Top 8 Home EV Chargers
By | Last updated: April 27, 2021
best 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.

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.

Pros/Compatible with most major EVs, 25ft cord, approachable price
Cons/Awkward plug angle
Bottom Line/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

Pros/Stellar reviews, long cord option, can utilize a clothes dryer outlet
Cons/Why do all these things look so utilitarian?
Bottom Line/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.

Pros/Familiar brand name, wide support network
Cons/Very expensive
Bottom Line/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.”

Pros/Good extra system for your plug-in hybrid while visiting the cottage
Cons/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.

Pros/Different plugs available, great overall customer reviews
Cons/Ad copy typos give pause
Bottom Line/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.

Pros/Low price, reasonable reviews
Cons/Level 2 requires a weird(ish) outlet instead of a common 220V
Bottom Line/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.

Pros/Wonderfully small footprint, tidy install
Cons/Short cable length
Bottom Line/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.

Pros/Great brand, assembled with an extra eye on Johnny Polar Bear
Cons/Joke of a cable length
Bottom Line/Park close to this one

Home EV Charger FAQs

Are these really a thing?

It’s a bit jarring, that’s for sure. For years many of these installations were shrouded in a cloak of mystery and high voltage, with visions of dangerous electricity coursing through a desiccated corpse being the result of trying to install one of these things yourself. Now, there is an abundance of options. If the proper outlet already exists in your parking spot, using one of these is as simple as plugging in a kettle.

What about plug size?

Reserving any juvenile jokes, Level 1 charging (the sloooowww kind) generally uses the type of outlet into which you’d plug a television. Level 2 charging can take the form of a couple of different outlets, one that looks like it’s winking at you and the other with which most of us are familiar thanks to electric clothes dryers. Make sure you’re buying the right one.

So why might I need an electrician?

You shouldn’t need one to simply plug these things into an outlet but you should get one if you’re adding a Level 2 outlet near your parking space. It’s venturing into that particular arena where people who don’t know what they’re doing can make an expensive mistake.

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 / Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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

  • avatar

    “Like it or not, electric vehicles are making up a steadily larger slice of the automotive pie.”

    No, they aren’t (in USDM).

    Bear in mind unless your house was built within the past ten to fifteen years your breaker box may need updated. My electrician explained on the newer properties with heated floors/concrete the minimum recommendation is 200amp. Add these, may need to be more. So when you buy your EV in addition to massive depreciation on non-Teslas, budget a few thousand if your box isn’t recent.

  • avatar

    If you’re handy enough to install ceiling fans without a tragedy or loss of life, you can skip the electrician. There’s at least 50 videos online covering this inside out and backwards.

  • avatar

    Charging an EV on a 100 amp service is fine with all natural gas or propane appliances. Families have been raised on just 60 amps worth of breakers in a rental property I own. It’s a 1981 double-wide that came with a 200 amp box and all electric appliances, but converted when new since it’s 100 amp “drop” location.

  • avatar

    Whichever one of these you get, please treat the cord with respect. If the cord barely reaches to the car and you plug it in at a weird angle with the heavy cord suspended in midair, you are going to crack the plastic charging handle and/or the plastic charging port on the vehicle, and no one is going to be happy. Plus, it’s a trip hazard.

    (You can use up the cord length pretty quickly, by the time you account for the heavy cord draping down to the ground from the charging station and then back up to the charging port on your vehicle. Plus who knows where your charging station got mounted and where the OEM put the charging port on your vehicle – and did that family member pull in facing the right direction? Get a long cord.)

    [Personal EV readiness test: How many times in the past year has your cellphone dropped below a 5% charge? When is the last time your vehicle ran out of gas? Some of us aren’t good planners – be honest with yourself.]

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I installed my hard-wired Schneider Electric charger myself in 2012. It is fed by a 40A double breaker and 25 feet of 8 AWG wire running from my 150-Amp service in our 1967 house.

    The whole thing cost me about $800 back then. But if your garage and service box are not co-located, then you’ll get into more work.

    I recently switched my HW tank to electric and still no problems. We have an electric range, but gas heat and dryer.

    As for the options above, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than 32A capacity. The minimum on-board charging capability of today’s EVs is about 6.6 kW, so slow-feeding them to save a few bucks on the charger is a false economy.

    I’d also hard wire the thing. Why install a 50A receptacle that only ever has a car charger plugged into it? If you intend to time share the receptacle with your welder or a dryer, then you should really install a separate plug for those things. A hard-wired installation is also safer, too, since it eliminates a motion-prone high-current connection and flexing in the supply cord.

    And I don’t understand the WiFi option, because my car already has that. As long as it’s plugged in, it can charge, and the charging schedule can be managed remotely if needed.

    • 0 avatar

      That makes a lot of sense. The only issue I can think of, if things go wrong, will the average user know to go the breaker box, do they know where it is and what to do when they get there?

      Maybe installing a small subpanel next to the charger? Or master shutoff?

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    175A/240V service here. There is no gas and electricity is the only heat in this stupidly large house in a cold climate. The main has never blown. The PHEV pulls 14A @ 240V on a 20A circuit with no problems as the on-board is 3.3 kw.
    If you need more than 200A, do yourself a favour and switch from resistance heating to a heat pump. Every electric car in the last 6 or 8 years already has a heat pump.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Every electric car in the last 6 or 8 years already has a heat pump.”

      Not really. That is the trend for the future, but Tesla is only now switching to heat pumps, and in other brands a heat pump has often been bundled with top trims, or not available at all.

      But you’re right about house heat – I can’t imagine running resistance to heat air.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      I think residential panel/ individual electric upgrades are an under-reported part of BEVs and climate legislation overall.

      I posted a picture of my actual panel a few weeks ago and the consensus (granted no one here is an electrician) was that I *probably* had capacity for an EV charger but no one was really able to say for certain and if I can it was close. If I need to upgrade my panel, then pretty much everyone in my area would need to as well.

      Gas appliances are being banned and discouraged in many of the places where ICE vehicles are being banned or discouraged. I expect that sort of sentiment to expand over the next 4 years. So there is a reasonable chance that someone will be having to swap out their furnace and dryer and water heater over the next 20 years as well as change their transportation to EV.
      (see page 20)

      So take a 2-vehicle household that currently uses gas appliances and was built in 1988. In 2035 it will have 2 BEVs and all-electric appliances/heating. What kind of power capacity will that residence need compared to what they have now?
      The only way I see avoiding near universal panel upgrades for detached family residences is that either BEVs and electric appliances become way more efficient (which is possible) or housing codes are updated so people don’t need to have “full or excess” capacity.

    • 0 avatar

      The above gives new meaning to the Talking Heads song “Burning Down the House”.

    • 0 avatar

      @ajla, you’ve got a real dilemma. Many will be forced to use gasoline/diesel generators to supplement their needs with skyrocketing electricity costs and the clamp down of emissions and other related laws. Then they’ll ban generators for home use.

      From your previous post, you’ve got enough amps and space in your breaker box to do the job right. That’s my unprofessional advise and you don’t have to be a pro to do the job as good as one. Once you’ve done a couple breaker boxes, it’s stupid simple.

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