp ev charger

Similar to gymnasts and That Girl everyone chased in high school, this EV charger is advertised as being ultra-flexible. It has a color LCD display (the charger, not Ashleigh) which provides real-time power usage, state information, & quick access to settings via an integrated push-button. One can customize their charging session by time, energy, or power. This is handy for people who live in areas where there are time-of-day discounts for electricity consumption.

Its seller makes the point of stressing that the GoPlug’s wifi capabilities are of the local variety and not cloud based, a differentiation your humble author had not previously considered. So far as I’m concerned, Jeff Bezos and his minions can see everything I do anyway, so what’s the difference? You can imagine my targeted ads are really weird now after writing all these commerce posts.

Pros: Can be set for ToD discount times, works with an app

Cons: Looks like chargers found at off-brand gas stations

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7. JuiceBox Pro 40 Smart Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station with WiFi 

juicebox pro 40 smart ev charger

Juice boxes aren’t only for the kid’s lunchbox anymore, apparently. This charger is sure to start not only your EV but also a conversation or two in your garage once a nosy neighbor spies its creative brand name. Good for indoor and outdoor use, this charger has full app and web-based charging control including scheduling and notifications. This will help to avoid charging during peak demand/rate times.

The advertiser says this is a great unit to future-proof one’s home charging station for larger-battery EVs in coming years. JuiceBox Pro can charge all production EVs because it utilizes the industry-standard J1772 charging protocol as well as Tesla cars using Tesla’s charging adapter. It is said to field proven in tens of thousands of installed stations around the world, a claim not made by other manufacturers.

Pros: Available adapter for Tesla cars, assembled in America

Cons: One of this lists’ most expensive options

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8. Siemens VersiCharge 30-Amp EV Charger

siemens us2 home ev charger

Another well-known brand name, Siemens is one of the only chargers on this list to run off a 30 amp circuit rather than a more robust 40A service. We’ll leave that to the buyer if that is enough juice or not. At least it makes this a good option for people living in older homes which may not have much extra space in their panel boxes.

This particular unit is recommended for indoor use only but a variant is available for outside use as well. The seller says the casing is made out of 60 percent recycled material, adding further to your green cred and providing more fodder for the buyer’s insufferable bragging at parties. The 14 foot cable for hardwired units is nothing to brag about, however.

Pros: Great brand, assembled with an extra eye on Johnny Polar Bear,

Cons: Joke of a cable length

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[Images provided by the manufacturer, lead image: Thongchai Pittayanon/Shutterstock]

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21 Comments on “So Amped It Hertz: Best Home EV Chargers...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    I have the JuiceBox 40 and it works great with my Bolt.

    With almost all of these “chargers” (in quotes because the actual charger is in the car), you can choose to have hard-wired or plug-in versions. Unless you are putting the charger in a security-challenged outdoor location, get the plug-in version. Then the only thing you need to have done professionally is installation of the outlet. My electrician charged me a bit over $300, and if you live in a lower-cost place you can probably get it done for less.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Yes, these devices would more properly called a “charging station”, and the technical term is Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.

    • 0 avatar
      Giskard

      I also have a JuiceBox 40 plugged into a welding outlet (NEMA 14-50) in my garage to charge my i3s. Works quite well and I can still use the outlet for other things (you know, like welding) when I’m not charging.

      Another option I would have put somewhere on this list is Tesla’s mobile charger. It’s cheaper than most options, comes in a nice compact case, and you can get all sorts of snap in plugs for most any outlet you might run across (it comes with the 2 most common types of plugs). You do have to get a J1772 adapter if you don’t have a Tesla (I have the TeslaTap one), but that also allows you to plug into Tesla destination chargers which can be very handy. I use this setup when traveling as the unit that came with my car is a level 1 which is pretty darn slow.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    i have a Clipper Creek unit, have had it for a little more than five years, it’s never let me down.

    How quickly you can charge depends on how much current you have available and how much the car will accept. A 30 amp 240 volt circuit can provide a maximum of 5.76 kW, which will mean about 18 miles per hour of charge. Most EVs can accept at least 6.6 kW.

    • 0 avatar
      Ugliest1

      In Canada, the Clipper Creek units are packaged as “Sun Country” EVSEs. The owner of Sun Country actually runs a bird seed farm in Saskatchewan, and took it upon himself back in 2010/2011 to persuade chain stores, hotels, etc to install the rebranded units across the TransCanada. He then took a trip from coast to coast in a Tesla Roadster to prove it could be done in an EV.

      The Sun Country units are usually 40A, 60A, 80A, 90A, or 100A, although this article only mentions the lowest amperage version. The 100A versions are much, much better while travelling, but still pale in comparison to Level 3 charging. They also just sit there and work. Awesome units.

  • avatar
    Fred

    To all who have a charging station at home, how much has your electric bill gone up since you installed it?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My JuiceBox reports that it’s used 343 kWh since installation a bit over three months ago. (That’s with the Bolt covering 1125 miles over those months — it’s used mostly for local city trips of less than 3 miles.) So assume 110 kWh per month, at 12 cents per kWh (cheap Seattle power), and you have about $13-$14 per month. Add more if you are driving more, obviously.

      With power at 12 cents/kWh and gas at $3.19 (my local Shell), I can drive 75 to 100 miles for the price of a gallon of gas.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      This depends on the vehicle, the miles driven, and the local price of electricity.

      EV #1: 2012 Leaf, 800 miles/month, added ~$20/month to my bill (+20%).

      EV #2: 2019 Ioniq EV, 1100 miles/month, adds about $25/month to my bill (+20%). My cost rate and baseline household consumption have all gone up since 2012-15, but the Ioniq is more efficient than the old Leaf was.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Elec rates in NM 17.689-cents per KWh. In El Paso, TX, rates are 10.339-cents per KWH. Yes, even with TWO refrigerated Air units running for much of 24 hours each and every day of the hot seasons. Average elec bill for the hot seasons: $368 a month, not using the elec dryer and not using the elec stove/oven, with all incandescent changed to LEDs.

        Elec rates going up Jan 01, 2020 in many places.

        Whatever happened to lower rates with solar and wind coming online?

        Another blatant lie to pull the wool over the consumers’ eyes.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          We have no solar or wind here in Georgia Power’s service area, and our rates are about to go up a bunch. That’s our pro business all Republican state government in action.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I spent some time going over my daughter’s house in El Paso, TX, with a fine toothed energy comb; replaced ALL the incandescent lights with LED or Fluorescent, inside and out; replaced an old inefficient 25 cu. ft. double-door refrigerator from the last century with the latest and greatest 34 cu.ft. Samsung refrigerator with French doors and bottom drawer freezer; and put in two new Honeywell programmable thermostats for the AC units – one for the main Central AC unit, and one for the mini-split AC unit cooling the converted garage/home theater.

            Put in a EuroPro Countertop Convection oven and a Panasonic 2.2 cu.ft Microwave to offset the heat generated by GE Convection elec range/oven. (Shoulda bought Induction – didn’t think of it)

            Kinda anxious to see the next elec bill, since many of the lights in the house are on timers and are on from dusk ’til dawn and the AC can now be programmed.

            Hope to see a reduction in elec costs.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            @highdesertcat

            When I need to chase down electrical gremlins, my weapon of choice is my cheap HF clamping ammeter, combined with a cheap line-splitter (from Amazon) when I need to monitor an individual appliance (vs. looking at the consumption of a single circuit from behind the breaker panel.)

            You can get her an induction hot-plate, which works for a surprising number of situations, since the heat transfer is so much more efficient.

            I don’t think you’ll see too much reduction with the t-stats; those generally work better for gas furnaces than heat pumps/A/C cost-savings-wise. That said, she’ll be more comfy with the Honeywell’s at a given set-point, since the swing is generally lesser.

            For us, the biggest chop in energy consumption came from taking out the 20-yr-old Builder’s Special A/C units and replacing them with modern ones. Sheesh, that was a huge difference.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sirwired, thanks for the advise. Made a copy of your comment and pasted it onto a WordPad doc stored in the Documents folder on my PC.

            My wife’s dad bought my daughter that house in Jan 2013 when she moved from LA to El Paso. It had been empty more than a year due to the death of the owner(s).

            My former foreman, Federico, and I did a lot of work to bring the house up to code, rip out the two old swampcoolers, put on a new, insulated, shingle roof, installed rigid-foam insulation in the garage walls, put on new wall board and ceiling tile to convert the garage to living space/Home theater, laundry center and pantry storage, etc.

            We contracted with a local El Paso HVAC contractor to install a new Trane furnace and matching 4-ton stackable AC. It works good but the t-stat that came with it was an el cheapo.

            Had the same people put in a Rheem 1.5-ton mini-split AC in the converted garage because there was no ducting in the garage to return air to the main AC.

            I did the wiring for the dual-30-amp breakers for each of the AC units, and used 50-amp 4-conductor wire inside galvanized steel conduit tubing from Lowe’s.

            Thank God for Lowe’s. They had everything I needed, including grounding rods.

            We did buy my daughter two fancy induction plates from Amazon and two Copperchef cooking sets to get her started.

            But she rarely cooks at home now, preferring to eat out all her main meals at UTEP. Even when her daughter still lived at home with her. Now it is all just so much “kitchen stuff”.

            We made her home our domicile so we spend a lot of time here as well as in New Mexico at my old house in the desert where my son now lives.

            A lot of our time is also spent outside of the US. But while we’re here I’d like to get as much of the nit-noy stuff done to the houses where we spend the most time.

            Hence my greenification push with LED lights, t-stats, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            I’m not sure a 7% increase is a bunch, especially since even after the increase Georgia power rates will still be below the national average. Reasons given for the rate increase include closing 4 coal powered units and some smaller hydro units, plus adding more renewables. Such is the price of progress I suppose.

            I also doubt that utility price increases are a particularly pro-business move.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          That is one energy-intensive house.

          It’s using four times as much as mine, even after EV charger installation. And mine was built in 1953 and has literally no insulation in spots.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “dal20402” if your comment was aimed at my comment above…

            One problem I found was an intermittent or hi-resistance earth ground. Her house was built mid eighties for an Army Master Sergeant, long since dead now.

            So it should have been relatively modern for a 2800sq ft of that era, but somehow over time the earth ground deteriorated at the breaker box (200-amp service).

            I have much of my daughter’s electronics hooked up to 1500VA (900-watt) Uninterruptible Power Supplies throughout the house: you know, things like the 3-satellite receivers, 3-TVs, 3-BluRay Discs, 2-alarm clock radios, timed lighting all over the house, etc.

            The little red lights on the back of each of the UPS units warned me that her house had a bad or intermittent ground. Strange things can happen with a bad or hi-resistance earth ground. And they did…

            Anyway, long story short, went to Lowe’s, got a couple of 8ft grounding rods and sank them into the ground, one in front and one in back, then connected a 6-gauge copper lead to the nearest ground line in an outlet.

            Works like a charm, without the UPS units chirping intermittently and NO red warning ground-fault lights.

            Like I said, I went over her house with a fine toothed energy comb and Fluke DVM in hand.

            Replacing ye olde antique refrigerator with a hi-efficiency Samsung saved me at least 6-amps for each time it kicks on vs the 9.3 amps the old one used to run.

            We’ll know more when the next elec bill arrives next month.

    • 0 avatar
      Ugliest1

      I used to spend $2,000 – $2,500 per year in gas when I owned a n Infiniti M35 (premium fuel). Now, charging at home, my electric bill only for the EV is about $350-$400 annually ($0.11/kwh). Since Jan 2014 my EV has taken us 135,000 km (~85,000 miles), of which probably at least half are on long road trips (long = 4,000-17,000km). The $350/year doesn’t include road trips.

      So you could say my electric bill has “gone up” by $350, but overall wallet is way ahead. I also don’t pay for oil changes, fuel filters, etc etc etc.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…any installation of this type of unit should be undertaken by a professional”

    Not necessarily. If you can install a double breaker and wiring (as for an electric range), you can install a charging station. There is nothing high-tech about it. I installed my Schneider unit in 2012 for the Leaf, and then relocated it in 2018 for the Ioniq.

    Related – I’m always stunned by the quoted installation costs for public charging stations. It’s scandalous.
    TTAChargers is that the cost of the charger is the smallest part of the job. The contractor’s expense for site prep and permits is most of the cost, and wouldn’t be any different if the city was installing a curbside coffee maker. I’ve seen per-unit costs as high as $4k to $20k. These high costs are one reason EVs get a black eye.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    My Blink Level 2 EVSE was provided and very professionally installed (on the outside of my detached garage, in full sun) courtesy of the fellow taxpayers of my state as part of an early adopter program. It served me and my family well with a succession of EV’s.

    I liked it even better after I:
    – Installed a much longer charging cord (charge different vehicles without moving the vehicles)
    – Gave it the ‘lobotomy’ you can read about (its wireless brain was a little too smart for its own good; I prefer it just serving as a power point and let the car handle timers/etc)

    The electric bill went up by about 25% of what we saved on gasoline.

    Right now the breaker is turned off, but the unit stands ready to charge more EV’s and/or increase the sale price of my home.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    While level 1 chargers are totally insufficient for regular use, a kWh here or there isn’t going to impact a normal person that much. You get home work, you plug in, you’re full in the morning. Nbd. Probably charge once or twice a week tops. 3 kwh, 10 kWh, not going to really matter much. Any of these chargers is totally fine.

    Also all this wifi & app stuff is going to get old pretty quick. I guess it’s nice to have but it quickly becomes something you stop checking once the newness wears off.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The big advantage of the wifi stuff is that it can tell you if you forgot to plug in (geofencing near a named charger and not plugged in after a certain amount of time) or if it stops charging for some reason.


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