For those that drive an electric car, you will require an EV charger that will power up your vehicle. Compared with the regular plug, using a home electric car charger can be up to 2.5 times faster and be far more intuitive to use.
The best EV charger is the ChargePoint WiFi Enabled Charging Station, which is a level 2 charger that is UL listed and comes with a 25 foot power cord.
When it comes to the different types of charging cords, you have the choice of a 120 volt (level 1) or 240 volt (level 2) power cords. Opting for a level 2 EV charger will result in a much faster charging time, which of course is more desirable.
Table of Contents
- Best Home EV Charger
- ChargePoint Home Electric Car Charger
- JuiceBox Pro 40 with JuiceNet
- Siemens VC30GRYU Home EV Charger
- Bosch EV Charger EL-51254-A
- Zencar Level 2 EV Charger
- EV Charger Buying Guide
Best Home EV Charger
|EV Charger||Amperage||Cord Length|
|ChargePoint Home WiFi||32A||18 or 25 Feet|
|JuiceBox Pro 40 Smart||32A or 40A||24 Feet|
|Siemens VersiCharge||30A||20 Feet|
|Bosch EL-51254-A||16A or 30A||12, 18 or 25 Feet|
|Zencar Level 2||16A||25 Feet|
Over the years we have been taught that electric cars are the future but the technology is still in its early days. However, over the past year or so, the movements towards reliable charging have been improved massively with these home electric car charging stations, which can charge cars much faster.
In terms of the power cord length, the majority of electric charging stations will use cords with lengths between 16 and 25 feet. For the additional length, you will more than certainly be expected to pay a premium price as an added extra.
Below is a list of the best EV chargers that provide a powerful charge and are easy to use with various features such as smartphone applications and WiFi connection.
ChargePoint Home Electric Car Charger
The ChargePoint is a popular EV Charger that is by far the best looking unit you can buy. It is also clever with an integrated WiFi that connects to your smartphone to provide real time information on the charge of your vehicle.
Other features of the ChargePoint EV Charger include:
- Option of a 18 or 25 feet charging cord
- Level 2 charger rated at 32A
- Adds up to 25 miles of range per hour
- Can charge most electric cars in just 4 hours
- 6x faster than a wall outlet alternative
- 3 years warranty and UL listed
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
The smartphone application really makes this one of the best EV charger stations you can buy. It allows you to schedule charging when electricity rates are at its cheapest, see all the charging activity and also find other charging stations nearby.
The ability to check the state of the charge from your finger tips is a huge benefit. You can easily check that the car is connected to the EV charger and what percentage of charge it has attained whilst being hooked up.
ChargePoint also offer this EV charger in two forms, hardwired and plug-in where they both have different benefits. The main difference is that a hardwired version can be used both indoors and outdoors.
The low key grey color to the unit will work well on most driveways or garages. It is very compact with a sleek design that is 11.2 x 7 inches with an indicator light that provides real time information on the charge visually.
Using the standard J1772 connector, you will be able to charge all electric vehicles on the road from the 32 amps of power. The cord length of 25 foot is recommended for the best experience.
JuiceBox Pro 40 with JuiceNet
The JuiceBox Pro 40 is a high powered electric charging station that automatically adjusts to the amount of power it receives, which can be up to 40 amps. You can also have full control over the charger with a smartphone application. It is the main competitor to the ChargePoint where both are equally as popular in the US.
Feature of the JuiceBox Pro 40 EV Charger include:
- Wifi and Smartphone application
- Level 2 charger rated at 40A
- 240 input volts for extra charging power
- LED light display for charging status
- Safety rating of UL and cUL in Canada
- Built in the US with a 3 year warranty
The smartphone application can be downloaded on all platforms and its called “JuiceNet – Smart EV Charging” on the app stores. From the app, you will be able to control when you want to charging to occur, max charge rate, real time power metrics, amperage, history and so much more.
It will charge all production electric vehicles as it uses the standard J1772 charging protocol. At 240 input volts makes this a high powered home electric car charger is more powerful than the dealer EV chargers that they try and sell you. The price of the dealer units can be over 4 times the amount of the JuiceBox.
Overall, the JuiceBox Pro 40 is the best level 2 EV charger for those willing to spend that little bit more for extra power. It has many similarities to the ChargePoint but power is the unique selling point of the JuiceBox Pro. They even offer a more powerful unit at 75A but this is almost twice the price.
Siemens VC30GRYU Home EV Charger
The Siemens brand are known for making a range of home “white” goods such as fridges and so forth. However, the V30GRYU home electric car charger is proven to be a very popular device that can completely charge a car in 3.5 hours.
Features of the V30GRYU model by Siemens include:
- Level 2 charger rated at 30A
- 20 feet charging cord
- 3 year warranty
- Plug in and play unit
- Compatible with all electric cars
- Flexible wiring options
- Simplistic installation
Like with most EV Chargers, it has LED lights on the device but the Siemens model has pulsating lighting whilst charging. The unit is slightly larger than the ChargePoint at 16.5 x 16.5 inches and it uses 30 amps, 240 volts to charge a car.
The Siemens VC30GRYU Electric Vehicle Charger provides great value for money with everything you need in the box. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a mobile application but the reduced cost compared the ChargePoint makes it a worthy investment for those on a budget.
Bosch EV Charger EL-51254-A
Bosch is a big name player in the car world with many electrical vehicle components on the market. The charging station is the most expensive within this article, which is probably due to the reputable branding backing this device.
Features of the Bosch EL-51254-A Level 2 Charger include:
- Available as a 16 or 30 amp EV charger
- Option of a 12, 18 or 25 feet charger cord
- 3 year warranty
- cUL and UL listed and meet or exceed NEC 625
- Multi-function LED indicators
- Standard J1772 connector fits nearly every EV
The Bosch Electric Vehicle Charger uses a feature that will automatically monitor the charging. This means that it will always charge the vehicle in the shortest amount of time that will save energy costs.
Overall, the Bosch EL-51254-A is an excellent EV charger but the premium price means that it is not as popular as the above alternatives. However, when compared against the expensive dealership charger, the Bosch is almost identical but cheaper.
Zencar Level 2 EV Charger
For those that are on a budget and still want to use a high power level 2 EV charger, then the Zencar is the best EVSE option. It is available with various different options that include various power and cord length options.
Features of the Zencar Level 2 EV charger include:
- Level 2 that is rated at 16A
- 25 feet cord length
- Recommended for indoor usage
- 2 year warranty
- Includes a level 1 adapter for 120V
- Compatible with all electric vehicles
- Quick read LED indicators
Overall, it is a cheap electric car charging station that comes with a long length charging cord. Although it has a waterproof rating of IP55, it is still recommended that you use this EV charger indoors.
EV Charger Buying Guide
Home charging is probably the easiest and most convenient way to charge up your car for another day of commuting to work or to just travel along the roads. Unlike petrol driven cars, electric cars need electricity to keep going.
There are many charging stations on the road, but the best are found at home. As a buyer, you had little choice but to depend on home EV chargers just to keep their the battery topped up, and in in the early days buyers had little choice about what chargers they actually got. Unlike today, car buyers received an evaluation and an installation quote before they received their EV’s.
Car dealers recommend the charging stations that went with the models of cars they’d sold to you in the first place. These were often very expensive to buy for your home.
Not anymore – nowadays there is plenty of choice and compatibility is not really an issue anymore – all you need is the right level of power for your car, and there are dozens of models available and you can even purchase one of these charging stations online at Amazon.
In reality, it’s not difficult to charge an electric car at home or when you’re out and about travelling to work or just travelling with is a far cry from petrol and diesel cars which needed refuelling at petrol stations. Home EV chargers just require you to plug the car in and you’re good to go for the next day.
For the Electric Car owner, charging up is one of the toughest concerns there are. For most owners, 90 – 95% of electric car owners decide to charge their vehicles at home, which can be done with conventional power sockets or a specialized car charging point. It’s simple enough – you just leave the car charging overnight, or when you have a free moment and it keeps charging from the time the car is needed again.
It’s a convenient and more economical means of charging your car – why waste all that time driving home and leaving again the next morning to go to work and relying on a charging point en-route when you can simply charge it up at your house overnight so it’s ready by morning? It’s a matter of convenience, especially for daily commutes and runs that take place every day.
It’s important to know the language and terms of electric cars and the technology surrounding it. Below are some common words used to describe EV chargers:
Charging – Refilling the batteries with electricity, done either at home or at a public station. Once it’s charged up, the charging will stop and any electricity flowing into your car will also stop. Some models of charger and car can automatically switch the charging process on or off at different intervals – day or night. This is to take advantage of cheaper rates or cleaner electricity sources.
Charger – Found inside the car, and not on the wall, which is a common misconception, with the (BMS) Battery Management system. The charger and the BMS work together to take the current from the socket on the side of the car, and split the current to the battery cells to give each one its optimum charge.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) – The real term for the box that hangs off the wall and delivers the current of electricity into your car, but its job is to coordinate the amount of electricity, enough to switch it on or off. This is done in a safe manner.
When the EVSE is connected to the car, it reports how much electricity is available. It also carries out checks to ensure there are no problems. It’s essential and has a simple purpose. Some models come with extra features like time of day controls.
Time of Day – Some electricity companies offer lower electricity rates used at night. Charging at those times helps you to save money. By charging off peak, you usually reduce your environmental impact between midnight and the early hours of the morning.
Charging – Outside vs Inside
One of the main issues that you may find is whether you are able to install the EV charger outside or inside. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garage, which means that you will have to use the best EV charger for outside usage.
These chargers will use a J1772 connector, which will protect the charger from the outdoor elements. You may also want to ensure you check out the NEMA ratings of the EV charger too. Both NEMA 3 & 4 rated outlets are suitable for usage outdoors.
EV Charger Levels
Most manufacturers say you should not use a domestic socket for everyday charging because of the high drain. It can also lead to overheating and there have been cases where the socket will burn because of constant use. However, the majority of EV owners will upgrade their sockets so that they are suitable for the charger cords.
All electric cars come with a charge cord rated at 120 volts – this is level 1, and can be used either at home or if you’re away. Most EV buyers prefer level 2 charging stations, which are faster and more powerful, rated at around 240 volts of current, which makes the car more capable, which is important for commuting and you can charge the car overnight. 240 volts are public charging stations where 120 volts are typically house electricity supplies.
It can take 12 hours for level 1 chargers to charge a car, but this is if you just plug an EVSE into the house, which is why most people opt for chargers. It’s possible to have your EVSE cable to be adapted to fit into the house plug, but run at a level 2 charging speed, and get a full charge in just 4 hours. It’s still a long period, but since most charges take place at night when you’re asleep, there’s no real difference.
You can always opt for a level 1 adapter that will connect to a level 2 EV charger if this is something that you will require. It will be an added extra and cost a fair amount of money but it can be very useful for those that require it.
Charging Station Amperage
When it comes to charging power, you will want to pay particular attention to the amperage that the EV charger offers. All of our recommendations in this article are all above 30 amps and this is the advised minimum for charging at a fast enough speed. There are many cheaper alternatives with less than 30 amps in power but you may be waiting a while for your vehicle to charge up.
However, not all electric cars on the road will be able to make the most of the higher amperage. For example, a Nissan Leaf produced prior to 2013 will not be able to take full advantage of the power. However, we highly recommend that you still opt for a 30A+ home EV charger.
Charger Cord Length
The length of the charger cord and the placement of the EVSE is critical. The location will require careful planning prior to installing it and you should ensure that it provides easy connection to your car. Increasing the length of the cord makes this far easier and we highly recommend getting a cord with the length of 16 feet and over.
Installation of an EV Charger
If you’ve decided not to go for a portable home charger that simply plugs into your home, you will need an electrician to come to your home to install the connections and the outlets if they’re needed.
One thing to consider is the price of the installation of the charger – even the best home electric car charger can take hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars to install. It depends on where the charger needs to go and also where the electric panel in your house is located.
The work itself will involve a lot of drilling where they’ll install a new box and a plug into the wall to tap into the house’s power supply, but the accessibility of the panel will make the job easier for the electrician. EVSE’s come in different sizes and likewise their plugs are different, and it’s recommended that you buy the charging station and actually receive it you show it to the electrician. The electrician will only need a few moments to work out the parts that would be needed and find the right place to install it.
WiFi and Smartphone Applications
Some EV chargers such as the ChargePoint and the Juicebox Pro come with WiFi and smartphone application. This is a huge benefit and something that we think is essential these days for being able to control your charging.
From these smartphone application, you are able to control when you want to charging to occur, max charge rate, real time power metrics, amperage, history and so much more.
Tax Credit for Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Station
As using an electric vehicle is good for the environment and its being pushed upon us, its worth checking for any incentives. Charging stations are expensive and if there are tax credits for installing an EV charger, its worth checking them out.
The tax credits are based per state and you can check for any state law and incentives for installing an EV charger on the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website.
Investing in a quality level 2 EV charger with a professional installation is a worthwhile investment. We strongly recommend that you avoid paying the dealership prices and purchase one of the recommendations within this article. Not only will they charge your electric vehicle quicker but they also come with a range of features and are much cheaper.
Desirable features such as WiFi, smartphone application, level 1 adapter and others are worth paying the extra for. Of course, everyone has a set budget and there are cheap alternatives available such as the Zencar.