Best Home EV Chargers: So Amped It Hertz
Top 8 Home EV Chargers
Like it or not, electric vehicles are making up a steadily larger slice of the automotive pie. 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.
While there are a plethora of companies making EV chargers for home use, when was the last time you saw someone install a fuel pump in their own garage? The concept, after all, has some parallels. Topping off a vehicle battery while one sleeps is an undeniable convenience.
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.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Choice: BougeRV Level 2 EV ChargerAvoids loitering at the neighborhood charging station
Techie’s Choice: PrimeCom Level 2 EV ChargerWell-regarded product
Part of a recognized web
Good extra system
Examine the different plug options and make sure you order the right one
Make sure you've got the correct plug
The minimalist's choice
Park close to this one
1. Editor’s Choice: 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.
- Compatible with most major EVs, 25ft cord, approachable price
- Awkward plug angle
- Avoids loitering at the neighborhood charging station
2. Techie’s Choice: PrimeCom Level 2 EV Charger
Unlike some other commerce posts of this type bouncing around the internet, this site actually takes care to read the real-world reviews left by customers before including a product in one of our lists. This particular EV charger has accumulated a remarkable 94 percent of 4- or 5-star ratings. For any product, that's huge; for something as technical as a home EV charger, it's borderline stunning.
Two cord options are available and we strongly recommend you go with the 50-foot option. The 240V connection is said to charge a car with up to 12 miles of range per hour thanks to its 16A wiring and ability to shovel out 3.84kW per hour
- Stellar reviews, long cord option, can utilize a clothes dryer outlet
- Why do all these things look so utilitarian?
- Well-regarded product
3. Familiar Bet: ChargePoint Home WiFi Enabled Electric Vehicle Charger - Level 2
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.
- Familiar brand name, wide support network
- Very expensive
- Part of a recognized web
4. ClipperCreek Level 2 EV Charging Station
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."
- Good extra system for your plug-in hybrid while visiting the cottage
- Not great for pure EVs
5. 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. It boasts a compact size with 25ft 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.
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.
- Different plugs available, great overall customer reviews
- Ad copy typos give pause
- Examine the different plug options and make sure you order the right one
6. Morec EV Charger
Mor-ECK? Mor-EEK? Mork? However it's pronounced, this is one of the most affordable options on this list. Of course, it's rarely a good idea to cheap out on electrical devices that could potentially cause a conflagration but the real-world ratings of this device are solid and there are no reports of severe problems.
The seller makes a big deal out of this unit being super portable, not unlike the charger that comes with most plug-in hybrid vehicles your author has driven in recent memory. However, this product is said to be compatible with Level 2 amounts of electricity though note this is a T-Slot plug that requires a NEMA 6-20 outlet.
- Low price, reasonable reviews
- Level 2 requires a weird(ish) outlet instead of a common 220V
- Make sure you've got the correct plug
7. PowerCharge Energy – Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger
Sometimes, cleaning up one's parking area brings a bit of clarity. Here is a charger that's advertised as being of a slim yet durable design that is outdoor rated and mounts discreetly in a garage or parking space. This is aided with a simple plug-in installation to get its 32 amp output on the go.
This product apparently has a footprint smaller than an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper, which is very compact indeed. This would make for a can't-hardly-notice-it install in someone's condo parking spot (assuming power connections are available) which would be super handy for city dwellers. Cleans up a residential garage wall, too.
- Wonderfully small footprint, tidy install
- Short cable length
- The minimalist's choice
8. Siemens VersiCharge 30-Amp 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.
- Great brand, assembled with an extra eye on Johnny Polar Bear
- Joke of a cable length
- Park close to this one
Home EV Charger FAQs
Do you need a special charger in your home for an electric car?
On paper, you don’t need any special charger at home as you can charge most EVs using your domestic 120V power outlet. This process is called Level 1 charging. However, there’s a catch. Level 1 charging is slow, and may take several hours to fully charge your electric car before you can hit the road in peace.
On practical grounds, this method is not much appreciated by many EV owners, especially those who are mostly on tours or are used to unplanned journeys.
This is when Level 2 charging comes into play, where you install a 220V or Rapid Charging station at your home. Such gears tend to charge your EV at a higher pace, thus allowing you to keep your car up and ready whenever you need it.
What is the most popular electric car charger?
Level 2 chargers are quite popular among most electric car owners nowadays as they can be installed easily and offer fast charging. A couple of mention-worthy Level 2 charging stations for homes are:
• ChargePoint Home Flex ( Buy here!)
This Wi-Fi-enabled 240V EV charger works with Alexa and can charge your EVs 9 times faster when compared to standard chargers. The 23 ft cable enables you to use this piece of equipment both indoors and outdoors.
• Blink Charging ( Buy here!)
With the 25 ft cable, even this 240V Level 2 charger can be used both indoors and outdoors and supports almost all EVs as long as you have their compatible adapters.
Can we install fast charger for EV at home?
Yes, you can. As explained earlier, fast charging an EV is technically called Level 2 charging. You can do Level 2 charging by installing a 220V or Rapid Charging station at your home.
The fact is that your home produces Alternating Current (AC) whereas your electric vehicle needs Direct Current (DC) for charging. Because of this mismatch, you need a piece of equipment that can convert AC into DC.
The good news is that almost all EVs have a built-in converter that is capable of doing such conversions. For your part, all you need is a 120V power outlet at your home for Level 1 charging or get a 220V/Rapid Charging station installed for Level 2 charging.
Is charging an electric car cheaper than gas?
To start with, unlike gasoline, the charging of an EV is calculated in Kilowatt-hour or kWh.
To answer your question, charging an electric vehicle is any day significantly cheaper than fueling up a regular one with gasoline or diesel. However, the amount you pay to charge an EV may vary depending on your region of residence and the rate at which you get the electricity from the local governing body.
Nevertheless, when you charge your electric car at home, you need to pay comparatively less according to your domestic plan and the charging station that you have installed. On the other hand, if you are mostly on tours, you have to use public charging points that are fast but could be two-to-four times costlier as several factors such as rates of kWh in their area, the service price, etc. are involved while calculating the total payable amount.
In any case, as mentioned earlier, the cost that you have to bear to charge an EV is way lesser when compared to what you pay for filling your car’s tank with diesel or gasoline.
From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.
(Editor’s note: 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.)
[Main photo credit: Thongchai Pittayanon / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]
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So a "review" of the best home chargers doesn't include pricing or value? The reader has to fall for the clickbait on each charger just to see what each one costs? Somebody is hard up for revenue! I'll pass.
I have a feeling many homes may not be able to handle the 240v load. As an example, my house was built in 1968 with fuses, not circuit breakers. Also, the box was based on natural gas appliances (stove, heating, water, & dryer). Upon inspection when I purchased the house in '93, the prior owner had "double lugged" the fuse box for an electric dryer which I had removed and replaced with gas. I had the box rebuilt in '08 with fuses, but EVs were not on the radar scope and not sure if the new box can handle the additional 240v load. Based on my experience, I have a feeling may new EV owners are in for a shock (especially in older homes) if they want a high capacity home charger. That fat tax credit which clinched the deal will be spent on rebuilt boxes and installation of home chargers. Just for fun, would the listing of a high capacity charger be an asset or detriment on real estate listings. Maybe a plus in California, but not too sure about the Deep South where “rolling diesel” is a regional past time :-) Another factor in the equation is rental property. As a former landlord, my response to a tenant would be “Do you see a charger listed in the lease?" In the '70s, many rental properties prohibited water beds (water damage as well as structural). Guess what the new exclusion will be in the '20s. As time progresses, landlords with multi-unit properties may be forced to install chargers as per local politicians enforcing a green agenda. Now is the time for your second career as a licensed electrician. Trade schools await your enrollment. A Brave New World awaits.